Nestled beside the tranquil shores of Tierra Verde, the Tampa Bay Watch witnessed a celebration of love—a picturesque union of Amy and Jonathan. But theirs is a tale that began amidst the festive cheer of a Christmas party in Philadelphia. It was here, fresh to the city and the season’s chill, that Amy encountered Jonathan, a native of Portland, Oregon, whose ties with the Gators alumnus had brought them both to this fateful gathering. Initial exchanges were shy, fleeting—no telltale spark, not just yet.

Married couple kissing on the beach

Chapter 1: Once Upon a Christmas Gathering

It was a warm setting, complete with friendly laughter and hushed conversations under the winter night sky. Jonathan, was attending the gathering with his fellow alumnus. Amy, on the other hand, was on her first Pennsylvania Christmas adventure, brought to the gathering by a mutual friend.

Neither knew would be the prelude to their future. It was a night remembered for its innocent encounters and unassuming beginnings.

Chapter 2: The Unintentional Date at Valanni

Their tale took an unexpected turn in Philadelphia’s vibrant Gayborhood. Here, under the guise of camaraderie, Amy accepted Jonathan’s invite to Valanni, unbeknownst to her, their very first date. 

The thought that this congenial outing could bloom into romance had not crossed her mind, she was under the innocent impression that Jonathan was still taken.

Chapter 3: A Bond Forged in Service and Kindness

Amy and Jonathan’s love blossomed as they discovered their shared values and the importance of service, respect, and kindness in their lives.

Jonathan, passionate about his career in social work, showed his deep compassion for helping others. 

“Jonathan is a kind person and just loves people”

“No matter who you are or where you come from, he operates from a place of love and respect. He also has extensive wine knowledge (a big plus) and super cute!” 

Amy, who inherited her mother’s loving nature, became a source of unwavering support and warmth.

“Amy is smart, talented, beautiful and caring. She is always thinking of ways to serve and be of help to others.”

“She remembers everyone’s birthday and goes out of her way to celebrate them.”

As they spent time together, they uncovered the similarities in their journey and a shared vision for their lives. Their mutual respect was the foundation of their love.

However, even as their love story was taking beautiful shape, they managed to keep their feet on the ground, focusing on their life goals. “After our engagement, we set our sights on becoming homeowners first and then started planning the wedding.”, the couple explains. 

With a roof over their heads and hearts full of love for each other, they prepared for the next chapter: getting married and celebrating their love in their new home.

Chapter 4: The Proposal

On a trip to Malibu in June 2018, Jonathan had a big surprise for Amy. While it seemed like just a visit to his friend Eric, Jonathan had a different plan.

Amy remembers, “I thought we were just going to see Eric. But Jonathan had another idea.”

They enjoyed the beautiful Malibu shore. As they walked along the beach and took pictures under the sunset, Jonathan took his chance. This was their moment.

Jonathan’s plan went off perfectly, and their friend Eric captured the moment with his camera.

married couple watching sunset

Chapter 5: The Big Day

Fast forward to November 2019, Amy and Jonathan chose Tampa Bay Watch, a serene and idyllic location in Tierra Verde, as the venue for their wedding celebration. Combining Amy’s exquisite taste and Jonathan’s careful planning, their nuptials were a perfect blend of simplicity and elegance, exuding the warmth that existed between the two.

Under the Floridian sun and in the gentle sea breeze, the couple shared their vows.

Amy recalls her fondest memories being “Getting ready with my bridesmaids and the first look with Jonathan on the beach. It was such a beautiful and special day!”

Chapter 6: A Picture-Perfect Journey

Amy and Jonathan had no prior experience with professional photographers before their wedding. As an interracial couple, they were concerned that the photographers capture their diverse beauty properly. 

“We didn’t want Jonathan to be washed out or for Amy to not have enough light.”

They wanted plenty of great photos that would do justice to their radiant smiles and sparkling spirits, and a wedding video that would allow them to relive their special day over again.

Much to their delight, not only did the team from RTW Photography meet their expectations but also made the day even more special with their friendly personalities.

“…[RTWs] work product is awesome AND they were so cool to hang with on our special day!! Everyone on the team had great personalities and keep the vibes fun throughout the day!”

Interracial couple wedding

Chapter 7: Love, Laughter, and a Lifetime Ahead

Amid shared birthday celebrations, wine tastings, and sunny Florida beaches, the love story of Amy and Jonathan truly symbolizes a journey of friendship turning into a lifelong romance. 

It pays tribute to unexpected connections and the blossoming of love that started from a single, unassuming encounter at a Christmas party.

Here’s to Amy and Jonathan! To the love that started on a chilly Christmas night and blossomed overlooking the tranquil shores of Tierra Verde. We are so honored to have played a part in their love story.

Thank you, Amy and Jonathan! 

bridesmaids and groomsmen at wedding

cake and ring

Mother and son dancing at wedding
Father and daughter dancing at wedding

wedding venue and shoes

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