You guys. Samantha and Tyler’s proposal story is going to give you all kinds of feels. Featuring a military veteran, a reunion at the airport, and major clandestine ring arrangements, it was crazy romantic. Their wedding followed suit—the autumn date was chosen since it reminded them of the day they met, deep jewel tones set a stunning scene (Tyler’s Bordeaux-colored suit is everything), and the day was abundant with details meaningful to their past and future.
Samantha also happens to be one of our delightful trunk show brides with whom Lea-Ann had the pleasure of working with to create a one-of-a-kind custom gown. Our sweet bride tells the tale of how Tyler proposed and shares details about her day, dress, very special veil, and her adorable flower girl’s flair for the dramatic below!
How did your sweetie propose?
“Tyler will be the first to admit he is terrible at keeping secrets, but he completely surprised me with his proposal! Tyler is in the military, and in January of last year he left the country for a six-month deployment. It was our biggest relationship challenge, but despite the distance we only grew closer together. While he was deployed he still managed to scheme with my parents, and even asked for their blessing over FaceTime! He designed the ring with a custom jeweler in California to include his birthstone gem as the main stone: a sapphire. The ring was mailed to my parents for safekeeping until Tyler’s return, and everyone kept the secret for six months! We showed up to the airport for his homecoming with balloons and signs, and I was so excited to just be able to see him again, I wasn’t expecting anything else. At first sight, he dropped his bag and ran right up to me. In the hugs and excitement my dad snuck him the ring box behind my back, and he got down on one knee in the middle of the terminal! I was totally stunned and speechless; I’m not even sure I actually said yes! All I could do was nod my head and cry. It was a total blur of love and happiness that we’ll never forget.”
How did you choose your gown?
“I went to multiple salons around Denver but wasn’t able to find the look I knew that I wanted. By chance I saw an ad for the Lea-Ann Belter trunk show at Felice Bridal in Cherry Creek, Colorado, and I scheduled my appointment that same day! I was drawn to her designs because I loved her clean, classic style, and beautiful lacework. I fell in love with her Indigo dress’s sparkly lace skirt, but I still had my heart set on a deep V-neck top that I just could not find off the rack! Lea-Ann sat me down, listened to my vision, and worked her magic to create for me a custom dress with everything I wanted. She built my dream dress with the Indigo silk lace skirt and added a classic, sexy top to give me a totally unique look for my wedding day. I’ve never worn such an incredible dress, and I could not have been happier with the quality and love that Lea-Ann puts into her designs. It was serendipity that brought me to her trunk show, but finding my custom Lea-Ann Belter dress… that must have been fate!”
Tell us about your day! Did you have a theme or style in mind?
“Tyler and I wanted our wedding day to be timeless and personal. We chose to be married in the Fall because we love the crisp air, rich Autumn colors, and it reminded us of the bright October day that we first met four years ago. We fell in love with our venue, the Highlands Ranch Mansion, for its status as a historical Colorado landmark, and for its beautifully remodeled mid-century modern style. Our ceremony combined the traditional elements of a classic wedding with our own personal touches to reflect our personalities and heritage. We spoke our own vows and wrote love letters to each other that were read aloud during the ceremony. My bridesmaids’ bouquets incorporated sprays of eucalyptus, rosemary, and sage—all classic wedding herbs for clear heads and clear hearts. Our aisle was lined with fir branches—a German tradition for luck, health, hope—and we also included a hand-fasting ceremony—a Celtic tradition that represents the elements of our love which binds us together. Finally, we incorporated a Unity in Glass ceremony which symbolizes our two lives becoming one by pouring multi-colored glass pieces into a vase, to be sent off to a glass artisan and fired into a unique, keepsake glass sculpture. Throughout the wedding planning process we tried to stay true to ourselves and the values we both share, while still honoring the family, history, and traditions that have shaped the people we have become. It all came together into one meaningful and beautiful day that we’ll remember forever.”
What’s your funniest wedding day memory?
“Our funniest memory was watching our adorable flower girl work it down the aisle. My maid of honor’s daughter Wren is four years old, and has a real flair for the dramatic. Instead of sprinkling the flower petals onto the ground, she would stop every few steps, and in a grand gesture, throw the flower petals up over her head and into the air! We had a strong breeze that day, and the wind swept up the petals in a swirl of color and rained them down onto the seated guests. She was so cute, and got a lot of laughs! You could tell she was soaking it up and was proud she did such a great job!”
What was your favorite wedding day moment?
“Our favorite memory of our wedding day was the moment we both saw each other as I walked down the aisle. We kept with tradition and did not see each other before the ceremony. We did not do a first look and we used our bridal party as lookouts and messengers to coordinate our arrival and exchange gifts. So the moment that my dad and I turned the corner, and I looked up to see Tyler standing at the altar, is one that will last a lifetime. Tyler was definitely fighting back tears, and so was I!”
Describe your wedding day in 5 words or less:
“Intimate, Timeless, Picturesque, Romantic, Personal.”
What was your something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue?
“My “something new” was a pair of Erica Koesler earrings, and my “something blue” came in the form of my Vince Camuto heels. My “something old” and “something borrowed” were both incorporated into my custom veil. My older sister, Nichole, tragically and unexpectedly passed away in her battle against Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in April and never had the chance to wear her veil at her wedding. Donna Beth Creations in Cherry Creek designed a beautiful cathedral-length veil that combined my older sister’s veil with the lace trim of my Godmother’s dress, resulting in a truly beautiful and meaningful heirloom keepsake that will stay in my family forever.”
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
“We’ll leave for our honeymoon in December, and we’ll be spending one week in a private seaside villa on the beautiful Portuguese island of Sao Miguel in the Azores. We’re really looking forward to a relaxing week of great food, great wine, sightseeing, hiking, and hot springs!”
Any advice for future brides/grooms?
“The advice we would give to couples is get your family and friends involved, be smart with your budget, and make your wedding personal. We were lucky to have friends and family who were willing to help us every step of the way, and we really could not have done it without them. My aunts and uncles baked dozens of traditional Czech pastries to add to our dessert bar and drove them down from Ohio. My bridesmaids and family helped me DIY our centerpieces and ceremony décor. To keep us on budget, Tyler was always shopping around for good deals on vendors and supplies, and we used Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist to find second-hand wedding décor staples like candles, glassware, and picture frames. We weaved personal touches throughout our wedding, but the most special element was the memorial table we included at our reception. We re-purposed our ceremony altar table for the reception to hold a collection of photos and flowers in the loving memory of my sister and other family members who have also passed. It meant the world to us to be able to include the memory of our loved ones into the spirit of our day.”
Samantha + Tyler’s Highlands Ranch Mansion Wedding Vendors
wedding dress: custom Lea-Ann Belter via Felicé Bridal | photographer: Josephine Virginia for Yellow Paddle Photography | makeup: Ally Triolo | hair: Katelynn Jackson | florals: Privé Events
catering: Biscuits and Berries | wedding cake: The Makery | venue: Highlands Ranch Mansion | veil and dress alterations: Donna Beth Creations