My Michael and I met back in January and I knew right away he was my person. As a prominent wedding vendor in the Minneapolis/St. Paul luxury wedding scene, I have worked with a lot of brides. Over the years, I’d hear “when you know, you know!” And I was like yeah right… until I met Michael. Our first date ended up lasting nine hours because we just didn’t want it to end. The magic started that day and we both knew it.
We enjoy our wonderful life together in Northeast Minneapolis with our baby Frank (the most lovable little chihuahua you’ll ever know). We are just a half-mile away from my makeup/hairstyling/photography studio in the Solar Arts Building. We love biking around to restaurants, having a good glass of bourbon, talking business #bosslady, cooking together, and above all just appreciating the fact that every single day is easy and fun.
Michael proposed to me very thoughtfully on Friday, September 23rd. He had me expecting it was maybe going to be the next weekend since I had a weekend blocked off from wedding bookings and we were due to spend the whole thing together. I knew he had been looking at rings but I didn’t know he already had it! It turns out after he commissioned it, it happened to come in that day. He knew I wanted to be surprised so he still went and got groceries after work. When he came home, he unloaded the car and the last thing he brought in was a floral arrangement from a florist (which is not surprising since he is a sweetheart and gets me flowers out of the blue often). Then he handed me a large gift bag and said he got me something (also not out of the blue for him to do).
As I pulled out a James Allen box, he said he just couldn’t wait one minute longer to ask me to be his wife. I opened the box and in it was a red ring box. As I opened that, he said simply, “Will you marry me?” And I said a single, “Yes!!” And then we laughed, I cried, we laughed some more – all in a spot in our kitchen where we’ve had all the big chats in our relationship. Then he told me that I had time to change and call parents and that we were going out to reservations to celebrate and recreate our first date. What a guy!!
We both really love fall and here we were with a perfect fall engagement! We spent the next weekend off enjoying the time of being newly engaged and starting to figure out wedding plans. Since travel is a big part of our lives, we decided the perfect wedding for us would be a destination wedding. So we are eloping in less than a year for our wedding! And then we will celebrate with all of our family and friends at a casual reception in Minneapolis when we get back.
We asked Michael’s brother, Jordan, and Jordan’s wife, Alyssa, for their advice since they are international teachers and have traveled the world more than most could ever dream to do. Jordan and Alyssa said that their favorite city in the whole world was Porto, Portugal.
It’s a gem that sits in a ravine and is split by the River Douro. On one side are beautiful vineyards and wineries, as Porto is known for producing port wine. While the other is the vibrant city with a historic district filled with cobblestones and all. And the train station served as an inspiration to J.K. Rowling for the Harry Potter series. The food is sure to be delicious – and we even found some GF restaurants to add to the list for me. Hooray!
Porto will make for a gorgeous backdrop for wedding pictures! We decided to rent out the back room of a romantic winery to have an intimate ceremony later in the day after gallivanting around town for pictures, and then host a wonderful meal for everyone to eat and drink the night away.
Once we picked the spot, we picked a date. We already had plans for Portland and Mexico this fall, and will be going to Shanghai in March, so we needed to look at next fall. Drumroll please… the official Brett-Michael’s wedding date is October 2nd, 2017!! We will fly into Madrid, Spain for a little pre-honeymoon solo, and then rendezvous with folks in Porto for the wedding. We have asked Jordan and Alyssa to be our two witnesses as our best man and maid of honor.
To ensure that we are not stressed out about having to hire someone local we don’t know, we are bringing along a photographer. Shannon is the other Brett Dorrian Artistry Studios staff photographer, whom I’ve worked with for over eight years shooting weddings and who is also a wonderful friend. We are so happy to have her capture our big day! She just took some wonderful pictures of us at the studio so we have new family photos with little Frank.
And our dear friends Laura and Nick will be attending, and Laura will do us the great honor of officiating our wedding. She works in book publishing and editing and will craft the language of our ceremony beautifully.
We are so looking forward to getting married, though our forever together has already started! We couldn’t be more thrilled!
We are enjoying researching venue options, looking at florists there, and mapping out the things we’d like to do on our trip. Next up will be picking colors, going dress shopping at Flutter Boutique, and starting to organize our Minnesota reception.