Kailey Porter met Declan Saver in Hawaii in February 2014. She had moved to Oahu in January and became friends with Declan through a blind date. He was in the Navy, and they had many things in common, like golf, the beach, football, and going out to dinner. But the couple didn’t really start dating seriously until April.
By that time, they were inseparable. “Oahu is a beautiful place to fall in love,” says Kailey. “We loved the island, the people, the atmosphere, everything. We even talked about marriage from the beginning—it just seemed like the natural thing to do.”
However, their romantic time in Hawaii would be short-lived. In 2016, Declan was transferred to Jacksonville, Florida, and Kailey went with him. But even after talking about marriage, Declan still managed to surprise Kailey when he asked her to marry him on the third anniversary of their first date.
“We went out for a romantic dinner at The Chart House in Jacksonville, talking about our future, and suddenly, the ring fell out of his pocket!” laughs Kailey. “It couldn’t have been more perfect!”
Declan and Kailey grew to love the Jacksonville area, and they realized it was the perfect place for their wedding. “It wasn’t Hawaii, but we love it here and made many new friends,” says Kailey. “We immediately decided on The Golf Club of Amelia Island, partly because we both love golf, but mostly because it was so beautiful. We found event coordinator Katrina Moughton to be so helpful! I really wanted to plan the wedding on my own, and Katrina guided me along the way.”
The couple decided on a destination wedding that would allow their 125 guests to enjoy a true vacation on Amelia Island’s pristine beaches and in charming downtown Fernandina Beach. They opened their wedding weekend with a barbecue for all their guests on Thursday night, and gathered again on Friday night at Luca’s on Centre for a small rehearsal dinner for the wedding party and close family members. After dinner, the rest of their guests arrived at Luca’s for a “Welcome to Amelia Island” cocktail and a scrumptious cake from Bliss Cakery.
Since the wedding wasn’t until Saturday evening, the couple’s guests had the day for golfing, walking the beach, and visiting the downtown shops. At 5:15 p.m., Kailey and Declan held their ceremony on the manicured fairways of The Golf Club of Amelia Island, with their long-time Hawaiian friend, Dan Gallant, officiating. Local musician Richard Stratton performed music for the wedding and the cocktail hour, then the food stations were opened for dinner.
“We had all our favorite foods, and everything was delicious!” exclaims Kailey. “Shrimp and grits, braised pork, haricots verts, potatoes, and of course, Bliss’s amazing cupcakes!”
Kailey and Declan hired a DJ to dance the night away, and they surprised their guests with a choreographed dance. “We took dance lessons, and it was so much fun to perform our dance number,” says Kailey. “It was a mashup of ‘Beyond the Sea’ and “Only Wanna Be with You.’ We had such a great time!”
The couple booked rooms for their guests at The Residence Inn, Amelia Island, where Kailey and her bridal party got ready for the big event. A shuttle was provided by Vic Garvin of Amelia Airport Shuttle and Transportation to get everyone to the wedding on time, and then safely back to their hotels.
Kailey and Declan put off their honeymoon for a little while, and ended up taking a whirlwind trip to Paris and Barcelona at the end of May, where they fell in love all over again. Today, this happy couple lives in Jacksonville, where Declan is still in the Navy, and Kailey works for the Nassau County Department of Planning and Economic Opportunity.