From The Bride…It was a Friday night in September of 2013. I was helping Paul pack for one of his usual business trips. But for some reason, this was a trip he didn’t want to make. He seemed real down and upset. Mind you, Paul is not one to show too much affection but tonight was different. He kept showering me with hugs and kisses. He just kept saying over and over “I really don’t want to leave.” In my mind, I felt so bad for him but at the same time thinking…”What is wrong with him? He is never like this. He travels all the time for work.” The next morning, he was up at 5 am even though he didn’t have to get up until 6am. But nonetheless, I slept until he was ready for me to take him to the airport. At 630am, we were out the door with luggage in tow. As I was closing the trunk to my car, Paul repeated how he didn’t want to leave me. I turned around and gave him a big hug as I reassured him that he would be home in a few days. At this point, he asked “In the meantime, would you hold on to something for me?” I thought…a pair of keys? But to my surprise, he pulls out a little black box and hands it to me. While choking back tears, he says “I already think of you as my wife but I wanted to make sure you knew how much I love you. Will you marry me?” So at 630 am in the dark, in front of the house, me in sweats (I didn’t even bother to brush my hair or teeth because I was going to crawl back into bed once I dropped him off)…we were engaged! It was one of the happiest moments in my life.
The first thing I did after getting engaged was to go wedding dress shopping. I went to so many different venues and tried on so many dresses and had no luck. Finally, my best friend and maid of honor, Heather, went with me to help me out. Again, I tried on so many dresses and ehhh. Heather asked if I had seen the dress on display at the front window. Of course I hadn’t. They say you will have a moment when you try on the dress that is the “one.” It is no lie. I walked out and looked in the mirror and knew that I found my wedding dress. My veil was handmade by my dear friend and sister, Kim Anh. And to finish off the dress, I made the belt. It was a perfect addition to the dress.
When it came to the wedding venue, we didn’t really look. Paul had a business dinner at The Stonehouse at San Ysidro Ranch and was really impressed. We eventually went there for Sunday brunch and I absolutely fell in love with the place. It was tucked away and was so romantic and just lovely. We knew we didn’t have to look any further. And the wedding and events team is exceptional. The next vendor on my list was a photographer. I happen to find Michael and Anna Costa Photography. After much research on them, I was just awestruck by the beauty and yet simplicity of their photography. I wanted someone who could make beautiful pictures out of candid moments. Just from my engagement pictures, I knew I found the perfect photographer in Michael Costa. He also has a very calming demeanor which made a huge difference on our wedding day. Since I found my photographer, I was on to what was next on my list…a wedding planner and florist. Erica Espana from Twine Events was an exceptional planner. She is always on top of things and made sure I was as well. It helps that she is also a stylist so the setup from the ceremony to the vignette to the reception room was so stunning.
Everyone kept telling me how important it was to have a planner on your wedding day. I didn’t realize how much until on our wedding day, I did not have to make a single decision. Erica just followed the timeline we put together and I never stressed about a single thing. Now onto my floral designer, Nina Kincaid from Coco Rose Design. She did an absolutely amazing job. The floral design was exactly what I wanted, simple yet so beautiful and romantic.
There were so many special moments on our wedding day that it is difficult to pick out one thing that stands out so I will share a few. When my photographer told me about the “first look” moment, I was a little hesitant about it because I didn’t want Paul to see me before the ceremony. But once we realized how romantic it was going to be, we decided to do it. Truly, I was so happy we did the first look. The first moment we see each other as bride and groom with no one there to distract us from the emotions we were feeling. It was truly special. When Paul asked me to marry him, he proposed with his late mother’s ring. I took the original setting and melted it down to make his wedding band. When we exchanged rings, we knew that each of us would have a part of her as a symbol of our vows. That was truly special. Once we got engaged, we decided to try to conceive asap. After much heartache and tears…we were finally blessed with wonderful news. We decided to keep it a secret until the wedding. My maid of honor had this great idea to make the announcement by putting a picture of infant shoes on a card facing inward on pink glitter baby champagne bottles that would be used as wedding favors. We would make the announcement at the reception by asking everyone to turn the card around. Well….before we made our grand entrance into the reception room, a friend came to us and told us that the cat was out of the bag. So when we finally made our grand entrance, everyone was screaming and shouting with joy for the wonderful news. That was truly special. Having all of our close family and friends be a part of our wedding day…truly special beyond words.