Now + Forever
Caroline Blanton And Dennis McGuire Jr. Marry In Romantic Ceremony At Lakeside Ranch In Inverness
WHAT THEY DO: Caroline, 29, is a teacher at St. Joseph Catholic School, and Dennis, 29, is the director of manufacturing at Ecosphere Technologies.
HOW THEY MET: Dennis and Caroline met at John Carroll High School in religion class more than a decade ago.
HOW THEY KNEW THEY’D FOUND “THE ONE”: Since the couple has been together for so long, Caroline says neither one of them can remember when it happened, but she can say neither of them could picture life without one another.
ON THE PROPOSAL: Dennis proposed on the beach in May 2014. “Even though we had been dating for many years, this came as a total shock,” Caroline says.
SELECTING THE VENUE: Caroline had always dreamed of having a ranch wedding with a beautiful barn. Both Dennis and she wanted a laid-back, country venue where guests could relax and have a great time. “We found the answer to our prayers at Lakeside Ranch in the sleepy town of Inverness, Florida,” she says. “Both Dennis and I love being outdoors and Lakeside Ranch offered so many fun things like horseback riding and fishing for everyone during our wedding weekend.”
ON THE THEME: The “country chic” theme paid homage to the couple’s Southern roots. “We focused on everyone just having a great time,” Caroline says. “Great food and great music were extremely important.” So, the couple hired a live band, and incorporated their favorite Southern foods like shrimp and grits, chicken and waffles, and mashed potatoes and braised beef with sweet tea. Additionally, all drinks were served in mason jars, and guests could roast marshmallows over a bonfire using a s’more bar.
ADVICE TO OTHER BRIDES: “Before walking down the aisle, my wedding planner whispered, ‘This is the best walk of your entire life—enjoy it,’” Caroline says. “She was right. My advice is to focus on getting to that walk. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Everything will fall into place.”
Wedding date: March 27, 2015
Reception and ceremony location: Lakeside Ranch, Inverness
Gown designer: Watters from Solutions Bridal, Orlando
Event planner: An Affair to Remember
Food: Arthur’s Catering
Cake maker: Nicole’s House of Cakes, Inverness
Music: Uproot Hootenanny
Photographer name: Focused on Forever and Abbey of London Studios
Flowers and designer: Cultivar