I always have my couples fill out the questionnaire below before their wedding. If they’re a full planning couple, it’s pretty likely I could fill it out for them since we’ve been so connected, but for my month-of brides, like Marissa especially who is out of town and I haven’t even met yet!, this is the first time I’m hearing how her groom proposed or how they met. I love getting to learn all these love stories! Marissa and Sean are the first couple I’ve had that filled this out in third person – and it’s so fitting seeing as they both work in Hollywood, it reads like a script! I love it!
Tell us a little about each of you.
Marissa Hughes, age 30, was born in Dallas, TX. Raised by parents Randy and Melanie Hughes, Marissa grew up as the oldest of three children; Monica and Hampton. At age 18, Marissa set off to Los Angeles to attend Loyola Marymount University for college. After graduating, Marissa pursued a career in accounting and currently works in the accounting department at Creative Artists Agency, a talent agency in Los Angeles. Sean Bottcher, age 35, was born in Pasadena, CA. Raised by parents Margo and Bob Bottcher, Sean is the youngest of three children; Robert and Nicole. Sean also attended Loyola Marymount University where he studied film production. After college, Sean spent several years working for the FOX Broadcasting Company as a producer for Fuel TV. Currently, Sean freelances as a producer while managing at Road Radios, a company specializing in the rental of products and services used by professionals in concert touring, film and television.
How did you meet?
Every year, Sean and Marissa’s alma mater Loyola Marymount University holds an annual alumni weekend, which includes a mixer for alumni celebrating their five, ten, or fifteen year reunion. The year of 2012 marked Marissa’s 5-year reunion and Sean’s 10-year reunion, and both attended this event. Even though Sean noticed Marissa shortly after she arrived, Marissa was the first to initiate contact. Marissa made up the excuse that she thought he was one of her former classmates, but that adorable lie was quickly debunked when they learned they never attended LMU during the same time! Nevertheless, they spent the night talking and laughing, exchanged numbers, and went their separate ways. The “3-Day Rule” obviously wasn’t going to work on a catch like Marissa, so Sean tried a bold strategy. Roughly two months later, Marissa heard from the dark, mysterious man from the mixer via text message. They had their first date at the local LMU bar, Tompkins Square. From that point on, Marissa and Sean became being inseparable!
When and where are you getting married? What made you choose that season and venue?
October 24, 2015 in the bride’s hometown, Dallas, TX. We got engaged on Thanksgiving Day 2014 and didn’t want a long engagement. We expected to get married in Los Angeles within a few months, but had a difficult time finding a venue we loved. In the end, we ended up expanding our options and found a place in Dallas, TX by May 2015. We wanted to get married before getting too close to the holidays at the end of the year!
Give us three words to describe your wedding
Fun. Well-Rounded. Laid back.
When did you know he was going to be your husband? Did he know before you?
Marissa can recount an instance early in the relationship that had an impact on her. Going to church for teachings and worship had always been important to Marissa. Before meeting Sean, Marissa most always went alone to church. Marissa yearned for a companion to go to church with her, not only to have someone by her side, but also her resolve to go regularly was weaker as a lone attendee. Friends of Marissa would come at her request, but it oftentimes felt like a compromise. One Sunday a few months after Marissa and Sean had been dating, Marissa had felt that familiar temptation to skip church this Sunday. She knew when she shared her plans with Sean, he’d be in agreement and they’d spend their Sunday together doing other things. However, much to Marissa’s surprise, Sean dismissed Marissa’s plan to skip church and insisted they go. Marissa never was on this side of the discussion! With just those few words, a padlock on her heart had just clicked open. In that moment, Marissa felt a sense of peace she had long awaited for. She saw before her someone who already knew what the depths of her heart longed for, and he longed for the same. It was a moment Sean might never had remembered again, but to Marissa it meant the something of God-sized proportions. She had found her companion.
How did he put that ring on your finger? Was it a total surprise?
After dating for nearly 2 years, Sean felt that Marissa was “the one”, and Marissa had the same feelings about Sean. For Thanksgiving 2014, Sean invited Marissa to the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii to spend the holiday with him while he was out there several weeks for work. On the day of Thanksgiving, Sean surprised Marissa by making special arrangements to stay at the Turtle Bay Resort that night. Before having their Thanksgiving dinner for two at the resort, Sean whisked Marissa away to a private area of the beach nearby to have some wine and watch the sunset. It was there that Sean got down on one knee and asked Marissa to spend the rest of her life with him. She said “Yes!”. To add to the surprise, Sean enlisted some of his fellow co-workers to capture the moment on camera. It was a day that both of them will forever cherish!
What have you loved most about planning your wedding? What has been the most difficult?
I’ve gotten joy out of the excitement that my family has expressed from the planning process. It is also a good feeling that with every item crossed off the list brings me one step closer to having Sean as my husband. The most difficult part has been balancing planning with work and depending on others.
What are you looking forward to most on your wedding day?
Excited for Sean to see me in my dress, excited to have my first look with Sean, excited to exchange vows, excited to dance and have a great time with Sean, our families, and our friends.
Do you have any advice for the newly engaged as they embark on the planning process?
Keep it simple. If you can have 1 vendor offer multiple services, take advantage of it. The fewer parties involved, the less to people to manage.
All photos taken by a family friend.