REAL WEDDING Q&A: JULIA & RYAN

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It's so cliche but make an effort to enjoy every minute from the engagement, the look, and the marriage day itself.

How have you met your Fiance?

Ryan and I actually graduated senior high school together but didn't officially meet before the summer before our junior year of school. It started as a fun-filled night of karaoke with friends. A mutual friend of ours invited him to become listed on us after I had mentioned that I thought Ryan was…what's the term? At the time, he was working as a greeter at Abercrombie within the Galleria, to help you just imagine. Anyway, I had no idea that he'd grow to be my future husband.

After that fateful night, we began to see one another a lot more that summer, mostly chilling out in groups. Eventually, Ryan could man up and get me on a date. We dated long-distance for while since he visited the University of Houston, and I was at Texas AM. But following a year, I moved to Houston for nursing school. Then after 6 many years of dating, we finally got married!

Tell us concerning the proposal!

It’s cliché to express our proposal story is really one-of-a-kind, however, to understand it, you'll need a little background. I’m currently a transplant coordinator within the Texas Medical Center. Before finishing nursing school, I started working as a private nanny for any then 10-year-old girl named Kaitlin—a job I continued to operate in addition to my hospital job. Kaitlin was identified as having ALS, a progressive and debilitating neurological disorder. She had gone from being a completely healthy and active child to being totally dependent, requiring nursing care night and day. Despite being given a hard prognosis and short life span, she had surpassed everyone’s expectations and was an inspiration to everyone who met her.

Because Kaitlin had become family to both Ryan and me, he desired to include her in the proposed plans. After receiving my parents’ blessing, Ryan conspired with Kaitlin’s grandparents, Tommy and Dee-Dee, to plan an ideal proposal. On the eve of October 2, 2013, Dee-Dee explained to dress up for any photoshoot so she might get some pictures of Kaitlin and me together. We have been having a lot of impromptu shoots, which means this wasn't an unusual idea. When I reached Kaitlin’s house, she was especially pleased to see me. She was no longer in a position to speak, but she kept laughing whenever I mentioned the “photoshoot” I figured she was excited to obtain dressed up. What teenager would not be?

We were completing our primping when Kaitlin’s Uncle Darren walked in to obtain some “test shots” people getting ready. I heard the doorway open, so when I turned around I saw Ryan with two pink roses in the hands—one for me personally, and something for Kaitlin. I was surprised to determine him, but Dee-Dee had mentioned attempting to have pictures with Ryan, also, so I assumed she called him to become listed on the fun. Then the next thing I knew, Ryan was recorded on one knee presenting me having a ring box containing probably the most gorgeous band. He barely finished saying, “Will you marry me?” before I exclaimed, “YES!” After I cried, laughed, and hugged everyone, we Skyped my parents to provide the news.

As surprised and thrilled as I was, Kaitlin and her family still had another surprise awaiting us downstairs in the form of a mini-engagement party. It was probably the most magical night. It was a lot better than anything I could have imagined. The best part—thanks to Uncle Darren, I can watch the nighttime over again while he caught everything on film.

Last June, we said goodbye to the sweet, Kaitlin. She played this type of big part in our lives and taught us a lot about life. Wherever we go, we feature her within our hearts.

How have you chosen the place for your wedding? What type of venue had you been looking for?

We chose Briscoe Manor in Richmond, Texas, as our wedding venue. Ryan's parents had recommended we check out the venue given that they had a wonderful experience as wedding guests in the past. At times, neither person had a definite picture of where we desired to get married. We knew that people wanted a venue that may accommodate a fairly large guest list and that may host the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception.

Once we had the venue personally, we loved it immediately and didn't look anymore. I remember, during our tour, I was standing within the gorgeous limestone chapel looking at one another and telepathically saying, "Yes. I'm totally marrying you here." In one sentence, Briscoe was the rustic, charming, and romantic taste of Texas we desired to give our guests. How many venues can boast a white fence lining a lush, green field filled with longhorns? Seriously, real longhorns. Aside from the picturesque landscape and delightful facility, Briscoe's experienced staff helped ease the entire process of wedding planning. Our on-site coordinator really knew her stuff that was comforting to my type-A self.

