Real Wedding Wednesday: Summer and Matt

Summer & Matt:  A winter wonderland 

By Jennifer Florendo 

Summer Haack and Matt Graziano were introduced by mutual friends while line dancing at a country music club named 8 Seconds. The University of Florida students had yet to realize they would stand the test of time. They spent six years apart before their paths crossed on a regular basis, realizing there was more to this than coincidence. 

While she planned a ski trip to Lake Tahoe, Graziano planned on proposing. He scoped the slopes for that picture-perfect proposal spot and, once the time was right, Graziano got on his knee, ready to pop the question. But it took Haack a minute to realize what was going on: She was posing for photos. When it hit her, the excited bride-to-be jumped into his arms … skis and all. 

The winter ski-slope proposal allowed for just the right amount of time to plan their wedding, and the town of St. Augustine holds the right amount of sentimental memories for the couple. They chose the date of December 11 because it marks the birthday of Graziano’s late grandmother. The timing of the wedding gave way to the theme of modern winter with old world charm. They played up the winter theme and even used biodegradable “snow” during their send-off.

The couple incorporated friends and family into every aspect of their wedding. From the choosing of the dress (her mother, sisters and cousins were a part of the selection process), to the veil that was handmade by the bride’s grandmother, to the friend who designed and baked the wedding cake, to Aunt Tena who baked the groom’s cake (her secret recipe red velvet with a Gator baseball theme) memorializing where they met—the groom played baseball for the Florida Gators. Though very formally presented, the food they chose included a shrimp and grits station and barbeque pork sliders, some of the couple’s favorites.

A fun and unique idea for the couple was carried out by the bridal party. “During our rehearsal, ceremony and reception, my bridesmaids passed around our camera and took hundreds of pictures. On the long trip to Hawaii for our honeymoon, we were so glad to have these photos of the whole experience to look at, as it flew by so quickly,” said the bride.

One thing the beautiful bride managed to avoid was wedding-day stress, a lesson that many would treasure. “After all of the planning, it was easy to just enjoy the day and leave everything up to the great vendors we hired,” she said of the day. 

A forever marriage, built to last much longer than the moniker of the place where they met. But those precious seconds led to a fairy tale beginning. The couple made their getaway in a horse-drawn carriage and took a ride around St. Augustine’s City of Lights before ending their magical wedding day.
“Although we were anxious to get back to the beautiful hotel room at the Casa Monica, those moments together, when we could soak it all in, were so precious to us,” said Haack. 

Bride: Summer Haack

Groom: Matthew Graziano

Wedding Date: December 11, 2010

Bridal Party: 6 Bridesmaids, 6 Groomsmen, Flower Girl and Ring Bearer

Number of Guests: 150 

This Couple Recommends: 

Ceremony Venue: Grace United Methodist Church in St. Augustine

Reception Venue: The White Room

Rehearsal Dinner: Venue: TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse

Photographer: Sarah Bray Photography

DJ: Kris Parnell of Footloose Entertainment

Cake: The Flour Pot Bakery

Officiate: Rev. Jim Walker

Brides Dress: Allure Bridals

Bridesmaid Dresses: Dessy

Tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse

Florist: Liz Stewart Floral Design

Hair: Heidi Reichardt of Ambiance Salon

Musicians: Jacksonville Strings

Transportation: Olde Town Trolley Tours



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