Darcy Schmieder’s fairytale romance began with a click and a “Smile.”
“I always giggle when people ask me how Ben and I met. My go to answer is, ‘We met through a mutual friend named eHarmony.’ Most people are surprised to meet someone with a happily ever after story that resulted from an online dating website.”
Growing up in the small city of Grants Pass, Oregon didn’t leave Darcy with many dating options.
“All of the eligible guys were ones that I had grown up with, known since my earliest Sunday school days, or they had gone off to college. So, I thought to myself, ‘Why couldn’t a dating website be part of the love story that God is writing for me?’”
After taking some time to pray about it and weigh her options, Darcy decided to give eHarmony a go.
“After only a few weeks, I was matched with Ben. My heart fluttered in an unforgettable way when I looked at his profile.”
Darcy remembers browsing his profile and instantly liking what she saw.
“There was a picture of Ben, in a suit, standing in the middle of a pumpkin patch and I remembers saying ‘Oh, I really like him!’ His profile reflected values and a lifestyle that I agreed with and I prayed that he would respond to the ‘smile’ message that I sent him.
Well it’s safe to say that “Smile” went a long way. Ben and Darcy started out their relationship long distance, but on his first trip to Oregon, Ben took a chance and asked Darcy to be his girlfriend.
“I can honestly say that I knew he was the one before I even opened the front door of my parent’s house when he came to pick me up for our first date.:
The pair shared a beautiful dating relationship with their long distance beginnings pushing them to get to know each other better over the phone and through regular Skype dates.
“During the nearly two years we dated before we were married, Ben inspired me to grow closer to God, and to continue to put God first. Ben honorably pursued me, and travelled regularly so that we could be together.”
After 14 months of dating it came time to seal the deal and Ben worked hard to create the perfect proposal.
“On March 2nd, 2017, Ben flew to Oregon to carry out a top-secret plan for proposing to me.”
It all started with Ben arriving at her parent’s home where he had lunch with her dad and asked him for her hand in marriage. From there the name of the game was keeping Ben hidden while Darcy went about her regular day.
“Let’s just say I really kept them on their toes that day.”
From work to rehearsals and more her parents spent the day trying to predict where Darcy would be and when so that Ben’s whereabouts would continue to be a surprise.
“My day at work started especially early. I woke up to a letter from Ben on my bathroom sink. It was sweet and unexpected, but I went about my workday like normal. After work was a series of dance rehearsals and play practices. It was raining very hard, and it turned out there wasn’t enough tie for me to safely drive home and change out of my scrubs before practice. This meant that Ben was left hiding over at our neighbor’s house, because no one knew for sure if I would randomly show up at home or not.”
After her last rehearsal for the evening, Darcy started to catch on.
“My dad was talking on his cell phone frequently and I knew something was up!”
Darcy was informed that she would need to go home after rehearsal, put on something nice and to wear and then Darcy and her father were to head out to a local restaurant where she would meet her mom her and her “friends”. Darcy remembers thinking this was a little odd, but continued on nonetheless.
“I went home to ger ready and found yet another letter from Ben. This one talked about the future, our future together and other things I had never heard from Ben until now. At that point I KNEW what was up.”
With excitement in the air, Darcy, surprisingly relaxed, got herself ready for her big night.
“With a grin plastered on my face, I picked out one of my favorite dresses, curled my hair and touched up my makeup. I listened to Michael Bublé and even had time to fold laundry! I was feeling relaxed, but excited!”
Then it was time to head to the restaurant.
“My dad and I arrived at the restaurant where we met my mom. My parents immediately escorted me outside to the deck of the restaurant. I stepped out on the balcony and looked down to see my future husband standing on a footbridge lined with many tea light candles, dressed up, with the biggest smile on his face that I had ever seen!”
Darcy immediately rushed down to him, ready for what was about to happen.
“Ben talked about the last 14 months and gave me ‘the final rose’ just like on the Bachelor. He then asked me if I remembered what had taken place at this same spot.”
The pair were standing in front of a pond where they had once tossed in coins and made wishes.
