On February 2nd, 2019, Ragan and Jay said “ I do” at their beautiful Oxford Exchange wedding which was just as inspiring as their love story. Ragan was a vision as she walked down the aisle in her white organza and lace gown and her cascading bouquet composed of peach, blush and ivory blooms, and a touch of merlot. On either side of her, a border of romantic foliage with glowing lanterns led the way to her soon-to-be husband. Ragan felt safe as she walked down the aisle. “A feeling of safety that I still can’t adequately put into words,” she said. On the other side, Jay was lost-for-words as Ragan walked towards him. “Ragan looked like a princess in her dress. She was so gorgeous and stunning that it actually left me speechless for a moment,” he said. It was an epic moment they both had been awaiting for three long years.
They met at a trauma unit at a hospital (Jay was assigned as Ragan’s preceptor). Ragan felt completely overwhelmed on her first day telling her mom that she had no idea how she was going to work with Jay because they “could not have had more opposite personalities”.
Over the next six months, a friendship grew into admiration and Ragan “gave in to his charm (and dimples)”. They grew in love, but kept their relationship private for the sake of their careers. So for the next THREE YEARS their relationship remained undisclosed to their coworkers.
“It actually helped keep us in check for people at work to not know about our relationship and forced us to leave any and all parts of our private life at the doors the second we walked into the doors of the hospital,” Ragan said.
After Jay got a job as a nurse practitioner outside of the hospital, they revealed the shocking truth about their relationship to their coworkers. “The reactions when we told them ranged from utter shock to full-on dramatic, Kim Kardashian-level crying out of happiness,” the couple said.
Both Ragan and Jay were ecstatic and grateful after everything they had been through, from the secrecy at work, the stress of planning the wedding, to both of them finishing their graduate degrees. “We had waited so long, 3 years, for that time that we could finally declare our love for one another in front of everyone that mattered most to us,” Jay said.
Everyone at the wedding could feel the love in the air as the couple said their vows under a copper focal structure covered with smilax greenery and illuminating Edison bulbs. It sure was a picturesque “I do” and we have the pictures to prove it!
The bridesmaids stood by Ragan and carried compact versions of the bridal bouquet while Jay had a white ranunculus with a hint of green boutonniere. Let’s not forget about the groomsmen whose boutonnieres were made of a merlot rose and foliage.
All the elements surrounding Ragan and Jay on February 2nd told a part of their story. The tables were covered with antique tinsel runners and floral runners of rose gold and gold bud vase containers with heavy greenery that added to the romantic vibe.
“It truly was the most perfect night. I know we are biased, but afterwards, we just kept saying to each other, ‘That was truly the best wedding we’ve ever been to!’,” Ragan said. She advises all couples planning their wedding to “have fun every second you can because time goes so quickly and the wedding passes even more quickly.”
Ragan and Jay are an inspiring couple proving that patience is key in love. Everyone at Botanica was thrilled to work on their wedding! “Botanica always made us feel like they were right down the road. Every meeting they offered to do via Skype or phone call if it was too difficult for us to drive to Tampa,” they said. “We cannot say enough about how easy, seamless, and fun the entire Botanica team made the planning for us; and we are forever grateful for that.”