September 2017 | IRMA Pop-Up Wedding


On September 9, 2017, Catherine Gonzalez was at the hair salon in Redondo Beach, CA getting her tresses highlighted and ready for her destination wedding a week later in St. Petersburg Beach, FL.  While she was at the salon the call came in from her venue, The Don CeSar Resort.  Her event coordinator informed her that the venue was without power and they had no idea when it would be restored. She could cancel the wedding or change the date.  Tears started rolling down her cheeks and she said, “I have to call my fiancé and I’ll let you know”.  When she got home and informed Lacy Pack, her fiancé, they cried together and then he held her and said, “I am going to marry you on September 16, no matter what.”  With that, they called the Don CeSar and cancelled their Florida nuptials. 

Catherine sprang into action and called her Maid of Honor, Shellie Remenar, who was unfazed.  She said to Catherine, “No problem.  We’ve got this!”  A couple of hours later, Shellie pulled up to the couple’s home and said, “Come on.  Get in the car.  We have to go somewhere. Now!”  She drove them to Verandas Beach House in Manhattan Beach.  While there was an event in progress, they peeked into the venue and agreed that it was perfect for them. They called Verandas the next day and as luck would have it, September 16 was available, so they booked it.

Lacy, a retired Technician in the US Navy, served on land and at sea around the world including Desert Storm. Catherine is a veteran as well having served in the US Army Reserves as a Broadcast Journalist with tours in Bosnia and Central America. They dreamed of being married near the beach. Their visions of white sand and blue water is what lead them to Florida’s Gulf Coast.  And their honeymoon was to be in the Bahamas so it was an easy trip to make from St. Petersburg Beach. 

Then disaster struck.  And while hurricane IRMA changed their wedding location, it ultimately had little effect on their wedding plan.  Friends and family rallied around them to organize their California wedding in just 6 days.  “My friend, Eric Johnson, delivered cake samples right to our house from #TorranceBakery, explained Lacy.  Catherine’s bridesmaid’s sister, #3AngelsFloralDesign, created the beautiful tropical floral designs.  #VerandasBeachHouse just steps from the sand, provided the perfect beach house setting, complete with an outdoor ceremony, photos on the sand by #TheIDOPhotography and amazing food and drinks from #NYFC and music by #VOXDJs.  

Despite the wedding relocation, the couple recounts that only about fifteen of their friends and family weren’t able to alter their plans and join them in California.  Lacy’s brother missed the wedding to help his in-laws in Florida with their home which was severely damaged by IRMA.

“We had the wedding of our dreams thanks to our family and friends who were there for us.  In the end, we realized that it didn’t matter where we got married, it is the people in our lives that mean the most.”

Catherine & Lacy exchange vows on their originally planned wedding date, September 16, 2017.

Seagrass, starfish and tropical flowers accent the couple's coastal inspired theme.

Cheers to a sea of gorgeous green, the bride's favorite color and tropical-inspired groomswear.

Bridesmaids couldn't keep their fingers out of the scrumptious @TorranceBakery cake!

Bridesmaid, Jackie Gaitan, wasn't able to alter her travel plans so she participated by iPhone from Atlanta!

Sea green and nautical-inspired accents are a nod to the couple’s love of all things coastal.

Clever koozies and "Little Tipsy Cakes" for the guests.

While their plans were momentarily disrupted by IRMA, their wedding dream really did come true.

Venue:  Verandas Beach House  @VerandasBeachHouse
Food:  New York Food Company  @NewYorkFood
Photos:  The I DO Photography  @TheIDOPhotography
Music:  VOX DJs  @VOXDJs
Flowers: Lamadelle Flowers  @LamadelleFlowers
Cake:  Torrance Bakery  @TorranceBakery
Bride’s Gown: Le Marriage Couture  @LeMarriageCouture
Bridesmaids:  David’s Bridal  @DavidsBridal
Groom & Groomsmen:  Tommy Bahama  @TommyBahama
Guest Gifts:  Koozies from Etsy @MyWeddingStore and @ShiHipHooray,  Little Tipsy Cakes by The Cake Zone, Florida  @CakeZone

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