Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Steve Blanchard and Jay Dilley

By : Jeremy Williams
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It’s a tale as old as time, in the digital age, for this Disney-loving dynamic duo.

Steve and Jay first connected like many do these days, through a dating app. A relationship can’t be sustained through a data plan, so after chatting for a bit they agreed to meet.

“The funny thing is Steve was the first person I’d gone on a date with in the last 12 years,” Jay says. “We went on our first date right after Christmas in 2015. My New Year’s resolution was that I was going to put myself out there.”

The two had their first date at First Chance Last Chance Bar & Courtyard in Tampa.

“When we met it was kind of cool outside and I remember how adorable he looked,” Steve says. “I laughed through the entire date, the entire time there were no awkward silences.”

Jay says the date was amazing but admits he was “weird about dating at first,” something Steve agrees with.

“In the beginning he would never say we were dating, he would just say we are hanging out,” Steve recalls.

That same wonderful weirdness carried over to the first time Jay told Steve he loved him. While staying together in Orlando for one of Jay’s dance competitions and walking through the hotel lobby, Jay looked at Steve and just said it, “I love you.”

“Then he literally tucked and rolled away on the floor like he was embarrassed that he had said it so suddenly,” Steve says. “It was hilarious and weird. I had said something stupid and he was like, ‘God I love you’ and then turned pale and tuck and rolled.”

Steve didn’t say it back immediately; he waited until later that night, but he knew he loved Jay even before the infamous tuck and roll.

“We were having a day in the pool,” Steve says. “The two of us hanging out in the backyard and there was this moment where he was sitting on the edge of the pool and I thought, ‘this is exactly what I want.’”

Steve knew he wanted to marry Jay, and planned to ask him to be his husband around Christmas 2016.

“I had already ordered the ring and everything but Jay beat me to the punch,” he says.

Jay had it all planned out and knew the perfect place to do it at.

“We go to Disney a lot because we both love it. What better place to do it?” Jay says.

Jay took Steve to Disney’s Fort Wilderness and went for a walk.

“There was this overlook there so we stopped,” Jay says. “Steve was talking and looking out. I said to him, ‘I love you,’ and he turns around and I’m on one knee.”

At first they thought a rustic wedding, similar to the setting of their engagement, would be beautiful, but then decided to go for more of a “wedding experience” instead.

“Our first vacation together was to the Bahamas, so the wedding is a two-day cruise back to the Bahamas with our closest friends,” Steve says.

Jay can’t believe how lucky he is to have met his prince.

“All my life I have always said if I got married it would be to a big ol’ ginger with blue eyes and now I’m marrying a big ol’ ginger with blue eyes,” he says.

Engagement Date: Nov. 25, 2016

Wedding Date: Jan. 4, 2018

Venue: Bahama Paradise Cruise Ship

Caterer: Admiral’s Club by Star Restaurant

Colors: Midnight blue, Belle yellow and stormy gray

Wedding Song: “Beauty and the Beast” for the ceremony, “Good Morning Beautiful” by Steve Holy for first dance

Photographer: Bruce Hardin

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