Alesia & Jason

A common wedding tradition becomes real for this couple.

Do you remember the tradition that the single woman who catches the bride’s bouquet will be the next to marry? Did you know it really comes true? It did for Alesia and Jason Hooper after Alesia caught the bouquet at the first wedding they attended together only six months into their relationship!

“We met on a co-ed softball team surrounded by friends we both enjoyed,” they say from their home in Massachusetts, where they live and work at the University of Massachusetts.

After a low-key but thrilling Saturday morning proposal, the couple was Amelia Island-bound for their special day. “I am from Amelia,” says the groom, who attended middle school and high school in Fernandina Beach before graduating from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville.

“We are on an academic schedule, so we have weeks at a time to spend in Amelia,” share the couple, who visit for two weeks in the summer, nearly the same at Christmas, and whenever they can. “We have our routine on Amelia,” they laugh. Jason fishes in the morning, they meet for lunch at Timoti’s Seafood Shak, then the rest of the day creates itself!

“In planning our wedding, we wanted our friends and family to love what we love, spend time where we spend time, and experience what we experience here,” say Alesia and Jason. As friends and family arrived for the May wedding, the couple introduced their guests to a piece of Fernandina’s history, as most stayed at the wedding venue, the Florida House Inn, and others a stone’s throw away at the Hampton Inn & Suites Amelia Island overlooking the harbor. “The best part was that everything we did was between these two points on the map,” the couple affirms.

For the welcome party, the couple opted for a night at sea on an Amelia River Cruises sunset cruise. “We had food from Wicked Bao, dolphins playing in the water around us, and wild horses on Cumberland Island welcoming us.” It doesn’t get any more romantic than that, and friends and family were captivated by the natural beauty the Hooper’s excursion showcased.

On the morning of their wedding day, Jason sat in a coffee shop in downtown Fernandina Beach while writing a card to his bride. Little did he know, she was penning her own card, which she had picked up at Hudson & Perry on Centre Street.

“When we exchanged cards, you can imagine the looks on our faces when it was the exact same card!” she laughs. But that’s not all. Jason then surprised Alesia with a framed ribbon from the bouquet she had caught years ago, which she didn’t realize he had saved!

When it was time to say “I do,” the Florida House Inn was all the couple could ask for in a venue. Adding to the beauty of the setting, Alesia’s bouquet and the gorgeous flowers for the celebration were by Brooke Raulerson of Revelation Design.

“The Hoopers loved the intimate, brick courtyard, fountain, and romantic ambiance,” says Dana Schefke, event coordinator at Florida House. “The entire wedding party appreciated that the lodging, nuptials, and reception were all in one historic setting. The celebration moved in waves, feeling layered and well thought out. The day was heartfelt and beautiful from start to finish. We were honored to be part of welcoming their guests to Fernandina Beach and helping them to experience the charm of our historic island.”

As the Hoopers continue to visit and enjoy Amelia Island, they cherish their memories and look forward to many years of traditions coming true.