At Last, The Wedding Vows

At Last, The Wedding Vows

If you’re reading this, I have just spoken the following vows to my wife.

Over a decade ago I walked into a youth group for the first time. That Wednesday night God introduced me to the most amazing girl I would ever meet. The type that you never forget, no matter the time, or distance. That night was the first step in the journey that would bring us to this very moment, and what a journey it has been.

I will not narrate every chapter of our story, mainly because I was told I only had 5 minutes, tops. I will however highlight, that you were always the first I would visit on my random unsolicited drives to friends’ houses in high school. You were always the first I would invite to every one of my fraternity’s date events during college. And you were always the first I would talk about with my friends in New York. You were always there, even when you weren’t. I am privileged to call you my friend, let alone my best friend.

Before today I sincerely believed people said I married my best friend because it sounded sweet. I mean up until you, each of these men had held that title. I must admit that asking a friend out was a foreign concept to me, which only made that night at Royce Hall all the more daunting. But for some unexplainable reason you said yes, twice. To say that I am blessed would be an understatement of unprecedented proportions.

But for once, enough about me. Love, you are, everything. You are loving, faithful, and kind. You are selfless, the likes of which I have only read in the Bible. You are caring, compassionate, and empathetic. You always put others before yourself, and you are the first to offer a helping hand, even when it’s inconvenient, specially when it’s inconvenient. You are intelligent, stunning, and much, much more than I have time to share. You are unlike anyone I have ever met. You are the love of my life.

Today, I vow to put you before myself. Hold and cherish, sickness and health, I vow to love you with the full force of my relentless narcissism. To do everything I can to make you as happy as you make me. To be the man that you deserve, and the one you need. To support, encourage, and inspire you. To be your partner, til death do us part. I pray that God gives me the wisdom to be the best husband, for who I already know will be the best wife.

Love, I have never been accused of lacking confidence, and as such I can say, I have never been more confident about anything else in my life, than us. I am thankful for the past 11 years of friendship and I look forward to a lifetime of marriage. I look forward to all of it! From building a family and growing old together, to sharing my shirts with you, spending 30 minutes to an hour recreating that scene from the Notebook every time I ask you what you want for dinner, and getting up to open the window, even though I had just gotten comfortable.

In all seriousness, I look forward to the adventure of a lifetime with you by my side, as one, under God. I love you, Mrs. Ramdolfi.

Introducing, Mr. & Mrs. Ramdolfi

(Featured Image by: Mr. Ramdolfi)

Getting Married, This Week

Getting Married, This Week

A few months ago I started this lifestyle blog to spread positivity, optimism, and a vicarious insight to life on the west coast, through married life in Los Angeles under the influence of caffeine. I was supposed to start writing next week, after the wedding. But if you’re reading this, chances are that you chose to follow my caffeinated adventure — thank you, you’re the best! — and thus know that I started early with engaged life in Los Angeles under the influence of caffeine. That, or you’re reading this from the future — perhaps our children reading what your parents’ life was like in their youth? Hi kids, dinner’s ready, get off you holographic smartwatches and come to the table.

At last, the wedding is days away. After 11 years since I met her, 3 years since I started pursuing her, 2 years since I asked her to be my girlfriend, and 1 year since the engagement, it’s time. Finally, I get to become one with my best friend under the eyes of God. To say that I am blessed, would be the understatement of the century. I am not trying to boast, but rather share the joy of this moment — and perhaps inspire you to believe in love.

As I wrap up my journey as a bachelor, I think of the long and broken road that led me here. I wish things had been different. I am thankful for every stage of the journey, but I wish I could have had all of those years we spent as friends, as the lovers that we are today. That said, if given the chance I would not change a thing. I would not choose asking her out on day one if that meant risking arriving at “I do.” It was a long, long road, but it was well worth the drive; and I for one, cannot wait to start the next journey later this week.

Tell me, how long did it take you to ask your significant other out? Would you change things if you could? Do you think we’ll have commercially available holographic technology in our lifetime?

