Michelle and Jackson were kind enough to share all of the wonderful details of their incredible love story: how they first met, the Parisian engagement, and the complete details of their February 6, 2016 wedding at Pebble Creek Golf Club in Goodyear, Arizona. Read on for more!
I found my wedding dress at a little bridal boutique in downtown Petaluma, California, called Bliss Bridal. A few of my bridesmaids flew out over 4th of July weekend to go dress shopping with me and I tried on many, but never felt like I found the “one”. I went back to Bliss the following week to try on more dresses and ended up choosing one I had tried on with my bridesmaids in town. I chose a Watters Wtoo sweep train gown that was Parisian lace with a beautiful topaz underlay. Being very petite, it was difficult to find something I didn’t feel was overpowering my frame. It was perfect!
Kate Ryan Design created the most gorgeous arrangements for our day! My bouquet as well as the bridesmaids were full of quicksand roses, eucalyptus, pastel floral of blush and a touch of white stock and hydrangeas. Jackson’s boutonniere was a quicksand rose accented by a small succulent and the rest of the bridal party wore complimenting boutonnieres. The saguaro rib arch was decorated with lush garland and blush roses which were used to line our sweetheart table after the ceremony.
The bridesmaids all wore the same dress but each in a different pastel shade. The dresses were long chiffon, one shoulder, and a lace top. To help tie it all together, they each had similar hairstyles and earrings. They all looked gorgeous!
Jackson and his groomsmen wore navy tuxedos by Joseph Abboud with a silver tie and cuff links. Jackson is very patriotic so we thought it would be fun if all of the guys wore matching American flag socks, which we gave them along with their gifts the night of the rehearsal.
We really wanted to enhance the beautiful desert setting so we added in elements like the saguaro rib arch covered in greenery and blush roses, and lots of succulents in the bouquets and boutonnieres. The ceremony site had a beautiful backdrop of the mountains which helped set the theme, especially as the sun was setting. We also decorated with lanterns, wine barrels, copper tops, and lots of votive and pillar candles. The cocktail hour had a mix of high tops and wine barrels with small mason jar centerpieces, which flowed in to the reception room.
Truly, the whole day was the best day of our lives! The ceremony for us was very special and perfectly reflected who we are as a couple and our love for each other. Jackson's Uncle Jed was our officiant which made things more personal for us and we each wrote our own vows. It was just a very unique ceremony and full of so much love!
How Michelle and Jackson First Met
"Jackson and I met during college, just before he graduated from the University of Arizona. It was May 2011 and I was making my second trip ever to Tucson, Arizona for my sister Krista's graduation. When I got there, Krista told me we were going to meet up with some of her friends whom she met during her time studying abroad in China. We met up with a group of people to watch the Sharks game at a bar downtown and that was the first time I met Jackson. I sat right next to him while he anxiously watched his team play. He chatted with me and gave me a hard time because I was a Sun Devil. The Sharks won that game and Jackson was so happy he wrote the winning score on himself. To compliment, I drew him a heart with an arrow going through the center on his bicep. He must have thought I was a fabulous artist (or a bit creepy) because that night he asked for my number. Krista told me how Jackson loved to talk and that he probably wouldn't leave me alone now that he had my number. When he texted me the next morning, I got some butterflies and Krista just laughed. We spent the rest of the weekend hanging out and I knew that Jackson would be going back to Northern California after he finished summer school. I really wasn't sure if anything would come from that weekend but the more we talked and visited each other, I was hoping the long distance thing would work out. Thankfully, he got a job in Scottsdale which was only 20 minutes away from where I lived in Tempe. Jackson moved up after summer school and the rest is history!"
"Miracles in this world do happen in great moments of time. For example when the earth was created, when Moses parted the sea, when team USA in hockey beat USSR, when the Backstreet Boys came together and when Jackson met Michelle. The miracle came together perfectly but on a bunch of random decisions. It all started when Jackson was in Mass Communications class at the University of Arizona and received a presentation to study abroad in China. Jackson decided to embark on a crazy semester abroad to the Far East. He was randomly picked with the best roommates possible. One of the roommates was Andrew Brudnicki, who during this time abroad started dating Krista Atwell. As a group they would hang out in China and continue the next semester back at the University of Arizona, where it was going to be their last semester of school. During graduation preparation, Michelle decided to visit her sister Krista, which had only happened one other time. Coincidence? I think not. Parts of miracles are the magic that bring people together, like Jack and Rose from Titanic. So Michelle decided to drive down all the way from Tempe and was convinced to go to a sports bar where some random guys were watching hockey playoffs. Being from the desert Michelle was probably thinking, "what is hockey and who would watch it?" Once she got to the bar she sat next to a strapping, buff, young man named Jackson and they started talking from there. The conversation was a little shy and awkward at first but there was a great connection right away. They spent the next few days texting and talking. The weekend was coming to a close and they both figured they probably wouldn't see each other again. Jackson was going to move back to Northern California, but that's where this magic thing decided to continue the love miracle. Jackson received a job that he was not qualified for, in a field he had never studied, but it was in Phoenix, right next to Michelle. Their relationship blossomed from there and now they get to live happily ever after!"
