A San Diego Soirée
Tell us your love story!
In the Spring of 2009, we met randomly at a Women's Center function at Western Washington University (WWU), but it wasn't until Fall 2009 that we saw each other again and began our rather unexpected (and amazing!) journey together. Rebekah had just started graduate school, and Shawna was in her senior year of college. Before the school year started, we ran into each other in the Student Union where Shawna commented that she liked Rebekah’s shirt and Rebekah instantly felt those butterflies everyone talks about. At a fall-welcome event on campus they struck up a conversation about their love for trashy television. Shawna mentioned that she wished she had Showtime and Rebekah quickly piped up that she had Showtime, and Shawna should come over and watch it. (When in reality Rebekah had just canceled her Showtime earlier that morning and after talking to Shawna immediately called the cable company to reorder it.) Later that same night, through mutual friends, Rebekah formulated a plan to meet Shawna out at 80's Night. After dancing their hearts out to Michael Jackson's P.Y.T., Rebekah asked Shawna if she wanted to get coffee, to which she responded, "I don't drink coffee... but I drink hot chocolate!" And the rest is history. Rebekah wooed Shawna with a combination of homemade pizza and newly learned cribbage skills, and they started on an adventure of a lifetime.
What about the proposal?
Though we knew we wanted to spend our lives together, Rebekah was adamant that they would not have a wedding until they could legally be married. WELL- Prop 8 (the anti-gay marriage bill in California) and DOMA (the federal Defense Against Marriage Act) were both overturned by the Supreme Court on June 26, 2013, and Rebekah couldn’t wait to propose. Our Proposal, Written by Shawna: I always told Rebekah that I didn't know if I wanted to get married. But secretly, I did. I just had some prerequisites. I told her that I needed to graduate from graduate school and get a job, then I told her I wouldn't get married until my home state recognized same-sex marriage. Turns out all of these things happened in 2014. So I was prepared for the proposal, in some ways more than others. Every small trip we took, every event, every holiday I was on the lookout. I had it all planned out in my head and told Rebekah exactly what I wanted it to be like. Turns out, I was wrong. We planned a park day for Saturday, December 14th- reading at the park and hanging out all day. On Saturday morning we woke up very early (unusual for me) and we decided to watch one of our favorite movies "White Christmas" (the movie we watched when we first said “I love you” 4 years earlier) and prepared to go to the park. Rebekah told me to look nice and prepared our bag. Finally, we made it to the park, walked around, and finally agreed on where to lay our blanket down and have our little picnic. After a bit, we started talking about our friends who recently got engaged. In the middle of our conversation I interrupted Rebekah and asked what was taking her so long to propose- actually I think I said, “so what’s your deal?” Rebekah said something along the lines that rings take time, etc. and not to worry. Though disappointed, I accepted her answer and went back to reading my book. Only a few moments later, Rebekah told me that before I got too upset, she had a gift for me and handed me a present. Pleasantly surprised, I opened it and it was "The Hobbit"; right when I turned to tell Rebekah "thanks, but you know that I own this book, right?" Rebekah was on her knee holding a red ring box and asked me to join her in an adventure of a lifetime and marry her. Or at least I think she did, by then, I, the person who said I would never get married, was crying so loud that I couldn't hear anything. So after saying a few choice words (apologies to the children playing soccer nearby) of surprise, I said yes. In the middle of the park we proceeded to call our many family members and friends. We got some pretty good reactions from them, especially Ruth Hook who cried immediately and said that she wanted the same ring :) I called all my bridesmaids and asked them to be part of my bridal party in the most Shawna way ever, awkwardly and hilariously. Love you all!
When did you know that you were meant to be with each other?
Life kind of just led us in that direction. There was not an “ah-ha” moment, just many years of laughter and love.
Going into the wedding planning, what did you definitely know?
We definitely knew we would be planning our wedding ourselves, and by that we mean Rebekah was going to be planning it. Family is really important to us, so that was a major part. Rebekah’s brother was the officiant, and we made a point to invite as much family as we could. We definitely knew we wanted to get married by the water, but not at the beach. We definitely knew we wanted an “out of this world” photographer. And Rebekah definitely knew she wanted a custom, show-stopping, suit.
What surprised you during planning?
The hardest part was the guest list/wedding budget dance. We both have large families, and ideally we would have invited everyone, but 85% of the wedding guest were coming from out of town and it was really hard to know just how many people would make the trip. We didn’t have the largest budget, so we were very worried about our headcount. The easiest part was finding great vendors. We got great recommendations, and knew some folks, and in the end our entire team was amazing. We would recommend every single one of our venders.
Is there anything you wish you knew while you were planning your wedding that you know now?
We wish we would have known just how many people would end up attending. We would have been able to invite/include more extended family, if we would have known the numbers better. But, because our budget was definitely below the average for San Diego, we couldn’t simply invite everyone, and hope many of them wouldn’t attend.
Any advice for couples planning weddings now?
·Have a major role in creating your ceremony. This was VERY important to us, and we spent a lot of time writing and editing our ceremony text. We wanted to have our ceremony mean something to us and to our guests. Every word Rebekah’s brother/our officiant said had profound meaning to us. We got so many compliments on how amazing our ceremony was; which was really nice to hear since that was why we all were there in the first place.
·Find the money for a videographer. It was advice we got late in the planning, and it was the BEST decision we made. We are so happy we did it, and can’t imagine not having that. (It can be found here)
·Serve food that you like to eat. We decided on Mexican food because the majority of people were from out of town, and we knew it would be a hit. Plus, San Diego has many amazing Mexican food caterers to choose from.
·Plan to spend time with your guests before and after the wedding day. We held a “Welcome Reception” in lieu of a Rehearsal Dinner. Everyone was invited, and it was a great way to see people and get the party started! We also didn’t leave for our honeymoon the next day. We stayed at the hotel everyone was at, had breakfast the next day with everyone, and just relaxed all together. We really wanted our guest to know how much it meant to us that they made the trip to celebrate us.
What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
Our favorite part was feeling all of the love and support from our family and friends. It was probably the one time in our lives when that many people will be in the same place, sharing in such a joyous day with us. It was overwhelming and something we will never forget.
- Photography By La Vida Creations Photography
- DJ By JMC Events
- Har & Makeup By The Hair & Makeup Box
- Florals By Feather Acres Nursery
- Bow Ties By Macy's
- Socks By J. Crew
- Custom Suiting By Requisite Clothing
- Dress By Dahlia Bridal Boutique
- Accessories By Lottie Da Designs
- Pre-Ceremony Site By Sheraton, Harbor Island
- Officiant By Rebekah's Brother
- Cakes & Dessert Table By Michelle Fricke
- Catering By Casa De Mexico
- Paper Goods By Eileen Happer