At an orientation for freshmen athletes, Paige Rachel and Brad Nasis were both participating in a “speed dating” activity meant to serve as an icebreaker. “I overheard her conversation with another athlete and it was not going well… at all,” affirms Brad. “So, I decided to interject and that’s when I first met Paige.” They discovered they would be neighbors in their dorms, and Paige was entranced by Brad’s perfect white teeth.

However, it took a year of strong friendship before their relationship became romantic. After seven years of dating, the couple took a trip to Costa Rica. “What I thought was going to be a casual getaway turned into a full-on engagement celebration,” Paige reveals. The lovebirds took a kayak to a secluded island, where Brad reminisced about their time together, dropped to one knee, and asked his beloved to marry him.

Though initially surprised that their 16-month engagement didn’t give them as much extra time for planning as they thought, the bride and groom looked to event planner Ann Whittington and a team of vendors to make the day perfect. “There are just so many details that go into planning a wedding, and it really does take a village to make dream weddings become a reality,” confirms Paige. Both parents of the bride were hands-on throughout the process, and Brad stayed involved as well. “It was pretty cool for me to see him get excited about stationery!” the bride laughs.

“We really wanted the space to flow and feel as if you were transported to a magical place.”

The aroma of fresh flowers filled the air as guests entered the wedding venue, and a large circle of white blossoms suspended over the site of the vow exchange provided a wow factor. “I wanted the space to feel clean, yet edgy,” shares Paige.

Following the bridesmaids in sleek champagne dresses, the bride descended the aisle in a stunning mermaid gown with a plunging V-back and textured circle skirt while arm in arm with her father. The couple elected not to have a “first look,” and the moment they finally laid eyes on each other stands out in both of their minds. “I felt like I was going to cry when I saw her. I’m not a crier but dang it, that was some emotional stuff!” Brad exclaims.

As guests enjoyed cocktail hour, the main room was redesigned for the wedding reception. “We really wanted the space to flow and feel as if you were transported to a magical place,” Paige muses. Dramatic tables with collections of petite vases showcased florals that matched the aesthetic of the ceremony. Alabaster columns drew eyes upward to stunning chandeliers paired with delicately draped twinkle lights.

The crisp, modern look was reflected in the cake topper, a glass panel with an etched “N” for Nasis was placed in the center of the confection. Attendees were treated to a served salad course and then enjoyed three different stations that boasted several options for fare with protein, bread, and vegetable bases. In addition, there was Cajun stew with grits and cornbread muffins, as a nod to the bride’s family roots in Louisiana. The wedding band was then inspired to start a first line – a New Orleans tradition – during the reception.

The newlyweds are big music fans and had live entertainment throughout the big day, which contributed to the celebratory spirit felt during the event. “We are still getting compliments today on how amazing our performers were,” says Brad. In fact, if there was one thing Paige could change about their wedding, it would be to spend more time on the dance floor. However, as the groom exclaims, it was still “an epic party with everyone we care about celebrating our love!”

For those preparing their own nuptials, Brad advises grooms to be active participants. “This is truly a nerve-racking time leading up to your big day and your partner is going to need all the support that they can get,” he elaborates. “Also, hire a wedding planner if you are able… They are wizards!”