The Couple: Lauren & David

Wedding Date: June 5, 2016

Photography by Valley Images Photography

Tell us a little about you and your beloved: Alumni from San Jose State University, David and I graduated the same year in 2014. We decided to try our luck on the dating website Plenty of Fish. My intentions were to get ready to go back to my hometown and get my feet wet with the dating world, while David was trying the online dating world again after a few uneventful attempts. We chatted online for about two weeks before we finally decided to take the plunge and go on our first date. David knowing the San Jose area much better than me took to planning our first date. We met at a historic hotel to grab a drink and listen to some live Jazz music. I arrived first, grabbed a girly cocktail and took a seat on a big sofa. David arrived shortly after, entering the lounge with a huge smile and immediately embraced me in a soft hug. I can still remember the butterflies and excitement of what was next to come. Needless to say, our connection was instant, and after our first date we were inseparable, and still are.

Before we knew it we were engaged, just 8 months into meeting. The proposal was one you hear about from those girls who are beaming with joy that they found their soulmates. It was December time and David and I decided to go ring shopping to get an idea about what I might want in the near future. We knew we were destined to be together, so in our minds what better time than the present to get the ball rolling on an engagement. That day we selected a ring but wanted to make it a little more custom. We put the moves in motion, put a down payment, and then patiently or not so patiently on my end waited for it to come. It must have been about everyday in January I was asking David if he spoke to the jeweler and everyday he would say no. Finally he said that he spoke with her and that it would not be coming until around the middle of February. I was disappointed but at least I had more of a timeline to count down to.

One evening we decided to go to a restaurant that David was always raving about because it over looked the whole Bay Area. We returned from work, freshened up, and headed to the mountains where the restaurant was located. If anyone knows me, they know I do not do well in a car with windy roads which is exactly how we had to get to this restaurant. Half way up I asked David to slow down because I was getting car sick and my stomach was hurting a lot, shortly after that he said he had to use the restroom and could not wait until we got to the restaurant, so we pulled over. I sat there for about 5 minutes and then started to get concerned. It was dark, we were parked on the side of a mountain, and it doesn’t take that long to go to the bathroom. Immediately I started thinking the worst, so I jumped out of the car and started calling his name. All of a sudden I see him running down the side of a mountain. I stand there quite confused but move toward him. He shouts “Baby, come up here you won’t believe this crazy animal I just saw!” I proceed to climb over a fence with his help and asked him about the animal while trudging up the hill. As we reached the top I saw something glowing in the distance and became curious and drawing wild conclusions about UFO’s or a big glowing hole in the earth. As we drew closer I then could make out what it was, a red blanket with flowers and candles everywhere. I gasped and knew this was the moment I was waiting for. David took my hands and on one knee overlooking the city where our love story began, he asked me to be mine forever and always.

We spent over a year and a half planning our dream wedding while joining the career world as fresh graduates, moving in together, blending our families and traditions, and much more. The 1.5 years of planning was exactly how brides and grooms describe, stressful, hard work, consumes your life, moments of laughter and moments of tears, and is a time that can sometimes test your relationship but also becomes a fond memory. David and I planned our entire wedding down to the fun wedding game, the music to be played during dinner, completed DIY projects for signage, hand picked plates and utensils, etc. The almost two years of planning flew by and before we knew it it was June 5th, the day we were to become husband and wife.

What was the most amazing part of your day? Our wedding day could not have been more perfect, but did not appear that way when we arrived the day before. The day of the rehearsal the weather was very unfortunate with cold and overcast skies and it continued to the day of our wedding. Lucky for us and with the prayers of our family and friends at around 2pm the skies cleared, the sun was beaming, and it was everything we hoped for. Now to answer your question, the most amazing part of our day of course was becoming husband and wife finally, but we also really loved and enjoyed was our “first look.” I kept my wedding dress, hair, make-up, etc all a secret so when we had our “first look,” just the two of us, it was indescribable. We were so happy, content in that moment kissing and hugging, and all of our nerves went away. The only thing left was to officially walk down the aisle and tie the knot.

What else would you like to share about your big day? We would love to thank our family, our support system, who got us through the ups and downs of wedding planning, who supported us from day one, who embraced the new member of the family with open and loving arms, and for influencing the people we are today.

Ceremony and Reception Site: Dolphin Bay Resort and Spa

Officiant: Pastor Howard Clark, Venture Christian Church of San Jose

Photographer: Valley Images Photography

Caterer: Vido Restaurant

Cake/Desserts: Cake Cathedral

Flowers: Jeannette’s Flowers

Bridal and Bridesmaids’ Attire: Trudy’s Brides

Hair and Make-up: Rhonda Johnson

Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas

Signage: Etsy

DJ/Entertainment/Band: 3-16 Entertainment

Furniture and Linen Rentals; and Lighting: Coastal Tent and Party

Décor Rentals: Botanica Events

Honeymoon Location: Thailand

Any other of your wedding vendor(s) you’d like to call out that we missed in the above questions? Denai Vine, Dolphin Bay Resort and Spa. She was our wedding coordinator and is AMAZING! We speak so highly of her and know that she was a main reason why our wedding was executed so flawlessly.

First Dance Song: “XO” by John Mayer

Any advice you’d give to our readers who are planning their weddings right now? The best advice we can give is to try and enjoy the wedding planning together even though it can be very stressful at times and to involve each other in decisions to get the full effect of planning your special day. When your sitting there in the middle of your wedding and looking at the beautiful event you will be really proud of your team work for planning such a momentous day in your relationship. We also highly recommend lists! Goodness I don’t know how many lists we had a one point: one for the budget, one for tasks we had to do each weekend, one for items we had to purchase, one for guests, one for songs, one for this one for that.

Anything that you would have done differently if you were given the chance? The only thing I think we would have done differently is started our wedding earlier. The time seemed to fly by way to fast and there was not enough time for dancing and enjoying ourselves. We of course had to be mindful our guests who were all traveling from out of the area (including us) so we had to start the ceremony a little later than we would have liked. 6 hours may seem like a lot but when that includes the ceremony, pictures, dinner, speeches, cake cutting, a game, etc it can definitely feel rushed.

Photos courtesy of Valley Images Photography.

Blog post by Real Weddings Magazine’s Social Media Maven, Aimee Carroll.

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