2013 TOP TEN | COUPLE’S LOVE STORIES | Pensacola Blockparty Wedding

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ALANNA and EVAN

LOVE STORY

I’ve got the groom, I’ve got the gown, and now I need the Gillianne touch.

When my fiance Evan and I met, it was love at first sight. I never knew I could fall for someone so fast! Three years later he was proposing to me at the very same spot that we had our first date, making me the luckiest woman in the world.

Along with being incredibly handsome, Evan is a very talented singer and traveling musician for country music artist Lauren Alaina. While I am very thankful and excited for him to have such an amazing career, I am forced to share him with the road, and will have to plan most of our wedding by myself.

We would love to be married by the end of the year, but financially it has made things very difficult.

Winning the Pensacola Block Party Wedding would be a dream come true, and a prayer answered for both of us, including both of our families. Not only would we have an amazing team of vendors helping us every step of the way, but Evan and I would get to have the wedding of our dreams that would not otherwise be possible. We would be so incredibly grateful if you would pick us for this amazing opportunity. We’re keeping our fingers crossed!

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CHRISTINE and JESSE

LOVE STORY

After years of searching for the love of your life, it seems like a distant and far away dream! You start to believe so much that one day it will never happen.  When it does, you don’t even realize him standing in front of you, begging you to let him love you! Time and time, again, Jesse tried sending me messages without even knowing my last name just to say my smile changed his day.  He didn’t know anything about me, and didn’t even bother to try.  He just wanted me to know through a sweet message that my smile had changed him.  I politely said, “Thank you” and thought nothing more.  Months had passed…. then again, a message showed up to tell me one more time that he saw something in my smile that warmed him deeply.  This time I said a little more than before….I finally took a moment to know his story and look back into his smile. Why was this stranger just wanting to simply tell me he loved my smile?  All I thought was, REALLY? UGH! Why wasn’t he ugly? Why wasn’t he someone that I wasn’t going to become interested in? Come to find out, this man wasn’t only beautiful and real, but he also had hit the lowest part of his life.  Looking to get through the dark, just searching for the light! All he needed was a smile.  In a world where meaning was an empty silence, he heard nothing……until by chance, he saw the light! If he hadn’t reached out, just to say, “Your smile lightened my life” I never would’ve found mine! I didn’t know I was just as lost.  I didn’t realize I had lost my light! It’s when the sun starts to set in your life, and you release all control to God, that he brings you what you never knew you needed.  He brought us together, he saved our lives, for now we know what true love is, and if that’s all we ever have, we’ll have the world!

Jesse & Christine

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JESSY and JARRETT

LOVE STORY

We are Jarrett Swearingen & Jessica (Jessy) Killam. The following is a poem we wrote, titled ‘December 17, 2011.’

It was a day we’ll never forget,

Our first kiss was because of a bet.

We met in a pub,

Not that we are proud of-

But it was meant to be

How it played out so sweetly.

Mutual friends set up the blind date,

Not knowing what would take place.

At first, he didn’t have much to say

But with a few drinks he started to play.

He bet to kiss her trying his luck

And when he did, he was struck.

We both felt love at first kiss,

Experiencing this moment was pure bliss.

From this point on, our love story began,

A beautiful woman and her charming man.

The man’s name is Jarrett, the woman is Jessy,

Both were raised out in the country.

Jarrett’s from Jay, Jessy’s from Century

Jessy a therapist, Jarrett a deputy.

Jessy needs a cop on her side,

As she cannot make her lead foot abide.

Jessy is anything, all but shy,

While Jarrett’s not much for the lime light.

Jarrett knows what he wants in life,

And Jessy will make his perfect wife.

Marriage is important to both of us,

Putting God first is definitely a must.

We both have divorced parents, no one’s willing to help,

We’ll be paying for our wedding all by ourself.

Winning this wedding would be a dream come true,

The future Mr. & Mrs. Swearingen saying I do.

