Monday, March 25, 2013

Surprise! You're getting married today!

On Saturday morning, I woke up thinking I was going to a wine tasting in Temecula with a bunch of lawyers from Chicago. A friend of my boyfriend, who was in town for the weekend, had invited us to Wien's Family Cellars to partake in an extravagant 14 course meal and pairings. Knowing that they were wine connoisseurs, I didn't think much of it.

I had planned to go check out my friend Heather's CrossFit gym in the morning and then head to the wine tasting afterwards. I had a horrible migraine, so I decided to not do the WOD, but my boyfriend Ryan still did. After working out, we headed home to get ready and were out the door by 1:30pm. I was driving and was soon frustrated by the traffic as Siri said we would be over 20 minutes late for the party. Ryan had been texting his friend "Adam" the entire drive, giving him updates on when we would be arriving and finding out exactly where we needed to go when we got to the winery.

The moment I saw the ring!
We got out of the car and headed in through a side gate, when Ryan pulled me up to a stage that overlooked the vineyard, where he said we should take our normal selfie picture as it would probably be dark when we were done with the tasting.  This was a common occurrence for us and the majority of our pictures are self taken.

We posed and he extended the camera in front of us and there was a HUGE ring on his finger.  He asked if I wanted to upgrade the one that I already had.  In the commotion, he recalls asking me to marry him, but I don't remember!  It's all a blur.

STILL thinking that I was wine tasting with "Adam", we headed into the cellar room where some of my close friends and family were.  Ryan pointed to a dress hanging from a wine barrel and told me that my wedding was at 5:30pm, so I better go get ready!  He handed me a glass of champagne, told me how much he loved me and then rushed me to the bridal suite to get ready. (All of this coming from a guy that said he would NEVER get married)

This amazing man thought of EVERYTHING!  I had three dresses to choose from, shoes galore, jewelry, a hair stylist, a make-up artist, you name it and it was pretty much waiting for me. As the night progressed, I kept finding out little tidbits of information, like the fact that my mom and best friend Andrea had been conspiring with him for nearly a year and my dear friend Heather who played it up and asked if I wanted to go to lunch after CrossFit or the fact that she wouldn't give me wardrobe advice for the wine tasting because she wasn't invited!!!!

When it was time to walk down the aisle, I was greeted by 180 of my closest family and friends, ALL who started cheering when I walked up.  Taken aback by their support, I started crying for the millionth time of the day and headed towards my soon to be husband!

The ceremony was perfect, Ryan telling me how sorry he was for keeping this all from me and how our relationship is starting off with lies and deceit; but also how much he loves me and the only way he could truly express his love was by doing the one thing that he has always said he would never do!  All I could say was what an AMAZING gift this was and how I am floored that someone loves me this much to surprise me with a wedding!

The rest of the night was us trying to say hi to everyone, dancing, hilarious speeches, awesome food and fabulous beer, wine and champagne! It was a night that I will always remember and tear up every time I think about it!

My life is forever changed.  I can't tell you how much I love this man!
So many people worked hard to make my day perfect, from the beautiful decorations and rustic romantic ambiance that Andrea some how found the time to make, the amazing cupcakes from Cakes by Marian, the countless hours John put in for the invitations, beautiful bouquets made by Bertha Owen, the friendships that have been created with Christine Pierce at Wiens, Christi for the fabulous chocolate chip cookies, Tony for being our emcee for the night, Phil for standing up in front of everyone and marrying us, Evan, Rob, Kristina and my Mom for being such an amazing support system and helping with everything...I'm sure that I am missing so many and I'm sorry!

To all those that were there to share my day, THANK YOU!  You have no idea how honored I feel that you would all show up in hopes that I said yes!

To the love of my life, THANK YOU.  I can't tell you how much this really means to me and how I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you!

P.S.  Paybacks are a bitch!  I love you!


  1. What a beautiful story!! Congratulations!!!

  2. It was a beautiful day. Couldn't have asked for better weather. You were a stunning bride and Ryan was a handsome groom. But the shear fact that 180 of you closest friends and family knew and you had not one clue anything was going on, was just the best.
    Congratulations you two! I wish you guys the very best!
    I love you guys!

  3. Wow Stef great job I figured MMM would give u immunity this week....I loved reading this! I love the fact you loved everything and you are amazing! And I agree we have to get Ryan back good....can I help? I am an amazing helper!!!!! Ha ha love ya!

    1. After all the time and effort it sounds like your husband put into this, I think you should cut him a break. "Pay backs" are best used to get even with someone that hurt you in some way, not when they put you on a pedestal, especially when they know where you live. Unless of course they were just trying to look up your skirt.

    2. Ha ha ha ha
      No he needs a PAYBACK :)

  4. I'm crying again reading this. I am so so happy for you!

  5. Payback/pay it forward, it's all the same ;-)

  6. Oh he will get his!!!!! Ha ha ha ha!

  7. Thanks for sharing! This is the most romantic story! May you always surprise each other!

  8. Omigosh!!! Hi! I am so excited we have the same kind of wonderful people in our lives that thought to do the same sort of thing on the SAME DAY?! What??!! This is so crazy! I just got your message from Jamie that we should get in touch. This is amazing! I'm so excited you found her blog.
    Are you like me and almost 3 months later you still get all giddy thinking of how wonderful of a moment that was?! Everytime I look at my ring I smile thinking of what a perfect day that was and how it all happened. I am still in shock that Donnie and our friends/family put together such an amazing, incredible day.
    I'm so excited we can share the same story. We clearly are the 2 luckiest girls out there with the most wonderful HUSBANDS (I love saying that haha) ever! Thanks for sharing your story and for getting in touch with Jamie. Congrats to you Stephanie and Ryan!

    1. Lauren, I'm so glad that my husband found your story! I think it's amazing that our Hubby's had the same idea and pulled everything off without a hitch! From your pictures, your wedding was gorgeous!
      I'm still giddy and still letting everything sink in. In shock and awe of the fact that all of my friends and family kept this HUGE secret from me for 9 months!
      Lots of little changes now that I'm married, but I think the best is taking his last name!
      I would love to keep in touch! I know we don't know each other from adam, but we have this crazy connection and share the most AMAZING day! (I gave my email address to Jamie)
      I wish you and Donnie a life love of happiness! You have a beautiful family and you must be pretty amazing for Donnie to go to such extremes to surprise you! Congrats!!