(Featured Image by: Pixabay)

The Walk-Through

The Walk-Through

There is just over a week left before “I do!” Let me rephrase that, we are getting married next week! We are beyond excited! Everything is (finally) starting to fall into place. As we wrap up the final details, we visited our wedding venue for the walk-through.

It took us several months of research and visits across LA in search of the perfect wedding venue to find Orcutt Ranch late last year. It feels like just last week that we were giving our down payment, and now we are visiting one last time with our vendors to take care of the details.

After over a year of planning, the walk-through was rather straightforward, which was a great confirmation that our plan is coming together! We are equally excited for the amazing vendors we were able to secure. Although, even if we had the most simple tables, chairs, and meals, Orcutt’s stunning flora, fauna, and architecture would make our wedding memorable!

We love everything about our venue! From the beautiful gazebo, to the rose garden, to the ceremony site surrounded with greenery, Orcutt Ranch is a godsend! It alone already makes the wedding incredible, but it is the right woman what makes it perfect.

Tell me, how long did it take you to find the right venue? Do you prefer indoor or outdoor venues? What is the most important aspect of choosing a venue for you?

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Mr. Ramdolfi)

The Best Affordable Wedding Venues in Los Angeles

The Best Affordable Wedding Venues in Los Angeles

As soon as my fiancée and I returned to Los Angeles from our engagement trip, our first priority was to find a wedding venue. We were set on Descanso Gardens, as I took her there on our first real date. However, we were quickly out priced not just by their $7,800 venue rental, but also by their exclusive caterer Patina, who at (at least) $100 per plate, added an additional $8,000 to $10,000 depending on our guest count.

With a quote closer to $20,000 before the photographer, videographer, entertainment, tux and dress, or anything else, we went back to the white board. After the initial discouragement, we took a deep breath, and proceeded to research the best affordable wedding venues in Los Angeles — with a focus on nature-oriented outdoor venues.

While we found a number of decent choices during our seven months of research, we ultimately narrowed our options to the following three, plus an honorable mention.

Santa Barbara Zoo

The Santa Barbara Zoo is listed as the honorable mention given that it was magical, but not quite affordable (or even technically in LA). A venue with packages that include the nature-centered venue, exclusive catering, and bar service, the most affordable option (with only 50 guests) was $16,507. Between the breathtaking view of the pacific and access to a literal zoo filled with animals, the zoo was tempting, but alas above the entirety of our budget.

Hartley Botanica Gardens

Hartley was recommended to me by a coworker, and I can say with absolute confidence, that if it was not for her I would not have found this place. About an hour northwest from DTLA, right off the 118, Hartley is a small, hidden, man-made garden composed of an amalgamation of styles, nature, and turf. Still, it works. Unfortunately, at $13,900 for a required minimum 100 guests (on Sundays), plus sales tax (7.25%) and an 18% service charge, its $17,409 price tag was also above our budget.

The Castaway

The Castaway, which sits on a hill and overlooks Burbank, held our date in their books for months and nearly became our venue. With a beautiful ceremony site and several surrounding rooms at different prices ranging from $1,400 to $20,000 (depending on the day and time of the week), and with excellent discounts should you choose to use their restaurant’s catering, Castaway is an extremely affordable venue. The downside: Different weddings can and will take place at the same time in different rooms.

Orcutt Ranch Horticultural Center

Orcutt was a godsend. With the garden feel, flowers, and beauty of Descanso Gardens, the abundance of nature found at the Santa Barbara Zoo, the isolated privacy of Hartley, and the cost of The Castaway, Orcutt is the perfect venue in Los Angeles. Priced from $1,387 to $2,310 (with a refundable deposit of $500), Orcutt provides a stunning venue with unmatched affordability and the freedom to choose your vendors. Needless to say, it is my genuine privilege to be marrying Ms. Dolfi here in just a few weeks.

(Featured Image by: Douglas Gianini)