We go together like two peas in a pod,

Can’t wait to begin our marriage blessed by God!

Please choose us, we really should be

The winner of Pensacola Blockparty Wedding 2013!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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KAYLYNN and MATT

LOVE STORY

Our Love Story

Our love story begins about eight years ago when I met Matt while he was playing baseball in junior college. I instantly liked his fun, contagious personality but was determined not to be a “love sick teenager”. We clicked right away and knew we had something special but although young in age, we were not naïve enough to think a long distance relationship would actually work in our college years. Looking back on that decision, although difficult, in retrospect it was probably the best decision I ever made. I needed that time to mature and learn life lessons and as the cliché’ as the saying goes I had to believe, “If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it’s yours. If it does not come back, it was never meant to be.”

Well let’s see where should we begin? We first met when I was playing baseball in junior college when I was 18. She was still in high school but I really liked her so I decided to take to heckling from my teammates and still pursue her. We started hanging out and pretty soon we both started falling for each other as much as you can when you are that  young , right until baseball season ended and the school year came to an end. Normally this would be a big deal but I had been offered a scholarship at a different college and I was going to be moving. She was going to be remaining there and then going to FSU. This was a big decision for me and I can still remember the last day of school when I was moving out and she came to say bye to me. I was really sad but at that point baseball was my life so I had to go.

As fate would have it, I moved to Pensacola right after graduating from Florida State and wanted a fresh start to life after college. My sister had moved here just a year earlier and was looking for a new roommate. I had no idea Matt was back in his hometown of Pensacola, until one day he messaged me to meet up again. It was like we had never been apart for the last five years. We clicked so fast that Matt asked me to be his girlfriend the second time we hung out but I had to play a little bit hard to get, even though I instantly knew he was the one for me. and we have been inseparable ever since.

We both went on and graduated from different colleges and I moved back to Pensacola. I was working and living the bachelor lifestyle with two friends of mine. In the back of my mind I always missed Kaylynn so I decided to look her up and see what lucky guy had scooped her up. To my avail she was single and had recently moved to Pensacola. I took this as fate and immediately sent her a message. After we talked through social media for a week or two we decided to hangout in person again. If I am remembering correctly I asked her to be my girlfriend the second time we went out. She said “No” So I asked the next night and the next night. She just did not think I was trying hard enough, however I knew she was the one for me. So as we sit today we have been dating two years and are engaged to be married. In the end we were definitely meant to be and I could not be happier.

We feel like the luckiest people in the world to get that second chance of love and would like nothing more to celebrate it with the city that got us back together, Pensacola. .

Cheers,

Kaylynn Fantaski &  Matt Hawkins

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KAYT and DREW

LOVE STORY

My fiance and I are not the couple that people look at and say “they are perfect for each other; they belong together.” We are madly in love, but it was a strange and adventurous journey getting there.

I was born and raised in the small towns of Pace and Molino, Florida. I was raised to hunt, fish, ride four wheelers, camp– you know…all that Duck Dynasty crap people do. My father is an avid fisherman and married to a beautiful Southern woman. My mother is a cool and fun hillbilly-type from West Virginia-enough said for most of you I am sure. For others, she sleeps with a loaded shot gun next to her bed. Make sure you knock before you enter.

I have a blended family consisting of what seems like an infitine amount of brothers and sisters. Reason number one why I (and my father) deserve this wedding: five of us are girls. And, at 24 years old, I am the baby of all the children.

All my sisters are country-lovin southern gals. They like camo, guns, country music, and again, Duck Dynasty. They all found themselves with a true country man. However, despite the way I grew up, I was always into something different. I liked crazy music, drums, the beach, traveling, art, and even the city. Of course, I also had to break the mold with who I fell in love with.

