Whitney Shaffer, Ponce de Leon Weddings and Special Events CoordinatorEver since I was a little girl I’ve been borderline obsessed with weddings. Whether it was the gorgeous dresses, the breath taking venues, the vibrant colors, the lush flowers or the beautiful people, I couldn’t get enough. Like many young girls, I was always planning my own wedding. Of course, I had roughly 20 different weddings playing out in my head – each bigger than the next.  I couldn’t wait until it was my time to start planning.

However, unlike most childhood girls, I was less interested in finding my Prince Charming and more interested in what flowers would be in my bouquet or what color table linens would look best for a garden wedding. I was so fascinated by all the intricate details that went into the planning.

When Flagler College, my alma mater, announced that they were going to offer three new venues for wedding receptions I could hardly contain my excitement. I immediately called everyone I knew who was engaged and gushed about how exciting this was.  The style of the three venues is very different and the wheels in my brain immediately started working on over drive.

You have the Ponce de Leon Ballroom, once the grand dining room for the world’s most privileged elite that has a very elegant, traditional feel. I imagined gold table cloths and crystal candelabras everywhere; crisp, white roses and white chivari chairs; people in their best-dressed sipping champagne with the sound of a string quartet in the background.

Then there is Markland House, an estate home with all the charm of the Old South. It’s perfect for the shabby-chic, antique loving bride. I can see a laced dress on a bride with a beautiful crown of baby’s breath; soft pink peonies placed on the open-air tables below the magnolia trees and handsome gentlemen in tan suits with bowties.

Lastly, there’s Crisp-Ellert Art Museum, originally the art studio for Jo-Ann Crisp-Ellert, which is very modern and contemporary. This just might be my favorite of the two venues since it’s a blank canvas. I envision white tables with pops of color everywhere; rectangular glass centerpieces full of lush flowers; silk covered walls and food that looks more like art than a meal.

Working for Ponce de Leon Weddings and Special Events has been an absolutely dream come true. Weddings are so magical and “work” always seems like play. I have met so many beautifully warm couples and colleagues along the road. It has been such an exciting journey so far and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store.