Lia and JR

October 21, 2011
Highland Manor, Apopka
Photographs by Derek Smith, Sunshine Photographics

Lia Stratford and Marshall ”JR” Eugene Brigner Jr. didn’t hear any music play when they first met at a friend’s house in 2007. They weren’t exactly each other’s type: She’s structured and organized, while he’s more carefree and flexible. But when they ran into each other a year later, they began to hear the sound of heartstrings. Each had bought a guitar and wanted to take lessons, a common interest that drew them together. Three years later, JR, 31, proposed at the very spot they would marry—Highland Manor in Apopka. “We were at dinner and just finishing our salads,” recalls Lia, 28. “JR couldn’t wait any longer, so he reached for my hand at the table and told me how happy he was and how much he loved me, and then asked if I would marry him. As all of the butterflies in my stomach started fluttering, I somehow was able to get out a ‘Yes!’” Lia, a wedding cake designer and pastry sous chef for the Waldorf Astoria, Orlando, made all four of the couple’s cakes, including three wedding cakes. She designed the groom’s cake to look like a spool of cable, representing JR’s career as owner of a low-voltage communications company. “Ironically, neither of us play guitar anymore, but they sit in our office more as a reminder of where we started,” says Lia. 

"Every moment was perfect. We exited through a glimmering passageway of sparklers held by those who mean the most to us, our friends and family.”


Theme: Southern belle with bling 
Wedding Planner: Tracy Marini of Eventfully Yours, Orlando
Most Memorable Moment: “Surprising our guests with a fun dance after our traditional waltz as the first dance,” says Lia.
Bridesmaids: 4
Groomsmen: 4
Guests: 100
Gown: Minerva’s Bridal, Orlando
Stylists: Barbara Hansen, Melbourne
Photographer: Derek Smith with Sunshine Photographics, Orlando
Caterer: The Tap Room at Dubsdread, Orlando
Cakes: Lia Brigner
Florist: Greenery Productions, Orlando
Music/Entertainment: David with Fun Factory Entertainment, Lake Mary
Lighting/Special Effects: David with Fun Factory Entertainment, Lake Mary
Father-Daughter Dance: “It’s Your World Now” (The Eagles)
First Dance: “Make Someone Happy” (Jimmy Durante)
Transportation: Mount Dora Trolley, Mount Dora
Officiant: Kevin Knox, A Beautiful Ceremony, Orlando
Honeymoon: Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas


The couple exchange their vows under a giant live oak tree

The wedding invitation

The couple’s three wedding cakes

 Hydrangea with rose table centerpieces

JR’s cable spool groom’s cake with the “HCT” company logo and remote

The crystal ballroom set up for the reception

A surprise choreographed dance performed by the couple

Everyone “Shout”ing it up on the dance floor

Lia and JR exit the festivities, hand-in-hand


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