Laura Adames & John Choi
November 25, 2017. Monteverde, Florida
Location: The Club at Bella Collina Monteverde, FL;
Laura Adames and John Choi had been friends for over two years before they went on their first date. “I always tell him I fell in love with his son, Alex, before I fell in love with him,” Laura shares. “Alex's mom passed away in a tragic accident when he was a young boy, leaving a void in both their hearts. I started taking care of Alex when John needed the help as a busy surgeon. All three of us started spending a lot of time together and we soon became inseparable. We called ourselves the three musketeers.” When John finally asked Laura to go on a date, everything felt natural and both knew they couldn’t be without each other.
The proposal took place on May 13, 2016 – the day of Laura’s sister’s birthday. “John hired a limo to pick up my entire family and take us to a six-course dinner at the Ritz-Carlton,” Laura describes. “I didn’t know why he was being so extravagant, but I thought it was so sweet. He made a speech at the table to my family, giving thanks that we were all in each other’s lives, then pulled out the ring and asked me to be his wife. I was so surprised. It meant a lot that he included my whole family for this special moment.”
Having always envisioned a fall wedding, the bride-to-be immediately booked Bella Collina for November 25, 2017. “Bella was the first venue we visited, and we knew right away it was the right venue for us,” she explains. “I told my wedding planner, Brandee Gaar, that I wanted our day to be romantic and elegant with a whimsical touch. We couldn't have done this without her expertise and experience.”
The wedding day began with idyllic weather, and feelings of joyous nervousness for the bride and groom. Laura recalls the whole experience feeling like a dream, even before the ceremony began. “The first look with my father was so touching,” she says. “He told me he was so proud of me and excited for this new chapter in my life. It’s a moment I will cherish forever.”
As the bride made her way down the aisle, she saw her groom for the first time, with Alex standing beside him as his best man. “The most emotional part of our wedding was when Alex and I exchanged vows as I promised to care and love him as my own,” she reflects. “And he promised to take me as his mother. Even though we felt that bond already, it really meant so much to the both of us to make it official.”
The following reception was lit by candles, fairy lights, and floating chandeliers. A round dancefloor and curved tables added to the intimacy of the space, and everyone celebrated throughout the evening with live music. At the end of the night, the newlyweds bid farewell with a sparkler exit, and drove off in a Lamborghini Aventador convertible.
Two days later, Laura, John, and Alex took off to the luxurious Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay on the California coast for their first official vacation as a family.
>Written by: Lauren Malamala