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Discover This Stuart Couple's Nautical-Themed Military Wedding

WHAT THEY DO: Stevie, 26, works in marketing and operations for a local transportation company, and James, 26, is the commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter IBIS in Fort Pierce.

HOW THEY MET: Stevie and James come from rival high schools—Stevie attended Martin County High School and James went to South Fork High School. They would see each other when their schools co-hosted cross country summer conditioning practices, and they had mutual friends, so Stevie added James on Facebook. He later reached out to her, and after talking for a few weeks they went on their first date in downtown Stuart. “The rest, as they say, is history,” Stevie says.

HOW THEY KNEW THEY’D MET THE ONE: The two dated in high school and spent time together after school and on weekends. And while they broke up before leaving for college, a few years later Stevie was passing by James’ duty station in Jacksonville, and they agreed to meet up for dinner. “Right before I left, he gave me a bundle of love letters he had written throughout the past few years,” Stevie remembers. “The letters put all of the feelings that began in high school and never left into words, and I knew that it wasn’t a question of if I should give it another shot, but when. It was the most romantic thing anyone had ever done for me.”

ON THE PROPOSAL: At the time, Stevie and James were living apart from one another in different cities, so they planned a long weekend together back in their hometown. James picked her up at the airport and they drove to his parents’ house. Once they arrived, they climbed into the tree house in the backyard. “The tree house has our names engraved in it from 2010, and it was the spot of our first kiss in high school,” Stevie says. “It’s always been a special place to us.” As they reached the top, endless Christmas lights turned on and a crate with a golden retriever puppy sleeping inside was on a platform with a sign that read, “Will you be my mommy?” James then proposed. “How could I say no with a ring and a puppy?” she asks.

ON THE THEME: The couple planned a tasteful, nautical-themed wedding with colors of navy and gold. Table centerpieces featured vases wrapped in nautical rope and tied with a forever knot with simple white hydrangeas accompanied by painted oyster shells (leftovers from years of shucking their own) and gold votive candles. Twinkle lights adorned the entire room.

ON THE SPECIAL DETAILS: Military weddings can incorporate a saber arch when the bride and groom leave the church. During James and Stevie’s wedding, all of the military members in uniform lined up while James’ uncle directed the commands. As the couple walked through the arch, they shared a kiss before stepping through. “As we kissed, I received the shock of my life,” Stevie recalls, “when I was slapped on the butt with one of the swords and all the groomsmen yelled, ‘Welcome to the Coast Guard!’”

Nautical-Themed Military Wedding

Nautical-Themed Military Wedding

WEDDING DATE: Dec. 8, 2018

RECEPTION LOCATION: Frances Langford Dockside Pavilion

CEREMONY LOCATION: St. Christopher Catholic Church

GOWN DESIGNER: Molle Bridals

Nautical-Themed Military Wedding

EVENT PLANNER: Loretta Kocik

FOOD: Little Moir’s Food Shack, Ichabod Flat Oyster Co. and Just Shrimp Inc.

CAKE MAKER: Magnolia Cakes & Confections

Nautical-Themed Military Wedding

MUSIC: The Nouveaux Honkies and Traxx Entertainment

PHOTOGRAPHER: Christine Magee Photography

VIDEOGRAPHER: Pineapple Films

BEAUTY: Makeup Artistry by Adriana

INVITATIONS: Quill & Press|| FLOWERS: Harbour Bay Florist|

TRANSPORTATION: Diamond Transfer & Garage