Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph & Dolce Hayes Mansion Wedding – San Jose – Mauricio & Jesenia

Jesenia and Mauricio met in Mexico. He says she pulled him closer while they shared a dance the day they met. She denies doing so, but, regardless, she must have known he was the one. On the exact same day four years later, they were married in San Jose.

Their wedding day unfolded how they dreamed it would.

“Absolutely … filled with our loved ones, laughter and dancing!!” she said.

They were married at Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph.

“Our ceremony was beautiful! From our entire bridal party doing everything perfectly, our priest giving a very touching sermon, and so many of our guests joining us, we couldn’t have asked for more,” Jesenia said.

“I will never forget the feeling of walking down the aisle accompanied by my parents, hearing the Mariachi play the Nuptial March and seeing all of our guests with Mauricio waiting at the altar.”

Mauricio said he was “amazed by her beauty as she walked down the aisle and knowing that she was soon to be my wife.”

Their reception was at Dolce Hayes Mansion.

“We loved the welcoming nature of the Hayes Mansion, not to mention their beautiful grounds. Both the Cathedral and Hayes Mansion reminded us of Mexico, which is where our families are from, where we met, and were we reconnected year after year,” Jesenia said. “We actually seriously considered getting married in Mexico but due to the fact that having all of our friends and family present meant so much to us we decided to keep it local. The white arches and historic look of the mansion reminded us of a hacienda in Mexico and the echoing in the Cathedral is nonetheless how a mass in our hometown sounds. We were blown away by the architecture and art work in the Cathedral. The moment I walked in, I told Mauricio, ‘This is where I want to get married.’ Both locations were far enough to remove our guests from their everyday routine and encourage them to make it a weekend get-away, yet close enough for them to drive there and back if they chose to. In case we needed more convincing the Hayes Mansion was the only venue that was available on the actual date we were aiming for … four years exactly from when we had first met and danced in Mexico.”

Some of their most memorable moments from the reception included dancing with friends and family and Mauricio’s son Danny doing the robot as he entered the reception hall. The maid of honor – Jesenia’s sister – surprised them with a song she composed with the live Mariachi band. It was a huge hit with the crowd!

What makes these two a perfect match?

“Mauricio is the only person that has ever made me feel like there is no one better to fill my shoes. Whether it is a quality or a flaw of mine he embraces it and appreciates it for making me who I am as an individual,” Jesenia said. “He is the one person I can share and experience everything with and be certain that he will make it 100x better. We can go camping, run a 5K, enjoy musical performances, a nice romantic dinner outing, a night of staying in and making dinner, a trip to Mexico in a rural isolated town, a trip to China where we are lost, freezing and unable to communicate, partying and dancing all night, staying in and being up all night talking on the couch and the list goes on. There is no other person I would want to share those experiences with me nor do I think any other person would be able to put up with me through it all.”

And for Mauricio, “I fell in love with everything about her from the moment I met her; who she is as a person, her big heart for her family, work ethic, she cared for my kids, she loves dancing, she loves to travel, she’s beautiful inside and out, and her vision in life. We have a lot in common, particularly our families being from the same home town in Mexico and both of us enjoying to go back and visit. It also helped that the first time we danced she pulled me closer to her and to this day she continues to deny it.”

For their honeymoon they went to the Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic where they relaxed and enjoyed each others company by the pool in a castle that overlooked the ocean. They sipped tea and beer and napped. Jesenia convinced Mauricio to zip line because she is the adventurous-brave one, but the adventure ended with Mauricio pushing and encouraging Jesenia along because her knees wouldn’t stop shaking. They also swam in the natural pools of water in the middle of the ocean.

Cake: Jen’s Cakes
Coordinator: KSVP Events
DJ (+ lighting): Music Mantra DJs
Florist: Flowers By Edgar
Hairstylist-Bride: Crystal Uribe
Hairstylist-Bridal Party: Patricia Aguilar
Makeup Artist-Bride: Erika Cruz
Makeup Artist-Bridal Party: Evelyn Cortez
Makeup Artist: Patricia Aguilar
Photo Booth: Picture That! Photos
Videographer: Denoise Videography
Band 1: Mariachi Mi Tierra Linda
Band 2: Banda Corazon Ranchero

Funny Farm Wedding – Brentwood – Eric & Janal

Best friends for more than nine years, Janal & Eric cruised a vintage biplane into their wedding reception at a hangar in a little place called the Funny Farm.

They were married Aug. 29 by a grove of eucalyptus trees as the sun was setting.

It was a perfect day.

“After the beautiful ceremony and delicious dinner, we just enjoyed dancing the night away with our closest friends and family,” Janal said. “We both love a good party and the night didn’t disappoint. It was really nice to just see everyone you care about having a good time and enjoying themselves.

There were, of course, a couple bumps along the way.

“The Stearman gave us a little trouble as our ride the reception, it just didn’t want to start,” she said. “After several attempts to get it running, we had to give up on our grand entrance. Fortunately, a slight delay caused us to try it one more time and we were finally able to turn it over and had the grand entrance we had been dreaming of for the last year. Of course there were a couple of other things that did not happen as planned, but nothing that we even realized until the next day. Nothing was going to stop us from enjoying such a perfect day.

