Jason and Vanessa

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How We Met – by the bride

Jason and I met nearly nine and a half years ago, while traveling. We had simultaneous trips planned with our families, and eventually jumped on a Caribbean cruise for a week. We were even on the same flight from LA to Miami…little did I know that my future husband was sitting just a few aisles away from me. We met on the first night, as our families crossed while dancing and drinking in one of the clubs on board. Everyone in his family was so nice…but when Jason introduced himself to me, I thought…”what is the guy all about?” He was a bit forward, and I laughed to myself as we chatted a little. I definitely wasn’t looking for anyone, let alone a relationship, so I had no expectations and took his unique flirtation techniques with a grain of salt. Forwarding through the week ahead, my siblings and had so much fun with the Lopez clan, but I kept my distance from Jason because I was convinced he not my type at all! As we wrapped up our vacation, our families exchanged emails and phone numbers, and planned to hang out and keep in touch once we got back home to So Cal. I was excited about my new friends, but didn’t want Jason to get the wrong idea. However, I remember being at the Miami airport before boarding our plane home, and thinking to myself…he seems like a decent guy, I almost wish I could sit next to him on our flight home and see what he’s about outside of the ‘Vacation Jason.’ However, we didn’t get that chance, and although we all planned to get together soon, we all went on our way–back to reality.

For me it was a very harsh reality, as I came down with a bad flu the day after we flew home. I took an additional week off work and was sick in bed, like really sick! It had barely been a day and I was terribly bored, when I heard a ding on my laptop next to me. It was Jason…and he was instant messaging me to say hello. What I thought would be a five minute conversation turned into a seven day on-again off-again chat as he kept me company while I was off work. It seemed not an hour would go by without talking to him, and I became intrigued that he was so interested in talking to this sick chick across the computer! We talked about many things…and he was very kind and seemed genuinely interested in getting to know me. I still didn’t think he was my type at all…but he was friendly and I thought if anything, I had made a sweet new friend. My siblings and I planned to see the family that following weekend, as it was his little sister’s birthday and they invited us to dinner to celebrate. Once the plans were set, Jason asked me if he could take me out somewhere the day after his sister’s birthday. My first thought was…is this a DATE?! I said yes, though I wasn’t quite sure what to expect! We had a great time with his family the night before, and the very next day he drove an hour to my house…picked me up and took me to brunch at this adorable and eclectic spot In south Orange County. We went to the beach afterward and just spent the afternoon talking, laughing, and sharing our love of sarcasm…and I found myself really enjoying my time with him. He definitely put a lot of thought into the day. Although we took things slow in the beginning, we spent nearly every weekend together from then on out. As time went on, I realized the man I didn’t think was my type…was more my type than I could have ever imagined. And here we are… :)

Image 2 of Jason and Vanessa

how they asked – by the groom

I had told Vanessa that we would wait to celebrate Valentine’s Day on the first weekend she had off in March, since she had to work the holiday. Little did she know I had already been planning with The Yes Girls on what I wanted to be the perfect proposal. Vanessa was under the impression we were off to the St. Regis for a spa day followed by a special wine makers dinner with other guests (this rouse was complete with a fake flyer). After staying the night on Saturday, we did enjoy a morning at the spa as well as a great lunch before heading back to the room to get ready for our ‘dinner.’ Upon returning to the room there was a note from the concierge asking us to join them for a glass of champagne in the Botanical Gardens before dinner. I had got word that the scene was already set and they were ready for us. When the time was right, I notified The Yes Girls that we were on or way down and we headed to the gardens. As we were walking up, Vanessa commented on how there wasn’t a single person there yet, and seemed confused. As we got even closer she asked if those were picture frames that she could see in the distance. Naturally, I said I couldn’t make anything out clearly.

As we walked up I was trying to stay cool and collected, but also wanted to see her reaction to what was about to happen. We walked up to a scene that would make the TV show “The Bachelor” jealous. The area was decorated with a table set on wine barrels. On the table were picture frames of what I thought were some of our best memories together. Under each photo was a small quote held up by a personalized wine cork with that date and our initials on them.

Image 3 of Jason and Vanessa

As she walked up I don’t think she could have been more blown away…there was so much detail I know her senses were on overload. As she made her way to the table I had to stop and remind her to make sure she read each quote and to take her time. After the final photo there was a box, and in that box was one final wine cork with the note saying “Will you marry me?” This was my signal to get down on one knee. After she said YES she was so caught up in the moment that she didn’t even take a look at the ring at all, which I thought was beyond cute and we laughed a lot about it later that night. We stayed in that area, taking pictures with the photographer (who was also a long time friend) and The Yes Girls.

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From there we made our way back into the hotel for an amazing dinner. The night could have been anymore perfect, and what I had been planning for a few months was well worth it when Vanessa told me, “I have never felt so special in my life!” I feel the photos really speak for themselves as to how magical this night really was.

special thanks

THE YES GIRLS | Marriage Proposal Planning
TANORI PHOTO | PHotographer