When Bryan made reservations at Ella Dining Room and Bar for a romantic anniversary dinner, he sent Jamie, his girlfriend of two years, into proposal preparedness mode, but her suspicions weren’t easily confirmed. “I got sick and we had to cancel our reservations and reschedule for the following week,” she says. “We ended up going to a late dinner there. It was romantic and the food was superb, and I thought, ‘maybe tonight’s the night,’ but we were both really tired.”
It was the night, but Bryan decided to hold off until they were both rested enough to truly enjoy the moment. The next day at his sister’s house, Bryan proudly showed the ring to his family. The new plan was to propose in two weeks on Jamie’s birthday, but when his soon-to-be-fiancée stopped by for a visit, he realized he couldn’t wait any longer. Later that night, as they walked to their cars and said their goodbyes, Jamie made a shocking discovery. “He was wearing a pair of cargo shorts, and for some reason, I stuck my hand in his left pocket and felt a box. I turned it once to make sure it was square, and then I asked, ‘What is this box?’” she says. “I never in a million years thought he would propose in the street on some random night, but that made the surprise all the better. He absolutely blew me away.”
Although they toyed with the idea of a small, immediate family-only wedding, the couple ultimately decided on a more traditional, all-inclusive vow exchange at the breathtaking Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite. Their approach to choosing a date, however, was decidedly unique. “We were looking for a day out of the year that had the highest possible chance of not being too hot or too cold for our guests,” Bryan explains. “After referencing the Farmers’ Almanac and becoming amateur meteorologists, we settled on May 10.”
Their attention to weather patterns paid off. Following a week of rain, the skies cleared just in time for the bride’s walk down the aisle in a crystal beaded, ivory lace gown. After exchanging rings from Placerville’s Randolph Jewelers, the newly minted Mr. and Mrs. were ready to revel in the “rustic elegance” (think satin linens meet the great outdoors) of their reception, a nod to the couple’s shared love of nature.
“One of the highlights of the wedding was the hula my mother-in-law did during the reception,” Jamie shares. “It was beautiful, and I was so happy to be able to share some of Bryan’s family’s Hawaiian culture with our guests.”
“As I was eating dinner and dancing, I kept looking around the room and was so blessed by all of our family and friends who traveled to celebrate our wedding with us,” the bride remembers.
Jamie & Bryan's Wedding Resources
My Wish by Rascal Flatts
Always Be by Holley Maher
Love Is a Battlefield by Pat Benatar
- Bryan’s toast
- (fun moment) The Shoe Game – something different, and hopefully entertaining gor our guests
- Laura’s Hula – sharing their Hawaiian culture with our guests.
- Sweet Dreams did fabulous on our cakes and flowers. Laura was great to work with and exceeded our expectations.
- Good Times Entertainment: Isaac was great to work with from beginning to end. He gave us ideas, including the Shoe Game. He made time to talk to us in the evenings. He consulted me several times throughout the reception to make sure I was okay with the music (since it veered off the selected list). All in all, a great DJ.
- Lexigraphics: David & Christie are an awesome couple and were such a joy to work with. When we went into the park, Christie helped me with my dress as we got in and out of the car and traipsed around Yosemite, she even helped my bridesmaids sew down a loose button on the back of my gown, and she came to the rescue during the ceremony and retrieved Bryan’s ring from my purse in the supply room - she was like having a second mom! They captured so many special moments that we’ll cherish forever.
Don’t stress and try to enjoy the planning process. Take advice from others, but ultimately do what you want to do, it’s your day. Find ways to make your wedding day special by putting your unique personalities into the event.
- I would have found time to check out the reception and ceremony set up before they started (pictures in the park didn’t allow for that extra time). There were a few things that didn’t get set up right. Our card box and guest book were supposed to be on a table with our engagement photos, and the generations of family wedding photos were supposed to be on another long table, but the hotel staff shoved all of them onto one small table. So, all that planning and work just looked cluttered instead of cute.
- Other than that, the day was pretty much perfect. I wish we would have had more time to visit with each of our guests, but I think every couple does.