How have you decided on your bridesmaid's dresses? Tell us about your experience at feel times!

I was very blessed to possess eight beautiful and wonderful friends as bridesmaids during my party. Even though eight quite a bit of dress to choose from, I knew that deciding on the bridesmaids' look would be a lot of fun! I had a lot of ideas swirling in my head, but I had no idea where to start searching for the actual dresses. One of my bridesmaids recommended FeelTimes in my experience since she was built with great knowledge about them in the past. One rainy day, I gathered three of my local girls for any field visit to scout out some options. Initially, I wanted each bridesmaid to select her own dress inside blush pink bridesmaid dresses or nude color palettes. Of course, I still desired to have a designer and fabric in my mind to help them narrow their search.

I loved it, however, it looked too near to the dream pink I had chosen for my wedding dress. They were wonderful enough to order swatches for me personally to match up against my own. Finally, we selected vanilla for bridesmaids and blush for that MOH.

Who designed your wedding dress? Where have you got it?

Choosing my wedding gown turned out to be more difficult than I thought. There are just a lot of pretty dresses available, and I liked most from the ones I had placed on. I honestly thought I just wasn't going to possess that "bride moment." After fitting about 50 "pretty" wedding dresses, I chose the wedding gown by FeelTimes.

I felt sad that my mom wasn't beside me during the wedding gown experience, so I desired to do something special for her. When she arrived in town for my first dress fitting, I planned a surprise "first look" shoot for that two people. The photographer perfectly captured her reaction to seeing me within the dream wedding dress she helped choose. That was probably among my best ideas.

What was your preferred part from the day?

The whole day was joyful, beautiful, and slightly blurry at exactly the same time. It's hard to select one favorite, but allow me to give it a shot. There would be a moment, before I walked on the aisle, once the chapel doors opened and all sorts of eyes were on me. Seeing all those happy faces just took my breath away. Time stopped, and I was encompassed by friends and family. The love and joy within the room were palpable.

I should include that our wedding weekend saw some bad weather. Actually, that's an understatement. The weather was almost apocalyptic, filled with rumors of tornado threats. However, our amazing guests braved the elements to share within our big day. I know we're both so grateful to become blessed with wonderful individuals who shaped our way of life and continue to support us once we start our new chapter together.

What inspired you whenever you were planning your special day?

Well, I've virtually been planning my wedding since I was 5. I wanted the wedding to become modern and romantic having a touch of a classic storybook. After some fervent pinning on my small Pinterest idea board, I finally created my perfect wedding recipe. The inspiration ingredients I chose were a mixture of Ralph Lauren, Marchesa, along with a dash of Restoration Hardware. I loved the thought of using some contrasting elements within the decor to represent each of our distinct styles. It was an ideal marriage of contemporary, romantic, and storybook.

As far as wedding colors, I decided to make use of several. I chose creme, blush, champagne, and charcoal, which was based on my favorite Nyx eyeshadow palette, "Caviar and Bubbles". As we booked our vendors, we made selections for everything one-by-one. The rustic venue, champagne linens, gold and blush invitations, blush uplighting, etc. One of my personal favorite ideas for that centerpieces would be a tall candelabra filled with baby's breath that was inspired by an Ines di Santo ad. In the end, when I saw everything my choices come together around the wedding day, it had been even much better than I ever dreamed.

What advice have you got for other brides?

It's so cliche but make an effort to enjoy every minute from the engagement, the look, and the marriage day itself. I'm not likely to sugarcoat it. At times, everything can turn into a frantic, swirling hurricane of stress. Coming from a picky, slightly persnickety bride, I'm about to plan each and every detail. But within the end, you simply get to become Cinderella once. So have a deep breath, step from your detailed wedding blueprints, and prevent smelling the roses. Don't sweat the small things. And absolutely have a few minutes to yourself around the day just to have a look around and also to soak everything in. The big day itself is over before you decide to know.

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