Stephanie and Derrick Lorenzen – “A Christmas Wedding”; December 22nd, 2007; Spanish Hills Country Club

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Photo Credits: Cary Shapiro Photography

Before I even met or talked to Stephanie and Derrick, I knew they were good people and it would be a great wedding.

How did I know?  Because I had worked with Stephanie’s father at some of his Prudential Realty events, and those are always fun!

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They got engaged on Valentine’s Day, 2007. Stephanie’s mother is a former wedding planner, and for her daughter’s celebration, she didn’t want to “work;” she just wanted to show up and enjoy everything!

On March 1st, I met with both of Stephanie’s parents at their home, and learned that they were looking for a traditional princess wedding, with someone energetic and outgoing enough (but not a corny game show host) to keep up with the engaged couples’ personalities!  Even though Derrick is this big, fun, 6’ 2” guy, he’s a romantic at heart, and his nickname is “Daren” (long story!).

Because BOTH Stephanie and Derrick are Marine flight officers, during our planning meeting in June, it was a blast to learn more about what they did, and hear stories about their training.

Their reception began in the lounge area in the beautiful ballroom at Spanish Hills Country Club for cocktails, and guests were treated to music selections from Sinatra, jazzy instrumental compositions, and a few of her dad’s special requests.  Meanwhile, I was rounding up the officers who would be helping out with the special “Arch of Swords” grand entrance so everyone was on the same page.

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Before their entrance, there was another special moment as we recognized Stephanie’s parents and their anniversary that’s on December 12th.  Because it was a “Princess” wedding, their wedding party entered to the “Main Title From Father of the Bride,”

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…and then Stephanie and Derrick danced to the song that was playing when Stephanie knew she would be with Derrick the rest of her life… “The Chair” by George Strait.

Towards the end of dinner, I supplied an audio feed for their slide montage presentation, and asked everyone to keep an eye out for a special picture of “Daren.”  When that image flashed on the screen, all of their friends just about died laughing!

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Dancing was a fairly big mix from swing, a little country, Journey, 80’s hair bands, and a special song, “Strawberry Wine” dedicated to Stephanie and her sister, Becky.

On to the cake cutting, bouquet and garter toss, and for the garter, no, we didn’t use “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” or the theme from “Top Gun.”  But we did use Joe Cocker’s “You Can Leave Your Hat On,” because this was the song that they always sang together with friends at a dive bar called “Chan’s” in Pensacola, FL.

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After their evening concluded, I’m not quite sure if they had enough time to recover, as they were off to Illinois for a second celebration!

I just heard that Stephanie is back in California, and I’m sure that I’ll see Jim at future Prudential events.

I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since their wedding, and I’m glad that I was a part of such a fun day!

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