I am very excited to share a sneak peek from Benjawan and Edward's wedding last week here in beautiful Key West, Florida! The day was as perfect as is the love these two share for each other. Every colorful detail was designed by Benjawan for her "simple beach wedding". I put that in quotations because after one meets this fun-loving and energetic bride, they understand simple is not really her way! The gorgeous teal red bottom Christian Louboutin wedding shoes had to be one of my favorite bride picks! Her wedding gown, the custom hangers, embroidered shirts for the wedding party, and the comfy socks were just to name a few details that brought such joy to the day.
After we finished photographing the bridal details, we were off to the beach for a First Look. I think it is best described by Ed.. " Benjawan took my breath away and I was speechless. I truly could not speak. She was absolutely gorgeous. I AM the luckiest man alive. I’m so glad she came into my life. She makes me happy everyday and I intend to make her happy everyday also."
The Around Key West Session was a must for this colorful bride and we had such a wonderful time doing so before the ceremony! Ed sure does know how to make his bride laugh!
Once we arrived at the beach the decor was in perfect place! Each guest was greeted with a custom water bottle, chapstick, and a fan should they have needed it during the oceanside beach ceremony at the Fort Zachary Taylor State Park! The picturesque oceanside reception took place at the exclusive Ocean Key Resort's Hot Tin Roof! The cake topper was an EXACT ( I mean exact) replica of the couple!
Benjawan and Ed are a perfect balance for each other and really do have a fairytale story.
"I dont call him Ed to be honest, I call him MacGyver. You know like the TV show guy? Because he can do everything and make ANYTHING out of spare parts. He rescued me in so many ways when he was just my friend and I had zero monies. No strings attached he just did things for me because he is THAT nice of a guy.
I met MacGyver several years ago in 2010. He was on the police squad and the inside joke was "Without Ed, you're dead" Who knew that line would be common every time I would see Officer Shoemaker. I ended up selling his home back in 2010 because he was going thru a divorce back then. Anyways, I kept in touch with Ed because I am a fabulous Real estate agent and plus he was our friend. Then 2 years ago in 2014-2015, MacGyver was in the market to buy a house again. We ended up finding him a house after several months and multiple offers later.... this is the part where I get teary eyed because in February 2015 while I was writing up the offer on what would end up being his house, he had asked me how I was doing....?
In 2016, after two months of dating, while we were on a Mama/Daughter beach vacation, my daughter Jordan turned to me and said "why don’t you just stop dating everyone but Ed.. He loves you. You love him. You should just tell him he is your boyfriend" I just told her I wasn't ready to be exclusive but when that day comes, MacGyver will probably be the guy!
So from October 2015 thru current today - my way to relax is my beach trips whether an overnighter or a weekend or a week with and without my kids. My favorite relaxing thing to do is collect shells not just whole shells but also the little bits and pieces of shells til they fill gallon Ziplocs. I can spend hours digging thru the sand or rocks just to find these shells. I think because truly it’s those little pieces of shells that make the beach whole. I felt like I was broken into a million pieces those crazy traumatic 2 years.
Anyways we dated exclusively and next thing I know in August yes like 2 months later we went on our last summer beach trip with my boys and he proposed to me on one of our favorite beaches during sunset with the most perfect ring because he is such an amazing man!!!!
It took me one full year after our engagement to choose a wedding date but in the years of 2015-2017, MacGyver has been my rock. My quiet hard working amazing man. I am so lucky to have this man be a huge part of my life and my children's lives....... I could go on and on and on........ I love him and know that this wonderful man is my Forever!!" - Benjawan
"I start my story about Benjawan and myself which starts about May 2010 when I was introduced to Benjawan as a realtor because I needed to sell my home due to my divorce. A work colleague of mine that was also a friend at the time knew of my situation and told me that his wife was a realtor and could help with the short sell of my home. I agreed to and arranged a time to meet at my home. The evening that she arrived at my home I was waiting and as I heard her arriving vehicle pull into my driveway, I stepped outside to meet her and observed this beautiful woman with the biggest smile on her face like she was happy to see me. Looking back I wonder if she knew or felt something about me. Of course, I smiled back because her smile and personality is so contagious. While working with me, I also witnessed her big mouth laugh which I adore and it can make anyone smile and often does. She was very professional and did sell my home very quickly which was great for my situation but it also meant that I would not get to see her smile or laugh as much as I wanted. We did create a friendship though and I promised her that when I was ready to buy another home I would call her. Little did she know how I missed her smile and laugh for the next couple years.
