Helping Carmen find the perfect dress to marry her love Dom in was a special time for us at Charlotte’s. Her determination to have a wedding day focused solely on the love and joy of joining two lives together came together to produce a beautiful wedding that fit the couple perfectly! Read on for all the details of their McMenamin’s Grand Lodge wedding from this past September.
Carmen & Dom first met in high school but the two didn’t date until later.
“We reconnected at an alumni football game in 2015 that he played in and we never looked back”
Carmen says they surprised a lot of people when they got together, that they may have been an unlikely pair.
“I think we even surprised ourselves!”
During and event that Carmen had been dreaming of, Dom surprised her with the perfect proposal.
“Giraffes are my absolute favorite animal and I make this widely known on a regular basis which paid off.”
In April, Dom and Carmen drove down to Winston, OR to visit the Wildlife Safari and take advantage of a giraffe encounter certificate she’d received from friends.
“I was so excited! Like I even got my nails done because I knew there would be some awesome photo opportunities. Oh, the irony!”
When they got to the Safari, Dom had Carmen wait outside while he went into the office to get their certificate upgraded to the “VIP Experience”. He had a little bit more on his agenda, though, as he also schemed with the Safari staff to turn this experience into the perfect proposal.
“We get out to the giraffe exhibit and I’m handed a bucket of lettuce to feed the giraffe with. As I look back to grab another piece I see a ring box tucked in the bucket and I just immediately went into shock/disbelief/amazement!”
Dom got down on one knee, and with Mate the giraffe watching, asked Carmen to marry him!
“Of course I said YES! Later I learned that an extra staff member had been brought along just for the sole purpose of documenting the proposal and everyone in the universe but me knew this was coming! He had asked my whole family, and my grandmother for permission beforehand.”
With the proposal out of the way it was time to get down to business and start planning their perfect wedding day.
“We had a five-month engagement which kind of kicks things into gear right from the beginning. As a result we had a majority of the wedding planned within the first month!”
For Carmen, the shorter engagement was perfect. She felt like it forced her to make decisions and left her no time to second guess any choices.
“The wedding planning process was incredibly smooth for me, largely in part of the dedication and support from my sweet momma. I got so lucky!”
In the end Carmen never lost sight of what mattered most making the wedding planning process just one step into forever with Dom!
“I think my favorite part of my wedding planning process was just waking up on the morning of our wedding day knowing it was all finally coming together!”
“Working with Charlotte’s to find my dream dress was so amazing!”
Carmen shopped for her dream dress with her mom and Godmother in tow. Her best friend was there too, making an appearance via FaceTime!
“Ryann was my consultant and I feel so lucky to have been matched with her! She picked out some amazing dress choices with very limited information because I really had no idea what I wanted!”
After a few dresses Carmen found herself stuck between two that really stood out to her.
“Ryann helped me get in and out of those two dresses several times so I could compare and contrast and was so patient and understanding.”
When Ryann had a gut feeling that Carmen was in “the one” she took her out into the lobby.
“Once in the showroom she dressed me up with a veil and a bouquet and that cued the tears and we instantly knew. I never once regretted my choice and wish it was socially acceptable to wear my dress every weekend!”
Carmen and Dom said “I do” at McMenamin’s Grand Lodge. A perfect venue for an all-inclusive wedding day.
“It’s so hard to choose a favorite part of our wedding day! The whole day was perfect.”
One moment that really stood out for Carmen was immediately following the ceremony.
“The moment we were announced as husband and wife and I was able to look at the hundreds of people in attendance to support our love story was amazing. We are so blessed with support from so many important people in our lives.”
Another favorite moment was her first look…s.
“I chose to do a first look with my husband, but also with my dad and brother. Each one was so special in its own way.”
Lastly, Carmen fondly recalls her entire wedding reception and the memories made that night!
“We danced the night away, had too much fun in the photo booth and did our best to soak every minute of it in!”
Planning a wedding is fun, but it can be easy for it to stray away from that and towards a more stressful space. When thinking back on her day Carmen shared this advice for future brides.
“Don’t get caught up in the little things. I was super laid-back throughout the whole process and I think that approach helped planning and the actual wedding itself go smoothly.”
“When I thought of my wedding day, I didn’t think of my colors, centerpieces or décor – I thought of the fact that I got a whole day to celebrate the love of my life with those who mean the most to us and I wanted that to be the focal point of the day. Everything else was just a beautiful, perfect bonus.”
Venue – McMenamins Grand Lodge
Photographer – Josh and Aleah Photography
Videographer – Fibre Creative
Make-up Artist – Melanie Carbine Artistry
Dress – Rebecca Ingram