Janelle Fortelny & Michael Pohlers
Hometowns: San Antonio & Corpus Christi
How did you meet? Through mutual friends. Not an uncommon or very exciting meeting, but we were friends for a couple of years before we started dating, and it’s been amazing to watch that friendship grow into a marriage.
Tell us about the proposal. It was a complete surprise. We had talked about getting engaged, but Michael really pulled out all the stops—he proposed on our third anniversary downtown on Marriage Island at the Riverwalk. He managed to hide all of my immediate family, who popped out of the woodwork at the same time he went down on one knee. It was beautiful!
What inspired the design or theme of your wedding day? Michael and I are both very laid-back, and our number one priority was for everyone to have a great time. We wanted something outdoors where we could let the scenery speak for itself. We had a vision of candles, flowers, great music, delicious food, and even better cocktails! I bought a Cricut and designed and printed all of our stationery using Adobe Illustrator. I had so much fun doing the stationery I decided to open a paper goods shop on Etsy! My dad and Michael helped me with the larger crafts like the marquee letters and the giant hanging chandelier. And we made a floral photo booth backdrop, which was a total hit.
Why did you choose the venue and vendors you did? We chose Gardens at Old Town Helotes first because it was so beautiful, then we met the owners and they were just so lovely. Ken and Vicky are wonderful people and super helpful and available. One of the major focuses of the wedding was the food—we knew we wanted the freedom to choose our own caterer and the Gardens allowed us to do that. Gardens at Old Town was extremely flexible with allowing us to choose our vendors, and we even chose a few off of their recommended list. Plus, our photographer Jackie Willome is incredible! Her stylish touch and professionalism are evident from the landing page of her website. We met, shared a couple of beers, and got to know each other, and by the end of our first meeting, we knew she was the right photographer for us.
What were some of the most unique elements of your wedding? How much we did ourselves. Weddings can be extremely expensive, and we wanted to focus most of our money on our honeymoon (2 weeks, 5 countries in Europe!). We spent a lot of time crunching numbers to figure out how we could host a simple, elegant, yet super fun night for our family and friends.
Did anything about your wedding exceed your expectations? Our wedding was the best night of our lives so far. All of our goals were met—the food was delicious, the cocktails flowed all night, and everyone had such a great night. So many people told us how much fun they had and how amazing it was. When it comes down to it at the end of the day, family and friends are what’s most important, and getting the chance to host such a fun night for us all to be together dancing and celebrating meant the world to us.
What advice do you have for couples planning a San Antonio wedding?
A) At the end of the day, it’s about you and your love getting married. Don’t sweat the small stuff. B) Consider DIYing what you can, instead of renting or buying. You won’t regret the experience of getting your family and friends together for wine and crafts, and you can resell just about everything when you’re done. C) Don’t be pressured to invite people who aren’t close to you. A lot of families, particularly the older generations, will expect you to invite your great-great-aunt’s cousin’s sister-in-law’s neighbor Rosa because Rosa knew you when you were 5. Not only can guest lists add up quickly, but you probably won’t have time to see everyone and enjoy the evening. Trust me, people will get over it if they’re not invited. D) Make a list of the things you want to accomplish throughout the night, like making sure you dance with your favorite uncle or take photos with all of your out-of-town guests. Try to stay with your new husband or wife as much as possible—you will be pulled in a million directions. E) The night goes by in a blur, so much faster than you think. Take a moment to sit back and enjoy it!
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