Maren Wearing Custom Ari Dress
Congratulations, to our gorgeous Ari bride Maren & her husband Mitch on their stunning Yosemite elopement. Photography by Sarah & Brent Photography.
So tell us, how did you meet the love of your life?
We met during our final year at Washburn University! We had two classes together in our semester before graduation, during which we shared no more than a few very brief conversations about schoolwork. We each graduated from the School of Business that Spring, but we also each happened to have one final course - the same course - that we needed to go back and take in the Summer. It also so happened that the course had to be taken in group-project format from start to finish. As a fairly shy person, this was my worst nightmare. Luckily, our professor sent out the syllabus before our first day of class, so after reading how this was about to go down, I immediately looked up the class roster, came across the familiar name, found him on Instagram, and sent a message to propose we team up. Thankfully, he obliged. Over the next couple of months, we formed a very close connection and here we are 5 years later!
Was there a moment you knew they were the one? Tell us how they won your heart.
For me, there wasn’t any single moment when I became certain that he was the person I wanted to spend my life with. It was the incredibly consistent thoughtfulness, care, and respect he showed for me. He is an amazingly genuine and kind human, which made him very easy to fall in love with.
Tell us the story of the proposal ❤️
Mitch asked me to marry him on the same day we closed on our first home. We were taking a photo out in the front yard and the next thing I know, he was down on one knee. Especially being so focused on the house, I didn’t expect it or see it coming *at all*. I had made the decision in my mind about 6 months prior that I wanted to marry him but I have to admit, I was a little bit shell-shocked in the moment! Afterward, he cooked us a super yummy dinner - one of my favorite ways that he shows love. ♡
What dress did you choose?
Ari, had the Ari neckline swapped out for the Ellora neckline & an added princess slit
What was most important to you when choosing your wedding dress
It may sound incredibly obvious but I really wanted to find a dress that felt like me. There are so many beautiful dresses out there to choose from, and I’m sure I could have been happy with a number of them but for this day, I knew that I wanted to feel like the most beautiful and authentic version of myself. Keeping that at the top of my mind is what helped guide me directly to the dress I selected!
What aspects of your wedding were most important to you when you were planning?
My now husband and I very easily came to the decision that we wanted our wedding day for just us. I think that most couples sort of default to planning a traditional wedding (in the sense that there’s a venue with guests, walking down the aisle for a ceremony, followed by a reception with dancing and dessert), which is a wonderfully valid and ideal route for a lot of couples, of course, but without-a-doubt, our default was to plan an elopement. All that’s to say, it felt very important that our wedding ceremony be solely about our commitment and love for one another. We imagined a day where we could experience something new and exciting together, where we could be stress-free and in the moment, and where we could be totally ourselves.
Did your wedding have a theme or a specific style?
Not particularly! Aside from the whimsical nature of our surroundings, it really just came down to our flowers and how we styled ourselves. In that aspect, I was going for something bohemian and romantic.
What advice do you wish you could go back and give to yourself when you were in the early stages of planning?
I would remind myself that all of the planning is meant to be for something fun and special. It’s easy to get caught up and stressed out in the details because you want it all to turn out perfectly, of course, but try to embrace the process and appreciate it for what it is. You’ll want to look back later and recall a time of excitement and love, not a time of stress and anxiety. Also, don’t procrastinate writing your vows. My husband and I kept telling ourselves that we wouldn’t wait until the last minute and then somehow, we waited until the last minute. We were up *all night* writing our vows the day before we got married and we were exhausted on the day of (thank goodness for adrenaline). Trust me on this one! Start thinking, writing, and rewriting weeks ahead of time, months even, don’t leave any of that for the week of.
Let's show your wedding venue some love! What is the name of your venue, and why did you choose it for your special day?
Yosemite National Park! 10/10 would recommend. It was absolutely breathtaking.
What was your favorite moment of the day?
My favorite part of the day would have to be the incredible views of Yosemite, especially the gorgeous sunrise we were able to witness at Tunnel View. The scenery made for the most magical and memorable day.
How did you feel spending the day in your wedding dress?
I genuinely loved spending the day in my wedding dress. The soft and stretchy fabric made it so comfortable to wear (even throughout a day of hiking around in Yosemite!), the sleeves kept me warm in the wee hours of the morning, and perhaps best of all, it made me feel as special and beautiful as any bride could dream of feeling on her wedding day. It was absolutely perfect and there’s not a single thing I would change about it!
Who was your photographer?
Sarah & Brent Photography: www.sarahandbrentphotography.com, @sarah_and_brent
Would you like to shout out to any of your other vendors?
Florist: Poppy’s Petalworks, www.poppyspetalworks.com, @poppyspetalworks Hair & Makeup: Timeless Artistry Bridal Beauty, www.timelessartistrybeauty.com, @timeless.artistry.co Cake: Whole Cakes (Potrero Hill), www.wholecakes.com, @wholecakessf
What has been the best part so far about being married?
It may sound silly but truthfully, one of my favorite parts about being married is just being able to introduce my spouse as my husband and having him introduce me as his wife. Our relationship is fundamentally the same as it was before we were married but now, I get the satisfaction of everybody outside of our little bubble knowing and recognizing the commitment we’ve made to one another as partners in this life.
Maren is wearing The Ari with nude lining and a full 22 in train. She customized her dress with an Ellora-style high boat neckline and princess slit.