We love when we get to plan a wedding as sweet as the couple themselves. Despite living in Minneapolis, Sarah and Ryan made the decision to get married in Southern California. Planning a wedding long distance can sometimes come with a unique set of challenges, but working with this couple made it as breezy as the weather on their wedding day. I was living in Iowa City and engaged to someone else when Ryan was promoted to my area manager. We worked together for 5 months and then parted ways when I moved back to Des Moines in June of He was telling me to swipe right to match with her and he was telling her to do the same thing.
Sarah: After some peer pressure from Richie and a few other friends I did swipe right and we matched immediately. After some bantering and a lot of laughs, Ryan made me ask him out on our first date. We had our first date at a brewery in the East Village in Des Moines and he pretty much interviewed me.
He asked me all the tough questions and after several glasses of wine I answered everything he wanted to know. I was tired of dating and over the whole process.
Sarah: He asked me out for a second date before the first one was even over. I think I passed. Ryan: Something we love to do together is play board games and put together puzzles. I removed the pieces of the puzzle that included the ring set aside with the ring.
The morning I proposed, we made brunch together and I told Sarah I had a puzzle made for us to put together. There was a giant hole in the middle of it! I just started crying! I have always loved California and suggested getting married there when we started looking at destinations. Ryan: We wanted to do something unique and fun.
Growing together as a married couple
We wanted to do a destination wedding since our families and friends are all in different places. After Sarah suggested California, I started looking at venues and fell in love with the idea of getting married on a yacht. How did you go about planning your wedding? We planned our entire wedding from Minneapolis so that a unique challenge.
We took two trips to California to finalize all of our plans, but I used Instagram, Pinterest, and plenty of apps for inspiration. When we met with our Hornblower coordinator to tour the Mojo, we immediately knew it was our venue. Our food tasting with Hornblower was incredible — overall all of our vendors really stepped up. I feel that every vision I had was turned into a perfect reality.
The wedding itself was unique to Ryan and I. None of our friends have been married on a yacht and many family and friends had not been to Southern California. For the wedding, I am very detail oriented and crafty so I made a lot of different things.
Build & strengthen as a couple
Rather than a wedding day, we made it a wedding weekend. We wanted all of our guests to feel loved and appreciated for traveling so far to us. I made welcome bags that were delivered to each room along with a card with details about the weekend and things to do in the area.
I made a lot of the decorations for the wedding the ribbon garland, starfish place cards, the card box, and polaroid frame for our guestbook.
I purchased other personalized items on Etsy as well. To help everyone get acquainted at the welcome reception, I made lanyards for everyone with their names and relationship to Ryan and me. I thought I was going to pass out. As I walked down the aisle I had so many emotions. I was excited, nervous and so incredibly happy.
What is married life like?
Ryan, the first look was so sweet. What did you think when you saw Bride in her dress for the first time? I thought she looked beautiful. I was trying so hard not to cry because we did the first look with the photographer before the ceremony and I was trying to keep it together.
Sarah: Grace and I talked quite frequently. Leading up to the wedding we talked on a weekly basis if not more. Any time I needed help, she was there.
Chill to the max
After our wedding, we had an issue with our marriage and she took care of it for us. Seeing Ryan for the first time during our first look and then sailing around the Newport Beach harbor with our loved ones.
So much fun! Ryan: Cocktail hour. Right after the ceremony and before dinner. I loved being out on the bow with Sarah and our friends.
Everyone was mingling and having a great time! Stop and smell the roses.
Enjoy every minute of it. Bridesmaid: Lulus. Flowers: Flowers by Cina. Cake: Cinderella Cakes. Invitations: Minted.