When Nina told a mutual friend that she thought Joe was cute, she didn’t think it would lead to anything. Much to her surprise, just a month later, Joe sent a text asking her out.

It didn’t take long for either one of them to know this was it.

“I remember being at a get-together with a bunch of my friends and thinking to myself, ‘I’d rather be with Nina right now.’ That’s how I knew,” he says.

For Nina, it was all the little things Joe did that made her realize he was right for her.

“I knew Joe was the one after about six months of dating,” she says. “I don’t think there was one thing in particular that made me go, ‘Oh, wow, he’s it!’ It was more a culmination of things—how we were together, how kind and caring he was, and how wonderful he was to my family. It just all clicked and everything meshed so well together. I knew I wanted to spend forever with him.”

Joe surprised Nina with a proposal over a home-cooked breakfast. “I had no clue he would be proposing—I mean, I was still in my jammies!” she says. “I was totally caught off guard. But it was amazing and as soon as he proposed, I had to call my family. Of course, they all already knew. It was a magical day and something I will always cherish!”

The couple jumped right into planning mode, eager to secure a venue.

“A lot of the venues we were looking at were already pretty booked,” she says. “We only looked at about four and the second place we looked at turned out to be the one!”

Within those first six months of being engaged, they had most major items booked. “We had the DJ, the florist, the venue and all that comes with that, a preliminary guest list and so much more—and we still had nine months until the wedding,” she says.

They had one hiccup with their originally booked florist backing out three months before the wedding due to medical issues, but in doing so, they also received a recommendation for a replacement. They hired Shannon with Flourish, who immediately got the couple’s vision. And it all came together exactly as they had hoped.

“I had this idea of the colors, the tables and the flowers, and literally everyone made it happen. It was amazing! I thought, ‘Oh, for sure, something will not turn out right or something would not be done in time.’ And well, nope, the opposite happened. It turned out better than I could have hoped for,” she says. 

—Kourtney Jason