Well, like most every bride says- It's MY turn! I literally almost can't believe it. I am so excited to share with you ladies all the fun projects and planning I have done for my June 28, 2013 wedding at Azul Sensatori in the Riviera Maya, MX.
Of course, I must first start by saying THANK YOU to all the wonderful ladies here on this forum. Without you all and this forum planning my destination wedding would have been nearly impossible!
Alright, I have LOTS to share, so let's get down to it....
Our Story and Engagement:
Boy and Girl Meet:
Dan and I met in chiropractic school in Marietta, Ga in 2006. He says the first day he saw me he knew he wanted to be with me, but it wasnâ€™t in the cards for us until 4 years later in 2010.
For four years we grew a strong friendship with each other and many others that we went to school with. We had every class together, and enjoyed studying together for quizzes, tests, and national board exams. Romantically we had other people in our lives, but we continued to build a friendship. In the fall of 2009 we started to become even closer and at this point we were both single.
Boy and Girl Fall in Love:
By early 2010 we began dating. We took the relationship very slow, and just enjoyed each otherâ€™s company. Dan would come visit me at work, come over to my house and watch movies with me, take me out to lunch, and all kinds of fun things.
From the very beginning the thing I loved so much about Dan was how genuine he is. Even throughout our friendship this is a quality that I admired about him. He is the sweetest man and has always been very good at expressing his feelings for me.
In June of 2010 we graduated from chiropractic school together. Whoooo! Finally doctors after all that hard work! The week leading up to graduation is where our relationship really took off. We spent every single day together and with our other friends. We went to one last Braves game, we hung out at the pool all day, we played games, we went tubing down the good olâ€™ Chattahoochee River, we went to our awards ceremony...all kinds of fun things. It was during this week that I truly began to love Dan.
That Saturday, June 18th, 2010 we graduated together. The next morning I packed up a truck and moved to New Jersey. We didnâ€™t really know where we would go from here or if anything would ever work out for us in the long term. I didnâ€™t even know when I would see him again.
That summer Dan was in a wedding of a close friend of ours, Brian. The wedding was in Ohio, and Dan had some interviews in Pennsylvania ranging from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia. We talked every day and began to realize that we missed each other and wanted to see each other. Dan planned to come pick me up in NJ and spend a few days with me.
On June 29th, he picked me up at my sister, Desireeâ€™s, house in Titusville and we headed for the shore! We spent the whole day at the beach and then headed into NYC to meet up with our friends Matt and Alex. Matt had just graduated with us and moved back to the city. We had a really nice night in the city and that was the day we decided to make our relationship â€œofficial.â€
That summer took us all over the place! We spent time at my parent's house in Newton, NJ. We spent time in NYC with Matt and Alex. We went to the shore a few times. We spent time at Desireeâ€™s house, and we even traveled all the way back down south to spend time with Dan's parents and family in North Carolina. We had a LOT of fun.
I had a job lined up in Brooklyn, NY for months, but it fell through at the last minute. Dan was looking for jobs in Pennsylvania and NYC and we got to the point where we started realizing how badly we wanted to be together. We had fallen in love, and finding jobs near each other suddenly became more important than anything else.
We were in luck! I found a job as an associate chiropractor in West Chester, PA and Dan found a job as an associate chiropractor in Trappe, PA which is about 40 minutes from West Chester. It was settled. We decided to move to PA and accept the jobs! We began working before we had a place to live in PA, so we commuted from my sister, Desireeâ€™s, and Dan's Uncle Jamie and Aunt Donnaâ€™s houses. They were nice enough to let us stay with them while we looked for a place to live. We searched and searched and finally found a quaint apartment in West Chester in The Gateway. We were SO excited.
On August 14th, 2010 we moved into our new apartment. Dan's parents came up from North Carolina to help us move in, and that evening we all headed out to Delaware for Dan's cousinâ€™s wedding.
The next few weeks were so exciting for us. We spent every minute that we werenâ€™t working trying to furnish and decorate our new home. We finally got all settled in and began our life in West Chester.
Just a few short months later on November 29, 2010 we got a little surprise... we found out we would soon be parents! We were thrilled beyond belief and could not wait to meet our baby.
Fast forward to July 21, 2011 and we finally got to meet our little bundle of joy! Our lives haven't been the same since! Becoming parents together has been the most amazing experience and falling in love with our little boy has only made our love for each other multiply as well.
Boy and Girl Get Engaged:
First let me start with this: it was a complete surprise! I almost don't know how he did it because our lives are so intertwined, but he managed to pull it off and the surprise factor is one of my favorite parts of our engagement story. We live together, work together, have only one vehicle, and I manage our bank accounts and never saw a debit so I literally do not know how he did it. Props to you, baby!
Ok, so on to the actual story. We had decided the week before Valentine's Day that we would celebrate on the day before Valentine's Day for a few reasons, but the biggest reason being that we didn't want to try to bring a baby out on such a "couples" night and risk ruining other people's romantic evening. We decided on one of favorite little BYO spots in the borough.
We arrived at the restaurant to find that we were the only people there which I was thrilled about. It is such a quaint little place and when I say little I mean little! We were pleased to have the place to ourselves. Immediately after we sat down and got situated, I suggested exchanging gifts. Dan suggested waiting until dessert which I thought was odd, but I went along with it. We exchanged cards instead and started to order. A few times throughout the meal like after we exchanged cards and when we toasted our wine we tried to kiss across the table and I thought it was so odd that Dan was fidgety and acting like he kind of couldn't reach. Dan is so affectionate so I was like "What's up with you, what do you mean you can't lean any further across the table..?!" It struck me as odd, and knowing what I know now, I think he was fidgeting with the ring in his pocket or something. Who knows...Dan still denies this entire part of the story.
Once we finished our meal (ahh-mazing, by the way) and ordered dessert, we finally exchanged gifts. I gave Dan his first, and then as I was opening the first part of my gift, Dan starts going into this deep spiel about how much he loves me and how committed he is to me and Sylas, etc. I'm shaking my head and agreeing that I love him more than anything and saying "Yeah, I know babe, let's eat this cheesecake!" when he gets on one knee and the realization comes to me that he is trying to propose!
By this time about 3 other tables had arrived and all heads turned as I say rather loudly "Oh my gosh!" Dan is on his knee and I'm standing for some unknown reason and everyone in the restaurant is ooo-ing and ahh-ing. I hear one girl say to her friends "can we clap?" at which point I was completely shocked and overwhelmed and say "Yes, we have a baby... but we're not married!" Ok, I have no idea why that came out of my mouth, but it did and we all laughed. Poor Dan is still on his knee at this point awaiting an official answer when I realize and say "Yes, yes, of course!" We hugged and kissed (and cried) and sat back down to marvel at my new ring and the fact that he had completely pulled off the best surprise of my life!
The owner of the restaurant came out to personally congratulate us with complimentary champagne presented on a beautiful tray with rose petals. The whole thing was perfect and the best surprise I could have asked for.
To make a good story even better, Dan later informed me that he did ask my dad for his blessing which I thought was incredibly romantic and thoughtful. My dad really appreciated the gesture. Also, the diamond from my beautiful ring is a family heirloom. It belonged to Dan's grandmother which I think is so special.