Rian and Courtney

How did you meet the love of your life?

We met through an online dating site. We both can't remember who engaged first, but we quickly established that we grew up in the same neighborhood and went to all the same schools. We had a few friends in common and I even knew of his younger brother! It was apparent that we should meet in person. Our first date was casual, we met over tacos and beer. He arrived to the restaurant before me and as soon as he turned around to greet me with his million dollar smile, I was hooked!

When did you know that this person had stolen your heart?

I can't pinpoint an exact moment. I guess it just slowly developed. I knew right away that he was different and someone I wanted to get to know, but my heart wasn't ready to dive in. He took it slow with his emotions as well. He was so patient and caring and I never questioned his intentions. Eventually, we both let our guards down and really allowed our relationship to blossom. It took a year into our relationship before we exchanged the "L" word but I knew months before he uttered the word how he felt about me. I could feel it.

Tell us about the proposal?

We have been on a number of backpacking trips throughout our relationship, each one being more spectacular than the last. We spent about 9 months planning our biggest trip yet which would end with a summit on Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in California, as well as the highest summit in the contiguous U.S. A few months before our trip we started seriously talking about marriage and our future. I started daydreaming about a proposal on the trail or on the summit of Mt Whitney but I knew that it would never happen. He is way too practical and cautious to hike with an engagement ring. Or so I thought. On the last day of our hike, the 6th day on the trail, we were hiking at 2 am so that we could summit Mt. Whitney at sunrise. It was incredibly cold but the moon was bright and lit the trail the entire way. It was pretty magical. When we got to the top, the sky was glowing and the sun was just about to peek over the horizon. Did I mention it was cold? The freezing wind pierced right through each layer of clothing. We even had socks on our hands because gloves weren't enough. It was not the most glamorous we've ever looked. We hiked that morning with friends we made on the trail. We each took turns taking pictures of each other at the top, cheering each other at our accomplishment. One of our trail friends Nick even had his nice DSLR camera with him. Rian handed his phone off so we could get photos on his camera as Nick took photos with his. When I thought we were done, I was ready to get down and get warm! But Rian turned to me and said, there one last thing.... And he got down on one knee! Nick was able to capture the moment and little did I know, Rian's phone was used to take video of the whole thing! I took the sock and glove off my left hand and slipped on the most beautiful ring. I felt a little string stuck between my finger and the ring, and thinking it was a thread from my glove, I tugged on it, only to learn that it was a fishing line! Rian had tied fishing line to the ring in case he dropped it during the proposal. I couldn't help but laugh. It was so him! So practical.

Explain to us how you found Wear Your Love?

I can't remember how I first discovered Wear Your Love. I fell into a few Pinterest and Instagram rabbit holes while wedding planning. Once I discovered Wear Your Love, I knew they had exactly the type of dress I was looking for. I fell in love with the elegant simplicity of each of their gowns.

When did you know you had found your perfect dress?

I had done a lot of research on Wear Your Love, read many reviews and stalked their Instagram looking for "real" brides in their gowns (which was SO helpful by the way!). I already had my eye on one of their dresses prior to going dress shopping with my mom and sister. I told my mom about a dress I found online but was nervous about ordering a dress I couldn't try on. We went dress shopping and I tried on about 10 dresses but none of them proved to be the one. I didn't want anything restrictive. I didn't like boning and anything too structured. I fell in love with soft laces and flowy fabrics. After trying on various dresses, in all styles and fabrics, it only confirmed that the one I had my eyes on from Wear Your Love was going to be the one. After showing my mom all of the research I had done, and ordered sample swatches, she was super supportive of me getting the dress that I wanted. The morning after our day of dress shopping, we sat at the computer together and ordered my dress!

What went through your mind when the Wear Your Love box arrived at your doorstep, and you pulled out your dress for the first time?

First, it came sooner than expected! Second, I was surprised by the size of the box. It was smaller than I imagined. I couldn't wait to open it but I didn't want my fiance to accidentally see it. The dress arrived a couple of days before my fiance was scheduled to be out of town so it was the perfect excuse to invite a couple of girlfriends over and try it on at home, knowing he wasn't going to be there. They came over with donuts and champagne ready to celebrate me officially saying yes to the dress. I tried it on in my room, then walked out into the living room to show them. Everyone gasped about how it was "so me" and perfect for my Yosemite wedding.

What was your wedding theme or style?

