Tell us your love story!
A mutual friend introduced us 2 years before we became friends and although we lived 2 blocks from each other we never connected. Two years later we were both looking for a roommate and our mutual friend connected us again. Six months as roommates and we decided to go on a date.
What about the proposal?
Over the 3 years of dating, we had discussed marriage several times. During our first vacation to Paris, we bought rings together. The rings sat on the dresser for 6 months while we each secretly plotted the perfect engagement. Mike beat me in executing his proposal. He planned a long weekend trip to Whistler, BC with my best friend and his boyfriend. The four of us had a wonderfully intimate dinner in the Olympic Village then we bid adieu to our friends and the two of us walked back to our hotel in the crisp winter night air. Snuggled in our bathrobes sipping wine, Mike asked me to marry him... “for real”. This wasn’t just a discussion anymore. He told me later that he intended on popping the question at dinner but felt it was too public and the moment didn't fit us so he waited until we were alone.
When did you know that you were meant to be with each other?
Early on in the “roommate” stage actually. We both love to cook, so we spent many nights, trying new recipes and getting to know one another personally. We are very similar in how we look at life, very practical and realistic. As a married friend of mine once said, you know it's right when it's “easy”. He didn’t mean marriage is easy, he meant that you know when you are with the right person because although there are challenges in any relationship, the challenges are easy to get through with the right person by your side.
Going into the wedding planning, what did you definitely know?
We had a one and a half year engagement. What we definitely knew we wanted changed over time. We knew we wanted a small wedding with family and friends. The size of the wedding we wanted grew smaller the longer we talked about it. 2015 was a stressful year with family health scares. Towards the end of 2015, we decided we were going to forego the stress of planning a traditional wedding and elope, just the two of us. The best part of weddings for the guests is the reception anyways, so we began planning an elopement for just the two of us in Paris, and then a large wedding celebration in San Francisco with our family and friends. We hired Yanique from to help us plan our wedding since we knew nothing about Parisan weddings and we also needed someone to do the leg work in Paris. She was amazing. She got to know us, gave us some venue options, coordinated vendors, took care of our crazy and sometimes last minute requests while dealing with a 9 hour time difference like a pro.
What surprised you during planning? What was easy, what was difficult?
The easy part was handing off the planning to the wedding planner. So much better than doing it ourselves. Everybody has their skills and expertise and event planning is not ours. The difficult part was being comfortable with the plans that were forming without being in Paris in person to view venues or taste cakes or seeing the flower arrangements before the big day. Luckily we put our trust in Yanique and it wasn’t misplaced.
Is there anything you wish you knew while you were planning your wedding that you know now?
Budgets are guidelines. You will spend more than you originally planned. It's inevitable. If you have a firm budget, reduce it at the start then you’ll have some extra cushion when things cost more than you anticipated as you get into the details. If they don’t, then you can take yourselves on a weekend trip to celebrate being under budget afterwards with the leftover.
Any advice for couples planning weddings now?
Be flexible. The venue or the photographer or the officiant may not be available for your perfect date. Change the date or change the details. The first three photographers Yanique sent us ended up being booked. Everything happens for a reason and Yanique found Ian Holmes and I’m so glad he was the photographer. He was perfect. Compromise is key. There are two of you in this wedding. Not all of your ideas/requests will be the same as your soon-to-be spouse. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Most people spend months or even years to plan 20 minutes of their life. In the grand scheme of things, you’ll most likely forget the small details when you are celebrating your 50th anniversary.
What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
Spending the day with my best friend in a fancy suit and knowing that I’ll get to spend every other day of my life with him. Paris, the Eiffel Tower and lovely champs didn’t hurt either.