A Winery Wedding
Our story begins 8 ½ years ago with a spontaneous road trip my friend and I took to Austin, TX. We had decided last minute to join some friends for a birthday weekend celebration. One of the girls in the group mentioned that her friend was going to be meeting us since she had just moved to Austin from Houston. The first night we went out we really didn’t pay to much attention to each other. We both just hung out with our little group of friends. The next night, we all met up again. As the night went on, people were getting drunk and a bit feisty. One of Karla’s friends pointed at me and told me to stay close to Karla as she stepped outside to cool people off. Well, you don’t have to threaten me with a good time. Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE to dance, so of course I asked her to dance. That was honestly the best decision of my life. I’m pretty sure we dance the next 8 songs, non stop. I’ve heard people talk about love at first sight, well this was love at first dance. We spent the rest of the night flirting with each other. As it was time to leave, we dropped Karla off at her car and my nerves got the best of me. I was too chicken to ask her for her number. The whole way back home to Houston all I could do was talk to my friend about how hot she was and how I had blown it. I’m kind of surprised my friend didn’t pull over and push me out of the car with how much I was talking. As soon as I got back home I jumped on to myspace (yes, that’s how long ago it was!). I wasn’t even unpacked before I was looking her up and sending her a message. She messaged me back and we exchanged numbers. Our first phone conversation was 9 hours! I mean, who does that! We did the long distance thing for about 6 months before I moved up to Austin to be with her. Like all relationships, we've had our ups and downs. At one point Karla moved to Chicago, but that only lasted a couple months. I like to tell myself that she just missed me way too much not to be with me. She moved back to Houston and we have been inseparable ever since.
One day I randomly text Karla and told her we were going to go look at engagement rings on our next day off. She never replied to my text so I told her she had no choice and that if she didn’t go I would be mad at her. Our day off came around and we got in the car and then looked at each other. We laughed because we had never really thought about where we would go once the day came. We drove to Robbins Bros. and spent a few hours there looking around and getting ideas.
The people at Robbins Bros. are smart, they offer you water or a soda while you look, but as soon as you pick out a diamond or a ring to look at they offer the good stuff. I believe I had 4 glasses of wine while we were there. I had to calm the nerves. I ended up secretly buying what I thought was “the ring” that same day.
I got a call a few days later that her ring had come in and that it was ready to be picked up. No lie, as soon as I hung up the phone Karla asked me if I would be mad if the ring she had picked out was not the ring she wanted. Again, I had just gotten off the phone with the people from Robbins Bros. So I played it cool and we went back to Robbins Bros. to look at a different ring that Karla had really like. She decided THAT was the ring she liked, so the salesman says ok how do you want to pay. Now I’m not a violent person, but at that time I wanted to hurt someone, and that someone was not the salesman. I looked at Karla and ruined the surprise by asking what the return policy was because I had already purchased the first ring. Since she already knew I had the ring I told her that she was going to have to wait for a long time before I asked her to marry me, and I sure did make her wait! She waited 6 months!
Once I figured out how I was going to propose I got in contact with her cousin who is a photographer in Austin, TX. I told her that I had a weekend planned for Karla and I to go to Austin and that I was going to propose. We got details set up so that she would capture the proposal. I got in touch with some of Karla’s best friend and asked if they would join us in Austin to celebrate. Karla had no idea. I came up with a plan for her friend to “invite” us to a VIP wine party at Mount Bonnell that looks over Lake Austin. She fell for it and was excited to have wine at the top of the hill with the VIPs. If you know us, we are always running late, well not that day. We ended up beating the photographer to Mount Bonnell so I had to stall. I came up with every excuse not to get out of the car yet. Once I got the call that she was near Karla and I began our hike up the 102 (give or take) stairs to the viewing platform. Once we caught our breath it was time yet again to stall so that her cousin could set up her equipment. Now on the whole ride from Houston to Austin I practiced in my head what I was going to say. I had it down to a tee. The time came to actually propose and I froze. Karla says she looked over and the look on my face was as if someone had just shot my dog. I say she’s exaggerating, but who really knows! Her cousin was able to capture our proposal and those are pictures that still get me teary eyed to this day. We went to dinner right after where her friends surprised her as well. Best weekend of my life, or so I thought.
We started planning our wedding right away. After being together 8 years, why wait? We got engaged September 5th 2014 and started planning the wedding for April 2015. We did so much research. We lived on Pinterest. We visited venue after venue and called so many more that we didn’t visit. Both being in the restaurant industry we joked that we wouldn’t see each other until our wedding day as work and planning took over our lives. Being from Texas, where our marriage was not legally recognized, we were surprised that we only came across 2 venues out of about 20 that told us “no” or that “they don‘t do anything illegal“. We finally decided the Bernhardt Winery would be where we would have our ceremony. We couldn’t have picked a better location. We finally said “I Do” on April 25th, 2015. And that was the best weekend of my life.
If someone would have told me 8 ½ years ago that I would have met the woman that I was going to grow old with, I probably would have laughed. People are always so shocked when they ask how long we’ve been together. The saying “time flies when you’re having fun” is so true. There is no one I would rather have by my side than my wife. Being able to call Karla my wife makes my heart beat so much faster. This woman has made me who I am today. I mean, she did scoop me up when I was only 22. As we talk about having little ones, I look forward to many more years with my beautiful wife.