We’re beyond proud to share the story of longtime partners Eric and Michael, who, after 13 years together, will finally tie the knot with a wedding hosted by Chubb Hotel and Conference Center. In the first of a four-part series surrounding the ins and outs of their wedding planning, we highlight Eric and Michael’s engagement and how they came to choose Chubb to host their special day. Be on the lookout throughout the year as for more updates leading up to the big day!
“We’ve been together for 13 years, so all our friends and family already know us and in many ways it’s like we are already married.”
Eric and Michael are no strangers to the waiting game. They first met through the internet and, after a few phone calls, decided to meet for a first date. Even though they lived an hour apart they kept seeing more and more of each other.
After 13 years together, Michael decided to pop the question.
“I knew that I wanted to propose somewhere special and with a trip planned to southern Spain, it seemed like the perfect place. I liked the idea of someplace old with a lot of history; a place where it would seem like we were adding our story to its own.”
Michael chose the Moorish Palace of the Alhambra in Granada to propose.
“When we found ourselves alone in one of the many rose gardens on a hilltop overlooking the city, I knew I finally had my moment,” Michael says. “I told Eric that seeing an ancient place like this with nearly 1,000 years of history made me realize how precious our time actually was, and that I knew that for the rest of my time on this planet, that I wanted to spend it with him.”
In disbelief, Eric kept telling Michael to “Shut up, shut up!” because he thought Michael was joking. It wasn’t until he saw the ring that Eric knew it was real.
The Second Proposal
Eric also had a surprise in store for Michael. On the day they went to sign their contract with Chubb Hotel, who would host their wedding, he took his partner aside.
“As we were standing on our future ceremony site, I returned the gesture and gave Michael a coordinating engagement ring. It was a special moment for us both to enter our planning stage with a full two proposals. “
Eric and Michael plan to make their big day fun filled and lively. Set outside in a breathtaking autumn landscape, they’ll have a beautiful cocktail-style reception with tasty food, great music and, of course, friends and loved ones.
“We want this day to share the love that we have for each other, with those that we love the most, those not with us but in our hearts, and those who left an imprint on our lives. We want our wedding to be a celebration of our love for family, friends and our relationship.”
The couple also added, “We have been together for 13 years, so all our friends and family already know us, and in many ways, it’s like we’re already married.”
As a seasoned event planner, Eric’s seen it all.
“Helping to create everyone else’s wedding memories has been a highlight of my career,” he says. “Now it’s time to create our wedding memories. Many times, I’ve sat on the sidelines and looked on watching the Mother & Son Dance, thinking I will never have that. I’m grateful that it is my turn at that dance.”
To Eric’s pleasant surprise, Michael, a lawyer by trade, has been a huge help in the planning process. They laud the fact that they’ve agreed on almost every detail so far.
“It’s been so fun to plan our wedding together equally,” Eric says. “I’ve had many tough clients, but I’m happy to say, I think we are pretty easy.”
Eric also adds that the couple has immense trust in their event experts, who help lift the massive weight off of the busy grooms-to-bes’ shoulders.
According to Michael, his most anticipated part in the planning has already been taken care of: the venue.
It was important for him to feel a connection. When he and Eric visited Chubb Hotel and Conference Center, they both knew they found the perfect space.
“I really would have loved to have a destination wedding, but that wasn’t possible for our families, but I am confident we are getting that feeling at Chubb Hotel,” Michael says.
Autumn is Michael’s favorite time of year. He loves the warm days and crisp evenings, so an October wedding was only natural.
“With our wedding planned in October, our favorite time of year, the look will play off the natural colors of autumn. We don’t have specific colors planned, but it is an autumn wedding, so fall colors will play a part of the décor. We’re playing off the gorgeous surrounding grounds of Chubb Hotel, along with the interesting architecture of the building, both inside and out.”
Eric and Michael saw Chubb Hotel on their very first day of venue searching. Having attended events there, Eric was familiar with the space. It wasn’t initially on their radar, but Eric knew of the recent renovations and the new Jose Garces partnership and thought that they should look at it.
“When we first drove up and saw the view of the grounds and the structure, we immediately realized that we had found a unique place,” Eric says. “We were still close to the city but far enough out of the city to feel that country feel with the outdoor space. We both knew that we preferred to get married outside, and the views from the place where we could hold the ceremony were amazing – green rolling hills, trees, water, and a stone-arched bridge. What could be more perfect than that?”
The pair was greeted with a big smile by Catering Manager Stephanie Carr and General Manager Daniel Briones. Both staff members took personal time to meet with the grooms-to-be and reviewed details so that they felt comfortable with the final decision.
“Other site tours that day were not nearly as welcoming or attentive. While we initially felt overwhelmed, our attention kept returning to the Chubb Hotel. After that meeting, we knew that this was the place for our celebration and that Daniel & Stephanie would go above and beyond to make our day perfect.”
Eric and Michael admired all of the options that Chubb Hotel had with different locations around the property for the cocktail hour.
“So many areas have a distinct feel that it will be like we are celebrating in different places even though everything is happening at one location,” Michael says. “The spaces are modern with a touch of industrial and rustic, which is just what we wanted. The guest rooms have been recently renovated and look great, and each has a balcony. With Garces Events doing the catering, we know that our guests will have amazing, flavorful, and interesting food. It ticked pretty much all of our boxes.”
For Michael, what he wants to remember the most is the way he feels on their wedding day.
“Everyone I talk to says that the day is a blur so I’m expecting that it will be the same way for us,” he says. “But I want to remember how I felt seeing Eric in his tuxedo; seeing his face as we say our vows; being with our family and friends and having them share in our wonderful day.”
For Eric, he wants to remember saying “I do” to the man he loves, in front of the ones they love.
We’ll be following Eric and Michael’s journey throughout the following year as they prepare for their big day. Check out our blog for updates on their wedding and other Chubb Hotel events.