What advice would you give other couples planning their day?
Bride’s Comments: “Don’t overthink every little detail. Pick the top few things you want to absolutely stand out and focus your effort there.
“Don’t forget that it’s not about the over-priced centerpieces, or the extravagant decor. It’s about sharing the best day of your life with your closest friends and family as you marry your best friend.”
Bridal Q & A
What’s your love story? How did you originally meet and fall in love?
“Nick and I met at work. We work at a construction company, me being in Marketing, and him being in operations. The first time I met him was through email when I asked him for information about one of the projects he was working on.
“It wasn’t for another couple months that we met face to face when he was in the office and introduced himself to me. Our professional interactions grew into friendship over the next couple of years as we started to spend more time together outside of work.
“After two years, we both felt there was something more between us, and we both decided to take a chance on each other. From that moment on there has never been a single doubt in either of our minds that we fit together perfectly.
“We spent the next three years doing just about everything together. Between traveling all over the United States and five different countries, to tackling multiple home renovation projects, and even spending an entire year apart while Nick ran a project in Texas.
“We never wavered and only grew stronger. While our story is simple, our love is beautiful, perfect, and epic.”
How did your proposal go?
“We were back in Omaha, NE visiting Nick’s family for the holidays. On the night of December 27, 2016, he invited his parents, sister, and brother-in-law out to dinner to a restaurant in the historic downtown area of Omaha. After a wonderful dinner we all walked around the Gene-Leahey Mall.
“Everything was covered in fresh snow and there were Christmas lights hung on every tree and building. It was beyond romantic like we were in a true winter wonderland.
“I kept asking to take a picture with all the snow and lights, but Nick kept suggesting that we go up a little further to take the picture, which looking back should have been an obvious sign something was up. Eventually we got to this beautiful overlook point with the whole mall lit up behind us where Nick stopped us to take the photo.
“After a couple of pictures, Nick began to slow dance with me which we so often did in our special moments. As we slow danced he started telling me about how much he loved me and how perfect we were for each other. It was then that it hit me – this was THE moment.
“He said so many heartwarming and sentimental things – none of which I remember due to my complete shock – and then he got down on one knee and asked, “Larissa Ta…. Larissa Nicole Tavelli (he told me later he said the one thing he wanted to remember was my middle name but stumbled during the first try), “Will you Marry Me?”
“When he pulled out the ring, I don’t think I could have ripped off my glove any faster. I was so excited and overcome with emotion I barely managed a squeal and a head nod to tell him YES!!!! I was so happy and still in disbelief that I didn’t even remember to look at the ring until we were heading back inside to get out of the freezing weather. It was such a beautiful moment and he pulled it off perfectly. He says that he was the most nervous he had ever been, but he held it so well I had no idea. It is one of my favorite memories and we now visit that exact spot every time that we are in Omaha.”
What was important to you about your wedding?
“Aside from us both showing up, haha! We wanted it to be very personal. From the homemade jam my mother made for our wedding favors, to the quilt squares she made for our guests to sign, we also flew Nick’s pastor down from Omaha to marry us.
“We wrote our own vows which we read during the ceremony which I think made everyone there feel how special the day truly was. We had heard, as most people do, that you don’t have a lot of time to yourselves during the big day so we made the decision to do a first look and I am so glad that we did.
“There was so much going on that day with getting ready and making sure everyone was at the venue at the right time and all I wanted to do was to see my sweet Nicholas.
“There was so much emotion, relief, and indescribable joy when I finally got to squeeze his butt for him to turn around and see me in my big, extravagant white dress.
“We took that moment to soak up what that day truly meant, and continued to make a point to steal away little moments throughout the night to just be together, even if only for a few seconds.
“As for the decor, we didn’t want to overdo the decorations or theme so we let our beautiful venue be the backdrop. Fortunately we had absolutely perfect weather as it was all outside.