The Proposal Story
"My Christmas present from Jackson in 2014 was a Europe trip of a lifetime. Jackson had always told me that if he were to ever propose it wouldn't be on a vacation, holiday or any day that was already significant. Well, he had me fooled. He did just that and he pulled it off so perfectly! It was our second day in Paris and we were walking to the Eiffel Tower from our Airbnb. It was drizzling a little bit and we stopped to get a crepe on our way. Jackson didn't even want a bite of the crepe (very strange) and sort of seemed nervous or anxious about something. I had a feeling that maybe the day had finally come but the more I thought about it the more I remembered this was already a significant day and I didn't want to get my hopes up. Jackson told me we were doing a carriage ride and I figured that would be fun, thinking it was the carriage you ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower in. We were waiting in the park area (after I told him we clearly weren't by the right place to get into a carriage) when he told me to turn around and he said "there it is". It was a horse-drawn carriage and the ride took us all around Paris. We had a bottle of champagne (the good French stuff/kind-of) and Jackson was acting super nervous. Those thoughts that maybe this was the day came back into my head but as we went on, nothing happened. We had fun with the Frenchman tour guide who spoke excellent English and told us how much he loved his job and gave us history on all of the sights. When we got back to the starting point, we were about to get out when Jackson asked the driver to take just a few more pictures of us. When I sat back down and was primping myself for pictures (glad I did), Jackson got on one knee, pulled open a little black box and asked me to marry him! I was so stunned and shocked that I just started crying and realized I hadn't said "yes" until the driver asked me, "so what do you say?" I then said yes about 100 times and as we looked around people were taking pictures, congratulating us in French and all of those moments were captured so perfectly by that Frenchman! It was so romantic, so perfect and I still feel like the luckiest girl in the world."
"Other than real miracles, there are some events that seem really amazing and unbelievable. To make them that way they have to be well planned and thought out. There have been similar events like this such as the Trojan Horse, America's independence, The Breakfast Club and Jackson's proposal to Michelle. Ever since he was a young lad Jackson would travel with his family. He caught the "traveling bug" and knew that was going to be a big hobby throughout his life. Jackson knew he wanted to marry Michelle early on but knew she only deserved the best and had to come up with a grand, unforgettable plan to do it. Jackson always enjoyed Europe and thought it would be a great idea to propose there but was not sure it was possible. After he and a bunch of his groomsmen went to Europe for a trip, he realized that anything was possible and this was the only way to do it. He told his mother and sister when he got home that summer on how the plan was going to work out. They were excited but of course they wanted him to do it right away and get married the next day. Jackson planned every detail and knew it had to be perfect. He purchased the ring that winter and gave Michelle a trip to Europe as a Christmas present. Everything was booked and they went that spring. She had her suspicions it might happen then, but her Dad--who already knew what was going to happen--crafted his own plan. He asked her if Jackson was going to ask him to marry her anytime soon. This made it seem as if Jackson hadn't asked already (which he had). Everything was set up perfect for a grand proposal. The second day on the trip Michelle had no idea what they were doing and Jackson just told her they were going to look at the Eiffel Tower. Once they reached the tower there was a horse and carriage waiting to pick them up. They went on a carriage ride all throughout Paris. At the end of it, Jackson nervously asked the driver to take one last picture before they left and when he got ready to take the picture, Jackson got down on one knee. He was going to say a bunch of great things but his mind went blank and he just asked her to marry him. She said YES and the rest will go down in European history as the greatest event ever."
We also love dessert! We couldn’t decide on a cake flavor so we had chocolate, vanilla and strawberry tiers. A Bakeshop provided our cake and it was accented with the most adorable heart-shaped prickly pear with a blossom! We also had to have some macaroons to bring in a little Parisian feel, chocolate-covered strawberries, and cannoli.
We love our engagement story and knew we wanted to carry a small element of that into our wedding décor because it was such a special day for us. After our escort cards came back from our calligrapher, my bridesmaids and I spent hours tying small antique bronze Eiffel Tower charms to each of them and pinning them onto the blush and gold-framed board. My father, stepmom and I also designed the reception centerpieces. We had rustic lanterns raised with pieces of slate on top of the champagne linen. The lanterns were open and inside there was a candle, pouring out were greens, a succulent and a blush rose. The table numbers were also on wood pieces and had a handwritten style to match our welcome sign.
We love food! We served a cucumber-wrapped mixed green salad with candied walnuts, craisins and a champagne vinaigrette. For our main entrée, we served a duo plate of a filet of beef with a mushroom demi glace and a stuffed chicken breast with spinach, feta and sundried tomato in a roasted garlic cream. The vegetarian selection was a stuffed portabello mushroom with balsamic roasted vegetables in a red pepper coulis. Each was served with roasted fingerling potatoes, butternut squash and broccolini. I’m getting hungry typing this!
The reception was also filled with wonderful speeches, laughter and great food! Everyone was having a wonderful time and tearing up the dance floor! We loved being at the sweetheart table and having a view of everyone and catching up with those who traveled near and far to be there with us.
We had Push Play Entertainment as our DJ and I have to say, we had everyone on the dance floor all night! We also had Annie Time Photobooth for our guests to enjoy throughout the night. We loved seeing the photo book the morning after the wedding and loved that our guests were able to take a picture home with them too!
For our grand exit, I wanted to do something special for Jackson. He loves soccer and West Ham United is his favorite club. Their song is “Forever Blowing Bubbles” and I thought it would be fun to have the DJ play the song while we did our send off and have our guests blow bubbles to walk through. It was fun and he loved it!
The best advice we could give to engaged couples is to just have fun with everything and enjoy every minute of it! The day will come and go in what feels like the blink of an eye. It is true, no one besides you will notice those little details that aren’t as you may have planned. Enjoy every minute of the celebration and the day you’ve spent so much time planning!
Thanks to these amazing wedding vendors who helped make this day possible:
Venue: Crystal Hosley of Pebble Creek Country Club
Wedding Coordinator: Mary Davisson of Details Wedding and Event Planning
DJ: Manuel and Brittany Torres of Push Play Entertainment
Florist: Krystal Woung of Kate Ryan Design
Wedding Cake: A Bakeshop
Rental Items: Josie Hoffberger of Modern Revival Rentals
Photo Booth: Annie Cate of Annie Time Photo Booth