Married: June 20, 2015
photography by Jeannine Marie Photography
What was it like working with Charlotte’s?
The person I worked with was very helpful! I knew the Stella York collection was coming to La Crosse, so I made a special trip from the cities because I was looking for a specific dress from that collection. I found out that Charlotte’s did not have that specific dress, but they helped me find one that was very similar. I ended up choosing the 5th dress I tried on, and hadn’t even planned on buying a dress that day! They made sure that we had enough room for everyone that I brought with, and I found a beautiful sash and veil (which I was 99% sure I was NOT going to get) that went perfectly with my dress too!
How did you and your fiance meet?
Crystal met Jake through Jake’s cousin, Abby in February, 2011. Abby and Crystal were in the same school counseling program together. One night, while Jake was in La Crosse from Eau Claire visiting his family, him, his sister Gina and Abby and her boyfriend Nate decided to go to the bar, The Eagles Nest. Abby had invited Crystal to join them at the bar, as it was one they commonly frequented. Crystal and Gina hit it off right away, talking most of the night- especially once they found out that the same guy was trying to date both of them! Towards the end of the evening, Crystal also spent a lot of time talking to Nate and Jake and getting to know them better. By the end of the night Crystal and Gina had exchanged numbers since they wanted to get together another time.
A few weeks later, Crystal had heard that Jake was going to be in town again and that everyone had planned on meeting up. Out of nowhere, Jake had called her to see if she was planning on meeting up with everyone. Knowing that she did not give Jake her number, she knew that he either got it from Gina or Abby, but Jake tried saying that she gave it to him anyways. In the next month or so, Crystal would hang out with Gina and Jake whenever Jake was in town. Finally, he decided to ask Crystal out on a date, where they went to Olive Garden and a movie. She knew immediately that he was not like other guys, and loved how much he made her laugh. Not too long after that, they started dating, and a little over a year later, when Crystal graduated from Grad School, she moved in with Jake up in Eau Claire. Then after a talk about where they wanted to work long term, they found a place together in the twin cities where they currently live. A little over three years after they started dating, Jake proposed…..
How did he propose?
Jake and I had talked about marriage and knew without a shadow of a doubt we were going to get married, we even spent a Saturday afternoon looking at rings! It really only came down to the guessing game of when was he going to pop the question. I knew when he purchased the ring and knew when it was supposed to come in, so every time we had a fun event going on with friends or a wine tasting, I thought, “This is it, he’s going to do it, he’s proposing tonight!” Then the night would end, and there would be no ring. My best friend and I had talked about how I would want a proposal- intimate vs. in a large group, not at a sporting event or restaurant, something creative- and gave hints to Jake.
This type of guessing game went on for about a month until one day I finally had enough of myself! I decided there would be no more of the “when is he going to propose” guessing game; it would happen when it happened and that was that! Well, really, it happened not too long after that. Often times on the weekends, a group of our friends would get together and have game nights. They were usually at Molly’s house, but I enjoyed hosting them as well. This particular Saturday, we were going to be hosting game night because Molly apparently didn’t want to. I thought it was a little random, but didn’t think too far into it. I woke up not feeling that great, but hoped I would feel better by the time we had everyone over. I had already planned on going to the Salon that day to get my hair done, so it was going to be a nice, relaxing afternoon. However, even up to the time people starting coming over, I still was feeling horrible-almost to the point that I was thinking about cancelling game night. Good thing I didn’t!
It started out like any normal game night…. We sat around the dining table and started getting out the game Cards Against Humanity. For those of you unfamiliar with this game, it’s kind of like an inappropriate version of Apples to Apples. At this point, I was getting hungry and wanted to order the pizza, but everyone else wanted to wait a little while. The first card that my friend got was “what is a girl’s best friend?” and purposely selected the card “diamonds” as her answer card- of course, I thought nothing of it. Now, when it was my card, I drew the card “______ is a slippery slope that leads to _______” and had to pick what I thought were the best answer cards that went with that statement. So everyone but in their two cards. During this time, Jake went into the kitchen, to what I thought was to get another beer, but was really to get the ring. You see, the two cards he put in were “Love is a slippery slope that leads to getting married, having a few kids, buying stuff, retiring to Florida and dying.” Mind you, the “love” card was a handwritten card by one of my friends, but as we had other handwritten cards I didn’t think too much of it. Now, for those that know me, I am not going to pick logical cards… I pick ones that I think are ridiculous and funny. So although I was supposed to pick Jake’s cards, I did not. Instead, I picked ones that read “Getting drunk on mouthwash is a slippery slope that leads to picking up chicks at the abortion clinic.” Of course, at that point, Jake came around the corner shocked and annoyed that I didn’t pick his cards. OOPS! He had said that he had made that choice specifically for me. Then he got down and proposed. I have to admit, I was not at all thinking he was going to propose, and after I had kind of ruined the moment, I couldn’t stop laughing, but of course I said YES! Turns out that he had the salesperson rush the ring so that he could get it sooner and make it more of a surprise. My friend Molly even got it on video!
This was just the first part of the surprise though. He had said that the reason that we didn’t order the pizza is that he had planned a dinner for all of us at Rojo, my favorite Mexican restaurant. Of course I called my mom right away followed by my dad to tell them the news! She said that they had known about it, but were unable to get the weekend off on that short of notice. When we got to Rojo, he lead me to the back private room where my best friend, future in-laws, and other close friends were waiting for us with rose petals and champagne! I was so surprised and happy, I couldn’t believe it and that he pulled off such a wonderful surprise for me! It was such a special and fun moment, and I am so happy I was able to spend it with our friends and family.
What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
Of course cliche like, marrying my best friend with our close friends and family with us. We did not have a big wedding- only about 115 people because we only wanted those close to us in attendance. I was really worried that it was going to storm (they were saying scattered t-storms during our outdoor ceremony time!), but everything ended up working perfectly! I think one of my favorite parts was that when I walked into the ceremony, my dad and I walked down opposite stairwells and met in the middle before him bringing me down the aisle to Jake.
What is one piece of advice you would give brides that are just beginning their search for the perfect wedding gown?
Plan ahead—it is never too early to start looking, and don’t feel the need to keep trying on dresses once you think you’ve found the one! It will only confuse you!
Is there anything special or unique about your wedding that you would like to highlight?
We had an amazing DJ and we had a fresh cigar roller which was a lot of fun and a big hit! We also had a “wishing tree” instead of a traditional guest book too where people would write their wishes on leaves and tie them to these crystal trees we had. I think some of my favorite parts were incorporating our nerdiness into the wedding- we had four different Hobbit/Lord of the Rings songs that played (including my friend singing “May it Be”), and we exited the ceremony to the Throne Room theme song from Star Wars. It put a fun nerdy spin to our classy and elegant wedding!