On Monday, February 15th 2021 at roughly 9:20 a.m. on 107.5 The Jared and Katie in the morning show, we will be announcing the 4th place winner first. Then the 3rd place winner.... Then the 1st place winner!
Because the 2021 Bella Collina Experience was so BIG, we have decided that every couple will win something!!!! All of their stories are absolutely amazing! We commend each couple for sharing with us and the public, it takes a lot of courage. Because of this, we have decided that the following will happen:
4th place will receive either 1/2 off our Sapphire Package or a Micro Wedding for FREE!
3rd place will receive either 1/2 off our Sapphire Package or a Micro Wedding for FREE!
2nd place will receive either 1/2 off our Sapphire Package or a Micro Wedding for FREE!
1st place will will the GRAND PRIZE!
We're just giving it all away, because THEY deserve it!
Please tune in to 107.5 KZL Jared and Katie in the morning to listen live at roughly 9:20 a.m.
Our couples stories are listed below.
Thank you to Brian Anthony Photography and Ever After Videography for capturing images and footage during this experience so far.
Thank you to everyone who voted. Family, friends, networks, radio stations, news papers, television, bloggers, and so many more that helped us reach 1,330,030 votes in total!!!! That is One Million, Three Hundred Thirty Thousand and Thirty Votes!!!!!
Dear Bella Collina Staff,
My name is Deanna Sola and my fiancé’s name is Lance Doss. Mine and my fiancé’s story is one full of growth and love and is one that I am incredibly proud to be able to share with you today.
Lance and I began dating in May of 2014, at seventeen years old as juniors in high school. Our story is much like other high school sweethearts… we had mutual friends and always seemed to end up at the same social gatherings. As months went on and we began hanging out and talking more, our relationship began to evolve from a mere friendship to something more, to eventually where we are at today. Lance asked me to be his girlfriend at our junior prom and then to be his wife this past summer in front of both of our families.
We have grown up so much together over the years. Lance and I have stood by each other’s side through all of life’s events such as high school graduation, college, first jobs and everything in-between! We have never once questioned our commitment and love for each other, and never once has our relationship wavered. It has only grown stronger through all of life’s changes and continues to evolve into a partnership that will stand the test of time.
Lance and I are now about to go on life’s greatest adventure together. And I am not just talking about getting married in the upcoming months. Lance and I are currently in the process of adopting a child, the sweetest boy who has absolutely stolen our hearts and who has made us a family. He came into our lives unexpectedly but has surely changed it for the best. We first met him in 2018 when he came to my parents through the foster care program. From the moment I met him I knew he was special. But the moment he and Lance met, it was magical.
He and Lance bonded right away. It was crazy to see two people who had never met each other connect so effortlessly. He would follow Lance around and want to do everything just like him. Lance was going to make a great father one day. Little did we know, that day would come sooner rather than later. At the beginning of 2020 we were told that his case was moving to adoption. After two years of knowing him through the foster process, Lance and I knew right away that he belonged with us and that we were meant to be a family.
Lance and I have always known we would get married, we had just never put a timeline to it… but now there is a timeline to make sure that we could provide the best life for our soon to be son. We had to act quickly to make our family complete. We needed to get licensed as foster parents ourselves, move out of our parents’ homes and into our home of our own and get married to legally adopt him together.
Without hesitation, Lance and I began our ten-week classes to become foster parents and purchased our first home in March of 2020. Our first home, like our relationship, is built with hard work and love. We completely gutted and remodeled our house to make it a home for our family. Our favorite room to put together was of course, his, with his blue walls and Jeep bed. It was such a big milestone in life, and again, one that I could not imagine experiencing with anyone other than Lance.
In August, Lance proposed to me surrounded by our families and our soon to be son. It was everything I had been hoping for for the past six and a half years, and made even sweeter by having our soon to be son join us in our moment of celebration. It was the perfect start to our life as a family. Shortly after our engagement, our foster care license was approved by the state and we officially became foster parents. Our soon to be son then began his transition period with us and now he lives with us full time as we continue with process of his adoption!
The last, and final step of solidifying our status as a legal family is the wedding. This year has been a very expensive year for Lance and I. To be honest, I didn’t even expect a wedding to happen. All of our energy and financial resources has been put towards providing the best life for our soon to be son, and we thought we would just get married at town hall. But our story is one that has involved all of our family and friends, and as time went on, we realized that we wanted to celebrate our family with those who have supported us throughout this entire journey. The timing of the Bella Collina giveaway has been the blessing we did not expect, and one that we hope we are considered for.
Ever since I can remember I have had my sight set on Bella Collina. I always knew I wanted to celebrate our love and marriage with our family and friends at this venue. My family has a boat and every time we are out on the lake, I would tell my dad to go drive by Bella Collina. As we would drive by, I would always envision my big day there.
