Esther Stephen & Kevin Chiddister: November 7, 2015
Kevin and Esther’s love of the beach was not only incorporated into their romantic proposal, but also into their beautiful rustic beach themed wedding. Family and friends were invited to share in the romance of their special day while enjoying the beautiful views and paradise of Bonita Springs, Florida. Richard Guin Films was happy to capture this day to share.
How they met…
Kevin and Esther first connected online and three days later met at Blue Water Bistro near Esther’s work. Esther noticed a cute guy in the parking lot before walking in and was pleasantly surprised to find that same guy waiting for her at the door of the restaurant. The night went great and Esther knew she liked him and wanted to get to know him better. Kevin felt the same way, so he decided to take Esther hiking way out in nowhere! They couldn’t seem to follow the trail markers because they were talking so much and one hour turned into two. By the end they were both a bit muddy, very sweaty, and extremely hungry! They ended up going straight to California Pizza Kitchen in all their glory to eat. It was awesome knowing how easy it was to be around each other.
The proposal in Kevin’s words…
Early on in our relationship I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Esther. January 2015 I sent a text to some of our closest friends sharing my idea for a surprise proposal. I wanted them to be with us to help celebrate. The plan was to take a sunset boat ride out on the gulf for “Katie’s birthday,” then surprise Esther with the proposal. As it turned out, Esther had other plans for that weekend. Her cousins were visiting the Florida Keys and she wanted to see them. So I came up with plan B.
In the meantime I still had to buy a ring. I knew nothing about rings so I brought Katie, Kathleen, and Lois. We found some good rings, but I wasn’t ready to spend that much! A few weeks later I told Esther I was going golfing with one of my best men Bill. We however had other plans, finding the perfect ring. After a few hours of going back and forth with the jeweler I decided on one. Then I had to figure out the proposal.
Esther loves the beach, so I wanted to take her to the beach, watch the sunset, and propose in front of our friends. The day of the big proposal, I was anxious all day. Normally on Wednesdays Esther came to my Beach Bootcamp that I instructed, however, the next morning we were leaving for a cruise, so I needed to cancel the class inconspicuously. I had my group call in one by one saying they were not able to attend class, so it was cancelled. I called Esther asking if she would watch the sunset on the beach with me. At 3pm I still hadn’t heard back from Esther, she had left her phone at her desk. When she called me back she was in Naples and had one more appointment, then needed to go back to office to get her car, and then was getting her eye brows done. She was not making it easy!!! So I told her to go to her last appointment and get her eye brows done. She could leave her car at work and get it in the morning. As she finished up, I got stuff ready for the beach. As many of you know, Esther tends to run late. She finally made it home at 5:30 pm starving. I told her we didn’t have time to eat and we could eat after the beach. As we started walking to the beach we felt rain drops. Esther turned to me and asked if we were to pretend it wasn’t raining. I said yes, and it was going to clear up. Luckily it turned out to be a beautiful night. We sat down on the beach and enjoyed a couple glasses of wine while I secretly managed to text our friends to plan the perfect moment to surprise Esther with the proposal. When Esther went to use the restroom, I called the crew (who were near the restrooms) and told them to hide. Once she got back, I told her I had to go and I went and informed the crew of the next steps. Then I went back and told Esther we should take a picture. I turned her facing the water, got down on one knee, and asked her to marry me. She obviously said YES!!! As I was on my knee our friends came out to join us. We all celebrated, took pictures, and finally Esther got some food.
The Wedding Day…
Their rustic beach themed wedding was absolutely stunning and everything they wanted. Family and friends traveled from all over to share in their special day. Their colors were yellows, corals, creams, and browns. For décor they used driftwood, sand, lace, baby’s breath, and tea stained messages in bottles. One of their most memorable wedding moments was their dance! It was a great surprise to see their friends and family having so much fun….and Esther loved seeing Kevin bust a move because he hates to be center of attention! His faces were priceless, it was so much fun!
Photographer/Videographer: Richard Guin Films www.instagram.com/richard_guin_films/
Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Friends Bill & Jen Owens hosted the dinner at their beach home in FL.
Rehearsal Dinner Catering: Buca Italian Restaurant, Bonita Springs, FL www.bucadibeppo.com
Ceremony: On the beach at The Club at Barefoot Beach, Bonita Springs, FL www.theclubatbarefootbeach.com
Officiant: Esther’s dad; Frank Stephen Jr (We’re still quoting some of the things he said to us, very special!)
Reception Venue/Catering: 3rd floor overlooking the beach at The Club at Barefoot Beach, Bonita Springs, FL www.theclubatbarefootbeach.com
Bride’s Gown: (champagne color, tulle, lace, & pearls) David’s Bridal www.davidsbridal.com
Jewelry/Accessories: Kate Spade diamonds & pearls earrings & hair clip www.katespade.com
Hair: A Natural Touch by Frances D, Naples, FL www.facebook.com/A-Natural-Touch-by-Frances-D-1026792810682418/
Makeup: Deja Vu Salon & Spa, Naples, FL www.facebook.com/pages/Deja-Vu-Salon-and-Spa/1764991090395533
Rings: Diamond District, Estero, FL www.diamonddistrictusa.com
Florist: Whole Foods, Naples, FL www.wholefoodsmarket.com
Décor & Rentals: A Touch of Class Banquets & Convention Center (Esther’s brother’s business) Cedar Rapids, IA, provided all glassware, vases, and candles www.atouchofclassbanquets.com Esther’s family hand made all the wood signs and the rest of the décor was put together by friends and family.
Wedding Coordinators: A Friend and wedding planner, Katie Styra, and Dale Moeller, Coordinator at The Club at Barefoot Beach, Bonita Springs, FL www.theclubatbarefootbeach.com
Invitations & Stationery: Wedding Window www.weddingwindow.com
Cake: Publix www.publix.com
DJ/Entertainment: Pro-Pair Entertainment, Kissimmee, FL www.pro-pairentertainment.com
Dance Choreographer: Jarret Ditch, Ditchit Productions, FL www.ditchitproductions.com
Transportation: ÜBER & Taxis
Honeymoon: They are going to Greece in May. Kevin is planning it all by the help of Dana & Courtney Costas.