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A Sandbar Proposal And A Courtyard Wedding

WHAT THEY DO: Erika, 25, is an account executive at a real estate marketing firm, and Cole, 26, is the owner of CV Land Management.

HOW THEY MET: Cole and Erika met at Jensen Beach High School and eventually started dating, spending their days playing volleyball, surfing and enjoying time at the beach.

HOW THEY KNEW THEY’D MET THE ONE: Cole says he knew right away that he was going to marry Erika. They both attended the University of South Florida and after graduation, Erika worked in Tampa while Cole moved back home to Stuart. Eventually, Erika also moved back to live in Stuart. “We’re a perfect match. I don’t know how I got so lucky,” Erika says.

ON THE PROPOSAL: The high school sweethearts set out on paddleboards across from the rocks on Hutchinson Island for a sandbar picnic dinner. When they were anchoring their boards, Erika noticed someone else paddling toward the sandbar. “My first thought was, ‘Dangit! Someone is going to ruin our nice, romantic picnic.’ But as the stranger got closer, I realized that I actually knew him—it was Cole’s friend Derek,” Erika says. The original plan was for Derek to bury a treasure chest containing the ring for Erika to find. But the tide was too high to risk covering it with sand, so Cole had to improvise, grabbing the box from his friend and returning to ask Erika those four special words.

ON THE CEREMONY AND RECEPTION SITE: While the couple wanted to marry in a church, they also wanted an outdoor ceremony and chose to tie the knot in the courtyard at St. Christopher’s in Hobe Sound. A reception followed at Erika’s parents’ backyard in Jensen Beach, right on the river near the Roosevelt Bridge. “I’ve always wanted to get married there,” she says. “It took a little extra planning since we had to do everything from scratch, but I could never have dreamed it to be better.”

ON THE SPECIAL DETAILS: The priest who married Cole and Erika, Father Bluett, is a family friend who has been considered a part of the family for years and has married many of Erika’s family members, including her parents. As he now lives in Ireland, they were able to arrange for him to fly in for the ceremony.

WEDDING DATE: March 11, 2017

GOWN DESIGNER: Allure Bridals from Aurora Bridal

CAKE MAKER: Cake Batter Bakery by Candice Mildner

PHOTOGRAPHER: Abby Hart Photography

VIDEOGRAPHER: Eclipse Videography

INVITATIONS: Wedding Paper Divas