As you stand in a stunning bridal gown, watching your best girlfriends and family members parade down the aisle, you take a moment to reflect on the months spent perfectly planning every detail of this day. But have you stopped to think of how you got here in the first place? Today, we dive in to the planning of popping that ultimate question with a very special story. Stylist and planner Jenée Allan of Visions Wedding & Event Boutique gives us the low-down of the steps leading up to: “Will you marry me?”
You may remember that we first introduced you to Visions back in February, as the team was gearing up to give away the ultimate one-of-a-kind proposal through its engagement service, “On Bended Knee.” The contest was simple. Jenée hoped to find the best answer to what her team deemed to be the most important question: Why is she the one? She discovered the winning response from a man named Bryan.
Photo courtesy of Vrai Photography
“Bryan’s answer melted my heart,” Jenée says. “I knew that this was an awesome couple that deserved the prizes.” And just for our Be U Weddings readers, here are the words that took her breath away:
“She’s the one because I can’t be without her. I’m lost when she’s not around. The bad days at work and all the other stresses in life are reduced because I know I get to go home to her. She listens to me, she comforts me and most importantly, she cares about me. She is the one person in my 27 years I have ever spent more time thinking about than myself. She makes me want to be a better person. She’s my life.”
Photo courtesy of Vrai Photo
And with that, Bryan’s love of his soon-to-be fiancée, Katie, awarded him a proposal package that would leave most girls jaws’ on the floor. After announcing Bryan as the winner on Valentine’s Day, Jenée spent the next three months helping him to pull off the most unforgettable surprise, in true Chicago style.
First up: picking the date. Katie, a labor and delivery nurse at a hospital, lived by a rigorous schedule, so time management was key to the proposal. After ensuring Katie had the day in question off (and wouldn’t be exhausted from a long night shift!), the real staging began. Although Jenée had been consulting with both Katie’s mother and Bryan, it quickly became evident that they needed a complete cover-up to unknowingly lead her to the proposal location. Together, they created a fictitious event to be hosted by her mom’s company, Think Thin. Katie, a Think Thin consumer, loves their protein bars sold at Whole Foods. What better way to lure her to Hotel Sax, where the proposal would occur, than informing her that Think Thin was throwing an event to thank Whole Foods for their tremendous support?
The set-up continued to unfold. Jenée contacted Katie and introduced herself as an event coordinator for Think Thin who was organizing a few film testimonials for their website at the event. “I told her what to expect from that evening and let her know that we were taking care of everything, from makeup to the limo, that would escort her to the event,” Jenée says. With Katie still not suspecting a thing, beauty appointments were scheduled with Beauty on Call‘s fabulous artists.
Then, it was time for Visions to set to work styling the space into the proposal spot of Katie’s dreams, from table linens to glassware. “We leaned heavily on her mother’s advice as well as stalking her Pinterest page to get inspiration for Katie’s personal style,” Jenee notes. Taking a cue from Katie’s muses, Natural Beauties Floral crafted gorgeous floral arrangements to complement Vision’s design.
Finally, to safeguard the element of surprise, Bryan pretended to be out of town on business the day of the “Think Thin event.” Katie was blissfully unaware, the stage was set, and it was showtime!
The day of the big moment, XO Pictures was on hand to capture it all. Acting as a “Think Thin” partner, the team played along with the plot and placed a mic on Katie for “filming” purposes. As part of the proposal package, Jenée had also partnered with Vrai Photo to document the process minute by minute as a keepsake for the couple. As it neared Katie’s arrival time, emotions ran high. “As the set-up was going on, Bryan showed up and as any man about to propose, he was nervous.” Jenée recalls. “Not because he was not confident that everything would go smoothly — he said many times, ‘I don’t know how I would have pulled this off without you,’ — but simply because this was building up to one of the most exciting moments of his life. This was his moment to show her how much she means to him.” And once Jenée, posing as the event coordinator, turned Katie around to say “Let me introduce you to the rest of your life,” that he did.
Photo courtesy of Vrai Photo
Thanks to the expert services of Visions on Bended Knee, Bryan won over the heart of his queen. Now that the “yes” is out of the way, the wedding planning begins, once again with the help of Jenée and Visions Wedding & Event Boutique. In Katie’s words, she’s pinned enough stuff on Pinterest to plan three weddings, but is eager to watch it all unfold with her loved ones. “I always thought the dress or the details would be most important to me but honestly, now that I have started planning, I just want our families and our closest friends to come and celebrate with us,” Katie says. I hope our wedding is a huge, beautiful party (emphasis on beautiful, I didn’t spend all that time pinning for nothing!).” To learn more about the happy couple’s planning journey, visit Visions’ blog for an upcoming Diaries of a Busy Bride post featuring Katie. We can’t wait to see where all that pinning takes this wedding!
Did your groom-to-be go out of his way to ask for your hand? How and where did he propose? We’d love to hear your story! Send us your proposal at email@example.com.