Two weeks ago we had a very special wedding receiption at Hodge Podge Lodge, Jeff's son, Zach, was married!
This week I tried to sit down to write a blog about their insane story of marriage and I realized I would never be able to tell it as well as someone who was actually there! So I asked Zach's now wife, Becca, to write something. This is their entirely strange yet amazing engagement story:
Zach and I dated for 5 and a half years, going on six. We were high school sweethearts. He was the class clown and I was the people pleaser. I had known him in passing from playing basketball in junior high, but we officially met our sophomore year. Yeah, I thought he was cute, but he was a little too much for me.
He ALWAYS distracted the entire class, made the whole basketball team run for punishment at practices, and never had to study even though he reasonably got by in most classes. Needless to say, Zach Angelo was charming but annoying. I remember sitting in class thinking, “Man, I feel sorry for the woman who has to marry him one day”. God has a great sense of humor.
I tried really hard to make everything perfect in high school. I wanted to play every sport, participate in every extracurricular activity, always studying for hours on end to make straight A’s. I felt too overwhelmed to really sit back and enjoy high school. Then, Cupid came swooping in senior year. His arrow definitely struck me hard and fast. Annoyed with Zach one day and then going on our first date the next, life’s curveball on full display.
Flash forward five years and then some. I was growing very impatient with Zach as I was tired of dating him and ready to marry him. Ladies, you can only go on so many dates until you realize that you kinda might really want to spend forever with this guy. Am I right? For about a year or so, I hinted (sometimes dropped bombs) here and there that I was beyond ready. It takes two to tie the knot so all I could do was wait. Waiting was frustrating and painful at times, but soon enough, the best day of my life creeped around the corner.
On August 11th, my family planned to go out to dinner at a nice restaurant for my mom’s birthday. My family rarely eats at fancy restaurants so I was excited to dress up. After attending a conference all day for work, I raced home, got ready in half an hour and made my way to my parent’s house. I arrived right on time which meant that we were supposed to all leave together in ten minutes. This was not the case. My mom called me into her bathroom and talked my ear off for about 15 minutes. When I tried to get up, she told me to sit down and asked me about my day. We were now running 20 minutes late to our dinner reservation. My dad knocked on the door and told me to come outside to the garage (a very sketchy request). At this point, I knew something was up.
I followed my dad outside and immediately saw Zach’s dad behind a camera. I laughed awkwardly, smiled, waved and looked ahead. There was a white limo in the driveway. My dad instructed me to get inside it. At this point, I was getting very nervous, anxious, excited, all the feelings. When I entered the limo, I didn’t find Zach, but right in front of me sat another camera. As the limo driver pulled out of the driveway into the great unknown, I didn’t know whether to talk to the camera or ignore it so I looked stoically outside the window. I felt like I was on an episode of The Bachelorette. What do you do with your hands?! Anyway, I knew right where the limo was taking me as I had traveled the same path many times before.
There is a house in my parent’s neighborhood that is my dream house. I always passed it when I went running and when I drove to school. After one of our first dates, Zach was driving me home and asked which house was my favorite. I pointed this one out, so he put his car in park and kissed me. As he pulled back with a smile on his face, he said, “Now, you will always remember our first kiss every time you pass it”. Just when you think your most favorite guy on the planet can’t get any sweeter….
Sure enough, the limo stopped right in front of my dream house. I stepped out and walked up the driveway. My heart began to beat faster and faster along with my footsteps. There was my Prince Charming, standing underneath the beautiful light draped porte-cochere, a path of candles and white rose petals in front of him. I ran straight into his arms. After we embraced, he pulled back with that same smile he had the night of our first kiss. He told me how much he loved me, dropped to one knee, and asked me to marry him. My response as I was shaking from excitement, “FINALLY!” I couldn’t believe how much he thought this through! Our friends were taking pictures and videoing the whole thing. The sweet lady who owned the house welcomed us with open arms. Everything was simply perfect.