Being able to get married at Bella Collina with our soon to be son and our family and friends who have supported our journey, without the financial stress, would mean the world to us. Lance and I are so excited to marry each other and begin our lives as husband and wife. We are also excited to begin our lives as a family of three with our precious soon to be son. I can only hope that you all will consider us when you are choosing the recipients for this wedding. We appreciate your time reading our story and hope to hear from you soon. Thank you!
Jordana & Brandon
Their wedding night was remembered as one that was tragic, instead of the happily ever after we all seek! Throughout it all, hope continues to push them!
Our story is a story of loss, hope and love. We met in 2012, while Brandon’s career in the Army took him to the city of Tampa, Florida, where I had come back to the area two years prior, to collectively with my siblings take care of my mother, who was diagnosed with cancer. Sadly, not even 6 months after diagnosis, she passed away. Coping with my mother’s death translated into non-stop work, no self-love and sadness. After some time in the same dark cycle, I decided to create an online dating profile in hopes of finding someone that could bring joy back to my life. Not long after creating the profile, there was Brandon, asking me on a date to a mystery themed dinner. After reading his profile I said “no way, he is in the Army” - I had heard not great things from the arising concerns of PTSD and depression, and selfishly; I was the one needing uplifting. With some effort, he was able to charm his way in and finally I accepted to meet.
On March 24, 2012 we had our first date, a date that never ended because unknown to me, love at first sight did exist so he never left, well only for assignments related to the Army of course. Just what I had hope happened as he certainly brought joy and love to my life, I felt happy. About six months into the relationship, we found out I was pregnant, we were beyond happy and excited, our families were too. Then, suddenly around 14 weeks we lost the baby , a boy named Micah - no real explanation given from medical professionals, “sometimes these things just happen”, they said. Grieving was something I knew a lot about, but this time I did not feel alone, Brandon was there to comfort me and help us both move forward.
On December 31, 2012, right before countdown to a New Year, he proposed! Imagine my excitement, being that we were in my favorite town in Florida, St. Augustine, and of course I said yes. We set the wedding date of exactly a year after meeting, and in the same city we got engaged. A few weeks later, a POSITIVE sign! We were expecting again! Then the wedding date arrives, back to St. Augustine with only our closest family members and friends from Costa Rica, Iowa, Florida, Colorado. It rained that morning, but hey! That is good luck, right? No big deal, we were getting married so that is all it mattered. So here I go, walking down the aisle, everyone is looking at me in awe and all I can feel is fear, fear? Wait, why? Something felt wrong with the baby and I could feel I was bleeding, a feeling I knew too well from our first pregnancy. We got married yes, and I smiled yes. There was no party, just an intimate sit down at a nice restaurant. At this point, only Brandon knew I did not feel well.
You may ask why we did not just go to the hospital right away? The answer is we had been turned away from the hospital so many times in our first pregnancy because “bleeding can be normal”, so we pushed but still rushed through dinner. Immediately after, Brandon takes me to the St. Augustine hospital, and after a few tests we were informed, I was once again losing our baby, another boy, we named him Daniel, after Brandon’s dad. For whatever reason, the doctor did not feel equipped to perform many services for us and recommended somehow getting back to our doctor and home hospital in hopes of getting an emergency cerclage. Brandon had to improvise by getting an air mattress to fit the back seat of the car for me to lay in a specific way to not bleed out and drive me 3 hours back to Tampa. On top, he had to spend all evening and night lying about where he, my best friend Gaby and I were because we did not want to ruin their Florida vacation. No one knew what had happened until a month or so later. And yes, we lost our baby boy even after making it to Tampa. I was 15 weeks pregnant.
Although we understand this contest is more for couples that are not married yet, we would like to be considered since our current wedding memory is nothing but painful. Not the fairy tale beginning everyone deserves. We would love to look back and think of happier times, fun and laughter followed by a proper honeymoon. Not tears, a D&C procedure and sorrys from medical staff and then family. After much research, a transabdominal cerclage surgery and infertility treatments later, we had our son, Colin Duke Schmitt a beautiful boy in the spectrum of Autism who recently learned to say “Hi” so this experience, if we won, would be the ultimate celebration of love and life.
Nancy & Dylan!
Hello! My name is Dylan and I think we deserve this incredible opportunity because she deserves the world! We met in high school, I was a Sophomore and Nancy was a freshman. We first talked on the school bus during the ride home from tutoring. I was sitting in the seat in front of her and I had asked her if I could roll down the window. She said she was cold and I continued to roll it down anyway. She looked at me with a smirk. That was the first time I saw that amazing smile that continues to light up my life to this day. After days of getting to know each other, through phone and in person, I decided to shoot my shot! My heart was pounding out of my chest and my hands were sweaty. SHE SAID SHE WOULD DATE ME !! That feeling I got when she said yes was the best feeling I had ever felt up to that point. I decided in early January of 2013 I wanted to take her hand and have her by my side for the rest of my life. I bought a ring and on February 14th 2013 I proposed! She said YES! I felt like a KING!
