This week the spotlight shines on Nic and Rita Kanaar, whose spring wedding was the perfect prelude to a beautiful life together. These two romantics share their endearing story and offer a little perspective for brides- and grooms-to-be.
Tell us about your love story!
Rita and I met in July of 2015 at a small bar in Grand Rapids. We had been talking online for a few weeks beforehand, so there was a bit of skepticism in the air leading up to our first date. For me, there were nerves and a stern concentration on not sweating too much, a battle I lost on the car ride over. Inside the Reservoir Bar, I made a sweep for a girl who was “growing out a pixie cut, so don’t judge me if it looks a little like a mullet.” During my search, a woman walked up to me and said the boldest words I’ve ever heard: “I think I’m the one you’re looking for.” Rita smiled, and the image of her, at my first sight, was seared into my brain, where it has remained since. I said something witty, or smart, or charming, or maybe incomprehensible, I honestly don’t remember. In fact, most of our conversation that evening is muddled in my memory thanks to our exultant first encounter. I just remember her first words and that smile, and finally making her laugh. A true cackle of a laugh, one that left her embarrassed and me proud (and with the urge to call my mom).
Soon after, we were dating and the real fun began. In those first few months, we learned everything we could about each other. Rita learned that I sometimes leave the cupboard doors open after I take out a Q-Tip, as if I plan on returning it after use. I learned that if you make Rita laugh hard enough, her legs will give out, and she’ll collapse into a giggly heap. She learned that I have to plug my ears during the scary parts in horror movies. I learned that Rita finds any excuse to sing Bailando by Enrique Iglesias at the top of her lungs, with or without wine. She learned that I get excited to check the mail, which she leaves for me everyday.
I learned that I’ve never loved anything more than the woman laughing hysterically on the kitchen floor because I mispronounced the word “tangible,” and that if I was going to live one more minute on this earth it would have to be with her, and only her.
We both learned how to love, and how to be loved.
Which leads up to January 6th, 2017, the night I proposed to Rita. It was a surprise weekend getaway to Traverse City. We drove through snow-laden roads late at night to arrive at a beautiful bed and breakfast. There was a room, on the second floor, that had a few of Rita’s favorite things: a eucalyptus candle, a purple orchid, a bottle of local champagne, pictures of us, and eventually, me on one knee. I realize now that when I was asking her that oh-so-important question, “Will you marry me?” I was in a way responding to the very first words I ever heard her say: “I think I’m the one you’re looking for.”
And she was, and still is.
All of those things in that room that night (including a cheesy poem by yours truly), and everything I’ve done since, or ever will do, has been to let her know that she is the one I’ve been looking for.
My hands shook as I raised the rose gold ring up to her, and eventually she said (and trust me, I’m paraphrasing here) “Yes.” We spent the next few days trotting around Traverse City, running from shop to shop through a snowstorm, displaying the ring that only fit her pinky finger to anyone who would look.
We’ve done things, her and I. We’ve battled things together, we’ve been victorious together, we’ve tasted the bitterness of defeat together. We’ve been through things that are unique to only us, along with things that are considered common. Through it all we’ve managed to build a foundation that will support us during the best times, and the difficult times, of our marriage.
What are three words that best describe your wedding style?
Modern, romantic, timeless.
What specific moment took your breath away?
Our first look.
If you could do it all again, what’s one thing you would change for your big day, if anything?
I can’t think of a single thing I’d change.
What made you choose to work with Eastern Floral?
To be honest, we didn’t have a choice in floral vendors—that’s part of the deal when you use the Goei Center for your wedding. But I’m so happy with what a wonderful job Eastern Floral did! I don’t think any other floral vendors could have made our experience better!
Tell us about your experience with Eastern Floral.
We hired Eastern Floral for the flowers and other decor at our wedding ceremony and reception and they did an AMAZING job. Molly, our floral consultant, was lovely and wonderful to work with. I was very impressed by her knowledge of flowers and greenery and her ability to listen to me babble about my vision of the wedding decor, probably not very clearly, and somehow understand what I was getting at and make my dream come to fruition. Some of the flowers I had in mind for our wedding were not available in March, but Molly was able to substitute other similar flowers that still met my vision. Besides the flowers and greenery we used for our wedding and reception, Eastern Floral also provided lovely lanterns for the outside entrance of the church, huge metallic urns with flowers for the ceremony, geometric design centerpieces for the bistro tables at the cocktail hour, many candles of different shapes and sizes, a lovely dipped metallic vase for the sweetheart table, and much more.
What advice do you have for future brides/grooms when planning your floral?
Make sure you go to your first meeting with some ideas of what you’d like your wedding to look like. I showed up to my first meeting with Molly with a Pinterest board of floral ideas, and I think that was extremely helpful to both Molly, my mother, and myself. It made sure we were all on the same page!
Other details/comments you would like to share with us.
We were often told during the 14 months of planning our wedding to “enjoy the journey.” Although we got sick of hearing this over and over again, these really were the truest words. I think it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement (and stress) of planning and lose sight of the wonderful moments that are happening during the planning time. The engagement goes by fast! Try and look around every once in awhile, take a deep breath, and notice what’s going on around you. Go on a date with your soon-to-be husband/wife and leave your wedding planning at home for the night. You won’t regret it!