Courtney & Christopher
How did you meet? We met in high school through a mutual friend, but we didn't end up dating until much later. We reconnected when Chris came home for a few days after graduating from the Naval Academy. We went on our first date and began a long distance relationship while I finished pharmacy school in Texas and he went through officer training in Virginia.
Tell us about the proposal. With a lot of thought and careful planning, Chris came up with the perfect plan to get me dressed up for dinner on the Riverwalk. He told me that we were meeting some friends for dinner and he sold this story perfectly to keep the evening a surprise. When we got to the Riverwalk, he led me down to the water near Hotel Emma and presented me with a video of every picture we had ever taken together. He got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife! After I said "yes!" we enjoyed a romantic dinner together at Paesanos. We finished the evening off with a surprise engagement celebration with our family and closest friends at Hotel Emma. Everything was perfect!
What inspired the design or theme of your wedding day? We both tend to gravitate toward classic and elegant designs in our every day lives. Tradition is very important to both of us as well. Therefore, we planned a traditional wedding day with an elegant and timeless design. We also decided to incorporate a few elements to honor Chris's service to our country. We had a traditional military sword arch after the ceremony, Chris's groom's cake included an eye-catching fondant C-130 (the airplane he flies) on top, and we used small American flags for our guests to wave while we made our getaway.
Why did you choose the venue and vendors you did? We both wanted a beautiful and stunning ceremony venue and after visiting several churches in San Antonio we decided Sacred Heart Chapel at Our Lady of the Lake University fit the bill perfectly. The reception venue was an easy choice—Courtney's parents had their wedding reception at The St. Anthony Hotel more than 40 years ago—and after visiting the hotel and seeing the elegance and beauty of the entire building, the choice was easy! Our vendors were all carefully chosen after reading many reviews and after short interviews in some cases. We ended up going with the vendors that we felt the most comfortable with and that we knew wouldn't let us down in any way.
What were some of the most unique elements of your wedding? We wanted to honor Chris's service to our country by including a few special elements throughout our wedding day. In addition to the military sword arch and C-130 groom's cake, we chose Chris's Naval Academy "Sponsor Mother," Rosemarie, to be our ceremony cantor. Rosemarie is the cantor for the Naval Academy Chapel and her beautiful, strong voice was perfect for our ceremony setting. Additionally, we made donations in our guests' names to two different organizations instead of giving out wedding favors. The organizations were The Travis Manion Foundation, chosen by Chris, and The 100 Club, chosen by Courtney. These organizations honor our military and first responders through different initiatives.
Did anything about your wedding exceed your expectations? The service that we received from The St. Anthony Hotel was unparalleled. They anticipated our every need and made planning a breeze. Sara Wilson was an absolute pleasure to work with throughout the entire planning process and wedding day. I also absolutely loved the way our table decor turned out. Our florist, Evember, really listened to our vision and made sure it came to life.
What advice do you have for couples planning a San Antonio wedding? Incorporate elements that are important to you into the big day. This will make your wedding day even more special. While looking for vendors, read many reviews and don't hesitate to ask for a face-to-face consultation to get a better idea about how you feel about them. In some cases, I had consultations with a couple of different vendors and made my choice based on my comfort level while speaking with them.
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