I had a rough childhood growing up.
My biological mother struggled with drug addiction. When I was 2, my older brother and I got adopted by my Grandparents, who both passed away when I was young from cancer in 2004 and 2007. My uncle and aunt took me in when I was 13 years old and helped raise me.
Since I didn’t have any experience I struggled to find a job. As a result, I became homeless and lived in my car. My biological mother and I did not have any contact with each other. After leaving school one day she was waiting at my car. She was reaching out because she had found out I was sleeping in my car and suggested I come stay with her for awhile. I did not have the heart to tell Nancy about me being homeless. I moved into her small camper and after settling in, I invited Nancy over. One evening late, Nancy woke up abruptly; realizing the time had got away from us and she needed to be home, she woke me up. That's when I noticed my biological mother, who we could see at the table, doing drugs. I immediately got Nancy and we left that night. I took her home and I pulled in to the parking spot at Walmart and settled in. Thinking that I was at my lowest point in life, the woman I love the most said she was going to stay with me in the car.
I couldn't convince her to stay at her parents house, where she would have a warm bed to sleep in at night, three meals a day, and a hot shower. Instead she would lay across the backseat and put her head in my lap while we went to sleep every night in the Walmart parking lot. We would scrounge up enough change to purchase one McChicken and split it in half. Many days this was all we had to eat and I felt like a failure; the whole time I was thinking this woman deserves so much more than what I can provide.
One afternoon, I was inside of Walmart while Nancy overheard a man on the phone saying racial slurs. I was highly upset over the racial slurs coming from a guy working for Walmart. I walked back inside of Walmart and asked to speak to the store manager. He greeted me and we talked about the concerning issue Nancy and I had experienced and he gave us a $50 gift card. He also mentioned they were hiring for receiving. I immediately took the job that was being offered, hoping this would help us with a brighter future.
Over time the situation seemed more at ease and I was able to purchase meals, then finally a trailer. Fast forward to today she is still with me and I have started and advanced in a career that I love in Automotive mechanics. We have been trying to have a wedding and it has been very difficult to find a place within our budget. We still struggle sometimes, but I know I can always count on her to be there for me. She is content with any type of wedding, however she deserves the best because she has treated me like I’m the best. I will not leave her side no matter what and I know it’s the same for her. This is why I think we deserve the wedding, more her instead of me that deserves it, because she is my angel and my princess. Thank you so much for your time!
Raven & Phillip!
Phillip and I met for the first time in the summer of 2018 around midnight on a burglar alarm call at a local dry cleaner. We were initially coworkers and quickly developed a friendship. Soon after our friendship began, we started to develop feelings for one another. Now that we look back at it, we talk about how both of us knew that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives with each other instantly, but both of us were entirely too shy and stubborn to admit it at the time. In November of 2018, we started a relationship and it’s been history ever since then. It is so crazy to realize how true love works, how the right person brings out the best parts of you, and how the feeling of “just knowing” comes into play. Phillip proposed to me this past September at Carolina Beach and I instantly said YES! We have been through a lot together in the past two years to include the loss of Phillip’s stepdad and grandmother, the birth of our first child, and buying a house together in a crazy market. All of these things, whether they have been great or tragic experiences have brought us closer together. Every time that I think we can’t get any closer or can’t possibly love each other more than we do, something else happens and I am proved wrong as our love and relationship grows daily.
When I bring up work I bring up why I believe that we deserve this opportunity and blessing. Phillip and I are both active duty police officers with the City of Burlington Police Department. In today’s world and recent climate towards law enforcement, this job is way more difficult than it ever has been. Daily, we see things or do things at work that nobody should ever have to see or do, and then we come home and rely on each other to brave the storm and be each other’s therapists in a way. We rely on our love and the fact that we have each other forever to get through each day. Phillip and I both do the job because we love helping people and giving back. While we are talking about our workday, or stress debriefing I should say, we find ourselves talking about the good things in the day as well, the people that we got to help, the families that looked to us for answers, the kids that we interacted with and how we wish that those good days outnumbered the bad. Through the difficult times, we both stay in this job because we love helping the community and the good people within it. We endure extraordinary levels of high stress, little time with our families, getting called away when we are with our families for critical incidents and protests, and little pay to help a community and that is why I believe we are deserving of a break. This break would be for us to have the stress removed of having to find the extra money from our already small salaries to pay for the wedding that we both desire to celebrate our love and lifetime together without accruing further debt or taking money away from our child.
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