The Couple: Ally & Brian
Wedding Date: October 18, 2019
Tell us a little about you and your beloved: Brian and I met over 10 years ago through friends. He was living in Seattle and I was living in Minneapolis and we both had significant others. We stayed somewhat friends until winter 2016, when Brian was visiting Minneapolis for work. We were both single again and hit it off. He ended up moving to Minneapolis for the summer of 2017, then we moved together to Salt Lake City for a year in 2017-2018 before moving to Sacramento (Brian’s hometown) in August 2018.
Brian proposed on July 14, 2018 in Minnetonka, MN, while we were visiting my family. The two of us were with my sister and her husband on their boat on Lake Minnetonka when he got down on one knee and gave a beautiful little speech before asking me to marry him. My sister took really gorgeous photos from that day. The even bigger surprise, though, was the party he planned for dinner that evening. We showed up to the previously-planned, lakeside restaurant after the proposal and – instead of just dinner for four – all my favorite people surprised me. My parents were there, along with my little sister and her husband (who flew in from Ohio), my best friends from Minneapolis, and Brian had even flown in my best friend from Washington DC. I cry just remembering it. It was such an incredible moment.
Planning of the wedding was totally fun and pretty uneventful. I did most of it, but Brian was probably more involved than most grooms. He likes to throw good parties, too. A fun thing that came out of it is that I’m now great friends with the gal who picked out my wedding dress! She works at La Soie, found the dress I ended up wearing and was even a guest at our wedding!
What was the most amazing part of your day? I can’t even… I know it’s cliche, but the entire day was SO perfect, this is an almost impossible question. I think if I had to choose, I would say that my favorite part was when – after walking down the aisle – our officiant asked us to turn around for a moment to look at our guests. Seeing all of their smiling faces, in that beautiful garden, with the golden sunset lighting…. It was a truly breath-taking moment. I could not have felt more loved, more beautiful or more happy.
What else would you like to share about your big day? One of our guests told us after the wedding that ours was the “happiest wedding I’ve ever been to”. I thought that was a fun compliment because most weddings are pretty darn happy and they said the love and cheer was palpable. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who thought so!
Also, it IS possible – maybe with the right planning – to have a wedding day that doesn’t just blow by in a frazzled whirlwind. I arrived at our venue at 9 a.m. and my girls and I felt no pressure, we all had plenty of time to get ready and we really enjoyed just lounging around, eating and playing cards. By the time the dancing started at the reception, I was like “FINALLY!!”.
Sad note: My younger sister was not able to be at our wedding. She would have been another Matron-of-Honor in the wedding party, but had just given birth to my nephew, Calvin. Womp, womp.
Ceremony and Reception Site; and Caterer: Vizcaya Sacramento
Officiant: Our friend from Colorado. He was great.
Photographer: Carmen Salazar Photography
Videographer: None (though — I would probably get one, looking back. My dad is a videographer by trade and filmed our ceremony from a stationary camera so that my sister could see it. I’m SO happy we have it on video, even if it’s not perfect angles).
Wedding Planner: Our gal Ali Boule at Vizcaya Sacramento, she was awesome.
Cake/Desserts: No cake. Dessert was gelato from Luciano’s Scoop who brought in the CUTEST vintage gelato cart to serve it during reception.
Flowers: Bella Bloom
Bridal Attire: La Soie Bridal
Bridesmaids’ Attire: They all selected a long black dress on their own. I think they came from a range of places including: Nordstrom, Lulu’s and a bridal shop in MN.
Hair and Make-up: Lavender Salon
DJ/Entertainment/Band, Photo Booth, Lighting: SJ’s Disc Jockey
Furniture and Linen Rentals: Vizcaya Sacramento
Other Rentals: Popcorn machine was loaned by my family
Honeymoon Location: Mendocino, CA
Any other of your wedding vendor(s) you’d like to call out that we missed in the above questions? All of our vendors were incredible and Vizcaya Sacramento is simply first class when it comes to helping plan. I’d love to give a shout out to Ali Boule at Vizcaya because I don’t think I could have done it without her. She was with us the whole day/night and didn’t miss a beat.
First Dance Song: “Kiss Me” by Ed Sheeran
Any advice you’d give to our readers who are planning their weddings right now? Choose your vendors and wedding party wisely. They made all the difference for us. Our venue, photographer and DJ were essential in guiding us through the day making it 100% stress-free and the gals I had with me all day were so much fun. No joke, I had ZERO stress the day of the wedding. I’d also tell people to not over-think everything. Focus on the things that will make an impact and remind yourself that the details are DETAILS. They are rarely noticed by your guests or even you that day.
Anything that you would have done differently if you were given the chance? Literally nothing major… Purchased more red wine? That was definitely more popular than expected. Thanks, Carmen, for sending your assistant to get more!
Photography by Carmen Salazar Photography.
Blog post by Real Weddings Magazine’s Social Media Maven, Aimee Carroll.