It’s so funny writing this post; I never thought that I (the founder of a wedding startup) would elope in Las Vegas — and here I am a married woman! My partner Andrey and I have been together for almost five years and we were planning a Las Vegas trip anyways, so we thought — why not just get married while we were there?
I kind of consider this an engagement (regardless of the ring on my finger), and a year or so from now I’d love to have a big party/reception for all of our friends and family to celebrate with us — one here where I live in California, and another in Toronto where Andrey’s from.
I’m going to start writing up some more in-depth posts covering our planning for the Vegas marriage — spoiler, it was harder and more stressful than I thought it would be! — as well as all the plans I’m making for our reception a year from now. :) Stay tuned!
It’s been nearly 4 months since Luis and I got engaged.
The time has really flown by, and since Luis was teaching this summer and preparing to finish his dissertation and I have been so heads down building awesome features for WeddingLovely, I have to admit (somewhat embarrassingly) that we haven’t done much wedding planning.
We have decided two things: it will be next summer, 2013, and it will be in California. Details: TBD.
Luis and I were so excited when all the photos from Josh came in the mail! He printed all of them for us so could see how they looked in real life, instead of just on the computer.
However, our lack of planning is slowly contributing to more family inquisitiveness. My parents have started sending me wedding invitations that they have received, and they have written out what they like and/or don’t like about them. My sister text-messaged me last week to ask if I was changing my name (I’m not).
The engagement shoot briefly satisfied my parents that we were making progress, and Luis was happy that his parents could finally have a better photo to put up in their home on the wall with the rest of the family (the previous photo they hung up after we announced we were engaged we were both wearing Pajamas and Luis had horrible bed head and looked like Egon from Ghostbusters.)
One of my favorites from the engagement photo shoot. Luis hair looks fabulous and under control :)
But, alas, another month went by with no progress and I recently got a rude awakening that we need to start seriously planning. This happened when: (1) My hairdresser reminded me that her availability for next summer is quickly filling up, and (2) a close friend who got engaged after me already has her venue booked and her save-the-date cards in the mail! Then, (3) a cousin of mine who also lives in California got engaged and my parents emailed me asking us to coordinate so that we wouldn’t get married on the same weekend.
This all made me realize that if we don’t get this process rolling, then all the venues and dates might be gone, and I’ll be coordinating with more and more people in my family as more cousins get engaged (I have many, many cousins).
So, of course, I’ve been using WeddingLovely and our first task was to determine our wedding style. I used the quick links to sort out where we fit in. We’re definitely a “casual” pair but we’ll see if we slowly creep into formal…(casual is more “budget friendly” than formal). I would also describe us as wanting a “Garden Style” wedding. Next up we will start tackling the budget. Speaking of which, have you seen the sample budget breakdown in WeddingLovely? It’s fabulous and very useful! Once we’re done with that we’ll get a venue booked…(baby steps, baby steps).
We’ve decided to spend a few hours every weekend on wedding planning, so I promise more exciting details to come!
A few weeks ago, the WeddingLovely team went on an adventure. Not just ANY adventure, but a real live engagement shoot. Not just ANY engagement, but the one of our lovely and talented Julia! Josh Gruetzmacher Photography was kind enough to let us tag along to Half Moon Bay and share in the excitement of Julia and Luis. The photos in this post were taken with our iPhones, thanks to a camera battery mishap. But, that’s okay because tomorrow we’ll be sharing Josh’s photos – which are all kinds of awesome. Thanks Josh!
Can you believe that this is practically in our backyard? This is the spot where Julia said “yes.” If you missed it, you can read her engagement story here. Half Moon Bay is such a beautiful place.
“Since you work at a wedding startup, does that mean that you’re going to get married soon?”
Welcome, readers, to my life. When I decided to join Tracy full-time in a co-founder/CTO role at WeddingLovely, the decision had certain implications. My friends and family, of course, thought that Luis and I would be getting engaged soon. I would kindly smile and laugh when they would mention this to me, and say something along the lines of “we’ll see.”
But we are getting ahead of ourselves.
Our First Date
Our story starts back on Saturday, August 22, 2009 in Palo Alto, CA (and like all stories of this type, of course, it was a beautiful, warm, sunny California day). Luis and I had our first date planned to get wine at a local wine tasting room, but found the streets shut down and sleepy in preparation for an arts festival happening the next day. We awkwardly wandered around downtown Palo Alto together while trying to figure out what to do, each trying to be polite and flexible given that we barely knew each other. As it happens, we ended up at a small, well-known wine bar a few blocks away (this is northern California you know!). When the waiter came to take our drink order we asked if he had any recommendations. He said: “Describe to me what kind of wine you like.” I’m not at all reserved about this so I gave a description and asked him to please bring me a “robust, intense red wine, maybe something from Italy.” The waiter then turned and asked Luis what kind of wine he liked and Luis responded simply with: “I want the exact opposite of what she just said.”
At the time, I thought to myself something like: “Hum, I don’t think this is going very well.”
Seated and awaiting our wine, cheeses, and other whatnots, our conversation started as unmemorably as most. You know, “tell me more about what you do,” that sort of thing. When it came to our careers, we had almost nothing in common. I was at IBM Research, where I had started after finishing graduate school in computer science. Luis studied economics and then worked as an investment banker in New York City. He then spent time in London getting his MA in Philosophy. Since that little test passed, as far as he could tell, he decided that Philosophy was worth pursuing. So he gave up banking when he was offered a spot to earn his PhD in Philosophy from Stanford. I, on the other hand, promptly left graduate school with my MS and never wanted to return to academia again.
Luis & Julia at a friend's wedding, summer 2010
To sum up, our initial conversation didn’t seem to leave us with much to build on. But of course, things got a little better. We ended up walking around downtown, joking and bantering while admiring the street art that had already been prepared for the next day’s festival. There were all kinds of beautiful drawings in chalk on the street that we got to see before the festival even began. And so it turns out, things ended better than they had begun. To be quite honest though, despite the fact that we had a nice time and he was very polite, well-spoken and exotically attractive (Mexican and Asian heritage with striking green eyes!), I didn’t think Luis would ever call me again. I might have called him, but ultimately I just kind of figured that he wasn’t that into me.
I was wrong.
Luis & me at a friend’s wedding, summer 2010
Luis & me at my cousin’s wedding, summer 2011
Luis & me at San Francisco 49ers game, fall 2011
My stunning engagement ring (yes, I promise that is indeed my hand!)
Luis & me skiing in Canada, spring 2012
See how their relationship turned into something more after the jump…