Elise + Steven by Stefanie Keeler

Steven was always my “what if” and it turned out that I was his…

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…

Steven and I are both from Jacksonville, FL. Though we have individually moved away throughout our lives, we moved back to our hometown and bought a house in 2022. Steven works in software development and I work in digital advertising. We have a cat (Froyo) and a dog (Toby) who made guest appearances at our wedding — we had their portraits displayed throughout the reception. We love them very much!

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?

E: Steven and I went to the same high school, but didn’t meet until our senior year (2011). While hanging out with a group of mutual friends, we had a brief conversation and found that we had common interests in music, movies, etc. I also made him laugh during that conversation and immediately thought he was the cutest!

S: My first impression of Elise also took place during this brief conversation in high school. I will never forget how cute she looked that day and how amazing her smile was. From that moment, I knew then that we had something special. 

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with? 

E: After our initial meeting, I didn’t pursue him because he was in a relationship and I was in the early stages of a new one. Our paths continued to divert as we moved away from our hometown — I went to college in Tallahassee, FL and Steven’s family moved to California. We continued to follow each other on social media and would causally like or comment on each other’s posts, and also finding new music/movies through each other’s recommendations. Steven was always my “what if” and it turned out that I was his — we reconnected in 2016 after Steven DM’d me and we shared our unspoken affection for one another. I feel like I’ve always had a strong intuition so in summary, I think that from the moment I reconnected with Steven, I knew that we’d spend the rest of our lives together.

S: Similar to how Elise felt about me, she was always my “what if” too. I had always told myself that if the stars aligned and that if we had the opportunity to give our relationship a chance, I would do everything I could to not mess it up. Going into our relationship, I knew that from our connection that this could possibly be forever. Once Elise and I reconnected, this possibility proved to be true. I had a moment where I saw the world differently and knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…

S: The proposal was a lot of fun. We had previously lived in Portland and enjoyed taking weekend trips around the area, especially during the summer when the weather is so nice there. We had decided upon going to a lake at the base of Mt. Hood. Elise didn’t know that I was planning to propose on this day. As we walked along the lake, we passed a few spots to sit down but I was still holding out for a spot with a better view of the mountain to create the most magical moment possible. She started to become frustrated with me (which I don’t blame her since we ended up walking an extra mile). Eventually, we came upon the perfect spot. I then proceeded to go down one knee and we both started crying. I pre-wrote my proposal since I didn’t want to forget each line I intended on saying. I am so grateful that Elise said yes. We shared the news with friends and family and spent the remainder of the day celebrating the overwhelming emotions with a nice bottle of champagne from our favorite wine bar.

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…

E: Our wedding came together kind of fast — we originally wanted to have it in Oregon, but logistically it wasn’t working out so we decided to scrape that idea and asked if we could host our small wedding at Steven’s Family home here in Jacksonville. While we didn’t have a theme for our wedding, we knew we wanted tents, string lights all over the back yard, and a ton of flowers to make the space seem like a garden. Our vendors did an excellent job with transforming the space into our dream wedding venue! 

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?

The flowers!

Ceremony and Reception Location: Steven’s Family Home / Photographer: Stefanie Keeler, @stefaniekeeler /  Planner and Florals: The Anti Bride @theantibride  / Catering: V Pizza, @_vpizza  / Cake:  Spooney Cakes / Stationery: Etsy / Brides attire: Sarah Seven, @sarahseven / Grooms attire: The Black Tux / Rings: Ali Munn, @alimunn / Shoes: Intentionally Blank, @iamintentionallyblank / Heart earrings: Loren Hope, @lorenhope / Heart purse: Kate Spade, @katespadeny / Makeup: Lia Croke, @lia.croke /  Hair: Blush & Mane, @blushandmane / Fragrance: Tom Ford, @tomfordbeauty