Rafaela & Conner – A Love Story From California
"We had a common friend in college who wanted us to meet each other. She tried hard for 3 months, telling me he was such a smart, strong and nice guy, and always saying that he was my age (I was 22 at the time). It wasn’t until the day before Halloween that she dragged me into the business school at our campus to meet this guy. He was smart and cute, and invited us to go out that night with his friends. It was a Halloween event and he dressed up as a frat guy and I was a Hogwarts student. It was also very cold, as the nights are generally freezing in Utah during October. As we left the party, he saw that I was really cold and offered me his sweater, and oh my God it smelled so good. Of course on our way back to the dorms I found out that he was only 19, and there was no way 22-year-old me was going to date a 19-year-old. But, we went out again the next night, where I found him slapping a bag of wine (sorry my love, couldn’t let this out) and surrounded by girls. I told our friend that no, that was definitely not happening, and even after he gave me his sweater again later that night, I still had the same thought. On Sunday night he sent me a Snapchat asking if I would go out for dinner with him someday the next week, and after our friend convinced me, I said yes. On Tuesday night he took me to this cute sushi place and well, we didn’t stop seeing each other after that. 7 months later we went to Disneyland with his family and they were putting a wedding together at the resort, that was the first time we ever talked about marriage and his mom heard us talking about how a Disneyland wedding would be fun…
Rafa often doesn’t think that she is the most beautiful girl in this universe, but I remind her everyday that she is. There is no one with prettier eyes, a prettier smile, and who is perfect in every way like she is. She is also the most amazing human being I have ever met. She cares for her friends like they are her children, and is unmatched in her kindness for those she really cares cares about. Rafa is my other half, and without her my life would fall apart. She feeds me and keeps me organized and I don’t think I’d make it a week on my own with out her help. She also pushes me to succeed in everything I do. Rafa is also determined herself, and when she sets a goal she plans to succeed in everything she does. She is ambitious and dreams big, and wants to make the most of her life and future with me. When I say that she is my other half, it could not be truer, and I know that together, and especially with her amazing will and personality, we can conquer any and all challenges in our path." – Conner
I always tell Conner that he is the prettiest of the pretty’s but, besides that, he has the biggest heart I’ve ever seen in my life. He will jump to help whoever needs help in a heart beat. He is also SO smart, ask him anything and he will be able to answer like if he was reading a book about it. I love the feeling that we’ve met before and that we’ve been together for years, maybe lives. He is my other half, the person who completes me, my love and my best friend." – Rafa
On July 1st, we signed our first lease together, and naturally his parents came to town to see the place. We all went out for dinner at the cute sushi place, and as we got seated he started telling me non-sense numbers and how the journey to the moon was a lonely one. I thought he was going crazy. When I looked to the rest of the table everybody had their phones out and then I understood what was happening. He got on his knee, and asked if I would be his partner in this journey. I didn’t have to think twice to say yes. The sushi man popped a bottle of champagne, because of course, Conner had been planning it and everybody in the restaurant knew, and we got to celebrate the rest of the night.
I never had a dream wedding, I didn’t think I would get married at all. After he proposed I got so busy with school that I let my mother-in-law take care of almost everything, except the dress and the photographers, because yes, I’m a photographer myself. I’m lucky she is a wedding planner and even though I was driving her crazy with last minute wishes, everything went perfect! Having so many people that cared about us, people who traveled from all over the world just to be there with us, that makes my heart happy in a way it’s hard to explain.
And advice to a bride planning a wedding would be: take your time to freak out. You need and you can. Apologize later, but I mean, you are already under lots and lots of pressure, people usually understand that. Don’t keep things to yourself and make sure the wedding is like YOU and your groom would like it to be.
ROCK STAR VENDORS:
Wedding planner and organizer: Brenda McFarlane and Paula Parisi, Pleasanton, California.
Venue and catering: Castlewood Country Club, Pleasanton, California.
S’more’s bar: Eddie Papa’s American Hangout, Pleasanton, California.
Linens, chargers, napkins and napkin holders: Pleasanton Rentals.
Flowers: PrimeSource Floral
Dj and photobooth: Dj by the Bay
Cake: East Bay Cake Diva