After celebrating with everyone involved, Zach and I made our way to the limo, off to dinner, just the two of us (so I thought). I could not stop kissing him. I was so happy and so excited. My cheeks hurt from smiling too much. When we arrived at the restaurant, the limo driver handed me a suitcase. I was told to take it inside with me. Upon entering the restaurant, the host walked Zach and I to our seats. As we got closer, I could see my family, Zach’s family, and all of our friends waiting for us. They cheered as we entered the room. I was still shaking with excitement. There is no better way to end an incredible night than with the people you love the most.
After lots of hugs, food, conversations, and laughter, the night was coming to a close (but not really). Zach told me to go open the suitcase that I carried in. Cautiously, I did so. Inside were plane tickets for my parents, Zach’s parents, my sweetheart and me. Right in the middle sat an envelope that read, “The Adventure Begins”. I opened it and skimmed an entire itinerary for a Saturday through Wednesday in Las Vegas. The one word that stuck out to me was “wedding”. I looked up a little confused and said “Which Saturday?!” The response from everyone, “Tomorrow!” We were getting married the NEXT DAY IN VEGAS! My jaw dropped and remained on the floor for the next hour. I had waited for so long just to be engaged. I never expected this!
After staying up until 4am packing and doing laundry, I woke up at 6am to go to Vegas. I kept pinching myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming as Zach and I drove to the airport. After the Angelos and the Lewises touched down in Vegas, our feet hit the ground running. First stop, the court house. Zach and I signed our marriage license after waiting in line for an hour and a half. We were able to sneak in a bite to eat before it was time to part ways and get ready for our wedding. Luckily, I already had a dress (but, that’s another story to share some other time). Hair and make-up done, dress on, shoes high and strapped on tight, I was ready to walk down that aisle.
Meanwhile, Zach was running around Vegas trying to find a belt and bowtie for his ensemble 30 minutes before departure. Once, he and our dads finally got in their limo, they realized they forgot the marriage license. A crucial piece to this whole night. Five minutes before my departure, I forgot my dress bag for changing outfits. My mom rushed upstairs to get it. As I stood there with Zach’s mom in our wedding get-up, people congratulated me and approached me. One dude even tried to kiss me! Praise God for Zach’s mom, my body guard. We were a few feet away from getting in our limo and my phone rang. It was Zach calling about the marriage license. It was now up to the ladies to save the day. Zach’s mom ran upstairs with two broken feet in heels to retrieve the license. Things never go the way you plan, but that’s what makes these stories the best. We rushed to the limo as soon as we had everything, and off we went to the chapel.
We arrived at the Chapel of The Flowers, the exact same chapel that Zach’s parents got married in years before. I could not contain myself. I was finally going to be Mrs. Rebecca Anne Angelo. As my dad walked me down the aisle, I was instructed to look at the minister straight ahead, but I couldn’t. All I could see was Zach, dressed to the nines, smile beaming, our eyes locked. The ceremony was simple yet beautiful. On August 12, 2017, we were finally husband and wife.
After we took pictures, it was time for food. Zach’s dad made reservations at Gordon Ramsey’s Steakhouse. Hands down the best meal I have ever had in my life! As I sat there oh so joyful and food-full but oh so exhausted, Zach handed me two more envelopes. Another surprise?! When does this end?! The first one was a wedding celebration invite. Not only did I just marry the man of my dreams, but I am now able plan the celebration to have with all of our friends and family! I opened the next envelope. A seven-day cruise to St. Martin, St. Thomas, and the Bahamas, two days after we get back home?! My little heart was the fullest it had ever been. I just sat back and tried to take everything in. What a blessing it is to be loved so much by my husband and our family!
Our honeymoon was incredible and full of many lovely and hilarious stories. Our wedding celebration at Hodge Podge Lodge was all that I had hoped it would be and more. I could not have planned a better engagement, wedding, honeymoon, and celebration for myself. Zach always has, always does, and always will keep me on my toes. “Thank you” does not even begin to cover all the incredible blessings that he and our family and friends have brought into my life.
So, there you have it. This straight-laced, conventional girl was transformed by her prince into a fun-loving, spontaneous young woman. Little did she know that almost six years later, she would find herself next to him waking up in Vegas.
Their wedding reception at Hodge Podge Lodge was beautiful and if you want to learn more about their engagement turned wedding in 24 hours they have a website, zbangelo.com where there will be a video about all this soon!