Tyler + Zachary Married At Ponte Inn!
Tell us your love story (how you met, the proposal, etc.):
Zach and I met when I was on student exchange from Kansas in January 2013. I was only supposed to be in California for 6 months. We met through mutual friends… and one awkward Facebook conversation. After we hung out for the first time it was like we broke all the traditional dating rules of “don’t call or text for this amount of time” or “don’t hang out every day.” We spent as much time as possible together during the 6 months I was on exchange. When I went back to Kansas to finish out my senior year of college we both agreed to give long distance a try. It was possibly one of the most difficult things we’ve ever done, and definitely put our relationship to the test. After toughing it out for a year and a half I made the permanent move to California in July of 2014 and we bought our first house together in December of that same year.
The day he proposed was absolutely one of the best days of my life, a close second only to our wedding day. I cant say there have been too many times in my life where I’ve been truly surprised, but Zach really pulled out all the stops here. It was Saturday, September 12th 2016 and the plan was to take a trip to the wineries for a friend’s birthday. We had brunch and then headed to Wilson Creek Winery. It was our favorite at the time so when Zach suggested that’s where we should go first it wasn’t unusual. Our friend is a photographer so when we got there and she suggested we take a couple pictures before we started drinking that seemed normal too. What was weird is that Zach was adamant about the spot we took the picture in, but I went along with it. After a couple pictures I randomly turned to wipe my hair out of my eyes and I noticed a crowd of people suddenly standing behind me. When I looked closer I realized it was our family and friends, including my mom, sister and 3 best friends who all lived out of state. I finally knew what was going on, and immediately started ugly crying. Zach got down on one knee and all I remember before partially blacking out due to overwhelming emotions (lol) was he said “remember when we were apart and I would always tell you distance means so little when someone means so much?” I think I sputtered out “yes” here… and he went on to say “well, look how far we’ve come now.” He told me how much he loved me and that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, and then asked me if I would be his wife. Of course, I said yes! It was such a special day to me, not only because we got engaged but also because Zach made sure that the people I loved most were involved. It was everything I could have ever dreamed of in a proposal.
What were some of the challenges you faced while planning your wedding?
Planning our Temecula wedding was so fun for me. I truly enjoyed the process. We gave ourselves just over a year to plan and I think that was crucial in being able to make sure I had time to make decisions and just to not feel rushed. However, it of course wasn’t without challenges. I would say the biggest challenge was having to track guests down to get their RSVP’s. The process of figuring out who was coming and who was not was a constant struggle for us for some reason. I also think the centerpieces was another place I struggled. Sometimes too many options makes for a more stressful experience, and that is what Pinterest did to me!
What was your most memorable moment?
The most memorable moment for me was our first look. We absolutely wanted to have a first look so that we could have a moment completely to ourselves before the ceremony began and we couldn’t be happier we did that. It was just really special being able to focus on him and our reactions to seeing each other for the first time on our wedding day.
Why did you choose the venue(s)?
Ponte Winery was honestly the first venue we both could agree on (and we had seen quite a few before it.) We both just knew that we could picture ourselves getting married there. I was also unwavering about the fact that I wanted and outdoor ceremony but an indoor reception and this venue gave us that. We also just had such a great experience with the wedding coordinator, it really did make a difference that she took such an interest in helping us and answering all our questions.
What were some of your favorite details about the wedding?
Some of my favorite details were my flowers, the barrel room where we held our reception and our welcome sign. We had “Welcome to Our Beginning” written in calligraphy on a large mirror and I just loved the way it turned out!
Give us the scoop on the ceremony and the elements that made it special. Please be as descriptive as possible (faith-based, chuppah, ring exchange, ring warming, glass breaking, etc.):
One thing that Zach and I knew from the start was that we didn’t plan to have a huge wedding. We both liked the idea of being able to actually interact with our guests, not just fly by and say “hi” in passing. We wanted it to feel intimate to us and to our guests as well.
Zach’s Uncle married us and that in itself was really special to us. Just having someone who had been there through our relationship and had seen us grow together made the ceremony that much more near and dear to our hearts. One of my favorite things that his Uncle Carl did was, at the beginning of the Ceremony, he asked Zach and I to turn and face the crowd. He asked us to take a second and appreciate the people who were there and who had been there supporting us in our journey. It was so nice because it gave us a second to really be in the moment and to let all our guests know how much we appreciated them.
Zach and I had a wine blending ceremony (appropriate since we were at a winery) where we combined white and red wines, and took a sip of the mixture to symbolize our union. We thought it was a really fun and creative alternative to a more common unity candle ritual.
Another thing that, we felt, made our ceremony really special was that we wrote our own vows. Even though Zach was hesitant at first I insisted that this was the only way to do it and I’m so happy I did. It was funny to see how many similar things we spoke about in our vows, both mentioning our dog Winston and both mentioning my love for Harry Potter.
Tell us about the entertainment (DJ, band, photo booth, etc.) – did you have a first dance?
Our entertainment consisted of a DJ and photo booth. Our photo booth was “open air” meaning that it wasn’t enclosed, therefore allowing more people to get in the photos at once. We had a beautiful rose gold sequin back drop and since it was open air it actually looked like a décor piece.
We had a first dance, we danced to Die A Happy Man by Thomas Rhett. We also had a mother-son and father-daughter dance as well as a mother-daughter dance. I’m really close to my mom and wanted to integrate something that made her feel special and appreciated too. It was a really sweet moment for us.
Arguably the most entertaining part of the night was Zach’s garter toss. He had two groomsmen hold caution tape out in front of me while he walked up to the Cops theme song (bad boys bad boys, whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?) in sunglasses and his police duty belt (he is a police officer.) When he got to me the DJ switched the song to Pour Some Sugar On Me and he proceeded to pull out all his Magic Mike moves in front of all our grandparents.
What advice would you give other brides about their wedding day?
The absolute best advice I can give to any bride is just to enjoy every single second of the day. From getting ready with your bridesmaids, to walking down the aisle, to the end of the night, it is all so incredibly special. They aren’t lying when they say it goes by in the blink of an eye. Just try not to stress the little things and enjoy the celebration! One more thing I would say is, invest the money into a great photographer and videographer. The day goes by so fast, it’s nice to look back and see things again or things you might have even missed.
Temecula Wedding Vendors:
- Photographer: Alicia Mink, Mink Photography
- Videographer: Kiersten Saharek, Take Heart Films
- DJ & Uplighting: Rick Walker, Pro City DJ
- Flowers: Shabana Fairchild (family friend)
- Photobooth: Fixated Concepts
- Bakery: BoCakes
- Wedding Dress: Panache Bridal Costa Mesa
- Groom & Groomsmen Suits: Friar Tux
- Bridesmaid Dresses: ASOS
- Draping in Barrel Room & Arbor: Jenelle Jackson, Sweet Flowers