“Jay and I have always known about each other,” Caroline says of her now-husband Jay Robbins. The couple first crossed paths when Caroline’s sister began dating — and eventually married — one of Jay’s pledge brothers. They then found themselves bumping into each other while Caroline was working as a political fundraiser in 2014. It was then that they discovered how much they have in common, and the attraction grew. Plagued by cold feet, Jay left Caroline waiting for him to ask her out. “I heard through the grapevine that he was going to ask me out at an engagement party we both were attending for my sister. All night, I kept thinking he would do it and finally, as I was leaving the party, he asked me out on our first date.” Caroline’s father was in earshot, but was a gentleman and let the newly budding relationship take its course.
Two years after sparks began to fly, the pair got engaged. On July 4, 2016, Jay carried out a spectacular proposal. Caroline had her hopes high for a proposal on the weekend she and her family went to Jay’s hometown of Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The weekend came and went without a proposal, or so Caroline thought. Disappointed, she said goodbye to her family before having breakfast with Jay’s grandmother.
“After breakfast, Meme asked us to go outside and look at the new flowers and decorations in her lakeside gazebo. I didn’t think anything about it, but when we got in the gazebo, Jay got down on one knee and held out the ring box,” Caroline recalls. “He was so overcome with emotion that the only thing he could get out of his mouth was ‘Will you?’ It was so sweet and absolutely perfect, but the best thing was that I was truly surprised! As we returned to the lake house, we saw that the dock was decorated, and about 50 of our friends and family had gathered to celebrate with us. It was a great day!”
Just shy of a year later, on March 25, 2017, Caroline and Jay said “I do” at The Henderson Beach Resort & Spa in Destin, Florida. From the moment Jay popped the question and Caroline said yes, they knew they wanted a beach wedding. They also wanted the intimacy and personalized feel of a smaller affair, and they knew that The Henderson would be perfect.
The northwest Florida resort sits seaside and offers a backdrop of the Gulf Coast and 200 acres of pristine nature reserve. The resort has 170 rooms, making it ideal for a wedding size of 150 guests. “Our friends and family celebrated all weekend, not just at the actual reception. The weekend started on Thursday night with my bachelorette party in the Hagerman Suite, which was the perfect spot. On Friday, the rest of the guests kicked off the weekend with a fun day on the beach enjoying the sun, playing bocce ball and hanging out. We really wanted our wedding guests to be an active part of our special day with everyone able to gather and mingle at the pool or beach, and we were able to accomplish that at The Henderson,” Caroline shares.
The Robbins men played a large role in the wedding ceremony. Aside from one being the groom, Jay’s father acted as his best man, and his paternal grandfather was the officiant. Caroline was walked down the aisle by her father to join three generations of Robbins men. Traditional vows were exchanged, and the marriage was made official. For Caroline, the most memorable moment of the day was hearing Jay recite his vows, and for Jay, it was watching Caroline walk down the aisle.
Introduced as Mr. and Mrs. Robbins, the newlyweds continued the evening with drinking, dancing and celebrations.
The guests enjoyed prosecco, cheese and passed hors d’oeuvres during cocktail hour before the buffet-style dinner of salad, chicken breast, beef short ribs and a side. “It was absolutely some of the best food I have ever eaten,” Caroline tells us. “Chef Amy at the Henderson was wonderful and went above and beyond to meet our expectations.”
After dinner, the four-layer cake was cut, the newlyweds shared a first dance to “Die a Happy Man” by Rhett Tucker, and the reception kicked off with a daddy-daughter dance to “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond, which brought everyone to the dance floor.
Jay and Caroline are heading to Jamaica in August for their honeymoon. We wish them safe travels and a lifetime of love!
- Venue: The Henderson Beach Resort & Spa
- Photography: Olivia Lott Photography
- Videography: Cali Hlavac with Silver Shade Studios
- Bride’s gown: Hayley Paige Decklyn Gown, from Tesori in Fayetteville, AR
- Hair: Pure and Couture
- Makeup: Morgan King Makeup
- Groom’s formalwear: Walker Brothers in Fayetteville, AR
- Flowers: Florals by the Sea
- Catering: The Henderson Beach Resort & Spa, Catering Manager Kathryn Lynch
- Music: Norris Dates and the Power Surge
- Cake: Bake My Day
- Guest accommodations: The Henderson Beach Resort & Spa
- Wedding Planner: Jamie Cooper McDowell with Fancy (“A true dream,” in the words of Caroline!)
See more stunning Southern weddings in our archives!