“It will definitely be hard at times but just remember that you love each other and to always support and look out for one another. After all, the wedding is all about your love.“
From the couple: We met during medical school (Anthony – Osteopathic Medicine, Melissa – Optometry) through mutual friends. We were just friends in the beginning because we both needed partners for rock climbing. We also went out to try new restaurants a lot. It wasn’t until a year later that we started dating. After 2 years with some long-distance dating, followed by a move to Michigan for Anthony’s 5-year surgical residency program, he popped the question to me and I said yes! It happened in Washington, DC during a trip we took together to my hometown (Alexandria, in Northern Virginia). The engagement itself was pretty spontaneous – he had the ring in his pocket but didn’t have a plan on how to propose, so it ended up happening in a random Smithsonian outdoor sculpture garden when we were trying to find a metro station. We thought we were alone, but after he proposed we looked up and people were clapping around us! My engagement ring is pretty simple. It is a white gold solitaire round-cut diamond, but it also has two tiny princess-cut diamonds hidden at the base of the solitaire. Anthony thought princess cut was more interesting than round cut so he got both! It matches with my white gold wedding band that has a small section of diamond pavé. His ring is simple also – a plain, yellow gold wedding band without any designs or stones. We wanted our wedding theme to fit with the vineyard. With such beautiful, romantic views, we didn’t want the wedding to clash and work against what was already there. I wanted my dress to go along with our wedding theme, so I wanted a more traditional A-line strapless white dress with beautiful, soft floral lace. I was also lucky to have a magnificent train with it, which was very breathtaking. My veil was actually my mother’s veil from her wedding and she was so kind to let me borrow it on my special day. My shoes were gold strappy heels with silver rhinestones. Anthony wanted to be classic and simple – a blue suit, a pressed white shirt, and dark brown leather shoes with leather soles. The tie was a dark blue, held with a gold tie bar that his father had worn for his own wedding. Our bridesmaids wore one-shoulder blush dresses while our groomsmen wore slightly darker blue suits with gold ties. We wanted to add that soft, romantic look into our theme with their colors. Our florist (The Flower House – Jinger) was amazing! Because we had to plan most of the wedding from Michigan, we had only met her once in person. The rest of our contact was by email. We wanted our florals to match our theme: romantic and rustic. We really wanted to incorporate succulents and greenery into our arrangements to add that touch of sage and she delivered with sage, olive leaves, and dusty miller. We got so many compliments about our flowers. We were truly amazed by them! We didn’t focus much on decorating because again, Las Positas Vineyards was already beautiful. Our florist added a few soft touches at the altar with 2 low lush flowers sitting on top of wine barrels and a few hanging jar flowers along the aisle. We also added a wine tasting and refreshments for our guests to enjoy. Really, we wanted to make sure they had a good time. As for our processional and recessional songs, we really didn’t want something too traditional but something that we felt portrayed our personalities. Our processional song was “Dinner” by Yo-Yo Ma and Ennio Morricone while our recessional song was “Celeste” by Ezra Vine. We wanted to have a traditional Chinese banquet reception with a delicious 10 course meal. With the many people we invited, Asian Pearl Restaurant provided an amazing space and service. Our florist again did an amazing job with our centerpieces, bringing the romantic and rustic feel of the vineyards to our reception. Our cake also had those same floral touches, and we also made cute little succulents as our party favors for our guests to bring a piece back home. As untraditional as we are, we didn’t want to do a first dance but rather a first song together. The story behind this was that before we started dating, we did a duet at a karaoke bar and sang a Taylor Swift song together, which everyone there felt a little spark between us. So it was only fitting that we sang another Taylor Swift song together: “Everything Has Changed.” We also wanted to have fun at our reception so we had a fun photo booth, open bar, and a few games. One of the game was for us where we played The Shoe Game but another one was for the guests where they hunted specific items we came up with while playing musical chairs! Our emcee Alan Waltz was great at hosting our night! He even saved our cake for getting run over during the scavenger hunt game! We also had another less crazier game where our guests took specific photos throughout the night. And of course, we topped the night with lots of dancing. Wedding planning was not easy for us, especially from across the country. But having Anthony by my side helping me, we made it all possible and we had a very beautiful and fun wedding. The biggest advice we can give is to always communicate with each other, not just on the small details but also when it does get frustrating and overwhelming. It will definitely be hard at times but just remember that you love each other and to always support and look out for one another. After all, the wedding is all about your love.