As many of you know, June is Pride Month! The Lightner Museum is an LGBTQ friendly wedding venue, and we believe that ALL kinds of love deserve to be celebrated! We are honored to provide members of the LGBTQ + community with a wedding venue that is welcoming and excited to celebrate their love.
Earlier this year, Carlson and Paul tied the knot at the Lightner Museum. After their wedding, we caught up with them to ask a few questions about their wedding planning experience. We loved hearing the details of how they met at Target, their surprise engagement at Carlson‘s 30th birthday, and some of the most memorable moments of their wedding day! With a photographer like Angela Esparar Photography to capture their story—from their engagement to their vows in the Historic Pool—we had a hard time narrowing down which images to share from their unforgettable St. Augustine wedding!
How did the two of you meet?
We met while attending school at The University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. During the Summer of 2010, while in Gainesville, Carlson began a part-time job working at Target where Paul had already worked for several years. Soon after Carlson had started working there, they became close friends. Over the next year they continued to build our friendship. It was not until the summer of 2011, after Carlson had left Gainesville, that they realized that we could not live without each other.
Can you share your proposal story?
We got engaged at Carlson’s 30th Birthday Celebration surround by our family and friends. We had been planning Carlson’s birthday for months, excited to reach that milestone.
However, Carlson had other plans and knew it was the perfect opportunity to propose, surrounded by our family and friends. Carlson had only told a few of our friends about the upcoming proposal, even keeping it a secret from his sisters and parents. During the celebration, Carlson took the time to speak to our guests and thank them for attending, during which Carlson asked Paul to join him. The message then took a turn from addressing our guests to addressing Paul. Carlson talked about how important Paul is to his life, how much he loves him. Carlson then got down on his knee and asked Paul to marry him! Paul, overcome with shock and joy, accepted!
Our friends and family are such important parts of our lives that we knew our proposal was something that we wanted to share with them.
Immediately after, we were surrounded by elation, tears of joy, and congratulatory words from our friends and family.
Later that evening, the few friends that had known about the proposal, confessed to Carlson that Paul was also planning on proposing at Carlson’s birthday, but refrained, because Paul did not want to take away from Carlson’s big celebration. Another example of how we are always on the same page!
Why did you choose the Lightner Museum as your wedding venue?
In walking through the Lightner Museum, we were in awe of how beautiful and grand everything was. The Lightner Museum has many historical details that seemed to fit our style. The multi-level, multi-area options that the Lightner Museum had to offer were perfect for what we had in mind for our celebration. After leaving, we just knew the Lightner Museum was our wedding venue.
What were the most important things to you when planning your wedding?
When planning our wedding, we wanted to make sure all of the details were carefully thought out and reflected us and our style. It was important that every aspect of our wedding was meaningful.
Also, an important aspect of the planning was ensuring that we had an amazingly talented team of vendors to make our wedding memorable, not only for us, but for our guests as well. Our vendors were great to work with and contributed to our day in the most beautiful ways.
What is your favorite memory from your wedding day?
Our favorite memory from our wedding day was the ceremony itself. We were excited to perform the ceremony in the manner we did at the top of the stairs. We spent a lot of time planning and imagining how it would all come together. It was a wonderful moment to stand at the top of the stairs and look out to see all of our friends and family there to support us.
We also loved our Same Day Edit video presentation. The day goes by so quickly that it was a great opportunity to relive many of the day’s details at the end of the evening, surrounded by our family and friends in attendance.
Do you have any advice for future couples who are planning their weddings in St. Augustine?
We would encourage future couples to appreciate the history and beauty that St. Augustine has to offer. The buildings, roads, and details throughout St. Augustine present so much character and beauty, making it the perfect backdrop for a memorable wedding celebration.
Did we mention that we had a hard time narrowing down to just a few photos of this beautiful day? We had to share just a few more!
Carlson and Paul held their wedding ceremony in the Lightner Museum Historic Pool.
Guests enjoyed cocktail hour in the Grand Lobby in between the ceremony and reception.
Dinner and cake were served on the Mezzanine of the Historic Pool.
Carlson and Paul got the dance party started in the Historic Pool!
Wedding Vendors for Carlson and Paul’s St. Augustine Wedding at The Lightner Museum:
LGBTQ friendly wedding venue: Lightner Museum
Planner: Coastal Coordinating
Caterer: Chef’s Garden Catering & Events
Florist: Jade Violet Wedding Floral
Bakery: Amy’s Cakes
Photographer: Angelita Esparar Photography
Videographer: Bow Tie Photo & Video
Rentals: St. Johns Illuminations
Music & Entertainment: C-Zone Entertainment
Photo Booth: iPhotobooth
Hair: Once Upon A Stylist
Makeup: Amanda Hopcraft Makeup Artist
Carlson and Paul, it was such a joy being able to relive your romantic St. Augustine wedding through your pictures. We want everyone to have this experience! If you, or someone you know and love is looking for an LGBTQ friendly wedding venue in Florida, we would love to share more about the Lightner Museum. We can’t wait to celebrate with you!