Help us pick a winner for our elopement giveaway in Sonoma
You may remember earlier this month when we posted an amazing elopement giveaway with our friends at Harlin & Sparrow and a whole team of amazing Sonoma, CA wedding creatives. Well, the time has officially come to pick the winner! Harlin & Sparrow received lots of thoughtful, inspiring entries, and narrowed it down to three finalists. And guess what? We want *you* to choose who wins! Hear from our three finalists below and leave a comment on this blog post telling us which couple should be the winner of an intimate wedding package this coming fall.
Couple 1: Camille + Asher
How did you meet? I was a photographer on the yearbook committee in 11th grade, while Asher, a very cute senior, was in independent music studies next door. One day I thought I’d be real smooth and casually mosey over to photograph Asher playing his guitar. We started chatting and became friends, so I started visiting his class regularly to *take pictures of the band*… A few weeks later he asked me to homecoming and of course I said yes! (I even remember where I was standing when he asked me and how flabbergasted I was that this cute guy in 7th period liked me back!) One week later, on our third date, we became “official” and have been happily together ever since.
How did he ask? Asher and I are truly best friends. He knows me better than I know myself and vice versa. So one night a couple of months ago, we were laying in our bed talking and got on the topic of marriage. A few minutes later, Asher got up, walked to his dresser, grabbed one of his own rings and impromptu proposed to me in his pajamas. Since it wasn’t totally official without a ring of my own (his was too big), we decided we wanted to go shopping for one together. After picking out my dream ring, I told him I wanted to be surprised when it arrived. About a month later I was at home early from work and changing into workout clothes. I heard Asher arrive so I walked into the living room to say hi (still in my underwear) and found him on one knee with the ring and a bottle of champagne. After a bunch of smiles, hugs, and kisses, he explained to me that he realized the only real way he would be able to surprise me was to catch me off guard because I can read him like a book. We then called all our family and friends to share the good news and went out to a celebratory dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. The process of our engagement was untraditional, but it was heartfelt, sweet, and very “us”.
Why us? Asher and I are so in love and excited for our families to become one! (Fun fact: our parents have become such close friends that they even go on double dates without us! Needless to say, they’re overjoyed too.) Our 10 year anniversary is this October, so getting married in the same month would be a real dream come true! Unfortunately, with how much we work, our budget, and the short timeframe, we would never be able to pull that off on our own. We would love a joyful, intimate, and heartfelt wedding, just like our proposal and relationship. Working with experts on a bespoke elopement would be very meaningful and exciting to us and our families, so we hope you’ll pick us as your dynamic duo!
Couple #2: Jennifer + Stephen
Stephen says, Jennifer and I met while volunteering at the Jack London State Park; we quickly became best friends and began dating shortly thereafter. That spring Jennifer lost her grandmother on the 29th of April 2014. Grandma Jo was like a second mother to her and every year on the anniversary of her passing Jennifer and I would recreate her perfect day filled with gardening, champagne and a relaxing picnic on the beach at Bodega Bay.
As our relationship grew over three years of dating, I always knew the day I would propose. Jennifer’s grandmother meant the world to her and I couldn’t imagine a better day to combine with one of the happiest days of our lives. Jennifer is an avid planner—as the 29th approached she began planning our day of remembrance and fun. The plan was to go to her favorite nursery and head to the beach for a picnic. Simultaneously I was planning our engagement, inviting family and friends from all over California + Oregon to surprise Jennifer at our engagement party. As we got to the beach I located our friends, the “photographers” hiding in the tall grass on a sand dune. We went down to the water so that our photographers could get into position and as we got back I told Jen that I had a surprise for her in our bag and asked her to turn around. Getting down on one knee, I asked Jennifer if she would make me the luckiest man in the world and be my wife.
She said YES! Our friends had celebratory champagne waiting for us, and then we ventured back into Santa Rosa where the real party began. As we arrived to the venue, we were greeted with a giant “SURPRISE” and a procession of yellow roses (Grandma Jo’s favorite flower). We laughed, we cried, we celebrated—not only our engagement but the memory of Grandma Jo.
Jennifer and I both work in the wine industry and work together at Benziger Family Winery. We appreciate and love the Sonoma Valley. It’s where we met, it’s where we work and where we fell in love. A Sonoma Valley wedding would be the perfect location to say I Do and begin the rest of our lives together. I want Jennifer to have the perfect wedding day just like our perfect engagement.
Couple #3: Sara + Craig
Sara says, Craig and I met as freshmen in high school when we were 15 years old and started dating a year later. Despite being locker neighbors for almost a year, it wasn’t until I noticed Craig one afternoon during spring semester struggling to work the combination on his lock that we had our first conversation. With his right arm in a sling from a lacrosse injury and awkwardly balancing an arm full of text books I thought, This is either an elaborate ploy to get my attention or the poor guy actually needs some help. Feeling sympathetic, I offered to help open his locker… Turns out, that day changed the course of our lives forever.
We’ve been best friends ever since and it’s unbelievable I was fortunate enough to meet the love of my life at such a young age. The years have gone by and our journey has taken us through some major life milestones and both happy and sad times.
After 14 year of dating (!), Craig proposed to me on December 27, 2012. It was a typical cold winter night in New England and we had just settled in to relax after dinner. As I sat down on the couch, I realized all of the Christmas tree ornaments were in total disarray and the only ornament hanging on the front of the tree was a small wooden heart my parents had given me.
I may or may not have freaked out and asked Craig what the **** happened to the Christmas tree. As I made my way to the tree, I saw the engagement ring sparkling as it hung on the heart shaped ornament. I just remember staring at the ring and being so confused… and then it hit me… OMG… this is happening… and I turned around to see Craig on his knee.
I am certainly not the girl who had my entire wedding dreamed up by a young age, so I have been pretty lax on the planning. As you can imagine, this has driven my poor mother crazy and why 4.5 years after being proposed to we’re still engaged!
One of our first real vacations as a couple was to Sonoma County and it just fit us… the beautiful weather, the stunning views, the wine and food… Over the years we have taken many vacations to California and it never disappoints. California has always kind of felt like a little home away from home to both of us. Living on the East Coast, it would not be an easy request to ask our families to travel cross county for our wedding, but when we envision our wedding day, Sonoma County is one of our favorite places in the world and there’s nowhere else we see ourselves getting married. We can’t wait to see what our future holds and finally begin a new adventure as husband and wife… Trust me, our families and friends will thank you!
UPDATE: Congrats to our winners, Camille + Asher! And big thanks to everyone who entered our giveaway and shared their stories! They were all amazing and we wish all our sweet couples the very best. xo