Carissa Rios and Monica Gonzalez
How did you meet? Carissa and Monica met during San Antonio's Pride celebration in July 2015 through a group of mutual friends. They ended up at the same after party on the rooftop of the Blue Star Arts Complex, where they shared great conversation and an obvious attraction, under a perfect starry night. Upon their exit, as the group was descending down the stairs of the stranger's apartment, Monica's foot skipped a step and she literally fell to her butt. Carissa was right behind her and saw the whole thing. Carissa felt horrible and told Monica that she was definitely going to get a huge bruise where she fell! Monica, knowing she wanted to see Carissa again, took the opportunity to bet Carissa a beer that she would not get a bruise, knowing she'd of course lose. A week later, Monica bought Carissa a beer, and it was all because Monica fell for her...from day one!
Tell us about the proposal: Carissa decided to speak to Monica's parents and siblings before popping the question, as she knew it was something Monica would appreciate. And on June 10th 2017, after spending the perfect day together, followed by enjoying a pizza and a few beers at Stella Public House for dinner, it was time. They sat on a bench overlooking the river, Carissa grabbed her guitar and played the song "Grow Old With You." And every word sang was as true and genuine as they've ever been in describing her promise to Monica. Needless to say, she said "Yes!"
What inspired the design or theme of your wedding day? We took what was important to us, the things we loved most, and created our simple downtown wedding. Our colors were navy blue and plum, with hints of champagne gold/ Carissa's mom did an amazing job on the centerpieces and decor that helped make our big day absolutely beautiful.
Why did you choose the venue and vendors you did? The downtown atmosphere was definitely the vibe we were going for, and we were in love with La Orilla del Rio ballroom from the very first visit. We absolutely loved the floor to ceiling windows, not to mention the perfect views from the balcony. As far as our vendors, we were so privileged to have them be part of our day, and we went with them in hopes that they could bring a little bit of magic to our day. And they definitely didn't disappoint.
What were some of the most unique elements of your wedding? The two most unique elements of our wedding were our first dance mashup and our two signature drinks from Rookies Bar Service. Our first dance started with a slow version of Walk The Moon's Shut Up and Dance With Me, and switched to a mix of a few songs that allowed us to bust out our best dance moves. Rookies Bar was such a pleasure to work with and were able to customize our "hers and hers" margaritas that catered to each of our personalities: Sweet (prickly pear) and Spicy (jalapeño and cucumber).
Did anything about your wedding exceed your expectations? With our big day being in December, we honestly just hoped for decent weather, a good turn out and an overall fun celebration. We had perfect weather, our venue was filled to the brim with support from those we love most and the smiles and laughter tells us everyone really enjoyed themselves. Our expectations were superseded from start to finish. From our ceremony conducted by Rev. Rene Esparza, with his genuine and unique words, to our DJ, Nolan (DJ Men-yo), who really brought our celebration to an unexpected level of continuous dancing and energy. Our big day was definitely unforgettable for the two of us, but we didn't expect for our friends and family to be talking about it for days and even weeks after, which we felt made all of the planning and the craziness worth it. Wouldn't have changed a thing.
What advice do you have for couples planning a San Antonio wedding? There are so many options you can choose from in our great city, it can definitely be a bit overwhelming; focus on the top three components that are important to you and your future Mr. or Mrs.
Our top three were the presence of our families, great music, and of course the food and drinks. Don't sweat it if the chargers aren't all the same, or if you didn't order those cute personalized coasters your honey really wanted, we promise it won't be demise of your wedding day. Just keep in mind that the sole purpose of your big day is to celebrate the love you share. Period. So, everything else you include on your wedding day are really just cherries on top to your new life together.
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