The couple went on several "non-dates" before their friendship blossomed into romance.
It started with a series of non-date dates.
Both Elizabeth Melendez Fisher and Brad Good said they weren’t looking for a relationship – they both had just been through a divorce.
However, they each had someone whispering in their ear about the other. A mutual friend, Greg, had been telling Elizabeth about Brad and his love for Chicago, New York and football — things close to Elizabeth’s heart, too.
At the same time, Greg was telling Brad about Elizabeth’s work as president and CEO of Selah Freedom. Brad says it only took a few minutes of watching her TEDx talk to realize she’s a brilliant, beautiful and dynamic woman.
The two met for dinner in August 2017 at Hyde Park Steakhouse. Conversation flowed, but Elizabeth said afterwards, “I wouldn’t call this a date, but it was nice to talk to you.” Brad asked if they could meet again.
They met again at Columbia and continued to “non-date” from there. They formed a friendship but soon their non-dates turned into real dates, all leading up to“the” date.
Elizabeth was ready for a break from philanthropic events at the end of season. But when Brad mentioned one more gala at the Dali Museum that he wanted to attend to support his mother, Elizabeth reluctantly agreed.
The two drove up to St. Petersburg June 15, 2018, for what Elizabeth thought was another event. Instead, they ended up at The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club. Once inside the lobby, they were given champagne and walked to the alcove. That’s when Brad handed Elizabeth a letter.
“He’s an amazing writer,” Elizabeth says.
After reading the letter, Brad got down on one knee.
Brad and Elizabeth set a date in December, but the more they planned, it began to feel like planning another Selah Freedom event. So they canceled.
A few months later, Elizabeth’s 94-year-old mentor, Bernice, called when she was ill and told Elizabeth stories about her late husband — how the best years of her life were with him. Bernice said life is too short to wait, and the two needed to marry soon.
On April 4, the couple’s closest friends and family, all from out of town, joined Brad and Elizabeth at the Lakewood Ranch Golf & Country Club for dinner, and they were married the next day.
Every dinner guest stood up to give the couple advice and share how they complement one another.
The following evening, Brad and Elizabeth were married at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens with around 40 guests. The two were glad they chose to be married with a smaller event, for it was more intimate, family-oriented and vulnerable.
Brad’s favorite moment was when Elizabeth was escorted down the aisle by her two sons. First, they made a humorous entrance to “Marry You” by Bruno Mars. Then it proceeded to Pachelbel’s “Canon in D.”
The music continued to be a highlight of the evening. The two share a deep connection with the song “God Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts, so Selah Freedom staff member Vanessa Morris sang it during the ceremony.
All three of Elizabeth’s kids played crucial parts in the wedding, and Brad didn’t want it any other way — he doesn’t have kids of his own.
“I always wanted children and a family,” Brad says. “They (Elizabeth and the kids) are a gift from God.”
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