What was it like working with Charlotte’s?
Charlotte’s was the only bridal store I worked with to find my dress. I had other family and friends have positive experiences working with Charlotte’s so it was no question for me go there. The women in the store made the process fun and easy. I received a call a few days prior to my appointment so that they could get a better feel for what I was looking for, that made me feel that my appointment was important to them. I went in with a specific thought of what I did and did not want. They were very helpful in locating what I was looking for and it made the process go much smoother. It only took four dresses until I found “the one”, but they continued to let me try on others so I could be absolutely sure. I had no regrets going there to find my dress.
We additionally work with Charlotte’s for our men’s suits. Charlotte’s staff did a great job and helping us get everything we needed and customizing the looks that we wanted. We only had a few changes when the suites arrived and they were quick to make the adjustments.
How did you and your fiance meet?
We met on May 18, 2012, at a rehearsal for a wedding that we were both a part of. I (Gretchen) was friends with the bride, and Ryan was friends with the groom. We were paired to walk down the aisle together. Although we talked at the wedding, we really did not connect until after. It was a few days later that Ryan contacted and the rest is history from there.
How did he propose?
Our proposal was one for the books. Ryan spent many weeks planning and scheming before he popped the question. It started on October 2, 2014 around 3PM. I was in my office at work when my boss came into my office and handed me an envelope that said “Clue 1”. As I proceeded to read it, I knew the rest of my life was about to change. Each clue led me to a new clue and a new person / thing. There were nine clues in total and lots of fun in between. The final clue led me to the Center Street Bridge in Des Moines, IA where Ryan was waiting. He even had my nails done during the clues and hired a photographer to capture the whole thing.
What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
I’m not sure I can select just one favorite part of the day. There were so many special moments. Other than the obvious getting to marry my best friend, it was so fun to see all of our family and friends in one spot. It was also fun to see all the planning come to fruition.
What is one piece of advice you would give brides that are just beginning their search for the perfect wedding gown?
My advice would be to stay open minded. I went in thinking I wanted a very specific style and look. I was pretty confident that I didn’t want the big dress and that I wanted some form of a cap sleeve. Well it turns out that the dress I fell in love with was big and strapless and it was perfect! I would also suggest only taking a few people that you trust with you. I felt it was easier to get honest opinions when people were fighting to talk. .
Is there anything special or unique about your wedding that you would like to highlight?
When we were planning our wedding we really wanted to make our day about celebrating us but also about all the people who played an important part of who we were. We added a lot of featured to include our guest through our journey of the wedding planning and day of. We made sure our guest had transportation, welcome gifts, schedules, and access to us throughout. We incorporated a cocktail hour so that we could spend time with our guest before dinner. This really allowed us to talk with so many people. We also had a large candy table for guest to enjoy though the night and take home with them. Additionally, we wanted to add something unique to our wedding so we incorporated a cigar bar later in the evening which also accompanied a late night snack. At the end of the night we still had over 60 guests dancing and talking and that was the greatest gift to us to have so many people enjoyed themselves.