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Elegant Romance at the Hotel Valencia

Christina & Dylan

Photography by: Michelle Jones Photography / Wedding Date : May 6
Meant to Be
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    Elegant Romance at the Hotel Valencia

    Christina Gonzalez & Dylan Turpin

    Hometowns: San Antonio, TX & Buffalo, NY 

    How did you meet? Dylan and I met here in San Antonio. I was in my second year of dental school and Dylan was in San Antonio with the Air Force, he is originally from Buffalo, NY. I had had a very stressful week at school, and one of my best friends suggested that we go out dancing on Saturday night to have some fun and take our minds off of studying. We decided to go to The Grand Agave in Stone Oak— at the time it was a Latin night club. She and I were there with some of her friends and were having a great time when she looked at me and said, "There is a really cute guy dancing behind you." I turned around and it was Dylan. He was there with a bunch of his friends from the military. Soon after we saw each other he came over and asked me to dance. We ended up dancing together and having a great time until the club closed. Dylan always jokes that it was his dancing that won me over. He was a white guy from Buffalo, in a Latin night club, dancing with a Puerto Rican girl— it was awesome! His dancing was pretty good but it was his awesome personality that kept me hanging out with him. At the end of the night he asked for my phone number, usually I would have not ever given it out, but something told me to give it to him. We ended up exchanging texts for a little while, he was the right person, but the timing was wrong. We lost contact for about a year and a half. In that time Dylan had finished his six-year service commitment with the Air Force and moved to Indiana for work. I was still in dental school, now in my third year. One day, I went on Facebook randomly and saw a reminder that it was his birthday. I sent him a very simple, "Happy Birthday Dylan! I hope your day is amazing!" text. After that we could not stop texting. We talked and texted for several weeks. We were very fortunate soon after because Dylan was sent to San Angelo Texas for Air National Guard training for three weeks. We saw each other for the first time in years, and of course it happened on Valentine's Day of 2014; in that moment, I knew he was the one, he knew as well. We would see each other on the weekends for those three weeks and after the training ended he had to return to Indiana. Our connection was so strong, shortly thereafter he moved back to Texas and the rest is history!

    Tell us about the proposal. My favorite story about Dylan is actually how he planned to propose to me. I had no idea about any of it. He took so much time and effort to plan the most wonderful proposal and trip to places I have always wanted to go and never been.

    He started by conspiring with my boss for a way to get me out of the office, so they would need to block my schedule. But I am constantly checking my schedule weeks out, so they needed to fabricate a reason that I would need to be out of the office for a week so I was "scheduled" for training. They were even able to get the management company that works for our office to convince me that it was through their company in Austin. I was of course convinced and thought nothing of it. I texted Walky (the friend I was with when we met) and planned to stay with her!

    Once Dylan got the green light from my boss he began planning this huge trip. Oh, he had also already asked my parents permission, but that is a very different story! I told Dylan that I was going to be out of the office for a week in March for "associate training" and he was "so surprised" and happy for me, I had been talking about how I needed a little break from the office.

    In February Dylan told me that he was being sent to San Francisco for a meeting the same week I would be in Austin. I of course believed him. He even printed out itineraries and left them in random places so that I would see them.

    A week before I was supposed to leave for Austin and Dylan was supposed to leave for San Francisco, my boss told me that my training had been postponed, and I was so bummed! I had been so looking forward to a few days break from the office. I told Dylan how bummed I was and that I was freaking out about how to fill my schedule for that week, and he was bummed for me too. The next day Dylan came to me with the great "random" idea that since my schedule was empty and I was supposed to be out of the office anyway, that I should go with him to San Francisco. I immediately said that I couldn't go and that it would be super irresponsible for me to ask my boss for a week off where I was supposed to be at a training, and that he needed me at the office. Dylan kept trying to convince me, but I wasn't budging. I then looked up tickets for San Francisco and they were sooo expensive so I told him I really couldn't go because of how expensive the ticket was.

    Dylan talked to my mom about everything at a family event later and she really encouraged me to go. After a lot of convincing she finally had me call my boss to ask about taking the week off. He was very understanding and said I should go since I didn't have any patient's scheduled anyways. So I decided to go. There was still the matter of the expensive ticket. Dylan said not to worry that he would find one. Later he forwarded me a confirmation email for my ticket (that he had bought months before) but he edited the email to make it look like he had just bought the ticket.

