Chelsea Keaton & Idir Moussouni
Hometowns: San Antonio & Paris
How did you meet? We met at the Lion & Rose Pub and there was an instant attraction.
Tell us about the proposal. Idir flew me to Paris to meet his family and propose. The amazing proposal at the top of the Eiffel Tower is what inspired the theme of the wedding—a Paris theme with a lot of emphasis on the Eiffel Tower.
How did you choose Castle Avalon and your other wedding vendors? We visited several venues, but the moment we drove onto the grounds of Castle Avalon, the decision was easy. It is absolutely breathtaking and was the perfect backdrop for our special day. As for our other vendors, we went to several wedding shows with a list of vendors we needed to book as well as questions to ask. We visited with each vendor at the show, took note of what we liked, and then compared notes with each other. We also asked our favorite vendors, such as Lisa on Location and Susan from Castle Avalon, which vendors were very popular and easy to work with. Between the wedding shows, personal recommendations, and online information, the decisions on what vendors to use were not too difficult.
What was one of the most trying aspects of planning the wedding? Picking the right dress was very difficult. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to wear such an extravagant gown! There are so many beautiful styles of dresses and each time I thought I found the perfect dress, I would find another one I thought may be even more beautiful. I probably tried on 50 dresses before my mom found the perfect one. In the end, I found the perfect dress for the ceremony, another for the reception, and one for the getaway. I was able to wear the getaway dress on our honeymoon for a photo shoot on the cruise ship with Alaska's beautiful scenery in the background.
It was also a struggle to get visas for the wedding party because many people would be visiting from Algeria. Even finding a place for them to stay was difficult because of the three-day weekend. Also, we had to turn in measurements for the bridesmaids' dresses and groomsmen's tuxedos early and there were many miscommunication issues with that!
Describe your unique wedding details. The invitations and table names were done in both English and French since French is Idir's family's primary language. I loved that we named the tables after special places in Paris that we visited. We also included cards at each table that held a photo of us at that specific sight, along with information about that location. The five-foot ice sculpture of the Eiffel Tower, which was lit up with our wedding color—Tiffany blue—was also fabulous. Also, Paris is full of artists, so we included an artist who drew caricatures of our guests. We had our guests sign the mat that framed our caricature drawing made on our wedding day. We also loved our cakes! They were equally delicious and breathtakingly beautiful. We wanted our cake to look very French and ornate. In place of the groom's cake, we decided to have Parisian wedding cakes, known as croquembouche, made in our wedding colors—Tiffany blue, blush, and gold—and they were amazing!
What are your favorite memories? Seeing Idir at the altar. His expression was priceless. I really loved reciting our vows and hearing the string quartet during the ceremony. Plus, the dove release was an extra special moment. At the reception, I loved the first dances most of all. I also was very touched by the toasts, and I especially enjoyed Bernie Martini's performing during dinner!
Do you have any advice for couples planning a San Antonio wedding? Even though wedding planning can be very stressful and overwhelming, make time for each other and continue to do the things you enjoy together.
How did you meet? We met at Lion & Rose where I used to hang out with my coworkers and where Chelsea was working as a server. I remember one night, it was raining and cold outside. She was going to close the bar but didn't have a ride home, so she came to me and asked if I could wait and give her a ride home. I said yes, and I'm glad I did because that day I discovered who Chelsea really is. We exchanged numbers and that's when our relationship started.
Tell us about the proposal. The easiest part of the proposal plan was to choose a beautiful city. I chose Paris, The City of Love. The hardest part was choosing an actual place in Paris because there are so many beautiful options. Before choosing the perfect place, I decided to take her to see some of them so I could see her reaction—and she was amazed by the Eiffel Tower. I called to make a reservation at one of the best restaurants in Paris, which sits at the top of the Eiffel Tower, and I took her there for dinner and proposed on July 23, 2014.
What inspired the design or theme of your wedding day? Our trip together to Paris.
What are your favorite memories from the day?
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