Another day, another fabulous blogging bride! Meet our sweet (still semi-newlywed!) December blogging bride, Samantha!
Couple: Samantha and Ronnie
Wedding date: April 2, 2016
Ceremony location: Dallas Heritage Village
Reception location:Dallas Heritage Village
Photographer: Evan Godwin Photography
How did you and Ronnie meet?
Ronnie and I met as undergraduates at SMU through a mutual friend. We were first introduced at a frat party – very romantic, I know – and the rest was history!
Tell us about your engagement!
Ronnie was in medical school in Galveston at the time, and we had been successful with a long distance relationship for about two years. I went to to visit him for the weekend, as I often did, and although I knew that a proposal would be coming soon, for whatever reason I really didn’t suspect anything. I should have known when I woke up to Ronnie furiously ironing his shirt for “lunch and running errands”. He surprised me with a private penguin encounter at the local aquarium, which is something I had been wanting to do for a while. We went to the penguin enclosure and met the CUTEST little penguin named Tommy Lee. As a souvenir, the penguins are trained to walk through paint and then across a canvas on the floor. The penguin handler handed me Tommy Lee’s artwork and told me to turn it over. On the back was written, “Will you marry me?” Also, here’s a fun fact about penguins: When a male penguin is interested in mating with a female, he presents her with a pebble. If she accepts, they are paired for life. (I don’t think Ronnie knew this when he planned the proposal, haha!)
How long was your engagement?
Our engagement was definitely on the longer side compared to many of our peers. It was about a year and 8 months. But it absolutely flew by! Being engaged is such a magical time in a relationship – I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
What did you pick first.. the date or the venue?
I think we picked the venue first, but we booked so far in advance, we had no worries regarding selecting a date. They were all available! Of course, we had to work around Ronnie’s medical school schedule. He said the safest bet would be to wait until April. So I said, “great, first Saturday in April it is!” Everything else fell into place after that.
Tell us about how the planning process went for you.
I’m that girl who has dreamed about my wedding day since essentially birth, so I had a lot of fun planning, especially at the beginning of our engagement. It turns out that our long engagement was a blessing for me because I was able to step away from it whenever I began to feel burned out. The first portion of our engagement was spent on the big decisions – date, venue, DJ, photographer, etc. – and I worked on the details towards the end. I can be pretty Type A so having the ability to space the expenses out, and not having to make all of those decisions at one time helped me keep the stress at bay.
What was a must have for your wedding?
Maybe the better question would be what wasn’t a must have! 😛 One thing does stand out to me – I really wanted a packed dance floor and for everyone to be dancing and having a great time. I was actually super nervous about this leading up to the wedding. Fortunately the wedding was a blast, thanks to our wonderful DJ, Rick.
What is your favorite memory from your wedding?
Ronnie’s family immigrated to America from Syria, and we had a lot of his extended family come to Texas for the wedding. The blending of two families and cultures was the overarching theme in our ceremony, and the reception definitely reflected that as well. We absolutely loved having people from so many different facets of our lives come together for the first time that night, and I will never forget how it felt to look around the room and see everyone dancing and laughing together.
Describe your overall experience with your wedding?
It really was the perfect day and so much fun. I wish I could re-live it over and over again! Everyone we worked with was amazing. We had an absolutely fabulous team of vendors who ensured that we were able to enjoy the experience. I can’t stress enough the importance of having vendors that you can trust. They are worth every penny!
If you could give one piece of advice to a couple in the process of planning their wedding, what would it be?
In the age of Pinterest and Style Me Pretty, it is so easy to get caught up in the comparison game. I think those sites are a wonderful resource in the beginning (I had secret Pinterest boards for pretty much every facet of the wedding), but the over-the-top table settings and perfectly styled brides definitely have the power to alter your expectations for your own day. If you think you might fall into this trap, I really recommend not relying too heavily on the internet for inspiration after you have settled on the majority of the details. Following this rule helped me to keep things in perspective, focus on our vision and priorities for the day, and not second-guess the decisions we had made.
Thanks so much for sharing, Samantha! We totally have to agree with you.. in the age of Pinterest and Style Me Pretty it’s so easy to get wrapped up in comparing yourself to others, as well as trying to plan a Pinterest perfect wedding! You’re a great example of someone who used those sites for inspiration, but didn’t let the sites overwhelm you so you could focus on what was most important to you.. a fun, love filled day with Ronnie, your family and friends!