My fiance, Drew, is far from a country man. Although now I have caught him taking a liking to my family’s southern country living, he is a much different man. He grew up in many different lifestyles as he moved from place to place. But he comes from a strong family that would build bridges for one another. His mother, from our nation’s capital, gave him his appreciation for life and his love for people. His former military and boy scout father gave him his curiosity for life and his need for adventure and fun. His amazing silbings gave him his open mind and his warm heart.

Drew is indecisive like me even though he rarely admits it. This adorable characteristic he carries has made him spend his life seeking out new ideas, people, and hobbies. He has been a snowboarder, surfer, runner, biker, scuba diver, fisherman, and more. He is and will always be a science geek. He is smart and witty. However, I am still always right. He is a great man to me and before the end of the year, he will be a great husband to me.

I wrote him a letter that I told him I would give him on our wedding day that explains our relationship. It reads similar to this: “Drew, you are the worst first date I have ever had. But I still took a second date with you. Love comes and goes for many people these days. It is hard to know what is love and what is just a fling. But you were different. Despite that first horrible date, I was drawn to you for reasons I can never properly explain. However, I know it is real because of its growth. It was not a fairytale. It was not love at first sight. I liked you. But the more I get to know you, the less I can live without you. Most people have that strong connection at first, but it sometimes fades. You have given me something spectacular though: a relationship that gets better with time. We have the Benjamin Button relationship. Thank you for the weirdest and most beautiful love and life. I love you weirdly too.”

We deserve this wedding because nothing and no one told us to fall in love. But we did it anyway. And here we are: basically no wedding plans, no clue how to create a cool wedding, little funds to have that weird and memorable wedding we want, and all the love and passion for one another that two people could possibly have. We have vowed to stick with each other no matter how many times he turns the radio up when I start singing and no matter how much he thinks I am being cranky when I am actually being an angel. We love each other for our flaws. We appreciate the spark and surprise our relationship has. We want to celebrate our crazy love in true Pensacola style.Pensacola-Destin-Wedding-Photographer_0711

LIBBY and SHANE

LOVE STORY

We have all heard the saying “opposites attract.” We have all also heard that you find what you need when you least expect it.

Libby is a southern girl full of spunk and creativity. Shane is a man of quiet strength and stability from Massachusetts.

Just weeks after Shane moved to Pensacola in April 2011 he was standing on Pensacola beach when he saw Libby, a soon-to-be college graduate enjoying a day of sun. Conversation ensued, a date was planned, and the rest is history. Neither were looking to find their “one and only,” neither expected for the rest of their lives to start that day.

Almost two years later, we could not have a more perfect life together. The only thing missing is a ring and a wedding. We have been ready to be married for some time, and can not wait to start our life together. It has been a long time coming, but life being what it is- it just hasn’t been able to happen yet. We would love for our family to come together from all over the East Coast to witness our two lives becoming one.

This would be the ultimate dream come true- for our story to come full circle in the town that we met 2 years ago and are now blessed to call home.

