We met with Pastor Donovan this weekend and he seems as excited about this wedding as we are. He said he’s never heard of a proposal like ours and was touched to hear our story. I had forgotten about the prayer chapel we have on the campus. He took us to look at it after we finished talking. It’s perfect! He said it can accommodate 150 people and I can’t imagine we’ll have that many guests. There is a lovely stained glass of the nativity that made me certain this was the right place for our ceremony since it will be so close to Christmas.
Finding a place for the reception has been harder. There is an Italian-style country club outside Orlando that I loved, but they are booked almost two years out. It probably would have been a bit fancier than we want anyway. We must have visited close to two dozen places around town before we found something we both liked and that had an opening in December. The Avalon Grove Inn is beautiful. Originally it was a small, family owned packing house for citrus. In the early seventies it was purchased from the family and renovated as an Inn. Some of the original grove is still maintained, but most of it has been lost to freezing temperatures over the years. The banquet room has hardwood floors and the rafters are all exposed wood beams in the same espresso color. When we were there it was decorated for another wedding, with white lights wrapped around the beams, and draped with white organza. The walls are a warm golden-yellow and at the end of the room is a fireplace surrounded by large stones. I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this place before . We stumbled on it when we were driving around Winter Park. It’s less than twenty minutes from the church and has plenty of parking in an adjacent field where they had to remove a large portion of the original orange grove. Photos of some of the other places I visited are on my Pinterest board.
The catering manager is an absolute gem. She and I hit it off right away. I can’t wait to start working with her on the menu and the linens. She had some great ideas as soon as we told her our date. I think I will invite her to the next Concierge Club dinner, or maybe I should wait until after the wedding. She might feel uncomfortable mixing business and pleasure, but I know she’ll fit right in.
If I could just decide on who I can ask to be my bridesmaids, then I could start thinking about their dresses.
The story Lizzie’s romance and proposal is chronicled in the
Seasons of Faith Series
Summer Storms, Winter’s End and Spring Dawn
available on all major online books sites