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Whitney & Andrew
Margit Bisztray | Photo: Matt DeBackere | July 2, 2013
A stickler for details meets her perfect match and has the flawless, fairy-tale wedding of her dreams.
Whitney was a bioethics student at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, commuting to Champaign, Ill., to maintain a sales and marketing job at I Hotel and Conference Center, where she booked hundreds of weddings. She met Andrew Hartman, an owner with JSM Apartments & Development, on a blind date and moved home to Champaign five months later.
By that time, the couple was already circling marriage, with Andrew suggesting she “drop the Wheat and add the Hart.” He proposed in a card signed, “Your future hubby.”
Andrew’s family has a vacation home in Naples, Fla., and since the groom had many happy memories there, the couple decided on a full holiday weekend wedding at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples.
A photo of a bouquet that Whitney provided steered the wedding planning staff to a soft, romantic theme for the October event, including hanging arrangements and a palette of blush and gold. Four site visits and an electronic presentation detailing decor, floor plans and price breakdowns assured the couple’s input. Once she’d created a spreadsheet of each guest’s entire itinerary, the bride was able to relax.
Whitney’s top priorities were that her childhood pastor perform the ceremony and that a friend she’d known since middle school handle the photography. “Photos tell the story when memories aren’t able to anymore,” she says.
In a courtyard by a fountain overflowing with flowers, the bride “dropped the Wheat” in a Romona Keveza dress and iridescent cathedral veil. Whitney’s deceased grandmother’s brooch was pinned to her bouquet. She also wore Beautiful, the Estée Lauder fragrance, which was the perfume her grandmother wore.
Then formalities eased, and guests entered the ballroom. Whitney’s sisters performed a toast comprised entirely of movie and television lines, and guests flash-mob-danced to “We No Speak Americano.” Plates of filet mignon and sauteed stone bass came next, followed by a raspberry wedding cake. The next day they dined again at a beach house brunch.
High standards and all, Whitney declares her wedding was “the perfect fairy-tale ending” to their courtship and the perfect beginning of the next phase.