1.How did you two meet or what was the proposal like?: Our proposal was a dream. After 8 years of knowing each other, 6 of those we were dating, Joe knew planning a surprise proposal was exactly what I wanted. I always had this sixth sense when it came to his surprises, but this time he got me. It was the last week in December 2017. I was home for the holidays and Joe was still in San Francisco with his family. There were a lot of things that led me to believe a proposal was soon, but I had no idea when.
I remember it was Christmas Eve and my family and I are all sitting around the dinner table, and my dad pulls out this letter out of his pocket. In my head, I thought “That was so random, but okay”. My dad then proceeds to read this “letter” that was addressed to my Mom. OH, I should also add that know one in my family knew about the proposal except for my dad. So, my dad reads this letter and it is addressed and signed from Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Hotel in Phoenix. It was explaining that my mom had been nominated by one of her patients at her hospital for Nurse Appreciation night, and was being hosted by Different Pointe of View restaurant along with four of her family members. From the beginning, my mom thought it was some time share scam and didn’t want to go. My dad ( who isn’t big on going out for unnecessary reasons) was saying lets go, its free drinks and dinner and sounds like it would be fun. Again, I thought to myself “ okay that’s weird, but sure let’s go.”
So fast forward to the day of the proposal, Friday December 29th. Joe was already flying out to Scottsdale for New Years Eve, but to my knowledge he wasn’t arriving until December 30th. The whole week leading up to Friday, I was making Joe feel bad for not coming to my moms “nurse appreciate night” and begging him to change is flight. Poor guy, but he stayed strong and just kept saying he had a big deal at work and couldn’t change his flight to leave earlier.
It’s Friday around 4pm, my dad has his nice pants on and a Hawaiian shirt, my Mom and I are both dressed up, and my 93 year old grandma is thrilled to have a reason to look fancy. We’re driving up to Pointe Hilton and we are all making jokes about this event and saying we were probably the only ones who RSVP’ed and no one else will be there. Clearly, having no clue what’s happening. We pull up to the hotel, we get up to the restaurant and are greeted by all the bartenders and servers saying “Congrats Catherine on your outstanding year of being a nurse!”..... We both look at each other and burst out laughing, immediately thinking that this is actually a nurse appreciation night. The hotel had printed a mini poster for my mom at our table saying congratulations to her and everything.
Meanwhile, Joe and three of my best friends were all watching what was happening from above the restaurant.
We finally sit down and get a glass of wine. My back was to the entrance of the restaurant and my family and I are just admiring the soon to be sunset. All of a sudden, I feel a tap on my shoulder and I turn around and see my BEST friend, who told me she was already back in Colorado for New Years. I immediately scream, “ WHAT” I knew right away what was happening and instantly started bawling. Behind her was my other best friend, who told me she was working that night, and she was filming the whole thing.
Courtney takes me outside on this amazing patio facing the sunset, I am still bawling and in shock with what is happening, she tells me to close my eyes and to not open them. I close my eyes and feel Joe’s hands grab them. I open my eyes in complete shock and start bawling again.
He then leads me over to be in front of this fire pit and gets down on one knee. I, of course, said yes!!!! I turned around to see another one of my best friends there, my dad, my mom, my grandma and my other two friends who were all there to see us get engaged. Joe’s family and my brother in Japan, were all on stand by for a Facetime call.
By this point, we all put it together it was not nurse appreciation night.
It was an absolute dream. It meant the world to me to have all of those people involved in our proposal. It was unforgettable and a moment we will cherish forever.
2. Were you happy with the venue?: The venue was an absolute dream. Troon North Golf Club is like a hidden gem. Being tucked away in the middle of the desert, surrounded by pure beauty is exactly what we wanted. Ania and her staff are perfection. From the minute I sat down with Ania to start planning our big day to the actual wedding day, she was so on top of her stuff. I felt like I could ask her any questions I needed to know and she never made me feel like it was a silly question. Also, fun fact.. Ania actually fell into a jumping cholla cactus right before our reception started, and she still stayed until the end of the night.. Talk about dedication!! Planning from a different state, I thought it would be more stressful but honestly, I had so much fun. And I think a lot of that had to do with Ania. The day of was seamless. All my vendors were on the same page and everything was perfect and stress free. I was able to enjoy every second of our wedding day, and so much of that had to do with Troon North.
