Laura Dougan & Geraldo Salas
How did you meet? We met at work. We're both middle school teachers at the same school. He is a sixth grade math teacher and a coach. I teach eighth grade science. I actually met up with him and some co-workers to go for a night of country western dancing. He seemed like a decent guy and I had an extra ticket to the Tobin Center to see a piano performance, so I decided to invite Geraldo to join me with some friends for that event. After the symphony, we stopped in a local hole-in-the-wall bar for a drink. Conversations finally led us to go running together, training for several races we enjoy participating in and around San Antonio.
Tell us about the proposal. On December 16, 2015, Geraldo asked me on a date to see the Symphony Holiday Pops at the Tobin Center. I hadn’t been back to the Tobin since we saw the piano performance so I was delighted to go. After the symphony, we went back to the hole-in-the-wall-bar for a drink before hitting the town for a birthday celebration. He brought me out on the dance floor and asked: "Do you remember this?" and kissed me. He then brought out a picture of us from a past outing and asked: “Do you remember this?” For both questions, I said, “Yes, of course I remember your kisses and our outings!” He reaches into his pocket and asks me, “Will you remember this?” and gets down on one knee, opens the box, and proposes. I cried and said “Yes!”
What inspired the design of your wedding day? My wedding inspiration came from my dad. He loved to travel and hike the Texas trails. He would mention all of the pretty sights, old historic landmarks, trains and tracks that were once used for importing and exporting, as well as wildflowers.
How did you select the Gardens at Old Town Helotes, along with your other vendors? We chose our venue based on ratings, availability, price, location, versatility, and most of all, the scenery and Hill Country beauty of the Gardens at Old Town Helotes. We did a ton of shopping for our vendors through wedding sites and word-of-mouth to narrow it down to a good ol’ Texas theme.
What were some of the most unique details from your wedding? Having a picture of my dad at the very first front aisle seat and my mom walking me down the aisle. I was so in love with the beauty of the pergola. Letty did an outstanding job to give it that peach color with greenery. I’d never seen anything like that done on the pergola. I had a mother-daughter dance during which we danced a routine to “My Girl” and then it mixed into “Uptown Funk.” We had fun with it and wanted it to be a happy moment. My dad was with us. We knew he was there.
Did anything about your wedding exceed your expectations? Everything. It was everything we dreamed of and hoped it would be from the decorative door and drapery along the venue railings to the table and chair setups, lantern lights, and all the hard work done by everyone there that day, giving it their all to make it our special day. I truly appreciate it.
Sonia with Aria Productions went above and beyond a photographer’s call of duty. She held up like a champ with the 100-degree weather to capture every moment of our big day. She allowed us to incorporate our own twist and creativity in our engagement photos, my bridal portraits, and our wedding, using everything from coffee bars, tulips, and books to old trains at the Texas Transportation Museum and ultimately the Texas wildflower theme of our wedding. She deserves an award for being able to capture all of our visions and happiness through the lens.
Jamie Taylor, a coordinator with Gardens at Old Town Helotes, also did an exceptional job at tackling all of our wedding challenges such as event timing, planning, the rehearsal, meetings, and tips before the big day. She was a joy to work with. I will never forget that Jamie was the one who fluffed up my dress before the walk down the aisle with my mom. That moment really touched my heart and I will forever be grateful to her. She did what a sister (which I don’t have) would do.
What are your favorite memories from the day? Getting ready in the bridal suite with all the laughter and jokes. And I will never forget my mom walking me down the aisle, holding her hand tight with my eyes fixed on my groom. We also enjoyed seeing relatives we don’t get to see very often, co-workers catching up, and everyone enjoying their time of fellowship and joy.
Do you have any advice for couples planning a San Antonio wedding? Be who you are. Whatever vision or dream you have for your special day, dig deep and find the energy to make it happen! All decorations, ideas, and personalization can and should be executed, even if you have to do it yourself. When shopping for vendors, don’t settle.
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