    The next Friday, we were off to San Francisco! We were delayed in Dallas, and I was happy because we would have time to eat lunch, I couldn't tell but Dylan was stressing. We made it to San Francisco and it was POURING! Dylan kept saying that he wanted to go to the pacific side and see the ocean before we went to the bay side because this would be the only time we would be able to see it. I thought it was crazy, but I was in vacation mode and up for anything! So we went! As we got to the ocean, the rain stopped and the clouds began to part! We were up on this beautiful plateau over the ocean! We walked out closer to the edge and Dylan proposed! It was such an amazing moment! He had taken so much time and effort not only to plan the proposal, but to get me there with him also! He not only had the proposal planned but the rest of the week as well! We went to Napa, which I've always wanted to go to, toured San Fran, flew to LA to visit a very close friend and drove to San Diego as well! He had picked out sights to see, places to eat and awesome places to stay! It really was a trip of lifetime and meant the world to me that he planned such a special trip for such a special moment in our lives!

    What inspired the design or theme of your wedding day? The theme for our wedding was romantic and elegant. I really wanted it to feel timeless. Our colors were emerald green, sage green, ivory and splashes of gold. I chose these colors because I felt that they would work well with the theme. Also, after visiting Hotel Valencia and knowing that it was the venue for us I was also so inspired. The hotel helped me a lot with the theme for the wedding!

    Why did you choose the venue and vendors you did? Hotel Valencia was actually the first venue that we looked at, per my mom’s suggestion. We both fell in love with it right away (and this was BEFORE the renovations, we love it even more now). The atmosphere of the hotel was amazing. We also loved the idea of having the ceremony in the courtyard. I loved that the ballroom had lots of windows so that it didn't feel like a ballroom way in the back of a hotel. Dylan and I also wanted to keep our wedding more on the intimate side and Hotel Valencia was the perfect size for that. The next thing we chose was our photographer, Michelle. I took hours and hours looking at photographers’ galleries looking for the style of photos that I had always envisioned. As soon as I saw Michelle's website I knew she was the photographer for us. After meeting with her we were completely hooked! The rest of the vendors that we chose were actually recommendations of Michelle's! We were SO happy with everyone that we chose—I can honestly say we had the dream team! Our DJ, Brandon was outstanding from the minute we met him, he completely understood what we wanted for our reception and made it happen. Our coordinator, Diana was so understanding from the minute we met with her and kept everything on track! My mom and I loved knowing that she was there for us. Erin at Eden's Echo was just purely awesome from the first meeting! She took the time to listen to my vision for the wedding and show me sample florals as well as draw me diagrams for everything. We were sold on everyone we met from the first meetings with them. We never met with more than one vendor.

    What were some of the most unique elements of your wedding? One part that I really loved was our Thumbprint tree for our guestbook. All of the guests marked with their thumbprints on the tree and signed next to their prints. My mom also ordered these awesome guava cookies from Puerto Rico as gifts for the guests and I loved that! They were really special because they were from Puerto Rico and they are delicious. Another thing I really loved is that Dylan I were the first couple to get married at Hotel Valencia with the renovations being completed! That was really special to us.

    Did anything about your wedding exceed your expectations? Honestly, everything did. The floral arrangements took my breath away when I walked in and got a sneak peak of the ceremony and reception areas. The bouquets were so outstanding, we couldn't stop “oohing and awing” over them! The food and cake were also amazing! People have continuously commented on how great the cake was. Brandon went way above and beyond on the music, keeping the dance floor packed! Once I got on the dance floor I never left! I was having the time of my life. Dylan and I are still in complete awe of our wedding photos by Michelle—she does the most outstanding work!

    What advice do you have for couples planning a San Antonio wedding? My first piece of advice would be to have fun while planning your wedding, Dylan and I really enjoyed the whole process and that was important to me. Another piece of advice would be to ask vendors that you have already chosen for recommendations on other vendors. They have been to/worked a lot of weddings and have likely seen a whole range of vendors, they will likely steer you in the right direction for other vendors. If you have a lot of out of town guests coming try to incorporate some fun San Antonio items into the wedding. We had gift bags for our guests staying at the hotel and they were the HEB reusable bags that have artwork of the Hemisfair Park, Alamo and Riverwalk on the front. Guests from out of town LOVED them and it's something fun for them to keep.

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