Jennifer and Roy met through online dating back in 2014. They had both been in long-term relationships before dipping into the unknown waters of online dating.
We were each other’s first match right out of the gate… and forever.
The First Date
We went out for fondue at Gejas in Chicago. Roy was on time, and due to terrible traffic coming from work, I was VERY late. When I saw him and he wasn’t upset whatsoever, I knew he was a special person. Roy’s patience was further tested during our meal when I continued to lose my tofu in the fondue! He, as always, helped me out so I didn’t starve. He also gave me glitter crayons, since I LOVE to color. I still have them to this day.
It sounds simple, but from the sheer easiness of being together, I knew I wanted to marry Roy. All relationships require work, time and patience; but, this one always feels like we are working in the same direction. And we laugh all the time. Nothing is ever so serious that we can’t make it work out.
The Shared Song
We sing a lot of songs in our house, and our shared Spotify playlist really runs the spectrum of genres! Because she’s such a talented musician, great writer and puts on a HELL of a show, our song is Butterflies by Kacey Musgraves. If you haven’t heard it, go do it now.
We went on a road trip in October 2016 to buy the ring from a small jeweler (because walking into the store to buy a cookie cutter item isn’t our style). Though I knew what the ring looked like, I still wanted to have a surprise to the proposal. I used to tease and tell him that he should just give it to me—that I wore it around the house when he wasn’t home. But, he said to wait until the time is right. The “right time” was just a regular day. Roy likes to go on what we call “Roy-ventures,” where he just hops in the car, puts on some music or a podcast and goes for a drive alone, or with our dog Sarge (who loves to be in the car). On January 6, 2017, after work and kinda late, Roy asked me to go on a Roy-venture with him. It was cold outside, and I was already in my pj pants and a sweatshirt…I wasn’t into it. Then, when he asked, my response was, “Do I have to put on a bra?” Finally, he talked me into it, and we packed up Sarge and hopped in the car.
As we were driving, we were just talking and having a good time. We made our way toward Chicago, and I began pointing out all kinds of places we’d gone to on dates. Roy pointed out others, and then talked about places that we should go to in the future. Then, he pulled to a stop, and he asked me to look at the time. It was now 1-7-17—the beginning of a new year and the beginning of our new phase of our life together.
The Wedding Day
I truly loved every single minute of the day, but if I had to choose, it was when we performed a vow renewal ceremony for our guests. Roy and I really wanted to emphasize that this day was not just about us on our day, but about love and how much potential love has to overcome everything. So, as a surprise to our guests, Roy and I became ordained online. We wrote a short ceremony and invited all of our guests who wanted to take the time to renew their own wedding vows to each other to do so. It was an amazing thing to see the love that made each of us as individuals be renewed as we began our next adventure together! One of my favorite pictures Nicole captured for us was of my parents during the vow renewal. I get choked up thinking about it now!!
Jennifer’s dress was from Bride’s by Young Collection at Brides By Young in Schaumburg, IL. Roy’s Roy’s Custom Barong Tagalog was made by Lupita of Philippine’s Finest Barong in Forest Glen (Chicago, IL).
Roy and I knew that we were going to have a wedding that would be on the smaller side, as we wanted to really invest in giving our guests the best experience we could without breaking the bank. We wanted a venue that was going to be unique and the Haight did not disappoint! The Haight was the ONLY venue we visited, as we booked the next day with no regrets. The venue itself allowed us to not have to do too much to the atmosphere, so we could customize smaller details–really making our day so personal.
The history of the building appealed to us as well, and all of the industrial yet artistic touches everywhere throughout the building really gave us the opportunity to create a customized experience for our guests. There will never be enough good things to say about the staff either. They are kind, responsive and so organized that I was stress free. Their list of vendors was also a great guide–planning a wedding is so overwhelming with choices that having a set of people that you know are great really helped ease the process. The day of staff (Lauren!!) was also phenomenal. Their help allowed me to take a nap in the bridal suite—I was so relaxed!!!
Remember that your wedding day is the celebration of you as a couple and where you are at your lives in that moment. Stop at different times throughout the day and think about that fact. Take that moment when you approach your partner for the first time in front of your group of loved ones. Take the moment when you dance. Take that moment when you walk out of the ceremony.
Decide what you want to spend your money on! Prioritize what’s going to be most important to you as you look back, and spend your money there. For us, it was photos (since they last a lifetime) and food (because we love to eat!).
If you’re crafty, don’t feel like you have to make everything yourself! You will go down a rabbit hole of fun ideas, but don’t let it be stressful.
Custom keychain place cards were made by MyCraftedStudio on Etsy. Custom Cookie Favors were courtesy of Sweetbox Boutique. Photographer, Nicole Vega of The Still Life Photography. Food and set up by Cuisine America. Hair and Makeup by Cassie and Mariah of Blushing Bride.