Shortly after the military relocated her family to the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, Rebecca Hardee fell in love with the warm, semi-tropical waters.
The beach was the perfect place for her and her husband, Mark, to officially celebrate their matrimony with a vow-renewal ceremony.
Rebecca, 24, did her research and discovered Tropical Beach Weddings, owned by Cecelia and Michael Cappella of Navarre. Though her initial hope was to have her wedding ceremony in Destin or Fort Walton Beach, Cappella easily changed Rebecca's mind.
"When we booked our wedding through her, she suggested we check out Navarre Beach," said Rebecca, who lives in Phoenix City, Ala. "And we did. It's a great, hidden gem that no one knows about. We loved it."
In March, Rebecca booked her beach-side service for June 21.
But when news of the April 20 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion hit mainstream media, Rebecca became concerned.
"We were a little worried, but just hoped that (the oil) wouldn't make it that far," she said.
Each week, Rebecca monitored local news outlets, as well as called Cecelia for updates on the status of Navarre Beach.
For more on this story, see the July 1 issue of the Navarre Press or subscribe online.