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Home2019-02-12T08:30:05-04:00

Ms. Jennifer Gayle Anders
&
Mr. Mark Derrick Hermansdorfer

have the honour of inviting you to their wedding on
11. 26. 2017 at 10:00am
at Celebration Gardens in Winter Park, Fla.

Welcome!
We created this site for our wedding in order to better provide all of our friends and family with details about our wedding, later this year. Below you will find thorough information on the venue where the ceremony and reception will be held, travel accommodations (if needed), a map and a full schedule of the wedding. You can also view our engagement photos below and learn a little bit more about our story.

In addition to standard information, we have also taken the time to address some common questions in regards to food, gifts, dress code and more. We would like to make things as easy as possible, so please feel free to RSVP via the form below if “snail mail” isn’t your style. Maintaining our trend of “keeping things easy,” after the wedding, we will be posting all of our pictures that our photographer takes here. We will also provide links to high-resolution versions of the photos so that you can easily download and print if you would like to.

Be sure to check back often as we will be continuing to make updates throughout the year. You can even sign up for our mailing list below and we will email you when an update has been made.

Finally, we would like to offer a sincere “Thank You” to all of our friends and family for your love and support. We look forward to seeing you in November!

MORE DETAILS   |   RSVP NOW

The Venue

Jen found Celebration Gardens by happenstance, taking a back road home from work one day.

Celebration Gardens offers a charming, intimate location with lovely flowers and lush greenery all year round. We knew we wanted to have our ceremony and reception in the same location, and the enchanting gardens made a strong impression on us. Even when we toured the gardens in November, butterflies fluttered across the pleasant landscaping. We knew right away it was the venue for us, and we hope you find it as delightful as we do.

Bagels, Lambs and Butterflies
(Our Story)

Both of us always mention how “gross” we are together. It is only because our story is so amazingly sweet that is practically disgusting. Honestly. When you’re done reading this section, check your teeth for cavities.

NOT EVERYONE ONLINE IS A CREEPER

[J: ] Connecting with Derrick was a total fluke. I had been home sick and I had been passing time checking out my matches on Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB). [D: CMB was simple: put up a profile, answer some questions and each day the app would match you with one person, that you could vote yes or no to, and if you both said yes then it would recommend you get in touch. No pressure.] Anyway, Derrick was pretty much the first person I reached out to after he and I both apparently said “Yes” to the other. He mentioned in his profile that he had just “Skied his first black diamond,” and I had no idea what that meant. Honestly, I thought his profile was engaging, we seemed to have a lot in common and–his eyes (amiright?). So, in my most impressive and eloquent manner, I asked him what it meant to ski a black diamond. Eventually, he wrote me back in response and then we just…never stopped talking. I think we were probably up until 3am the first time we connected, just talking about–well–everything. History, games, books, life and we just kept talking. We haven’t really stopped since. [D: Everything that followed from there was magic, and it happened fast.]

OUR FIRST, IMPROMPTU MEETING – GETTING HAMMERED

[D: ] It was a Friday afternoon and we had been chatting back and forth for 4 or 5 days. Jen was everything I could imagine wanting in a person, but she was still some person I only “knew” online. I wanted to meet her in person, but neither of us had offered up a date or location where this might happen. Then, almost as if she were throwing it out as a dare more than an offer [J: It was absolutely a dare], she mentioned that she was leaving work (at that time about 4:30-5) and would be heading to her favorite bar, for a drink and to read a book. She said I could meet her there, and when I didn’t respond immediately she said something to me about possibly having been too forward. I asked her for the address and set off in my car…driving the long way down state road 50, rather than the smart way through Winter Park (I was ignorant). She told me I’d recognize her by her red jacket, and despite the bar not being overly large, the open air seating and nearby tables were filled to the brim. I spotted a bright red jacket, saw the book and went to say, hello. We talked a little bit about everything that night, somewhere along the way, around 9-10pm, we left and drove to Park street in Winter Park (the same place I would later propose) and walked around until after midnight. It didn’t feel like more than 7 hours had passed, but time had flown, and that was a sensation that I’d become very familiar with in the days to come.

WE FELL IN LOVE AND STARTED KISSING (GROSS!)

