Matt and I met in the Summer of 2013 at an internship in Philadelphia, PA. We spent a lot of time together during that summer as friends and when the internship came to an end, we both went back home to finish our undergraduate degrees. I returned to The University of Texas and Matt headed back to The University of Minnesota.
I had always thought we were just friends throughout that summer, but Matt, to this day says he knew he was going to marry me the moment he met me at the start of that summer. Matt continued to reach out via text to me throughout the following months and on a last-minute whim came to visit me in Texas during the Christmas break that year. We spent a week together before Christmas and Matt then flew back a few days later to spend New Year's Eve with me and my family. You could say the rest was history.
After we completed our undergraduate degrees, Matt and I first moved to Jacksonville, Florida. Our careers evolved and jobs changed taking us to Washington, D.C., Durham, North Carolina, and now we are calling Chicago our home.
The one thing however that always stayed constant was the importance of family. I have always been very close with my family back in Texas and home was always San Antonio. So, on the weekend of my little sister's college graduation when Matt knew we would all be together, he put planned a surprise proposal with all of my family and friends. He had the perfect cover as it was also my birthday that weekend! So, on the day of my birthday after my sister's graduation, I was on my way to what I thought was dinner with friends and along the Riverwalk and Matt popped the question! Needless to say, I was surprised and then on our way back home from the surprise, out comes all of my close family and friends for a surprise engagement party! It was unforgettable!
Growing up in San Antonio, I always dreamt of getting married at San Fernando Cathedral. As a little girl, I adored the Riverwalk, after going nearly every year with my family to see the lights each holiday season. Both of these aspects were a must and the very first priority for us. Because of this, that special time in San Antonio (Holiday Season) was quite competitive so we not only had to plan ahead. We also wanted to have both an indoor and outdoor element of our venue on the Riverwalk and freedom to choose vendors. The Jack Guenther Pavilion at The Briscoe Western Art Museum gave us just that. In terms of my other vendors, we did a lot of research and reached out to family and friends to hear their recommendations. And honestly, we couldn't have had a better team of vendors!
Several unique elements of our wedding included: half of the wedding party being from out of state on my husband's side. We decided to give them the ultimate in a San Antonio Riverwalk experience. This included large marquee letters of our initials that were hand-made by my father, having an "Hora Loca" where we had an entertainer come into the dance portion of the reception and continue to keep people on the dance floor, and exiting the wedding on a San Antonio River Barge!
If you ask my husband's family who are mostly from Minnesota and Wisconsin, they would tell you the most unique element of our wedding was having real life mariachis!
GET A WEDDING PLANNER, especially if you are planning a wedding from out of the city or out of the state! Also, do your research prior and have some ideas of what you want and what you don't want. If you want a more popular venue, like San Fernando Cathedral, or time of year, like the short time period that the lights are up on the Riverwalk, plan ahead! Lastly, try to enjoy this time in your life. It seems hectic in that moment, but looking back, it was such an incredible time in our lives that we won't ever forget.
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