Our wedding style was very natural, not too fussy, but we still wanted to make sure it was nice and most importantly, that everyone had a good time. I played off of the natural surrounding of our wedding's location, picking up on the blue sky, all the greenery, granite rock, and organic textures. I didn't want to compete with the natural surroundings, I wanted to compliment them. Our wedding party consisted of our siblings, niece, nephews, and our parents. Everyone wore a shade of blue and somehow it all came together so effortlessly. Exactly how I imagined. We kept with the natural theme by using only white flowers with lots of greenery. We were married on a round jute rug that was mimicked with the round jute placemats of our centerpieces at the reception, again, bringing in the natural and organic textures. In lieu of lots of color, I wanted a lot of candlelight and a warm glow to create a comfortable but elegant ambiance at the reception. We accomplished this by using himalayan salt rock votives, glass terrarium candle holders and amber uplighting. Our reception decor was very simple but I was blown away when I saw how everything came together.

Let's show your wedding venue some love! What is the name of the wedding venue you chose and why did you choose them for your special day?

We chose to get married in Yosemite National Park. A place that hold a special place in our hearts and a place that we spent many miles hiking and backpacking. Our first trip to Yosemite National Park together was on a trip to hike Half Dome. On that trip we stopped at Glacier Point to get a view of the rock we'd be climbing the next day. While there, we noticed the amphitheater. We didn't really discuss it at the time, but later we would learn that we both thought about how cool it would be to get married there. After several more trips to the park and many miles hiked later, it was the first and only place we considered after we got engaged. We looked into what it would take to hold a wedding ceremony there and made all other decisions around making that happen. This included holding a reception at Yosemite Valley Lodge so that our guests had the opportunity to stay in the valley and discover why we love Yosemite so much.

What was on your wedding soundtrack playlist, aisle, reception, and first dance?

Amplified music and microphones are not allowed at Glacier Point so a dear friend of ours played the guitar. He played Ziggy Marley's Love Is My Religion and The Beatles's All You Need Is Love at the beginning of the ceremony and I walked in as he played Cannon in D. Our first dance was to Joy by Phish (a band we've seen many times together).

Tell us who was involved in making your special day perfect?

Our photographer Alysha Miller and her assistant Niza were so wonderful to work with! They were with us starting at 7:30 am until dancing got underway at the reception later that evening. They were a joy to be around and really helped make our day as pleasant and as fun as could be. Our coordinator, Wendie, with Yosemite Area Events, also helped us achieve a stress-free reception! We brought two carloads of decor and she set everything up, organized the flow of the reception and tore everything down at the end of the night. Hiring her was the best decision we made! It allowed us to sit back and just enjoy the party. Sweet Lilacs Studio was also a dream to work with. I had planned on doing my own flowers, I even made all of the reception flower arrangements, but at the last minute, my mother in law gifted us with personal flowers. Sweet Lilac Studios worked with us less than a month before the wedding and even arranged a drop-off/meeting point outside of the park so our aunt could pick them up on her way into Yosemite, saving the florist the long drive into the valley and saving us on the delivery fee. Photography: Alysha Miller Photography https://www.instagram.com/alyshamillerphotography/ https://www.alyshamiller.com/ Ceremony Venue: Glacier Point Reception Venue: Yosemite Valley Lodge Event Design: Bride https://www.instagram.com/corking/ Event Coordination: Yosemite Area Events, LLC https://www.instagram.com/yosemiteareaeventsllc/ Florist (personal flowers only): Sweet Lilacs Studio https://www.instagram.com/sweetlilacsstudio/

Tell us your favorite moment from your wedding?

Our first look was pretty special. I loved that we had this quiet, uninterrupted time with each other (and our wonderful photographers) before the busyness of the day started. Another moment that stands out is when I forgot my bouquet in the car, causing me to enter the ceremony late. I didn't realize that I did not have it until the ceremony started!

Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for anyone planning a wedding?

Create a vision board and set a budget. Its easy to get lost in all the pretty things and get caught up in all the details. Refer back to your board when decisions become over whelming, and refer to your budget when you find your head in the clouds. These two items will help keep you on track.

How would you rate your overall experience with Wear Your Love?

5 out of 5 stars.


Congratulations Rian and Courtney!

So happy and excited for the shared life you’ve got ahead. Congratulations and best wedding wishes!


Courtney is wearing a Custom Keira dress, with an 8-inch sweep tain, and white lining.

Alisha Franco