[D: ] Jen was amazing and life had never seemed better. We had been out to Hammered Lamb at least 4-5 times in a 5-10 day period, meeting to talk and get to know each other. She had even printed out all 200+ pages [J: it’s closer to 300 pages] of my home project PDF and brought it one night to go over it with me, on how it was formatted (I knew before this that she was the woman for me, but this really cinched it). We had seen each other almost every single day since we met, and I wanted to go someplace new with her. I suggested going to Stardust coffee shop after work, she agreed happily and I made plans. As I drove by the shop I saw that it was home to some sort of hippie craft fair convention, what a disaster! I called her up to tell her and we decided to meet somewhere else. I wracked my brain for somewhere worth going, somewhere we could sit down and have more of this amazing conversation. Then it hit me, Fiddler’s Green. I had been there twice in the past month with my friends Jack and Will, and it would be quiet on a week night. The idea seemed even better when I shared it with her and she told me it was one of her favorite spots (ringer). After hours of talking, some embarrassing questions, and what must have been at least 2 orders of Jameson (for me) [J: I’m pretty sure there was a Magners in there somewhere], we got up to leave. We hadn’t kissed yet and looking at her just outside the doors, her hair tumbling just slightly in the evening breeze, I decided that was going to change. It wasn’t an overly long kiss, but it was the most satisfying kiss that I had ever been a part of. It was less than two weeks after this, after asking my roommate a “Do you think I’m crazy,” question, wondering if it would be a good idea to tell Jen that I loved her. I even made a list up to show her the pros and cons of spilling the beans, and what it might mean for both of us (she totally dug the list btw). [J: He showed it to me much later. I dug it. 100%] Everything was going so fast, and I am sure from the outside we both looked crazy, but it felt right for us and it still does.

WE BECAME A FAMILY (AWW)

[D: ] It was Saturday, February 13th, 29 days since Jen and I had met face to face for the first time, and it was a hugely important day for us both. I had already met her parents (we had dinner, Jen made flank steak kebabs) and watched “True Facts About…,” youtube videos at the table on her phone. [J: Much to my mother’s dismay, we did not use the “good china.” Sorry, Mom!] I knew about Jen’s girls, Rosalie and Delessi, but we hadn’t yet met. Their 6th birthday was coming up, March 2nd, and she wanted me to meet them before that. We were going to go out to the county fair, but on Friday, February 12th she asked me instead if I wouldn’t rather meet them and go out for brunch on Saturday. We all met up at First Watch at the edge of Winter Park, and I met the girls and their love of breakfast foods (something we all happily share). They looked so alike, how would I EVER tell them apart?? That ended up not taking more than a week, actually. Brunch turned in to driving around together around Winter Park and on a lark I suggested we check out Leu Gardens because it would be a nice spot to walk around with the girls. It was a great idea because they had an event going on with huge wicker insects set up around the gardens and a little handout for children to carry around and mark which insects they could find. It was such a nice day out, but what I remember is the girls constantly, constantly, getting ahead of Jen and I and having to be called back to us. They were so excited, so full of energy. Would I be able to handle that? Would I want to? Yes (hopefully) and definitely (double definitely)! After Leu Gardens we drove around, before going back to their house and watching a movie together. I already knew that I loved Jen (I had told her back on Feb 8th), but now I knew that I loved her family, and wanted to be a part of it. This began the planning phase, which would stretch itself out from February to November, on when and how to best propose to Jen and lock down this amazing woman for myself (before someone else got her!).

A SERENDIPITOUS SET-UP

[D: ] It was early October and it seemed like forever since I’d decided I was going to marry Jen. When was too soon? Did I care about what other people might think (no)? What sort of ring would I get her, where would I get it, how would I propose? I’m not a man obsessed with romance but I understand the importance of creating lasting memories, some dates should be special and drip with that sort of warm gooey feeling that you will always look back at with fondness. It was mid-October and I mentioned this to my coworker and friend, Julie. She told me that she knew a woman that owned a local jewelry shop and I could check it out (and drop her name), and they would treat me right. This turned out to be truer than I could have guessed. I called ahead and after work on October 19th, I went into the Bay Hill Jewelry shop to meet a woman named Doreen, about a ring. She was extremely pleasant, we talked and determined what I wanted was an emerald. Neither Jen or I like diamonds, and I know way too much about the diamond trade and pricing practices to ever buy another such stone.

[D: ] It was two visits later, only 1 week, and I was back at the store (also in downtown Winter Park) to pick up the custom made, emerald ring, that I hoped would soon adorn Jen’s ring finger. Originally I had planned on proposing after Thanksgiving, but once I got the ring in hand it burned a hole in my metaphorical pocket and by that Saturday I had planned out what I would do. Jen and I had been talking about taking the girls to downtown Winter Park on a Saturday since we had met. It’s so pleasant and relaxed, often there are art exhibits going on and on Saturday mornings there is a local farmer’s market. I mentioned it casually to her, that the girls would probably love to go, and that we should go, and that everyone cool would be there, and yes lets go (super casual). She suspected nothing. We arrived around 9:30 and toured the market, picking up delicious gluteny breakfast for the girls, some Aloe Orange Juice (try some!) and got a huge bag of the kettle corn that they make at a stand there (it is delicious). We all sat down in the rose garden on Park street and the girls roamed, restlessly, around the park (eventually receiving a cut from a rose bush, which they had been warned not to get too close to). Jen got up to go get a drink, and when she came back I had the ring in my pocket, ready to go. As she sat back down I noticed that suddenly, the rose garden seemed filled with butterflies, and, what is that, but a local musician on the corner began to play his violin. The moment was perfect, God was giving me the thumbs up, and in what felt like the longest seconds of my life, I raised myself up off the bench, got down on one knee and asked Jen, “Will you be my person, forever?”