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LINDSAY and PATRICK

LOVE STORY

I landed a hunky hunk. I owe it all to Intermission in downtown Pensacola. Well, and my friend Jason, who at the risk of making me look like weirdo schmierdo, casually introduced to me to the stranger whose laugh made my heart flutter. Like a classic “B” romantic comedy, I introduced myself, “Hi, my lame is Nindsay.” Horror and then a moment and then nothing. I remember the knots in my stomach and the fear of it all. Well, nobody noticed. Music too loud. Thanks, Ashby. Phew. Next up, small talk, which I mostly loathe. I found out this tall, strong man just graduated UWF with a Construction Management major. So I proceeded to discuss the lack of insulation in my attic?! Exactly…what?! But, he grinned. A puzzled grin, but a grin nonetheless. One that flashed dimples that lasted for days and the sparkle in his honest green eyes. I just couldn’t get over his handsomeness. “Have mercy, he is gonna make pretty babies,” I told my girlfriend, Crystal. “I think Patty Cakes likes you back,” she said with a smile. I don’t know what all Patrick and I talked about, after all, that night was my “royal” birthday on 8.8.8, but I do remember calling my sister the next day to report that I was pretty sure I fell in love with a Republican last night. She told me to take some medicine, go back to sleep, and call her when I was myself again, ha ha. Well, I have never gone back. It has been Lindsay-n-Patrick ever since. So yes, five years later we are engaged. Finally! It only took his grandmother publicly lamenting on Facebook that we weren’t hitched yet. Ha, no seriously, that really happened. (Hi B-ma!) Anyway, I’m still totally enamored with googly eyes but no longer just because his looks strike my fancy, but now because I fully realize that I have a good man that loves me unconditionally for me. I think it is a fair statement to say that he knows pretty much everything there is to know about me. But, I have a confession. He doesn’t know that if the stars were to align I would absolutely, positively have a fancy schmancy wedding and invite all of Pensacola! I mean, we met downtown, what better way to start happily ever after than to rock it on Gallery Night, our favorite date night. We talked about a wedding budget and if anything will tell you about the “kind of guy” I’m going to marry, this might be it. He picked up a second job as a pedi-cab driver on Pensacola Beach and all this money goes to our wedding fund. Dreamy, right? So if for some supersonic bonkers reason you decide not to choose us as the Pensacola Block Party Couple for 2013 then kindly look for the hunky pedi-cab driver on the beach and give him a big, fat tip. Please and thank you. Happy weddings to you all! xoxo

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TARRON and JUSTIN

LOVE STORY

Three years ago a mutual friend insisted for weeks that I meet his super nice roommate. One night at the Fish House in Pensacola, we both happened to meet up with that mutual friend and he finally convinced me (Tarron) to just go talk to Justin.  We had both just gotten out of a relationship. Neither of us were thinking about jumping into another one! I went over to Justin who was talking with a friend at the time and interrupted them by introducing myself to him. We talked for a short time and then I left back to go hang out with my group of girls. About thirty minutes later I noticed that he was standing in the same place. I went over and decided to give him my number. We both didn’t think anything about it, and he called me the next day.

Months went by as we would try to hang out or plan a date. Then one afternoon he called me when he was out by University of West Florida running some errands. I was on my way to the gym and he had always kept his gym bag in his car with him, so we had our first “date” at the gym. We met at the gym?!?! HaHa! Funny, right?  Afterwards we went to Jersey Mikes and had lunch. I was supposed to help him out with his statistics homework, but we kept talking and we totally forgot about studying. I would later realize how smart he is, he never needed help with statistics!!

Later that afternoon I was thinking, “I really want to see him again, soon!” He must have been thinking the same, because later that evening he called me and said, “we didn’t hang out enough today, lets go catch a movie tonight!” and so we did! We went and saw a newly released Angela Jolie movie, “Salt”. We had a great time! When we left a homeless man came up to us in the parking lot. He asked for some cash, and Justin’s response was, “Only if I can pray with you”. So, we prayed with this guy and Justin gave him five dollars. That’s when I knew something was special about him!
Over the next two years we went through many trials and triumphs with both being busy with school, work, family illnesses, and my brother and his girlfriends’ passing in 2012. He was there for me and my mother through the whole thing and he made a heavily weighted promise that he would always be there for me. After I finished studying abroad in Shanghai, China and being gone for four months, we decided to meet for a vacation in Thailand.

Little did I know that he was going to propose to me during that vacation. He proposed to me January 1st of this year during a dinner cruise on the Bangkok River in Thailand. That moment was really special to me especially because my mom, my Cousin and his wife and her father were there to witness the whole event!! I was in shock but they all knew. I don’t know how they kept it a secret or how he kept that ring hidden (or didn’t lose it) over a 24+ hour plane ride and four days of hiding. He was extremely paranoid lol!! We are ready to be married!!!!

