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Rancho Bernardo Inn Real Wedding: Tessa and Alex

San Diego couple Tessa and Alex chose the Rancho Bernardo Inn and a soft neutral color palette for their wedding day nuptials. We love that the bride polished off her bridal look with white lace gloves. Their photographer Mike Zaragoza of FreeHope Photography shared his favorite memory of the wedding day was when the couple surprised their guests by singing a special song to each other at the reception. This sweet couple also shared their gondola engagement story with us (read at the bottom of the post!).

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Their proposal story (as told by the groom):

“I’ve been thinking about asking Tessa for a long time. Once I finally figured out how, it was time to put the plan into action. I booked us a gondola ride as Tessa loves them and hired a photographer to come along with us. The hard part was convincing her to go on gondola, without noticing anything. Nothing gets past her, I mean NOTHING. A couple months earlier I had mentioned to Tessa that a friend of mine won tickets on to Disneyland on the radio, and a couple weeks later, mentioned that he won a gondola ride too! I passed it off as a radio contest price, that the friend and his wife were unable to make, and they can either sell the tickets or give them to us. I even had that friend text me the details so it seems more legitimate. That same day Tessa asked if she had time to go to the gym before we went on the ride. I tried to play it smooth and said sure, we can even be a little late. I think this threw Tessa off any possible suspicions. When we got there, there was this big giant sign that said “WE DO PROPOSALS” right at the front door [crap], well maybe Tessa won’t notice that sign…Upon boarding the gondola, the gondolier introduced the photographer, stating that she works for a magazine and comes out once in a while to shoot Newport events–totally smooth, Tessa believed every bit of it. Once we got on the ride there was even some drunk guy who yelled “He is going to propose, say yes”. At this point I thought maybe the gig is up, I might as well just jump into the water, however, the gondolier was able to play it off very nicely. The gondolier had the proposal message in a bottle and dropped it into the water. I immediately saw the bottle just floating there with my message in it. The gondolier spun the gondola around so Tessa could see it, however it took Tessa three complete turns before she saw the darn thing. As she picked up the bottle I reached into my pocket for the biggest surprise of her life. I gave my sappy speech and she said, of course! And now we’re engaged!”

Their talented team:
Photographer: FreeHope Photography
Venue: Rancho Bernardo Inn
Florist: The Inn Florals at Rancho Bernardo Inn
Makeup: Flawless Beauty
Videographer: Amari Productions
Harpist: Naomi Alter
DJ: Alexandre Frenette & Robert Chan

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