“He confessed that he had wished for an amazing wife, then he knelt down, pulled the ring out of his back pocket and asked me to marry him.”
Following the whirlwind proposal, Darcy jumped into planning her perfect day.
“To be honest, the wedding planning process was stressful at times. What made the process easier to handle was hiring professionals to do the planning and coordinating for us!
Darcy worked with Special Occasions Rentals and Design to successfully pull of her dream day.
“I was so grateful to be able to sit down and have a meeting with them, brainstorm, exchange ideas, make a few decisions, and in the end have everything look way better than I could’ve ever dreamed!”
This provided Darcy the opportunity to conserve some energy, take a step back and not stress about every single detail regarding the appearance of their wedding.
“Other than that we had so much fun as a couple checking things off our to-do list, sampling food, and collaborating with our family to make our day special.”
So when the big day finally arrived there was nothing but excitement and love to be had!
“The reality that we had arrived at the biggest day of our lives was my favorite part of our wedding day. I felt beautiful and special, wearing a white dress and a veil on our wedding day. Having the honor of marrying the man that God intended for me was a dream come true.”
When it came to finding Darcy’s perfect wedding dress there were some hurdles along the way.
“Well into my search for my dream dress, I was becoming tired and discouraged. I thought that my wish list would never match up to anything out there.”
Then Darcy, her mom and her Maid of Honor made their way to Charlotte’s.
“My consultant Grace guided me through the beautiful selection of dresses and different designers at Charlotte’s in a way that catered to my wish list and was respectful of our budget.”
Although Darcy was worried her dream dress wasn’t out there, Grace encouraged her that her wish list was attainable and her dream dress was in our store waiting to be found!
“Sure enough, she brought in a dress for me that made me light up instantly! I tried it on an I couldn’t believe what I saw in the mirror…the bride I always wanted to be”
After finding the dress that would become her dream gown, Darcy and her mom travelled to Portland to pick up the dress and begin alterations with Andrea Hoyt of August Veils.
“We traveled to Portland over the next few months (after it’s arrival) to visit Andrea for appointments in order to make my wedding dress into my dream come true!”
In addition to her regular fitting, Andrea and her team constructed an illusion back for the dress, added covered buttons from the top of the dress to the end of the train and altered her cathedral length veil to complete the look.
“My mom and I enjoyed every trip that we made to Portland for the sake of my wedding dress and we made unforgettable memories throughout our wedding dress journey with Charlotte’s and August Veils.”
“Thank you Charlotte’s, Grace and Andrea for helping me make it to the finish line and say ‘Yes to the Dress!’”
Now that all is said and done and the beautiful pair have said “I do”, Darcy has had some time to reflect on what made planning for her big day so successful.
“Take the time to plan ahead! Leave enough time to shop for your dress, wait for it come in and have it professionally altered and prepared for your wedding day.”
She also reminds us to be honest and enjoy the experience!
“Be as specific and honest as you can with your consultant when you are shopping for the dress. Before your appointment, indulge in looking at bridal magazine, watch ‘Say Yes to the Dress’, and spend some time dreaming about you what you want to look like on your wedding day.”
Just because your big day has come to an end, it doesn’t mean you have to shy away from the bridal world.
“Don’t be afraid to reminisce on your experience and the beautiful memories of your day. Continue to keep up with the current wedding dress trends. There’s no you reason you must leave your wedding dress programs and infatuation behind. Celebrate the new brides in your life. Help them with their wedding planning process when they need support and rejoice with them regarding the excitement and importance of their big day!”
Ceremony: Parkway Christian Center Grants Pass, OR
Reception: Bigham Knoll Campus Jacksonville, OR
Photographer: Anna Scott Photography
Hair: Ciara Owen – La Dolce Vita Hair Salon
Makeup: Brooke Gilmore – Blue Door Salon
Gown: Essense of Australia
Alterations: Andrea Hoyt – August Veils
Rentals/Coordination: Special Occasions Rentals and Design
Floris: Clara Putlitz – Beyond the Garden Gate