“The other thing that was important to us was that our guests had a good time. We had the best people celebrate with us that day, and they all organically mingled and had a blast and still talk about how fun and beautiful our wedding was to this day.”
What was your wedding inspiration?
“I really like bold, rich, moody colors, and even though it was spring, I managed to pull some of those colors in while still adding brighter shades to give a lighter feel.”
What were your wedding colors?
“Dark teal, navy blue, champagne gold, with pops of pomegranate red.”
What made your venue the one?
“Having grown up in the Southwest, I really didn’t want a southwestern wedding, and this venue was like you were being transported out of Arizona to a pecan grove somewhere else.
“It had lush pecan and citrus trees with a vintage charm. I loved the light-wrapped trees and bistro lights over the brick where we had our reception. Throughout the day as the light changed our venue got more and more beautiful – it was the perfect feel for our day.”
What were the highlights of the ceremony?
“Our whole ceremony was incredible. The message our pastor gave about marriage and the commitment we were making to each other was heartfelt, meaningful, and personal. He incorporated things we had discussed during our pre-marriage counseling as well as things he knew about Nick and his family.
“I would have to say my favorite part though, was definitely reading our vows to one another. And while they were personal to us, there is something to be said about including your guests in the love that you share with your ‘almost’ spouse. I truly think that got everyone in the right mood to have such a wonderful night celebrating.”
What song did you walk down the aisle to?
“Secret Garden by Bruce Springsteen (epic 80’s rom-com songs are what love is built on!)”
What were the highlights of the reception?
“Our DJ knows how to throw a party! We had met with Elicia a couple of times prior to the big day to go over general coordination and she had mentioned playing a few games with the guests. I was hesitant at first for fear that they would be cheesy and our guests wouldn’t participate, but not only did everyone have a blast playing all of the games, it kept everyone engaged throughout the night.
“I particularly like our first dance, and sitting at our sweetheart table during dinner getting to look out at all of our family friends and feel so grateful they were all here to celebrate Nick and I. The sparkler exit was just the icing on the cake.”
What song played for your first dance?
You Make it Easy by Jason Aldean
What made the day special and personal to you?
“My mom made homemade jam and I made cute labels for each as the guest favors. My mom also sewed together about 130 quilt squares for guests to sign that she is now sewing together into a quilt.
“Nick’s mom brought Midwestern traditional wedding mints that we made the week leading up to the wedding.
“Reading our vows, the first look, and the moments that we got to sneak away together. One of our friend’s saved a cork from the New Mexican champagne my parents brought for our toast and gave it to us in a little glass keepsake box which was so thoughtful.
“Seeing the light change at the venue as it went from day to night just made it feel so much more magical than we could have ever imagined.
“I also have to shout out to our amazing photographers – Mike, you are hands down one of the coolest and most fun people to work with (so was Courtney) and our videographers!
Any specific DIY projects that you did that you’d like to share?
“Other than the previously mentioned jam jars and labels, quilt squares, and mints, Nick made these beautiful oversized wooden lanterns that we used as decor as the entrance to the aisle and then in front of our sweetheart table.
“We also made a wooden cutout of our initials N&L that we had used throughout our wedding invitations and signage. I also designed and printed all of the invitations, wedding signage, and program fans.
“We created the flower decor that hung on the arbor we got married on and re-furbished a couple of old glass window pains that we wrote the seating chart on.
“We also bought a bunch of small hanging tea light holders that we hung from the cocktail hour bar to create a whimsical and romantic feel.”
What was your favorite part of the day?
“I think we both agree that the first look was our favorite part, followed closely by our ceremony. Having those few moments to ourselves without anyone else there (other than our awesome photographers) made it very personal and meaningful. It also helped calm my nerves and ease my jitters – Nick has that effect on me!”
What was your biggest surprise on your wedding day?
“Everybody says it goes by quickly, and man they weren’t kidding! I was also prepared for something to go wrong and to just roll with the punches, but everything went smoothly and could not have turned out better.”