 

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SHIRLEY and DAVID

LOVE STORY

Finding Love in another Country

Life’s crossroads brought us together in a country that had the highest homicide rate in the world. Shirley and I met on 30 June 2012 the day my 4 man Army Civil Affair team was hosting an event for 8000 poor people in the rural city of Santa Rita in the heart of Honduras. Shirley had decided to wake up very early that morning to volunteer her translating skills. We were introduced and I immediately put her to work in my make shift pharmacy. When the day was over my Medic and I had eyes for Shirley whose smile and dimples were the center of all beautiful things that existed in my world.

We exchanged phone numbers that afternoon with the understanding that we would have someone to visit on the other side of the country because we traveled so much. I called Shirley up that evening and chatted with her for 3 hours talking about nothing and everything, but realizing that my medic was texting her too I decided to gracefully take myself out of the situation. You see I wasn’t looking for a girlfriend at that time and would rather keep peace within our small team. So when Shirley was texting or calling my answers would never lead to conversation as to show I wasn’t interested. I didn’t realize she was interested I just assumed she was being nice to me. Shirley kept in touch with my medic and had this grand plan of hanging out with him so that the meetings would lead to hanging out with me, and then she would confess her crush.

Now the cat and mouse game had started. The Medic was drawn to Shirley because Shirley had no interest. Shirley was drawn to me because I showed no interest. It all came to a head one evening when my Medic was in the car and said he wasn’t interested and I should talk to her. I had said “NO Way” as I stepped out of the car Shirley appeared as I closed the car door. She was standing between two cars and had cornered me with the look of determination and animalistic aggression. She stood there with her hands together looking up from her four foot stature with huge eyes and the same smile and dimples that caught my attention at the beginning. The only thing I could say is “the way you’re standing there looking at me you make me want to kiss you” Shirley immediately said with little girl excitement “OK! OK!” I immediately lost confidence and turned and ran away.

That evening she won me over. She was persistent, direct and tired of hinting around that she like me. We’ve been running ever since. I came off my deployment and she took a plane down to Miami and once I came home from a year deployment I dropped off my bags kissed my parents and within a day I drove 12 hours to Austin to pick up everything she owned. We rented a place together and then bought a house together. Now we are looking forward to planning our dream wedding and having kids. We are positive because we have each other and are humbled because even though it seems like a lot we are grateful for the little things, like finally finding love.

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BRIANA and TRENT

Our story is not one of extravagant romance, but it is a story of perseverance, growing and understanding. It is ultimately a story about two people who understand love in all of its forms. Since we were in high school Trent and I had crossed paths, but it wasn’t until timing was perfect, and the stars had aligned that we fell in love.

Crazy, Stupid, Silly, Country Love.

I was born in Pensacola and at age 5 moved to Milton, next door to my best friend, is also now my maid of honor. We ran the neighborhood and were never seen without one another for the first 17 years of our lives. We lived on the peninsula of South Garcon Point where we became avid fishers, played Barbies and watched storms roll across the Escambia Bay.

However, on September 2, 2004 our lives changed forever. We had encountered hurricanes of many sizes, but nothing prepared us for Hurricane Ivan. We evacuated as it was developing into a category 3. After the storm, the damage was nothing short of devastating. The house I grew up in had vanished. There were pieces of dishes and furniture scattered and everything else had been mangled and washed out to sea.

I was a senior in high school and a traveling team swimmer. I was trying to apply to colleges from a FEMA trailer in our front yard. I was asked to travel to New Orleans for a recruiting trip and Ashley Tappin, head coach of University of New Orleans choked up as I told my story with a straight face. I never wanted pity, and that’s exactly why she recruited me and granted me a swimming scholarship to the University of New Orleans.

I said my goodbyes to family, moved in my dorm and in two weeks… Katrina hit the Big Easy. So, unlike normal college athletes, our team became traveling refugees. We lived in Atlanta before coming back to NOLA and needless to say, we became closer than teammates, we were family. When I walk down the aisle, two of those teammates will be standing at my side.

