Last October, we had the pleasure of celebrating Melody and Jake’s romantic wedding at The Laurel! It was a day filled with the utmost happiness and love for one another. As high school sweethearts, these two live their lives simply appreciating the joy of just being together, whether that entails watching movies at home or travelling the world hand in hand.
Their wedding day was filled to the brim with this love and celebration, and they were so sweet to relive the day with us!
Jake and I met over the summer of my junior year of high school, going into senior year, and his senior year of high school, going into freshman year of college! So, I guess we can be considered high school sweethearts? We actually met through a mutual friend, Quan, who was one of the groomsmen. One summer day, a friend and I were at a stoplight on a busy street in Plano and we looked over and saw our friend Quan with his passenger window down. My friend thought it would be funny for me to get out of the car and run up to his window and scream so I could scare Quan. So, being the careless high schooler that I was, I got out of the car, ran up to the passenger window and screamed my heart out. Little did I know, Jake was in the passenger seat, reclined down, and I ended up scaring Jake instead. Jake ended up asking Quan for my number (how do you ask a friend, “who is that scary girl, can I have her number”?) and the rest is history! As we got to know each other a little more, we realized we found a significant other that likes to eat, be lazy and watch movies on the couch all day, and travel… oh and did I mention eat?? We are very alike but different in our own little ways. Jake and I actually dated for 9 years before he asked me to marry him… (c’mon dude, jk) he was actually really sweet about it because he was waiting until I finished nursing school (he had already graduated and started his career) because he knew that was a really big goal that I was trying to accomplish in my life, so it made the proposal even more special! We had our future children’s names picked out by year 3 of our relationship, so we knew we weren’t going anywhere!
I wanted the theme of my wedding to be very romantic and whimsical, with a little touch of modern! Jake and I traveled to Napa Valley once and I instantly fell in love with the whole atmosphere, so when we were planning our wedding and venue shopping, I wanted the same type of feel that we had visiting the vineyards and shops in Napa.
With the Napa/romantic theme, I was looking for a venue that had a similar feel to a vineyard. I wanted a lot of greenery surrounding the venue, outdoor space, wooden architectural accents, and a big open ballroom. I wanted a place that didn’t need much decor, that had its own beauty and designs shine through. The Laurel….. ALL THAT AND A BAG OF CHIPS!
Once we discovered The Laurel, I was IN AWE!!! I was already giddy inside by just looking at pictures on The Laurel’s instagram, but when we had our tour of the venue, I IMMEDIATELY knew that this was the place. From the outdoor patio space, to the detailing in the Chapel, to the gorgeous Great Hall, AND amazing bride and groom suites. I was shocked that a place like this exists! Once we left our initial venue tour and got the dates of availability, I literally told Jake, “we have no time to waste, we need to book now,” as we were driving out of The Laurel’s parking lot!
Surprisingly, I was pretty relaxed and at ease while getting ready that day. Still eager, but relaxed at the same time. Walking into the venue for the first time on the wedding day and seeing the sun shine through the venue (seriously there's something about The Laurel that makes anyone feel warm inside, I'm not kidding), and the staff setting up made me feel so happy and very comfortable. It also helps when you have an amazing group of bridesmaids to be by your side!
As for Jake, as I'm sure with most men, they were in their whole “bro” mode. One of the groomsmen brought a PS4 so they could play games while getting ready, and they were living it up in their own suite. Jake states that he was fine while he was getting ready with the guys, but it was when we were about to do first looks was when he started to get really nervous. I was getting really nervous as well, but after the wedding and talking through the day, he seemed more of a mess than me! So cute!
First, me and Jake’s favorite moment was our first look in the back part of the patio area of The Laurel- it was very quiet and serene. We definitely enjoyed that little time we had just to be with each other and embrace before we had all of our friends and family’s eyes on us. Second was when we wrote our own vows and read them to each other during the ceremony. Tears on tears on tears! Third was the reception when everyone had some food and drinks in them and all we did was dance and sing and have fun with our closest friends and family until the very last minute of the night!
What made the day special for us was seeing how happy everyone was celebrating our marriage. Seeing two big families come together and have fun with one another was so magical and memorable for me, my heart was 10x fuller that day. I remember at one point I was at the back of the Great Hall conversing with some friends and I looked up and saw all of my relatives, in-laws, family and friends dancing along to Cambodian songs (my parents are super big on having their native music be played at a wedding). Songs they had no idea how to dance to or know what was being said in the song, they just wanted to dance and enjoy how different it was and be joyful with one another! Seeing everyone happy made ME feel so happy and content, and at that point in time, I thought to myself “everything is perfect.”
Reading our vows to each other during the ceremony was definitely a moment that stuck out to us the most. When we were reading them, it was as if no one was around and it was just the two of us. For sure a moment I will never forget. As for the reception, what the heck... the entire reception was fun! If I had to pick a couple of things that stuck out the most, they would be: first, laughing my butt off watching the bridesmaids/groomsmen dance to their entrance songs; second, the father/daughter dance and mother/son dance. Those moments always get me!
The day was fun, loving, amazing, and romantic! How typical can I get? Haha, but it’s true!
My advice would be to take your time and not worry too much about what others will think, or what others might want or look for in a wedding and focus more on what Y’ALL want as a couple. Always think on the positive side and if something goes wrong or if there is a flaw in wedding planning, don’t let that negativity flood your mind. There’s always, always, always, a light at the end of the tunnel! Take your time, and don’t forget about the little details that make a huge difference. And at the end of the day, it's just about the bride and groom, so relax, breathe, and just be happy, cause y’all are about to do the dang thing!
Thank you, Melody and Jake, for taking the time to share your wedding day memories with us. We wish you all the best in years to come!