[J: ] Honestly, Derrick’s proposal caught me completely by surprise. I remember Derrick asking me earlier in the week if we had plans that Saturday. We did, but they weren’t until later in the day so he suggested taking the girls to the Farmer’s Market in Winter Park in the morning. I said it would be a great idea (we had been talking about taking the girls there for a while). So we went. It was a fantastic morning. The day was nice, the girls were having a great time, we got breakfast… It was just a really great morning. Later, Derrick suggested that we walk through the park on our way back to the car. I agreed–it was on the way and we enjoy the rose garden and the girls love running around. Besides, I had tamales from the Tamale Co. truck and I wanted to sit. So we went to the rose garden and relaxed for a little while. It was beautiful. The girls were running around playing, we had grapes and kettle corn… I realized I’d forgotten to get a drink, so I ran back to the truck–I mean, “I walked back.” (Jen doesn’t run, we know this.) When I came back, a street violinist was playing a bench or so over from us and there were several butterflies floating around near by. It was just the perfect day. I realized what time it was, though, and I mentioned to Derrick that we needed to go or we would be late. I remember him saying, “Slow down. Let’s just sit and enjoy this for a little bit.” I sat back down to relax. We sat for a little while longer and eventually I saw Derrick slide down onto the ground. At first, I thought he dropped something or was hurt, but then he looked up at me and held out a ring. I don’t remember anything he said. I just remember staring at him and asking him if he was serious–completely unable to ascertain if this actually happening or if I suddenly wasn’t in “real life” anymore. It wasn’t until I heard Rose’s loud shout of, “YES! DOOO IT!” that I remember snapping out of it. I’m not sure if I was crying before, but I was aware that I was crying at that point and shaking my head yes. I realized then that the girls were with us and they were hugging us and pushing us together and we were all laughing and crying (although I think I was the only one actually shaking due to the adrenaline). Afterwards, I thought about the violinist, the butterflies, the roses, the market and I asked Derrick, “Really?” In utter amazement. He just answered, “I know, right?” [D: It had all gone so smoothly, more perfect than I could have planned for. I knew that God had wanted it to go well, and I know he has great things in store for our family.]

“As cliche as it sounds, I found my best friend and my soul mate in Jen. As hard as I tried, for many years I just could not let go and truly allow my life to play out in the way God planned for me. It seems that as soon as I did, he brought the one woman (and two girls) to me that would change everything. The wedding isn’t until November, but we are already the family I’ve always hoped for.”

M Derrick Hermansdorfer • GROOM
“I thank God that I am fortunate enough to spend the rest of my life with my person, the one who He crafted for me and whom I was crafted for. Our family was made complete the moment you came into our lives. Nothing could have prepared me for this plan, but I’m so glad that it wasn’t mine. This is way better than anything I could have dreamed.”
Jen G Anders • BRIDE

Stay Updated

Here we will be sharing news and updates in regards to our wedding, much like a blog. We will post some pictures, progress as we continue planning, and any new information in regards to the process.

10:00am – Ceremony

January 19th, 2017|Wedding|

Our short wedding ceremony will be starting promptly at 10:00am. We ask that everyone arrive between 9:30am and 9:45am so that they have time to arrive, park, find their seats and get comfortable. We also [...]

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Q & A

We sat down and thought about some common questions that may or may not pop up, and decided to proactively answer them. If we still haven’t thought of all the answers, feel free to shoot us an email at hello@jenandderrick2017.com (or…y’know…call us).

What we want most for our wedding is to have all of our friends and family together. More than anything, we consider your presence at our wedding to be our present. That said, if you really would like to get us something tangible, we have set up a “House Fund” on Zola as we take steps into preparing for our (hopefully) growing family. If you would like to contribute to it in lieu of buying a traditional gift, we would be very grateful.

Zola Logo
Jen & Derrick – Zola Registry

Attire for the wedding should be kept semi-formal.
As for dressing for the climate, good luck! It’s Florida so it may be warm, or because it is November it might actually get chilly. Who knows? We’ve given up trying to figure it out.

We are doing a buffet-style brunch that will offer vegetarian options, so help yourself!

If we indicated a “plus-one” or your significant other on your formal invitation, then absolutely!

We will have music, but no formal dance space or DJ. However, if you feel the urge to “get down” (I mean–bottomless mimosas, amiright?) don’t let us stop you!

Cameras, iPhones, Androids (all the things) can come out during the reception.

9:30 am. We will be starting the ceremony promptly at 10:00 am.

There is a large parking lot right next to the venue that is available. Someone will be out front to direct you accordingly.

Yes. (Finger-guns!)

There will be bacon and there will be waffles. Which are basically pancakes, but with abs.

STAY UPDATED

Although our wedding has long since passed, we still appreciate your interest. Instead of RSVPing to an expired event, please take the time to sign up to our mailing list, as we continue to update our blog and add pictures of milestones in our life together. Thank you!