Tena and Niko tied the knot with a Downtown Eau Gallie arts district wedding!
Their traditional filipino wedding ceremony took place at the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in Melbourne, Florida. After their Disney Boardwalk Engagement Session, this was a wedding I had been looking forward to all year! They are such an incredibly sweet couple, and I have to say – this wedding definitely has it all. I say this all the time, but I love connecting with my couples and developing friendships with them. I definitely felt like Tena and Niko were a perfect fit, and let me tell you, their wedding was so much fun, I think my cheeks were sore for a day and a half from laughing so much!
Downtown Eau Gallie Arts District
What an AMAZING place to explore and take wedding photos! This is like…. photographer heaven right here. Huge murals, rustic, antique charm – a freaking GIANT SHARK? it couldn’t get any better than that! If you haven’t traveled to the Eau Gallie Arts District area, you need to – right now! We could have seriously explored all day. If you hav been considering using the Eau Gallie Civic Center as a wedding venue in the Melbourne, Orlando, or Eau Gallie area – I highly recommend it!
The Wedding Story: How we met
We first met Labor Day Weekend, a little over 6 years ago, in one of Orlando’s nightclubs (Antigua), during their annual Labor Day event. It was a night out with the girls and the event was in full swing. My bestie and I were making our way through the crowds when this guy walks up to my friend. Turns out they were really good friends and used to work together back in the day but fell out of touch. She introduced us and from there we kind of just flirted and talked the whole night. It was pretty much the only night he’s ever danced with me. He’s not big on dancing but I love it! We exchanged numbers at the end of the night and from that time we dated for about a year before making it official. I remember thinking that whole time what we actually were before making it official…I was crazy about him and I knew he had been in long relationship that ended pretty badly before he met me and reallllllly was taking his time with us. It wasn’t until I was ready to let go and just realize that it wasn’t going anywhere…He’s stringing me along. I’m sure he felt it annnd finally gave in 🙂 Our relationship wasn’t the greatest. It’s been a giant roller coaster ride but what relationship isn’t? lol You can say we’re complete opposites. I come from a big family and he’s an only child. I’m the more reserved one and he’s the outgoing one. Best of both worlds! Yeah! But through it all, we knew it was always each other we wanted in the end and I couldn’t picture myself with anybody else.
We visit New York at least once a year it seems like. It has always been on my bucket list to visit Central Park during Fall time, but I never could get the chance because I was a VPK teacher and it was very difficult for me to take time off. This year was different. The school’s policies changed a little and I was able to get time off. Earlier in the year, for my birthday, Niko surprised me with a trip to NY and had it all planned out. Boat ride in Central park(didn’t end up doing it though,verrry busy at the time) and my first actual broadway show(Wicked). I’m not going lie, he’s typically not the best planner or best with surprises. He’s not good at hiding things aatt all. lol He gets very proud and extra loving when he has something up his sleeve and I kind of had a huge feeling he was planning the trip for my birthday but I knew that it wasn’t going to be the big moment. Financially, it just didn’t make sense. But of course everyone was thinking it has to be. Why not? Right? But I know my guy lol. And so the wonderful birthday trip ended and he said we could go again in the Fall. I was really excited. I can finally check it off the list!
Niko wasn’t giving anything a way for this trip. We had gotten into a huge fight right before the trip over some really silly stuff and I was so sure he wasn’t going to ask and if anything changed his mind if he was. Of course, we mended things and went on with our trip.
Everyone and including myself, have been waiting for the big moment. We hit 5 years in July. It had to be coming soon, right? The trip was going great. First day we explored. The next day watched a Knicks game at Madison Square and at night, watched Aladdin the Broadway. The following day, was my Central Park day. I was so excited. Let me tell you though, the whole trip, he was very adamant about going to see the Brooklyn Bridge, and I said we could after the park, but he kept pushing to make it there before the sun sets to watch the city lights to come alive from the bridge. I started to get upset because he was rushing me on the one thing I really wanted to go do. So, he agreed, “Fiiine we’ll stay however long you want,” he said. It was perfect.
He rowed me on a boat under Bow Bridge, the weather was beautiful. We had so much fun. Annnd we were able to finish everything and head to Brooklyn. It was my first time at Brooklyn Promenade, or should I say our first time there together…We went at the most perfect time. I was still convinced nothing would happen because he wasn’t giving anything a way. I couldn’t read him this time…We walked over to where the carousel is and I seriously thought we were just soaking in the gorgeous scenery around us. Niko loves sightseeing and I just thought it was one of his adventures of exploring moments….Well, we we’re leaning over the pier and there’s this guy behind us, who’s taking pictures on his camera…naturally, there are always people taking pictures..especially in NY. I promise you, I had nooo idea who this guy was but I told Niko, “I think this guy is taking pictures of us. You can here the ‘click’ ‘click’ ‘click’ to his camera!” and Niko goes, “Why would he do that? That’s creepy…” I didn’t think anything of it because people always take candids of random people lol and looking over my shoulder, the guy was but was trying to be nonchalant about it… anyways, next thing you know, he’s down on one knee!! and says…
“I know I don’t deserve you, but if you let me, I will prove to you the rest of our lives that I do.”
I saw the ring, and tears just started flowing, annnnd then everything just unfolded from there. The guy that was taking pictures – well Niko knew the whole time and went into full blast picture mode at that moment. Turns out, he is one of his childhood friends and is a photographer. And what topped it off, his Godbrother came running out of no where video tapping and surprised us both and said I couldn’t of missed the for anything! It was truly the best moment of my life and he planned it out so perfectly and ultimately, was a huge surprise. And so the our love story is ready for the next chapter.
Ceremony Venue: Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church
Reception Venue: Eau Gallie Civic Center
Wedding Dress: Alfred Angelo, Modern Vintage Collection Style 8545
Wedding Shoes: Blue by Betsey Johnson Mesh & Silk Jeweled Adele Flats
Bridesmaids Dresses: LuLu’s
Wedding Cake: Uyen Tran
Makeup: Crystal Bailey
Tux: Men’s Warehouse, Joseph Abboud Navy Slim Fit Tuxedo
DJ: AF Premier Events
Planner: Jaimie Gardner