Samantha Lynn Lara & Matthew Paul Cutler
Hometowns: San Antonio & Oxford, England
How did you meet? We met by chance at Howl at the Moon in downtown San Antonio during Fiesta in 2013. Matthew was in town on holiday visiting his friend David and they were going on a tour of America. After an adventurous night out, I heard Matthew’s accent and I had to meet him. We made eye contact and I walked right up to him. We talked for a couple of minutes until Matthew was whisked away by his friends. Luckily, we exchanged numbers but never found a chance to meet up before he left San Antonio.
Tell us about the proposal. Matthew said we were going to a grand opening of a downtown bar in San Antonio. We walked through Milam Park, a special place from our early dating days. As we approached the park's gazebo, I noticed a violinist and cellist playing music. I stopped and asked, “Did you do this?” Matthew replied, “No, why would I?” As I continued walking, he stopped me and said, “They’re playing Taylor Swift's 'Love Story'!” (Side note: to say I love Taylor Swift is an understatement.) I asked Matthew how he knew what they were playing and he replied, “Because I brought them here.” He got down on his knee and proposed. After I said yes, I heard cheering from behind me and my mom and two of our close friends emerged from behind the gazebo.
What inspired the design or theme of your wedding day? As soon as I saw the Spire at Sunset Station, I fell in love. With its simple elegance, I immediately envisioned exactly how I wanted the reception. As we were talking to vendors and making decisions, the design of classic elegance came to be. Our theme was simple: we really wanted to mix our two cultures together—British and Texan.
How did you choose your venue and vendors? The weekend after we were engaged, we stumbled into the wedding fair at the JW Marriott. We sampled food from Rosemary’s Catering at The RK Group's tent and were hooked. The food was the main sell for us, and when we attended the open house and I walked into the candlelit Spire and was greeted with Champagne, our decision was made. As for vendors, we tried to meet as many as possible so we could find the right fit for our needs.
What was the most trying part of the planning process? With Matthew being from England, we also had immigration processes to worry about and configure into our timeline. Missing any important immigration details could have meant that Matthew wouldn’t have been here for the wedding! With that being said, Matthew had a limited time in America so when he was in town our schedule was jam packed with wedding and immigration stuff.
What were some of the most unique elements of your wedding? Our guests were transported from downtown to the ceremony and reception venues by a traditional London-style, double-decker bus decorated with pictures from our engagement photo shoot. The violinist and cellist from our engagement played as everyone arrived at the reception where guests enjoyed the traditional English summer beverage, Pimms; a candy bar featuring British and American candies; and the bride’s favourite late-night snack, bean and cheese tacos! My bridesmaids surprised us with our own custom snapchat filter for the reception, and since spinning is something Matthew and I enjoy doing together and Joyride offers a wedding package that includes a free, private spin class for the wedding party, we got our friends and wedding party together the day after the wedding for a private spin class!
Did anything about your wedding exceed your expectations? Yes! Our photographer Sonia from Aria Productions is truly amazing! She met with us numerous times, responded to our countless emails, and provided us with perfectly captured moments of our wedding day that we will cherish forever. We were also highly impressed with The RK Group. Raul was our event coordinator on the day of our wedding and he went above and beyond—when he noticed we didn’t have a knife to cut our cake, he personally went out and bought us a set. He was fully attentive throughout the night, helped us load up vehicles at the end of the night, brought a shuttle to help transport guests, and transported stuff to our hotel all out of the goodness of his heart and in hopes of making the end of our night perfect. The RK Group even made us a picnic basket with two plates of our wedding dinner, two slices of cake, a giant bottle of water, a bottle of prosecco, and a set of our silverware and napkins. It was the perfect touch to the end of a perfect night.
What are your favorite memories from the day? There are so many, but the best man speech was hysterically funny. It was great to laugh so much after the stress of the day.
What advice do you have for couples planning a San Antonio wedding? Always ask questions, as we learned there is never a stupid question that you can ever ask any vendor. Our constant communication with our vendors helped us have a smooth wedding day.
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