Diane & Brian: An Unsinkable Orlando Garden Ceremony

by Amy Elliott

You wouldn't know it from the pictures--the bride and groom seem incredibly bright-eyed and relaxed--but Diane Jagiela and Brian Perez encountered more than a few snafus while planning their wedding.

THE BRIDE Diane Jagiela, database administrator
THE GROOM Brian Perez, database administrator
THE DATE October 13
THE SCENE An outdoor ceremony surrounded by roses at the Harry P. Leu Gardens followed by a swinging party in downtown Orlando.

First, the florist they'd booked went bankrupt and failed to notify them. "My friend at work helped me to find a wonderful substitute," says Diane. "She put us in touch with the women who do the flowers at her church."

Then, with just days to spare, Diane went to pick up her wedding gown only to discover that none of the final alterations had been made. "All the pins were still in the dress, and it wasn't even hemmed," says Diane, who notes that the bridal salon was wholly unapologetic for the oversight.

A sewing-savvy friend came to the rescue, completing the alterations that very day. And a rival bridal salon graciously agreed to press the gown. "It's not common to take a bridal dress from one store to another store for the pressing," admits a grateful Diane. "But under the circumstances they were very understanding."

As if this were not enough to contend with, Diane's makeup artist showed up unforgivably late-just 25 minutes before the ceremony was to begin....

And yet, Diane was the picture of grace under fire. The ceremony took place at the horseshoe-shaped fountain in the European-style rose garden at the Harry P. Leu Gardens. "The roses were in full bloom," describes Diane, "We were so lucky there was no rain!"

After the "upbeat" ceremony, the newlyweds stayed behind to snap photos while their guests took off for the party in downtown Orlando.

When Diane and Brian entered the grand T-shaped ballroom, sunlight streamed in triumphantly. One wall made entirely of glass showed off views of Lake Eola. Brian chose Sara Evans' version of "I Could Not Ask for More" as the couple's first dance song. "I hadn't heard of it before, but it's very special to me now," says Diane, "especially knowing Brian picked it out thinking of us."

Later, Diane would dance with her dad to a Celine Dion song-until he had the DJ interrupt it with a song of his own choosing, the Kingston Trio's "Turn Around," a gesture that brought everyone to tears. "No matter what goes wrong, everything comes together at the end," says Diane.

--Amy Elliott
photography: Damon Tucci

For the ingredients that make up this wedding, see right-hand column of this page.

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