They own the property where they had their celebration.

“We looked at so many venues in the Santa Cruz area. We love the beauty of the redwoods and thought it would be a great location. The more we looked into venues not a single one of them checked all of the boxes we were looking for. The more time we spent out in Brentwood cleaning up the property the more that we saw the potential of the space, it checked all of the boxes in what we were looking for in a venue and just took a little imagination to see how it could turn out. So we spent most every weekend out there for almost a year preparing the property, making renovations and building things for our wedding. Now we have a hangar that is not only functional, but now a beautiful space to entertain in whenever we see fit,” Janal said.

“We had been planning, cleaning, and trying to prep the property for so long, sometimes it was hard to imagine how everything would come together in the end. Honestly, it could not have turned out better for us. It was a magical day full of smiles, love, and laughter. Our families and ourselves had worked so hard to get the reception area looking great, but it was totally worth it when we finally arrived at the reception to see how beautiful it all came together.

The Santa Cruz couple has been together for quite a long time. Some things are just meant to be.

“He is my partner in life and I know that I can always count on him. It has been an amazing life journey that got us to that beautiful wedding day, full of ups and downs, but we have grown so much together and I look forward to a whole lifetime of growing with him,” Janal said.

His bride challenges him, Eric said, in a good way.

“There are many qualities that I love about Janal, but mostly I just like being around her. We have a lot of fun together and we’ve become quite collaborative as a couple and as a team. She’s always got my back and I’ve got hers,” he said. “I do know that I never took the concept of marriage too seriously until I met her. I’m not religious and it’s just not something I cared about or dreamed about, but Janal had thought a lot about it and dreamt of the day she’d have a big, beautiful wedding. So it quickly became really important to me. In fact, I think that it’s possible that I kept her more motivated on the idea that “all of our hard work would be worth it” as the big day approached than the other way around. It’s all part of why I wanted to marry her in the first place, you need people around you that challenge you and make you see things differently than you ever thought you would. ”

They escaped to Hawaii after their wedding.

“We spent one amazing week in Kauai for our honeymoon. Our highlight was an air tour we took over the island in an open cockpit Waco biplane. You really have to see the island by air, it is so amazingly beautiful! (We spent a little time on the tarmac because the airplane would not start. We just laughed thinking we might be bad luck considering that happened with the Stearman as well.)” Janal said.


Wedding Planners:
A’Reve Event Planning & Design
Whitney & Adriana

Flares Bridal and Formal

Hair and Makeup:
Blush Salon
Hair: Kaylee Swift
Makeup: Vanessa Hargis

Photo Booth:
Bay Area Fotowagen


Paul Robertson Floral Design

Wedding Videographer:
Matter Video

Officially Yours
Rev Ray Carter

Superior Sound
Nick and Sean Field

Alameda County Fair Engagement Session – Pleasanton – Brittney & Kyle

Brittney & Kyle have been together for four years. The Alameda County Fair marks their unique anniversary, so that’s where we headed for their engagement photos. Super fun watching Kyle enjoy a deep fried bacon-wrapped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup when their hard modeling work was done.

Can’t wait to shoot their wedding next June in Pleasanton!

Garré Winery & Vineyard Wedding – Livermore – Steven & Giuliana

Steven & Giuliana met by chance.

“It’s not every day you meet a handsome guy in a bar and talk about cars, food and Nonni’s all in one conversation. I was definitely taken with him immediately. After a few in-house dates, making dinner for me and staying up to watch a kids movie, because I was too scared of the thriller we just watched, I knew he was a total keeper. I took him home to meet the family, about five months later, and the rest is history,” she said.

They were married in May at. St. Michael Parish in Livermore.

“Steve and I both were raised Catholic and had received confirmation. From the very first talk of marriage, we both had the same views of being married in the Catholic Church. When it came to choosing St. Michael’s, it seemed like the perfect fit,” Giuliana said.

Her oldest brother was married there nine years ago.

“It was beautiful then, and even more beautiful now. Once Steve had seen the church, both pictures and in person, we were sold 100%. Plus, after meeting with Deacon Bill, we knew it was that perfect fit,” she said.

The reception was at Garre Winery & Vineyard, also in Livermore.

“We were overwhelmingly taken by Bella Rosa. After researching online and making some calls, I found there were only a handful of Livermore venues that could accommodate our guest count. I had much interest in Garré, but was skeptical of the tent my mom had told me about. Little did I know, the tent had been replaced. My dad had gone golfing in Livermore one afternoon and called me at work. ‘Giuliana, are you busy? Have you called Garré yet? I really think you’re going to like what is happening out here. I just drove over the hill and wow. This building looks gorgeous.’ We immediately scheduled a venue tour. Steve and I really felt like it had the best of what we both love in a venue – Bella Rosa is both bold and classy. We were dead set on having our reception there,” Giuliana said.

They said the day was perfect.

