My name is Julie and my FH is Michael. We met 7+ years ago in Las Vegas, NV at the Hard Rock Hotel at a nightclub that is no longer there. I would love to say it was love at first sight, but neither of us really remember that night. Although, it was nice to know that he did pursue me. I was there with two friends who got separated from me in the large crowd. I was circling the nightclub looking for hem and supposedly kept passing the table Michael was at. After many drinks and some encouragement from his friends, he finally got up the nerve to come onto the dance floor and talk to me. He asked to buy me a drink and we ended up hanging out the rest of the night. He was so sweet, from what I can remember, and drove me back to my hotel, as I didn't have enough for a taxi and it was a very long walk. He gave me his business card and I wrote down my number, but didn't really think anything of it. It is Vegas and we all know what happens in Vegas is not something we want to follow us home. However, the next day, Michael called me to make sure I got home OK. I was shocked and nervous. I didn't know if I should call him back or not. I did, which I'm thankful for, and it was the best decision I ever made.
It wouldn't be until 3 months later that we would see each other again. It was a long time, but was very much worth the wait.
Michael and I built a great relationship over the phone. We used the three months to get to know each other, which helped when we finally met again. It was like being with a friend, except your friend is really H-O-T! Michael still worked in Vegas and I was in Arizona, so we had the long distance experience for about 8 months until he came back to Arizona. It was so wonderful having him here with me. We could actually go on dates during the week. He was amazing and so much fun to be with. I never had a relationship like this.
Then he was transferred back to Vegas for another year. It was difficult, but like the saying says, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder"; and we made it work. After the year was up, he was back in Arizona, FOR GOOD this time! We've had so many adventures together. We've been to Europe, Costa Rica, the Caribbean, camping in Mexico (that was a little scary), snowboarding and many other escapades.
We finally moved in together in December of 2009 and after months of planning our wedding, he finally proposed on November 6, 2010, right before our engagement photo session. What can I say, his timing is impeccable.
Our wedding which will unite us forever, will be on May 14, 2011 at the Scottsdale Resort & Conference Center, here in Arizona. I am so excited to marry the man of my dreams and my best friend.
OK, this is a good one (and a long story). Michael and I have been together for seven plus years and we decided to start talking about marriage. We started looking at the cost of a wedding back in May 2010 in order to get a budget going. I started viewing venues, talking to florists, salons, caterers, etc. Pretty soon, I had the whole wedding planned and a budgetstarted. We had booked the venue, even before the proposal, since May is a busy wedding month in Arizona. This got me excited that a proposal would come soon, since we made a large deposit on the venue.
A month or so went by, still no proposal, and I started looking at wedding dresses. I hadn't gone to a bridal boutique but did a lot of looking online. Soon it was September and I had 8 months until our wedding date of May 14th. I talked to Michael and we both agreed that I should start looking for dresses. My mom came into town from California and we had a wonderful girls weekend trying on dresses. I ended up buying my dress at the first place I went to, Uptown Bridal, in Chandler, AZ. At this point I still don't have a ring or a proposal.
It was now October and I started to wonder if I was pushing Michael into this wedding or if he really wanted it. By this time, he had been let go from his job and the wedding plans were in full swing. Like I stated in our story, he has impeccable timing. We started to discuss what we can do to cut costs and expenses, which was difficult since the wedding was weighing heavily in my mind and all I could see were dollar signs in my budget; which of course was getting bigger and bigger each day. After many discussions and a few arguments, I decide to let it go.
It was the first weekend in November came around and it was time for us to take our engagement photos. Michael had a surprise for me and it was tickets to the Phoenix Ballet to see A Midsummer Night's Dream; one of my favorite Shakespearean stories. I thought, OK, tonight is the night. We went to dinner and then the ballet and then... home. Nothing happened. I was so sad, but thought, we just had a wonderful night, don't ruin it. The next day was our engagement photo session and while shopping for something to wear, I thought, "why the heck am I taking engagement photos if I'm not engaged!!!" I got really upset with myself and did not want to go to our appointment. In fact I was crying most of the time before our photo session. But Michael had a trick up his sleeve.
Right before our engagement session. I mean, right before we walked out the door, he sat me down and told me how much he loved me and how he couldn't imagine his life without me. He told me that I was his best friend and that I was the first person he wanted to see when he woke up and the person he wanted to fall asleep with at night. Tears were steaming down my face. I looked up and he had tears too. I couldn't believe this moment was finally here after seven years. This was all I ever wanted! I just needed him to ask me. I didn't need a ring or a diamond or anything. I just needed to be asked.
