What do you get when you mix a crazy in love Real Estate Broker, an unsuspecting awesome girlfriend, a surprise proposal and a surprise wedding with 180 closest friends and family all on the same day? Relief, magic, tears, and one of the most unforgettable days we have ever had here at Wiens Family Cellars.
When we first met Ryan on his tour of the winery, we couldn’t believe what he wanted to try to plan. How and why would any man in his right mind try to pull off a surprise proposal and a surprise wedding with 180 guests all in the same day? Not only were we absolutely terrified for him, we thought he was a little (well a lot) crazy. Although we were very wary of the idea, we really wanted to be part of his crazy plan and were beyond excited when he decided to book here at Wiens Family Cellars. After all, it was our first surprise wedding too.
Ryan went to elementary school with Stefanie’s older brother. She says she “was the annoying little sister he wanted nothing to do with, who had a huge crush on him for as long as she can remember”. After elementary school, they remained in touch once her family moved out of the area, until roughly 1992. In April 2007, Stefanie looked Ryan up on-line and reached out. A day or two later they met up after work and have spent nearly every day together ever since.
We asked Ryan what had inspired him to want to plan a surprise wedding. He said, “if you knew me you would understand. The short of it was that I was always that guy who said he would never get married and Stefanie has always been okay with that provided we spent the rest of our lives together. I wanted to show her how special she is in that she really is that one in a million that would actually accept the fact that I robbed her of planning her special day without holding it over my head for the rest of my life. The actual inspiration for the surprise was the easy part; Stefanie hates surprises.”
After months of planning, Ryan had planned the perfect wedding. With help from Stefanie’s Mom and her best friend Andrea, they had chosen linens, flowers, menus, personalized wine favors, three beautiful wedding dresses and shoes, timelines, jewelry, and every other millionth detail that goes into planning a wedding. When we asked Ryan what was the hardest part of the planning he said, “other than finding just the right wording to put on the invitations to get the point across to 180 people to keep the secret; coming home at the end of the day and not sharing any of it with her.” We were so impressed with how Ryan chose everything based on what he knew Stefanie would want and spared no expense… all for a girl who hadn’t even said yes to marry him yet!
When the day finally arrived, it felt as if the entire winery knew what was taking place. We were all so nervous that someone would slip or ruin the surprise. Ryan surprised Stefanie with the proposal under our Mountain View Arbor by pretending to take their “usual” self photo in front of the vines. He had the gorgeous ring on his finger. When Stefanie said yes, we were so relieved! We also knew the biggest surprise was yet to come!
The Moment Stefanie Saw the Ring
Ryan led Stefanie into our Cellar Room where their closest family and friends had hidden during the proposal patiently. Everyone cheered and gave their congratulations. After a couple of minutes of tears and hugs Ryan pointed to one of the three dresses he bought hanging on the barrel. He said “by the way, the wedding is at 5:30 today.” After a couple of expletives and a long kiss with Ryan, Stefanie finally knew what Ryan had done for her and realized then that he loves her more than she will ever know! She was then rushed off to the bridal suite to get ready for her wedding that was taking place two hours later.
The wedding was perfect in every way. Finally, all of their awesome family and friends who held such a big secret for so long were able to express their excitement for them. They all cheered as Stefanie walked down the aisle and she started crying for the hundredth time that afternoon. From the beautiful décor, to great food and wine, and a gorgeous bride everything was perfect! We asked them both after the wedding if they would do it all over again and Ryan replied, “Absolutely. If I ever had any doubts, I would have taken the easy route.” Stefanie agreed also and stated ,“in a heartbeat! I’ve loved Ryan for a very long time and have known he was the one I would spend the rest of my life with regardless of being married.”
Ryan’s advice to future grooms is “if you don’t trust the one you love enough to take a leap without hesitation, back away from the edge.” We seriously couldn’t agree more and feel so honored to have been part of such a special event. The only element of the event that was hard for us, was not getting to know Stefanie as well as we would have liked to. Although we felt as we knew her via Ryan, (he talked about her constantly) we are a little sad we only got to work with her for just one day. Stefanie will just have to plan a big surprise with us for Ryan one day! 10 year Vow Renewal???