Hope’s Bride Megan met her husband Mark through friends and various charity/golf events. Finally, one night they ran into each other at a local pub where they were catching some live music with friends. Megan recounts, “The stars were aligned. Mark was funny and sweet. He was charming and I felt comfortable with him right away. He gave me his number at the end of the night and told me to call him so we could get to know one another. On our first date I met his then one year old puppy Bailey and knew right away he was the one for me. I too had a two year old rescue named Sadie. I was very excited to see what our future would hold.”
Almost five years later, Mark was down on one knee proposing after a romantic New Year’s Eve dinner. Megan’s shocked response was priceless. “I immediately started to cry and become hysterical. I asked questions like ‘Are you sure?’ ‘Really?’ and my favorite, ‘Are you serious?’ Of course he was serious! What a goof I was. I eventually said yes and freaked out a little more!”
Their bond is undeniable. Megan describes her husband with great love and respect: “Mark is one of the most hard working, kind and loving people I’ve ever met. He is hilarious but also can be serious and focused. He is tenacious for his cause and I love him more every day. He has helped me become the woman I am and has encouraged me to grow and learn. He is a wonderful man and I am thankful and blessed to know such a wonderful human being.”
Megan and Mark tied the knot on June 20th at the beautiful Amana Golf Course (check them out on our Preferred Vendors page!). This setting allowed them to enjoy an outdoor ceremony by the pond and a reception in the two-level club house, featuring a patio and deck. “This made for a wonderful evening for dinner and dancing to follow,” Megan explained.
Leading up to the big day, Megan was a bit surprised by her dress shopping experience. After some less than positive experiences shopping, Megan describes her trips to Hope’s with her mom and grandmother. “I really felt like a princess trying on dresses. The process was fun and very relaxed. I did not feel pressure to purchase and the girls were easy to work with. I really felt like a princess when they turned the lights down on the main stage. That’s when I knew for sure I had chosen the right dress!”
She chose the glamorous Roz la Kelin “Astor” gown, which was not at all what she was expecting. “One of the last dresses I tried on was this dress that my mom suggested and I believe she secretly wanted most. It was nothing I had envisioned. It was a ball gown. Bleh. It was strapless. Bleh, everyone goes strapless. It was poufy! Aw but it made me cry and it felt RIGHT like it was made for me. I finally had that moment and knew that dress was for me. It fit perfectly. I didn’t want to take it off. It was not a difficult decision to say ‘Yes to the dress!’ With my mom and grandmother Betty’s reaction, I knew I definitely had to have that dress. I said yes through tears of joy and happiness.”
For those of you planning your big day, Megan has a couple of suggestions. She recommends enlisting the help of trusted friends and family to delegate and stresses: “Breathe and enjoy the moment because it goes by SO fast.”
“I really enjoyed trying to greet and speak to as many guests as possible at the reception and try to enjoy every minute of this wonderful event. There is so much love to share with friends and family! It really flies by too fast. I also enjoyed the first peek photos taken with my dad Roger and with Mark. The raw emotion was truly captured and they are some of my favorite photos… Most of all I enjoyed sharing such a special time with my family and friends. Without my mom, dad, and all of our family, we wouldn’t have been able to pull this wedding together.”
After their special day, the newlyweds headed to Cabo San Lucas for seven days, staying at the all-inclusive Riu Palace and enjoying what the beautiful area has to offer. “It was a once in a lifetime experience and we loved every minute. I feel truly lucky to explore such a beautiful country with my best friend,” Megan reminisced.
Now, they are settling into married life with a foundation of communication, honesty and trust. Megan explains, “We love each other and put each other first. It is a lot of work, but it is worth it… We learn and grow together and from each other… He is my soul mate and best friend.”
Congrats, Megan and Mark! Thank you for sharing your special day with us, and blessings on your life together!
Photography: Still Memories, 409 Bezdek Dr NW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52405
Venue: Amana Colonies Golf Course
Florist: Timber Gate Gardens, 204 13th St, Belle Plaine, IA 52208
DJ/Host: Unique Events, 3305 Hwy 1 SW #4, Iowa City, IA 52240
One final note from Megan that is a true testament to finding the right vendors for your big day: The weather forecast had rain scheduled. All day. Luckily it held out until right before dinner. Unfortunately, Riley, our D.J., had to literally scramble to get his equipment and set-up moved to a dry, indoor location. He was prepared and we could not even tell what was going on, the ambiance and dinner was unaffected. He was able to transition guests to dinner, relocate his equipment and mix and continue to keep the dinner music playing. I was astounded by his professionalism and ability to hurdle weather issues without any hiccups.
We were definitely blessed from the rain shower, and with all of the love and outpour from our fabulous and wonderful guests and the people that helped make this magical day come true!!!!