3. Describe the theme or color scheme of your wedding, and what you chose for your table setting at the reception: The theme we went with was timeless and romantic. I knew from the beginning that I wanted the wedding to be intimate. I wanted to be able to see all my guests in the ballroom, and not feel like people were miles apart and spread out. That was one of my favorite things about the ballroom at Troon North. I could see everyone from our sweet-heart table.
I was obsessed with the little details. I went with ivory, blush, white, greenery, and gold accents for my color scheme. I wanted a lot of candles, simple flowers, lots of greenery, and romantic vibes. For the fireplace in the ballroom, I decided to have photos of both our parents, grandparents, and great grandparents all on their wedding day framed in gold beautiful frames. It was a random idea I thought of to make our parents feel special, as well as, make them feel that their parents were present at the wedding. We got a lot of compliments of how cool it was to see them all on their wedding day.
Our tables were a mix of rectangle and round tables. I had two rectangle tables for our bridal parties, with long greenery with pink, ivory , and white roses on them. Those tables had cylinder candles and votive candles on them. The round tables had gold terrariums that I found at HomeGoods with pink roses and succulents in them , with a round centerpiece of similar flowers as the long tables , and more candles. Our sweetheart table was to die for. We had tall gold candles and long greenery and flowers draping to the floor. In front of our table, we had lanterns. Behind our table was our LED sign that read “It was Always You”.
One of my favorite touches I did for the tables was how I organized meal selections. I personally don’t like when I can see the symbols on the name cards so I thought to myself “ how can i make this subtle.” I decided to do different color pastel name cards for each meal: grey was filet, blush was chicken, gold was ravioli, and white was kids meal. All the names were in calligraphy. I loved how it made the tables look and it added a little special touch.
We did assigned seating. I bought a tall mirror at HomeGoods, and hired someone to do calligraphy on it. We decided to organize the names in alphabetical order with their table numbers next to their names. That was the easiest way for people and the most efficient way to organize their names.
4. What piece of advice would you give other couples planning their big day? In terms of planning, make lists. Lots and lots of lists. I had a clear image of the vibes I wanted at our wedding. I knew I wanted romantic and timeless feels. I wanted everyone to feel the love and to feel our love. I wanted our ceremony to represent us as a couple. I wanted people to laugh, cry, and remember our ceremony. Mark Culbertson blew us away. Our ceremony allowed our family and friends to hear memories from how joe and I first met 10 years ago, to seeing us stand at the altar. I wanted people to feel connected to us and our love. I wanted it to be special and entertaining. From what I heard, there wasn’t a dry eye out there.
The year before our wedding day, I had been to 6 different weddings. I started to realize things that I liked and things that I didn’t like. For me, I thought a lot about the guests. I was hyper focused on the flow. I didn’t want people to feel like they didn’t know what was going on throughout the day. That was one of many things that Ania and her staff knocked out of the park.
For the little details, make it personal. Find ways to pull your relationship into the details. For example, our cake topper was an engagement photo of us that Borrowed from a Bride designed into a wood cake topper, and then my best friend painted it. I had the engagement photo near the cake so people would see that it was us. I wanted our families to feel involved so I did the fireplace “Mr. and Mrs.” thing to make our families feel special and dedicate something to them.
Remember, it is your day with your future husband. Enjoy the planning part and stay present. As long as,you stay on top of your stuff and be organized the planning is actually really fun. I loved every second of it and very rarely felt stressed out. Also, its okay to ask for help or to give your fiance something to do haha. I put my husband in charge of the honeymoon, as well as, making a list of some songs that he wanted the DJ to play. And that made him feel important and take something of my list.
Lastly, when it comes to the week of the wedding. Just let it all go. My goal was to work my hardest and get everything done so that the week of the wedding, I gave everything to Ania that she needed and I just relaxed and enjoyed the week with my family. Be present, know that at the end of the day things may go wrong but at that point you won’t even notice because you will be so happy that you’re marrying the love of your life. Enjoy every second of the day and allow yourself to take everything in.
One of my favorite things (especially because I did most of the planning) was before the guests were allowed in the ballroom, Joe and I were able to see the ballroom before anyone else. This was so special for me, I actually cried haha. It was amazing to see all my visions and hard work come together. To see all the vendors take what you think may look good, and make it come to life. I 100% recommend doing this to any bride, and this was something Ania actually suggested we do and I am SO happy she had us do it. It is a special moment between you and your hubby that you will never forget.