After two, long, life-changing years I came back to Pensacola to finish my Bachelor’s Degree at University of West Florida. I was recently single and was invited to a friend’s crawfish boil. I arrived and saw many familiar faces that I had not seen since high school. One of those familiar faces was Trent Snellgrove. He was a couple years older than me, so I considered us more acquaintances. I had a flashback to my only vivid memory of him from high school…

“You are all out of here!” I heard behind me, as a bouncer shoved me through the mass of sweaty teenagers onto sidewalk in front of Seville Quarter. That’s right, Thursday Teen Night. My girlfriends and I were merely 18 and ran into a group of boys who had just graduated from Milton High School. We were all booty dancing and showing off when Trent Snellgrove asked me to hold his Crown & Coke while he started the Soul Train. However, to a bouncer surrounded by pesky teenagers, that looks like one thing… distribution of alcohol to a minor. We were all thrown out and I was furious that Trent was so dumb to hand me his drink and ruin my night!

Trent graduated from Milton High in 2003 and played football at Troy University. His family is tight-knit and traditional. However, as a boy he was nothing but trouble. He and his posse spent summers running from cops on golf carts, throwing parties when his parents left town, and chasing cheerleaders. His mother tells stories of how her backyard became a regular boxing ring and the only thing she really was concerned about was if the 25 boys running around were going to have something to eat for dinner. Trent graduated from University of West Florida with a History degree and set his sights on becoming a teacher with the ultimate goal of becoming a College Football Coach. With the downturn of the economy, teaching became a tough profession to look forward to. He went into the police academy and was hired on as a deputy at the Santa Rosa County Jail. Since March of 2010, he’s been promoted and now has his sights on running for Sheriff in 3 years.

Shortly after arriving at the crawfish boil we made eye contact. I reminisced out loud about Seville Teen Night and then embarrassed him in Beer Pong. While living in New Orleans, I learned many things and one was how to aim a ping pong ball into a SOLO cup. Being competitive, he later invited me to a Memorial Day party to be his, “Shooting Partner.” I nearly turned him down, but when he showed up on time to my house in a Jeep Wrangler, I gave him a second look.

Over the next three years I fell in love with Trent and his competitive drive. He became my soul mate and all of my friends and family fell in love with him too. After 2 years, friends and family started to ask questions about an engagement. I had diamond picked since I was 15, so I knew exactly what I wanted. Trent went to Jeweler’s Trade and showed them the two I loved and asked them to combine them to make a customized engagement ring. We stayed on the beach for the weekend and he proposed to me while I was topless….

Okay, so let me explain… I was unaware that he would be proposing and we picked a scarcely populated spot to lie out in the warm spring sun. We were on our towels for nearly 15 minutes when my mental timer encouraged me to, “FLIP!” Tan lines are not my thing so I removed teeny bikini strings off my back and laid them at my side. As we continued to talk, Trent began to whisper sweet nothings… then he pulled out the shiniest ring I’d ever seen and I jumped up for joy! The joy jumping was incidentally followed by screams, “Tie me back! Tie me back!” It was the most interesting St. Patrick’s Day I’ve ever had.

Now Trent and I live in Milton on 6 acres with our giant yellow dog-child, Dakoda, our two barn-cats, Tiger and Blackey, our 5 goats, Willy, BeBe, Maverick, Charlie and Goat. We love living the simple, country life and can’t wait until we walk down the aisle together.

If we win this wedding it would certainly be life-changing. I’ve never been a lottery player, sweepstakes junkie or even a gambler… but this is something that I think is worth registering for. I want to win this for our families. I want to win this for us. Our family is making the best of what we have, but there is nothing that would be more magical than getting married on Palafox and throwing my bouquet from a downtown balcony.

Vote for us!

Love Like Crazy,

Briana Taylor

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