As I wiped away my tears, I noticed that he was holding a small box in his hand. I couldn't believe that after losing his job and us talking about our finances, he still managed to purchase a ring. He opened the box and I saw the most beautiful ring. He gave me everything I ever wanted in that moment. I had his love, his commitment and friendship. I will never forget that moment that we shared.
He is my travel companion, my best friend, and soon to be husband.
Barcelona, Spain - 2008
Ensanada, Mexico 2006
San Onofre, California 2008
Monte Verde, Costa Rica 2009
I am trying to do as much as I can to cut costs for our wedding, since we are paying for a little more than half ourselves. Here are some things I have done, hope it gives other brides some inspiration:
Before - During -
Table Luminary - I used a downloadeable font "Mutlu" (www.dafont.com), Transparancy Paper from Michael, ribbon and a wax seal using our "S" stamp. I have a total of 13 tables, with two luminaries per table:
Bouquet Lockets: Pictures are of my grandparents on their wedding day and leaving on their honeymoon.
Reception Programs: (Font: Mutlu and Old Script; Three stick on jewels on cover page; Silver ink with butterfly stamp on inside slip with Thank You to guests.)
Butterfly birdcage for cards:
Guest Favors (pillow box from Michael's filled with pepermint candies, white ribbon and "S" wax seal:
Bridesmaid Tanks (Iron-On Silver Initial and Pink Butterfly):
MOH Tank (back - Iron-On):
Bride Wedding Dress Hangers (Wood Hangers and scrapbook lettering):
Dress: Uptown Bridal www.uptownbride.com Blue by Enzoani
Shoes: Kohl’s www.khols.com
Jewelry: Illusion Pearl Necklace
Veil or Butterfly Hairpiece: Uptown Bridal www.uptownbride.com
Hair & Make-up: Rumors www.rumorssalonaz.com
Tux Rental & Shoes: Men’s Warehouse
Location: Scottsdale Resort & Conference Center- Scottsdale (McCormick Ranch) www.thescottsdaleresort.com
Officiate: Jerame Pearson, Friend
Flowers: Fantasy Florals www.myfantasyflorals.com
Cake: Free with location
DJ: The Pros www.thepros.com
Photography: Traci Wutke Photography www.traciwutkephotography.com
Card Box: Save On Crafts - Bird Cages www.saveoncrafts.com
Invitations: Michaels www.michaels.com DIY
Place cards: Michaels www.michaels.com DIY
Rings: Shane Company www.shaneco.com
Wedding Favors:Candy in Pillow Boxes with ribbon and wax seal (DIY)
Bridal Party Gifts: Necklaces, Totes (DIY), Journal & Survival Kits (DIY)
Grooms Party Gifts: Shot Glasses & Survival Kits (DIY)
Parents Gifts: Framed Engagement Photo
Rehearsal Dinner: The Village Tavern
Honeymoon: Bali, Thailand, Brazil, Tahiti, New Zealand/Australia (Wishful Thinking)
Save The Date Cards: Cost Co www.costco.com
Guestbook: Photo book from Costco www.costco.com
Marriage License: Maricopa City Superior Court
Butterflies: Floral Trim www.floraltrim.com
Cake Topper: Edible small blue butterflies by Sugar Robot www.etsy.com
Candy: Dynamite Mints
Folding Paper Fans Blue Rainbow Designs www.bluerainbowdesign.com
Something Old: Grandma's Handkerchief &/or great grandma's watch
Something New: Dress and Shoes
Something Borrowed: Earrings
Something Blue: Garter and bracelet
Wedding Party Entrance: Have guests line up in "soul train line" towards the dance floor and play "Forever" by Chris Brown or "Now That We Found Love" by Heavy D & The Boyz
As each member of the party & parents/family is announced they have to dance up the line onto the dance floor. This way everyone will be on the dance floor by the time we are announced and can start the party
Anniversary Dance: "You make me feel so young" by Frank Sinatra
Centerpieces: Tall vases with flowers, cotton blossom branches and attach butterflies to branches to add color.
