Real Bride Spotlight: Zuly
Updated: Mar 13
Zuly and Jon had a romantic, picture-perfect wedding at her alma mater, Berry College. Read more about their incredible love story and special day!
In October 2016, Zuly was ready to give up on dating, marriage, a future. She saw this cute guy grinning on a dating profile, and decided to shoot him a message. After a few messages, Jon asked Zuly to dinner at a local sports bar. He met her at the door with a beautiful bouquet of roses. They sat in a booth, started talking, laughing and didn't stop.
They continued to see each other several times a week until it was time for Zuly to fly off to New York for Thanksgiving break. The night before she left, after an evening together, Jon asked Zuly to be in an exclusive relationship with him. "Will you be my girlfriend?" Of course, she said "yes". Jon made it Facebook official right away.
After that Thanksgiving apart, the couple became inseparable. Within 48 hours of arriving back home, Jon introduced Zuly to his parents and Zuly did the same. Birthdays, holidays, family events, even vacations together. It was in July 2017 that everything changed. After fixing a very large, very Cuban meal during the Clark family beach trip to Destin, Jon decided the time was now and waiting was pointless. "Zulia, will you marry me?" Completely taken off guard, she responded "are you being serious right now?!" And yes, of course Jon was being serious. With the blessing of Zuly's dad, Jon asked her to be his wife, and she very enthusiastically replied "YES!".
With the blessing on Jon's family, Jon began to design a beautiful vintage inspired engagement ring incorporating a Clark family heirloom. It was emphasis on family from the beginning of our relationship that drove our wedding planning journey.
When I say we jumped into planning, I mean immediately! Before we left Destin, we had a date, a venue, flowers and colors picked out! Jon knew I had always dreamed of getting married at my alma mater, Berry College, at the mountaintop chapel, Frost Chapel. I knew I wanted all of our choices to allow the star of the show to be the chapel and the campus. The altar features these amazing stained glass windows. With our September date, we picked sunflowers. I was dead-set against a rustic wedding claiming I was allergic to burlap. Jon wanted to incorporate royal purple (his fraternity's color), so ended up settling on plum and navy with sunflowers. It really drove all our choices: rich colors in a classic style that looked refined and simple. It didn't take us long to pick our priorities: family, friends, beautiful photography and fantastic food. With those in mind, we made our decisions to achieve a big family wedding in a fairytale setting.
Our favorite memory is the thing of romantic comedies! Everyone around us seemed to melt away and we shared this beautiful first dance in our own little bubble. Jon's brother in law is an Americana/folk musician who we both love dearly. Early on in the planning, Jon said he wanted Ron to play for our wedding. After talking to Ron, we agreed that he would play our first dance. Jon picked a beautiful acoustic song called "You're the Reason I Come Home". Now, I love my husband, but he isn't going to win any dance competitions. But we were dancing and all of a sudden, he spins me out and I feel that dress swing around me legs like a rom-com heroine. The applause from the guests brought me back to reality and all we could both do was laugh. Not even Penny Marshall could have written a better moment.
I fought Jacquie on that dress twice! I told her I wanted a classic silhouette that looked great on me and had lace. That was it. I mentioned that I wanted to wear a family veil, but I could be flexible if it didn't work with the dress I was feeling. I swore up and down that I wouldn't wear a ball gown. But after a very frustrating appointment at another salon, I came to Wedding Angels alone one night after work. Jacquie put me in my favorites from my first appointment, but nothing really sparked my fire. Then she worked her magic. She convinced me to try on the Allure Romance gown. I said "sure, why not". Before she had even finished putting me in it, I was in tears. I had my bridal moment. Then I looked in the mirror and was floored at how this dress gave me a figure! On top of that, we looked at a close up picture of the family veil, and it couldn't have been a more perfect match.
The dress was the first thing I wanted decided! Every time I'd drive to see Jon, I would pass this cute little brick building with the glittering gowns in the windows. At midnight, those dresses catch your eye in the dark! It was like I was drawn in. When I realized that there were plus size gowns to try, I was sold. When I walked in and met everyone, I knew that this was the salon for me.
My first appointment was on a busy Saturday afternoon, but the way that Jacquie treated my friends and I, you would have thought we were the only ones in the shop. I brought two friends and my sister with me. I also warned the staff that they were likely to sit on the couch in veils just like that episode of "Friends". We pulled some dresses, and when I came to show them my first option, we all busted out laughing because there they were in veils. Everyone at Wedding Angels let me be me and allowed us to have the most fun, relaxed experience. It wasn't the high pressure "drama" of "SYTTD". It was plain fun! Jacquie refused to tolerate any self criticism. She just kept saying "this isn't your dress". I also knew right away that I wanted to make my borrowed piece this incredible cathedral-length mantilla style veil from my brother and sister-in-law's wedding. At my last appointment, I brought all the women from both our families along with the veil. You would have thought they were designed together. It was a perfect match! When I put the veil on with that dress and saw my sisters all welling up, I knew that this was my moment. Between Jacquie's spunk, Alicia's professionalism and welcoming demeanor and Larissa's magic alterations, I could not have been in better hands! Every single woman at Wedding Angels was so invested in making sure I looked like the very best version of myself regardless of the size on my dress label. And let me tell you, my groom approved! Jacquie and her team had found the best version of me.
Venue - Berry College, Frost Chapel and Ford Dining Hall Photography - Sarah Nelson, Berrytree Photography Videography - Mike Livingston, Livingston Productions Flowers - Sam's Club Catering - Harvest Moon Cafe Music, Hair and Makeup provided by family and friends