At the end of 2014, I began looking for a new home and called upon Benjawan to help. She was surprised because she thought that I found a new realtor and moved on. I had been approached by other realtors but was true to my promise that I would allow Benjawan the opportunity to find my new home.
Fast forward a bit and Benjawan decided to move again and asked for my assistances to help. I jumped at the opportunity to be near her. While loading and hauling, we were much more comfortable being around each other and started joking with each other and having fun. I again got to see that smile and big mouth laugh that I so adore. I realized that I liked being around her and wondered if she would stay in contact after this move was over. At one point while we were carrying boxes in the home, I just stared at her while she was walking upstairs and thought “WOW”, that’s a hot looking woman! I thought then, I sure hope we can see each other after all this is over. While moving items in the new home, I noticed there were several things such as holes in the wall and faucets needing repair so of course I offered my help to make this transition just a little easier.
The next day, I received a call from Benjawan inviting me and the other friends that helped to come over and eat dinner prepared by her to show her appreciation for our hard work. I was very reluctant to accept because I was feeling jealous of her new boyfriend and thought I should just stay away. After talking on the phone and listening to her voice, I began to melt and gave up my pride and agreed to come over for dinner. After dinner Benjawan shared some personal photos about her life with her family and herself. I was so impressed with where she has been and what she has done. I left that night wanting to know more and to get closer to her.
Benjawan did ask me to come over and fix some of the items that were in need of repair. I was happy to do so because I also got to spend time with her children and create some fun times with them. Eventually I finished fixing things and she renamed me MacGyver because I said I can fix anything.
I continued to be her little MacGyver and in turn I was able to spent time with her children too and created a close relationship with the whole family. I loved being around like I was part of the family and it seemed that Benjawan loved having me around too. Eventually we started dating and I just could not get enough of her. I thought about her all the time and found myself going to sleep and waking up with her on my mind. At first it scared me but I thought to myself, maybe I’m falling in love. The more I thought about it the more I wanted to be with her. Before I knew it I was falling. One day while we were having lunch together, I blurted out, I think I love you. Benjawan looked at me with a strange blank look on her face and said “WHAT”. I remembering saying “you don’t have to say anything.” I just wanted her to know how I felt in case something happened to me or our situation changed. The good thing was she didn’t freak out and stop answering her phone. We continued to see each other and I loved every moment together. Benjawan did however add to the list of things to repair which meant I spent most of my time at her home.
I enjoyed being around her and being needed and believe me, she has a lot of needs and wants. I tried my best to fix and improve her home just to see her smile. I reached a point where I would do anything for her just to see her smile. I’m still on that level today. I have a need and want from her and that is to make her happy and to know that she will always be there to make me happy. I have often told her that when I’m gone, I love missing her, because it reminds me of how much I want and need her in my life.
On August 16th 2016, I proposed to her on the beach with her 3 boys. I gave her a huge diamond ring that was put in a tiny treasure chest and a note with the Question and choices like “Yes” or “No” “Not Yet” and “Never”. I then asked her, “Will you be the better half of the best part of my life”, and guess what, She said “Yes”. She put the biggest smile on my face and warmth in my heart.
She is a very beautiful, caring, loving, honest, hard working, playful, sexy, smart woman and not to mention a great Mom. I love her and I love knowing that she loves me. I can’t wait to call her my wife and to make her proud to call me her husband. I am looking forward to growing old with Benjawan in a beach community making her happy and seeing her famous big mouth laugh. Benjawan knows I would do anything for her in fact she still uses a phrase about me that was started a long time ago, “Without Ed, you’re dead”. - ED
Congratulations to you and your families. I wish you both the absolute best and it was honor to capture your love story!
Photographer: Rachel E Ligon
Wedding Planner: Kayla with Say Yes in Key West
Wedding Dress: Mori Lee
Wedding Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Groom's Suit: Demantie
Florist: Karro Events
Hair & Makeup: Lori Bolander Key West Hair and Makeup
Wedding Ceremony Site: Fort Zachary Taylor State Park
Reception Site: Ocean Key's Hot Tin Roof
Officiant: Michael Vernon
Invites: Paper + Home
Cake: Cakes by Karol