An Arizona Affair
Tell us your love story!
Daniel and I met how most nerds meet nowadays, on the internet.
We are both from Tucson, but spent over twenty years here without running into one another. My first impressions of Daniel were that he was handsome, sweet, and down-to-earth.
Daniel: My first impressions of Tomas were that he was cheerful and intelligent, and also that he loved his friends and family deeply.
What about the proposal?
We dated for a year and a half before getting quickly and unexpectedly engaged in a San Diego Airbnb. Daniel technically asked first, but we really exchanged proposals. Marriage is a partnership, and we wanted to start with that mutual energy. Our Airbnb host was over the moon to discover we became engaged in his house. His first guests!
When did you know that you were meant to be with each other?
Tomas: Days with Daniel were better than days without him, and looking toward the future, I knew I wanted to face things—good or bad—together. I enjoyed getting engaged fairly spontaneously because it underscored that things were beyond our control. Love found us and we acted accordingly.
Daniel: I knew we were meant for each other when I recognized that we could love one another even at our most vulnerable and irrational low-points. I saw that we were good for each other in a way that didn’t hide our own faults, even the ones that we share. I didn’t know what I wanted or needed until I already had it, and when that became apparent I knew that I never wanted to lose it.
Going into the wedding planning, what did you definitely know?
Tomas: For me, it was important to choose somewhere local because we’re both from Tucson and most of our family lives here or in Phoenix. Other key factors included affordability and overall appearance.
Daniel: We knew that we wanted to write our own vows, have a large-ish (100-150 person) wedding, and that we would rather wear suits than tuxedos. We made so many changes over the course of planning that I’m glad we weren’t committed to many particulars.
What surprised you during planning? What was easy, what was difficult?
Tomas: The difficult part was keeping up with the stages of the planning process. Save-the-dates, invitations, tracking RSVP’s, meeting with vendors—different deadlines continued to creep up, and it seemed like every week there was something new to start.
Luckily, our venue the Z Mansion worked to keep things simple. Besides meeting all of our requirements, the Z Mansion helped to walk us through the process until the day of the ceremony. It was also a huge relief to have help setting up and taking down decorations. This helped avoid stress on the day itself and kept things running smoothly.
Daniel: I was surprised by how much everyone, family and friends from both sides, wanted to be a part of everything and help make the wedding a success. I wasn’t prepared for how many little decisions there were to make, but thanks to our incredible venue it was easy to get packages with their preferred vendors and get those settled way more painlessly than I would have guessed.
Is there anything you wish you knew while you were planning your wedding that you know now?
Tomas: There is no perfect place to start. Different sources tell you different things and it’s important to do what feels right for yourself and your partner. One site will tell you to start with a color-scheme while others say to start with your venue or a central theme. I know now to look around and see what inspires you and makes you feel good. Then grow from that and schedule checkpoints to stay on track.
Daniel: That I wouldn’t even notice most of the little details myself during the actual event. It’s enough that everything is good enough for the guests to have a good time while you’re busy with the whole whirlwind experience of the wedding in motion. We lost our playlist for the reception and let the DJ wing it and take requests, and the dance floor was only more awesome because of it. Also, we should have stocked more tequila for the prickly pear margaritas.
Any advice for couples planning weddings now? Anything you would have done differently or anything you’d like to add?
Tomas: Once you set a date with a venue, map out the whole planning process with checkpoints to get a realistic look at what you’re in for. Don’t be afraid to delegate; there are way too many moving pieces to try to control every detail.
Daniel: The more guests you have, the more time you’re going to spend trying to get around to all of your guests before they leave and the less time you’re going to have to yourselves at the reception.
What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
Tomas: It’s easy to get caught up in things during the day’s excitement and forget to feed yourself—so eating dinner! Then dancing and talking with family.
Daniel: The last third of the reception, when we could just relax and enjoy the party.