Genaveve and Dan first met at a party in the basement of his frat.
I know, super glamorous and romantic. It was a Wednesday night and I almost didn’t go out, but it was my friend’s 21st birthday so I went out to support her.
Dan and Gena ended up talking a bit at the party and a little more at the bar later. He walked her home at the end of the night but they didn’t exchange numbers, only names. Luck was on their side, they ended up seeing each other the following night where Dan got her number through a mutual friend.
This all happened within the last few weeks of our junior year of college so I was not sure if he was interested in seeing each other over the summer or just letting this fade out. Lucky for me, he asked me out on an official date within the first weekend of our summer break and the rest is history.
The First Date
It was May 22, 2014. Even though it was summer we went ice-skating at the rink in my hometown. We had decided on this activity because I told him that as a child I did figure skating and he told me that he was so bad at ice-skating that he once fell and cut his own hand from his own skate… I told him that if we went together, I would show him the ropes. By the end of our time on the ice together, he was skating on his own—even if he was not very stable. After ice skating we went to lunch and then continued our date with a walk in a park near my house. It lasted several hours!
The Quirkiest Things
Dan has to put his right shoe on first. One time I tried to hand him his left shoe first and he refused to put his left shoe on since he always starts with the right.
I can dance almost anywhere, anytime, with, or without music. Sometimes I break into dance in public spaces just to embarrass Dan.
The I Love You
Dan actually said, “I love you” first. We had actually gotten into a small argument and it just came out during it. Obviously once he said it, our small argument didn’t even matter anymore since I told him I felt the same way right after.
We knew we were going to get married before we moved in together. We both wanted to make sure that we saw a future together and so that was probably the first time we thought about marriage. That was probably in August of 2016, which was after we were dating for about two years.
Dan and Gena booked a trip to Vegas with another couple, Molly & Ibby. They packed in the same suitcase so in no way was Gena thinking Dan would be proposing on this trip. Little did she know, Dan had a plan all along.
We arrived in Vegas on a Wednesday and planned to hike at Red Rock Canyon on Thursday. Dan mentioned that he had read online that two trails in particular were the best to hike. We hiked the first one and after finishing that, we took a quick lunch break before starting the second despite feeling a bit tired. Dan had mentioned his plan to propose to my friends Molly and Ibby, so they were aware of what was about to go down, while I was blissfully ignorant to Dan trying to distance our group from all the other groups of tourists around us. Since I was tired, I fell to the back and silently questioned why we were going so fast and taking seldom breaks.
After some rock scrambling, we finally came to a waterfall basin. After resting for a bit, we decided to take some pictures. I grabbed my friend’s phone and began snapping some photos of Molly and Ibby in the basin. Then it was our turn! Just as we were about to have our photo taken, Dan turned to me and said, “Before we take this picture…” and I blankly stared back at him and asked, “What are you doing?
To say I was surprised is an understatement! I do not think my brain really comprehended what he was saying until hours later. As soon as I saw him get down on one knee, I immediately started shaking my head yes! The ring was beautiful and everything that I had ever wanted plus it was now official that I was going to get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend!
One of my favorite parts was when Dan and I did our vows. We shared our own written vows privately before the ceremony and then during our ceremony we read the more traditional vows aloud to each other. In our private vow exchange, I went first and ended up crying through mine even though I had just finished writing them only a few hours prior. When it was Dan’s turn, he really surprised me. He took out a book and showed me that he had written a letter every week (sometimes more) for the year before our wedding. It detailed how our wedding planning was going at the time, different things he loved about me, some of our favorite memories together, and much more. It was the most beautiful gift I have ever received and it made me that much more excited to be marrying the man of my dreams.
The Dress & Tux
I got my dress from David’s Bridal and the designer was Oleg Cassini. I had actually walked into that David’s Bridal with just my sister and mom to see what type of wedding dress style I would be interested in pursuing down the line but the second dress I tried on ended up being my wedding dress. I loved it because I felt like an actual princess in it.
The bridesmaids wore dresses they selected themselves, mostly from Azazie. I just assigned them what color to wear and let them run wild with picking an actual dress. We didn’t see them next to each other until the day of the wedding, but I loved how the color palette turned out.
Dan’s suit and the groomsman suits were rented from The Black Tux. We gifted the guys socks and ties from Tie Bar on the day of the wedding.
When Dan and I started looking into wedding venues, we quickly realized that we did not want to get married in a ballroom. We wanted a venue that would be unique and really standout from the other weddings our guests would have attended. We found The Haight on The Knot and loved all the pictures! We were not sure how the setup would be just from the pictures so we promptly set up a tour. We fell in love with The Haight the moment we walked in, it had so much character on its own and it checked off so many boxes of we were looking for in a venue. The Haight was the first official venue we had toured so even though we left LOVING it, we decided to play it safe and toured other venues anyway. We never saw a venue we loved as much at The Haight so after touring our fifth one, we decided to trust our gut and go with The Haight.
In some ways, our marriage has not changed anything in our relationship, which I think is a good thing. We loved each other unconditionally before we got married and our marriage is just the legal proof of our love. I think we were already each other’s best friends, strongest advocates, rocks, etc… so now we just continue to be there for each other in every way that we can.
As hard as it is to do…remain calm during the wedding planning process! Enjoy the process as much as you can because once it is over… it really is over! I definitely had some post-wedding blues because I thought planning was so fun!
The Shout Outs
The Haight. The amount of feedback we got on just our wedding venue alone was enormous. Just as Dan and I had loved The Haight from the moment we got there, our guests felt the same way and complimented us throughout the night. Along with the actual space being great, the staff was even better. We had the pleasure of working with Briana and Lauren for our wedding and highly intelligent, responsive, and when our wedding transitioned from one to the other it was a seamless. On our wedding day, Lauren set up items without even having to ask me where to put them—she read my mind and did everything perfectly! During the wedding she helped keep the timeline moving and when it was time to clean up, The Haight’s staff had already done it all!
Cuisine America. Mary Catherine really helped us with more than just food for our wedding. She gave us so much insight into the wedding planning process, helped us with our meal selections, provided AMAZING food, and even helped with most of our decorations (including set up and take down on the day of). Our wedding would not have been the same without Mary Catherine’s guidance and her family’s amazing business that catered our wedding.
Fox & Ivory Photography. They captured the best moments throughout the day/night. Also our photographers were so amazing to work with—I was sad when they left at the end of the night. We wanted them to stay and hang out with us!
Backthird Entertainment. They helped us keep the dance floor alive ALL NIGHT.