Sometimes the strongest marriages blossom from the best of friendships. Elisabeth and Matt are a perfect example of that. The pairs relationship dates all the way back to their freshman year of college at Gonzaga University.
“Matt and I first met when we both moved into the same dorm building during our freshman year at Gonzaga University. Neither of us can remember the exact time that we first met but we know it was friendship at first sight. We quickly became close friends but, at the time, that’s all it was- a wonderful friendship.”
The two spent a lot of time together in the early stages, just getting to know each other as friends. Elisabeth recalls times spent just hanging out, talking about life and of course watching Psych. Then their Junior Year of college rolled around and things started to change.
“During our Junior year at Gonzaga, Matt studied abroad in Italy. After a few months apart, we were surprised by how much we missed each other. Skype calls became frequent, postcards flew back and forth and we each developed a bad habit of staying up too late to message one another.”
This continued for awhile and soon the two realized that their relationship had transcended the friendship line. Something more was building.
“When Matt got back to the states around Christmas, he told me that he had feelings for me. I Han Solo-ed him and replied, “I know.” We went on our first “official” date at the sushi restaurant where we had been many times as friends. On a sunny weekend in February of 2011, Matt and I took a trip to Seattle for the weekend and it was there that Matt asked me to be his girlfriend. The rest is history!”
Having fun is a cornerstone of Elisabeth and Matt’s relationship, so naturally their proposal had to follow suit. The pair had discussed marriage often enough and so their proposal was one that fit them both equally.
“After 6 years of dating, you can imagine that the topic of marriage had come up once or twice. Matt and I had known that we wanted to marry each other for a long time but we were waiting for the right time to tie the knot. Because I hate surprises (and Matt knows not to surprise me), we decided to pick a date to get engaged.”
The pair picked an unexpected date for their engagement: April 1st.
“We picked April 1st as our engagement date so that when we told everyone that we were engaged, everyone would have to wonder if it was an April Fool’s prank or not.”
Although the proposal was planned together, it was still a special day that the two will look back on for years and years to come.
“So, on April 1st we packed up the car, got our dog and headed to the Oregon Coast. We had just finished watching the Gonzaga Bulldogs beat South Carolina and make it to the championship game! (Go Zags!) The sun had started to set and the tide was rolling in. We sat on the patio of our dog-friendly hotel room soaking in the salty air. Matt turned to me, said a lot of sweet things, pulled a beautiful ring out of his camera bag and asked me to marry him. I said, “No… April Fools!!”’
Just like their proposal, the wedding process was a little untraditional for Elisabeth & Matt.
“People were surprised to hear this but it was actually my husband that was much more interested in the wedding planning process and he ended up doing the majority of the planning because he loved it so much!”
The two found ways to make the planning process fun and came up with some useful tools to sail through.
“We both really enjoyed the wedding planning process and it was so much fun to plan the party of our lives! We couldn’t have done it without Zola (the online wedding website), Google Drive and many many spread sheets.”
With a New Year’s Eve wedding, the pair wanted the day to be more than just a traditional wedding ceremony. It was also an epic party to ring in the new year with all their friends and family. A party complete with amazing food, live music and a countdown to 2018!
“My favorite part of my wedding day was being surrounded by all my family, friends and loved ones! It was so amazing to have all of them in the same place and to be able to share my big day with all of the people that are so special to me.”
Elisabeth was an absolute stunning bride wearing Justin Alexander. A perfectly grand ballgown for her winter NYE wedding day.
“I loved working with Charlottes to find my wedding dress! They took all the stress out of the experience and helped make the process so much more fun and easy. I loved that they also helped me try on some other styles that I wasn’t originally looking at or considering. The dress I found was so different than the dress I had originally imagined myself in. I never would have found it unless Ryann had suggested that I try it on.”
You learn a lot throughout the process, Elisabeth’s best advice reminds us to not lose sight of the important things and take time to really cherish every moment!
“I think my best piece of advice would be this… Soak it in! Every moment of it! Everything goes by so quickly so make sure that you take lots of chances to recognize all the love that surrounds you, savor the moments between you and your partner and soak it all in. Also, I would highly recommend getting a day-of wedding coordinator!!”
Photographer: Powers Studio
Flowers: Bella Bloom Florals
Coordinator: Ali Hutchins – Luxe Event Productions
Live band: Rat Pack Live
Cake: Monday Bakery
Hair: Liz Pahl
Makeup: Eye Shine Beauty
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