“Both of us couldn’t be more pleased with how the whole day turned out,” she said. “Start to finish, it was everything we could have hoped and dreamed for.”

For Steven, some moments that stood out most in his mind were when he saw Giuliana for the first time as she made her way down the aisle, riding in an Impala to the reception and their first dance as husband and wife.

There are always a couple surprises thrown into the wedding day, of course. Steven said he hadn’t anticipated having to switch tux jackets with his best friend because his buttons popped off.

For Giuliana, highlights included: “Seeing Steve’s smiling face once the doors opened, taking pictures out front of the church and a few teenagers yelled, ‘Hey they just got married. Congratulations!’ as they drove by, and being announced as Mr. And Mrs. Callahan for the first to all of our family and friends.”

The maid of honor surprised her on the limo ride to the ceremony.

“Lori had put on a Jodee Mesina song that I’ve known since high school. I did just fine until it got to the chorus, ‘I’ll never leave, I’ll never stray. My love for you will never change…’ I started balling before those words left my lips knowing that I was on the way to marry the man of my dreams.”

Giuliana says Steven is an incredible person.

“From the moment I met him, I could tell he was a game changer for me,” she said.

“He is an amazing man; the kind I always dreamed about being with for the rest of my life. He has made me a smarter and better person since he has been in my life. We are very much alike in certain aspects, but still different at the same time. I feel like we have always complimented each other well. I don’t think I could have happened to meet a more perfect person to spend the rest of my life with. I am so lucky and fortunate to have found such a wonderful person to live the rest of my days with. I can’t wait to see what is in store for our future. : )”

When Steven met Giuliana, he said he instantly knew they were going to be at least close friends. They became so much more. …

“She is the easiest person to talk to that I have ever met. She was extremely outgoing and funny, which just really made me want to hang out with her more. We had a lot in common through family backgrounds and general beliefs which was something I always knew I wanted in a wife (not to mention her looks were a huge plus),” he said. Giuliana is the most kind, caring and selfless person I know. There isn’t a trait or habit she has that I would change. She is my best friend and I love hanging out with her every day. I couldn’t have been blessed with a better wife, I look forward to spending the rest of my life with her, no man is luckier than me.”

The love birds headed to Italy for their honeymoon.

“I had been to Italy with my family, at the age of 13. Very lucky to go, but only remembered a few major things. Being able to go back and experience Italy with my best friend and husband was a total treat. I loved seeing Steve’s reactions to the amazing sites we visited,” Giuliana said.

Steven said the entire honeymoon was amazing.

“My favorite part was renting a Vespa in Bellagio for the afternoon.”

Lindsay Besser – Garré Winery & Vineyard – Coordinator

Garré Winery & Vineyard – Catering

James, Braith & Jeremiah – Burkart Studios – Videographer

Amos Productions – DJ & Photo booth

Karl Eckel – Delford West – Florist

Fatema – Cake Delight – Designer

St. Michael Parish

Rock Wall Wine Company Wedding – Alameda – Zane & Monica

Exactly how she envisioned the day would unfold, Monica and Zane’s wedding at Rock Wall Wine Company was simple, elegant and fun.

They were married in April at the Alameda winery.

“We were looking for somewhere local since we had lots of family coming in from out of state, and the view could not be beat,” she said.

Their daughter Mazzee was the flower girl escorted by her big sister Kate.

“I did not expect my daughter to start wailing the moment before she was supposed to start walking down the aisle,” Monica said. “She held it together once her sister picked her up, but I was hoping she would walk herself down the aisle. She did look pretty happy in her sister’s arms though — she always is!”

“I think she thought the party was for her!”

After the intimate ceremony, guests gathered in Rock Wall’s dome to get the party started.

The most awesome part of the day for Monica was dancing with Zane.

“He made what could have been such an awkward moment so much fun by twirling and spinning me around!” she said. “I couldn’t stop laughing most of the time!”

In addition to making her laugh, “Zane is the epitome of romantic. He is constantly thinking of ways to spoil me and does so on a regular basis. He is thoughtful, loving, caring and considerate, and a great big teddy bear. ”

What drew Zane to Monica?

“It was not a specific appearance or trait, but a feeling,” he said. “I told myself that I would never get married again unless it was right. I was OK going through life on my own, but then I met Monica. I felt at home with Monica. It felt right. She is also a smart, successful, beautiful woman who I am very attracted to, but the reason I married her is that it was just right.”

The orange and yellow sunset over San Francisco as the first party came to a close was gorgeous.

The couple headed to the city after their Rockwall soiree with friends and family to continue their festivities.

“The highlight would have to be singing Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” in my wedding dress at the karaoke bar. #drunkbride,” according to Monica.

They headed to Hawaii for their honeymoon. The best part?

“Snorkeling in Shark’s Cove and surfing North Shore (aka getting pummeled by 5 foot waves.) Romantic sunsets. Zane becoming a Hawaiian warrior. Deciding it was a good idea to have “just one more shot of Fireball” before bed,” Monica said.

Venue: Rock Wall Wine Company
Catering: Mike Boyd at Scolari’s
Flowers: Carlos at Flowers by Flores