We’ve talked about Coca-Cola themed weddings in the past here on Journey but this conversation is a bit more personal for me. I’m chatting with Erica Brooks who got married this past October, and as someone who is still in the middle of planning his own wedding (May 5th if you must know) Erica is exactly the source of information I’m looking for. She’s a veteran from my perspective; the experience of planning a wedding is still fresh for her and a daily concern for me.

“The things you worry about – that you think people are going to notice – are never what people actually respond to,” Erica confides to me. “People are just happy to have a good meal, good drinks and good songs to dance to.”

While all this is music to my ears, I keep having to remind myself that I’m not looking for wedding advice from Erica– though I’ll take all the tips I can get. I’m sitting down with Erica to find out more about how Coca-Cola played a role in bringing her and her husband Darryl together and how it helped them celebrate their big day.

”Everything beyond the food, drinks and tunes are really just for you and your family because people don’t pay attention to any of it,” Erica continues. “Except for our Coca-Cola cans, those were a huge hit! Guests were snapping them up from neighbouring tables, it was nuts how popular they were. By the end of the night we didn’t have any left.”

While personalized Coca-Cola can wedding favours certainly fit in with the fun, familiar vibe that she and Darryl had tried to cultivate for their wedding reception, she insists that it was definitely not the overall theme of the night. The reason Coca-Cola was an essential part of the evening was because it was an essential part of the date when they realized they were meant for each other.

“Well it’s kind of cheesy but I never get tired of sharing this story,” Erica begins. “We were still pretty early into our relationship, just dating and getting to know one another. We learned that we were both big baseball fans so we went out to catch a game together.”

When they arrived at the stadium, they noticed a Coca-Cola booth that had been set up to promote our 2014 Share a Coke campaign. Coca-Cola fans could line up at this booth and get their names printed onto cans right then and there. Erica and Darryl were both intrigued so they joined the line and waited to get their personalized cans as a souvenir of the day.

“We thought they were so cool so we took a picture together to show our cans off,” Erica shares. “I think that was the day we both realized that we had something special. We both knew we were going to be together. You could see it in our faces.”

Once they got engaged and started planning their wedding, Erica and Darryl knew they had to have Coca-Cola cans on the tables. When she shared the Coca-Cola can idea with family however, she was met with a mixed reaction.

“My mom was a little taken aback but I told her it meant something to us,” Erica tells me. “We still have those Coca-Cola cans at home. It’s part of our story.”

Before I let her go, I can’t help myself and ask for one piece of advice she’d give to a couple planning a wedding. Her answer is probably the worst kept secret of wedding planning and yet the one thing every couple struggles to remind themselves when it becomes their turn to start planning their own big day.

“Don’t sweat the small stuff,” Erica says with a laugh. “I know everybody says it but that’s because it’s so true! If you spend the night worrying about forks and centrepieces, you’ll miss out. The day goes by so quickly, make sure you enjoy every minute of it.”

If you have pictures or memories of how Coca-Cola played a role in one of your special moments, please share them with us here.