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Getting Hitched on Grayton Beach - Rain & Shine

January 28, 2015 by Jill Tanner

There is no better way to prove you are "So SoWal" than getting hitched like a local on Grayton Beach. Frilly dresses and bridezilla attitudes aren’t allowed as you walk across the sand to tie the knot. So, when Kimberly Tipton and Capt. Mike Valentino got married recently, there was nothing that could stop them from having the perfect day – not even the rain.
 
Kim and Mike have spent their lives in the sand. Kim’s iconic ’64 teal Chevy pickup can be seen on Grayton Beach any given Sunday, and Capt. Mike is a popular fishing charter captain who not only launches from Grayton Beach, but lives there as well. Kim lives in Atlanta full time with her two sons, Noah and Zack, and spend every possible minute at their house in Seagrove Beach.
 
When the big day was upon them, the weather wasn’t looking great and they didn’t have a backup plan. Because rain is never ideal on your wedding day, they were a bit worried. The crew of Grayton Beach Catering and Bella Flora were setting up on the beach as Kim’s phone rang non-stop with people asking what she wanted to do. Kim sat down to pray. At that moment, a text came through from the wife of another captain that read, “Welcome to the fleet of captains and captain’s wives. We roll with the weather.” Just then, Kim thought, “You’re right, the weather doesn’t matter. I’m marrying the love of my life.”
 

 
She got up and went to Mike’s house to find that Grayton Beach Catering and some friends cleared all of the furniture out of the house and turned it into a beautiful reception space. Kim was overwhelmed with joy. It was perfect.  
 
Just as the clock struck the wedding hour, the skies cleared for a moment and everyone drove down the beach forming a perfect string of Grayton Beach local trucks. It was a beautiful, country beach ceremony with a bamboo arbor, hay bales covered in blankets, and gorgeous fresh flowers. Kim and her bridesmaids rode in the back of her truck down the beach to the ceremony. It was a classic Grayton-style entrance and photographer Dawn C. Whitty was there to capture the whole thing.
 

 
The reception got geared up just as the rain returned, but the party went on as Coconut Radio, The Steenos, and Franko "Washboard" Jackson played and the bride and groom danced in the rain with their friends and family. Only true locals could make the best out of a rainy beach wedding and Kim and Mike proved that they were the real deal that day.
 
Kim says, “It was the best day ever. I wouldn’t change a thing. The rain didn’t stop the love that was in the air that day.” 

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Jill Tanner

Jill is a long-time SoWal local transplanted from Georgia. Jill enjoys writing movie scripts in her bit of spare time.

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