By Meghan Ryan
Carrie Hooten and Jonathan Abdo’s story started with a little bit of resistance. After months of Jonathan’s sister begging Carrie to meet her brother, the couple-to-be finally met at a Christmas family gathering. When Jonathan pulled out a guitar and began to serenade the crowd, Carrie quickly realized why his sister had insisted they meet—and it was love at first strum. Their first date was the next night, and they kept in touch as Jonathan went back to his duty in the service. After weeks of text messages and phone calls, the two quickly realized they valued the same things in life: faith in God and their love for family and friends. The rest is history.
The two were engaged the following September in Sandestin and decided to the make the town where they met and were engaged their wedding destination the following February. The wedding was held aboard SunQuest Cruises’ Solaris on February 6, 2011, and the wedding party sailed at sunset for the celebratory reception. The bride’s dress was by Venus Bridal from the 2009 Pallas Athena collection: a strapless gown adorned with a beautiful contemporary row of beads and jewels on the top bodice with a matching appliqué on the hip of the mermaid silhouette.
When the bride recalls the moment she first saw her groom at the end of the aisle, tears well up in her eyes. And Jonathan describes how he felt as he stood waiting, eager for her to make her grand entrance: “All I kept thinking, with butterflies in my stomach, was, ‘I can’t believe she is about to be my wife.’ My excitement was beyond description,” he says. “There she was, absolutely breathtaking.”
Favorite Wedding Moment: “I remember walking up the aisle and seeing my fiancé’s face,” Carrie said. “He had the biggest smile and I knew at that moment that we were perfect for each other, just like his sister thought, long before we ever met.”
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Vendors: SunQuest Cruises – Solaris Violinist Michelle Adams of Sand and Strings Kim’s Cakes Coast to Coast Video Productions DJ Dave of ApplauseMedia, the exclusive media source for SunQuest Cruises Guy Kitchens Photography