A Love Tale of Two Locals

April 15, 2013 by Jill Tanner

This is a story of two friends who fell in love. It began many years ago and shows how friendship is the strongest bond of all. SoWal newlyweds Hope and Akarin first met in high school in Ft. Walton Beach and became instant friends. They shared much in common and had the same group of friends. 

Their lives took them in different directions as they both left for college and lived their lives. Years later during a quick girls’ getaway in SoWal, Hope heard that Akarin was in town and she jumped at the chance to get together with her old friend at the Red Bar in Grayton Beach. It had been five years since they had last been together.

The reunion was a success. The bond they had was still strong, and grew ever stronger that night. The next day, local chef Phillip McDonald of Table Five prepared a private dinner for the group. Hope and Akarin barely noticed anything else at the table that night. As the weekend continued, the stars aligned for the couple and they haven’t been apart since.
Hope quickly moved from North Carolina and Akarin from the Keys so they could be together in Ft. Lauderdale. The surprise proposal took place while Hope was participating in a fitness competition. Akarin asked Hope the most important question of his life, and she said yes! The happy couple returned to live in South Walton in May of 2011 and the wedding planning began.

Hope hired Patti Terjak of Surfside Brides as the wedding planner to make sure everything went smoothly. Hope and Akarin knew they wanted to get married on the beach with close friends and family and have a laid back reception. The big day was set for March 1, 2013.

Hope and Akarin tied the knot on Blue Mountain Beach in a slightly windy, breathtaking ceremony. Hope made her own flower arrangements and Patti set up the additional décor. Brittnay Therese was the photographer for the event, capturing beautiful photos of every special moment and detail. Brittnay also did Hope’s stunning makeup and hair. Silver Shade Studios captured video of the ceremony so Hope and Akarin can delight in their nuptials for many years to come.

The reception was held at Marie’s Bistro in Blue Mountain Beach. The diverse menu suited all guests, featuring Marie’s Shrimp, bruschetta, herb chicken, beef tips, roasted potatoes and vegetables, and a pesto pasta. The wedding cake and cupcakes were perfectly designed by Karaboo Bakery. Akarin got Hope good with a little cake on her face and Hope responded with a smile and a laugh. The genuine speech from the maid of honor included everyone in Hope and Akarin's relationship and beautifully described what true love is really about. The Bottoms Up Band played as friends and family dined, danced, and mingled. No one wanted the party to end and stayed until midnight, dancing the night away.

The next day Sunshine Shuttle picked up the bride and groom, along with the wedding party and friends, to bounce around Scenic 30A. They traveled from La Playa in Gulf Place to Crush in Seaside to the Red Bar in Grayton Beach, and back to La Playa. This gave the couple a chance to be with their best friends and celebrate their marriage in an unforgettable day of love and laughter.

Hope and Akarin took a seven-day luxury cruise to the West Indies, basking in their love and enjoying one another and the sights. They are now home and ready to live their life as husband and wife in our picturesque beach town. Congratulations to Hope and Akarin!


Jill Tanner's picture

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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