Iliana Buenrostro & Joe Marttila

Illiana & Joe

Illiana & Joe

Groom’s Parents: Diane
Bride’s Parents: Jose and Maria
Date of Engagement: November 4, 2014
Wedding Date: April 30, 2015
Shower Date: February 21, 2015
Registered at: Bed, Bath & Beyond and Target
How did you meet? Iliana was on the opening crew for Antartica at SeaWorld Orlando, and I was one of the first guests in to see the exhibit.  She didn’t know that I was also and employee and asked if I had ever seen a penguin before… after a short conversation I left, since it was 30 degrees inside, but not before I found her again and made a point to tell her what a great job she was doing.  Over the next few weeks and months we continued running into each other in the employee lounge and around the park.  Then she started going to a CrossFit box near my house (though it was not the same one I went to) and we met up after one of her WODs one August evening.  That next Friday we went out to dinner and went line dancing (which ended up being just us as all her friends bailed), and since then we started spending more time together.  The rest is history…
Engagement story: We had planned on going to Discovery Cove for her birthday, pretending to be tourist for a day.  Proposals there, to us who work at the parks, is something we are exposed to all the time.  So it became a joke that I was going to have a dolphin bring a buoy asking her to marry me.  But the truth of the matter is, I didn’t know how I was going to propose, or even if I was going to at Discovery Cove.  One of the most important things for Ili in regards to the proposal was to have it documented, through pictures or something.  So I wasn’t about to propose without being able to do that for her, but I still wanted it to be a secret.  So I went the day before and talked to the photo department.  I set up a 30 minute window for one of the photographers to be in guest clothes, in the location I wanted to propose in, taking pictures (of their “family” of course).  Having this worked out, I was able to propose, but I still didn’t want it to be expected.  So before going, we stopped to get her her morning coffee and I had told her that I had something for her that her mom would be very upset if I didn’t give it to her today… and I reached into my pocket and pulled out a ring pop (keeping the joke alive).  Once we got to the park, Ili later said it was as if I was on a mission, but I was only in a hurry ’cause I only had that small window to get the pictures taken.  By the time we got to the location, we only had about 5 minutes left until the photographer would have left.  I had a very romantic proposal prepared, but me being so wonderful with words… when I got down on my knee I don’t even really remember what came out… but at least I got the “will you marry me” part right. She was very stunned and surprised, and thought it was a joke at first, until she saw the ring.  And then I’m not sure it really hit her until later.  She said that it seemed like I kind of just “threw it together,” but I couldn’t tell her that the proposal wasn’t done yet.  You see, the photographer was so good, that Ili had no idea they were there, and she couldn’t believe I would propose without having someone there to take pictures.  But within two hours, all the pictures were ready and I brought her over to surprise her, and that is when her face truly lit up.  We spent the rest of the day there at the resort, then later that night we went out with friends to celebrate… but not before I took her to get a fresh manicure!

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