Flowers: Bride - Color bouquet w/ white accents Bridesmaids - White bouquet w/ blue accents
In Memory Table:
Grandpa and Grandma Hansen
Grandpa and Grandma Kunstler
Grandapa Soto and Horton
Judy Ann Garcia
Table Numbers: Luminaries with ribbon and "S" seal - (Make special luminary for head table with "Mr. and Mrs. Soto… May 14, 2011") (DIY)
Wedding Colors: Serene, Silver, & Black, w/ accents of White
Registry: Chef's Catalogue; Target; Bed, Bath & Beyond; Pottery Barn
Ceremony Music: Phoenix String Quartet
Stairway to Heaven
Por Una Cabeza
Air to Water Music
On the Wings of Music
Sound of Music
For Parents & Bridesmaids walk - Joy of Man's Desiring
For Bride's walk - Canon In D Major
Recessional - La Rejouissance
There is something magical about having a butterfly themed wedding. Perhaps it is the gentleness of these beautiful creatures that evokes an unspoken feeling of peace, patience, romance and love. In many cultures, butterflies represent transformation and new beginnings. It is a perfect symbolic representation for a wedding as the couple embark on a new journey as husband and wife and begin a new chapter of their life together.
The wedding ceremony, cocktail hour and reception will all be held at the Scottsdale Resort & Conference Center in Scottsdale, AZ.
Other view of the Ceremony Location:
Both of these below were created by my florist, My Fantasy Florals, Tempe, AZ:
Colors: Serene (which is the blue color below. Color isn't the right one, however, since Serene was discontinued at David's Bridal, but it's really close), Silver, Black and White.
The invitation to my bridal shower that my sister (the MOH) and mom are throwing for me. So sweet of them to incorporate the butterfly theme. Can't wait to see what else that have in store. Will post more once event occurs.
Bachelorette Party to be held at Jackalope Ranch, Palm Springs, CA with family and close friends:
- This is the back side of the resaurant where we will have an area set up for all of us.
- Martha Stewart (butterflies photohopped)
Copied from Aroma, who copied it from CapitolBride.
How old are you both?I am 33, Fi is 39
Do you have any pets?No. FI is allergic, but we decided to have kids then get a dog when our child/children are old enough.
Was the proposal a complete surprise? Nope. He procrastinated and I kind of knew something was up.
Will the wedding guests be "balanced?" No. Due to the location and the required travel for our families, he won't have as many people on his side. But I keep telling him that all of family and friends are there for him too.
What are some traditions you're keeping at your wedding? We are starting a new tradition at our wedding of using my parents cake cutting set that they used at their wedding 40 years ago. My dad proposed on the third date and they were married 3 months later. I figured they have a very good track record and can only dream of a marriage like theirs. Hopefully their cake cutting set will bring us as much happiness and love.
Are you buying his wedding band for him? Yes.
What is one thing about your FI that drives you nuts? He's loud. Everything he does is loud. I guess he makes himself known wherever his is. He can't hide from me!!
What are you most looking forward to about being married? Spending the rest of my life with my best friend and starting a family together.
Inside or outside? Outside and Inside. Ceremony will be held outside in a large courtyard. The cocktail hour will have access to both inside and outside and the reception will be inside a large ballroom.
List anything you dislike. Nuts! Every recipe that calls for nuts or any menu item that has nuts on it loses me. Sometimes I just don't get why you have to add nuts to everything. Oh, and mushrooms. YUCK!
How many people will be there? We invited about 150 and will end up around 115, max.
Time of day? 5:00 pm. Ceremony should be over right before sunset so everyone can enjoy the sun setting over the golf course at the venue during cocktail hour.
Any kind of theme? Butterflies.
How many bridesmaids? 5 total. 4 bridesmaids on my side and his sister will stand on his side.
What kind of cake/what will it look like? We are doing a combo cake. Every other tier will be white cake with mocha filling and white chocolate frosting and in between those tiers
will be white and chocolate layered cake with cream cheese filling and white chocolate frosting. Cake will be smooth white finish with fondant silver ribbons, small white flowers and blue edible butterflies. The whole cake and all decorations will be
edible. (Will post pictures after wedding)
What kind of dress will you have/color/mat erial? Blue by Enzoani, 2011 collection, Dover. Silk taffeta and lace.
What kind of flowers in your bouquet? Dark blue and light blue hydrangeas with white lilyanthus
Kind of engagement ring? White gold, with brilliant cut round center diamond and small round cut diamonds on band
How will you wear your hair? Messy updo. Dress is so structured that a messy updo will look good (hopefully)
Who will be important to be there? Everyone!!!
How long will you be engaged before you get married? 6 months (been together for 7+ years, though)
Live together before or wait till married? We both have houses, but I moved in with him about a year and a half ago.
Take a long time to plan the wedding or will it be simple? Long time. I've been planning since June 2010 (before I was even engaged)
Will you write your own vows or use something pre-made? Yes. There are so many things I want to say to my FI on our wedding day. I just have to figure out how to express them all.