The Couple:  Traci Marshall and Brett Misquez

Wedding Date:  April 17, 2010

Photography by Brian Ganyo Photography

Tell us a little about you and your beloved:  How We Met: Brett and I both grew up in Woodland as children, but Brett’s family moved away before we ever met. Many years later, Brett’s sister, Selah, reconnected with a childhood friend, Matt, over the internet and started dating. At a party for Selah’s birthday, Matt introduced us. Though I was interested, I couldn’t get more than one-syllable responses from Brett when I spoke with him and figured it a lost cause. I remember thinking what a shame it was because he was so handsome. A few weeks later, the group connected again at a karaoke bar, one of my favorite activities. Brett was there and we struck up an easy conversation over our shared love of Journey. We made plans to get together again… and the rest, as they say, is history! The relationship bloomed from there and just a few years later we were moving in together and adopting a pair of dogs.

The Proposal: While in New York for my birthday, Brett pulled off the ultimate surprise with the help of my best friend, Jamie and her husband, Joel. We went to a lovely dinner and then a fabulous Broadway showing of In the Heights. After dinner we indulged in a huge helping of cheesecake at Juniors near Time Square. When Joel and Brett asked us if we wanted to get a drink, I said I just wanted to go back to their place because I was beat. Little did I know that my lack of enthusiasm meant having to switch to Plan B. We got a cab to go back to Jamie and Joel’s apartment. But after a few minutes, the cab pulled over and Brett jumped out. When he opened my door and pulled me out, Jamie was pushing me out saying “I think you should go with Brett”. I looked around and saw we were in front of the Waldorf Astoria. While Brett pulled me to the doors of the hotel, I started complaining: I didn’t have my bags. My feet hurt. This was too expensive. Basically, I was being a brat. The whole time Brett kept saying “Happy Birthday! This is your birthday present”. And I was thinking “Great, he spent all his money on this hotel and now I’ll never get a ring”. When we got to our room, there was champagne chilling. When I turned around, Brett was standing there with a ring and asked me to marry him. First, I pushed him away and asked how he managed to surprise me. And then I said yes!

What was the most amazing part of your day?  We fell in love with Newcastle Wedding Gardens & The Red Horse Barn the moment we saw it. Though we were hoping for a summer date in order to ensure an outdoor wedding in the gardens, the only date available was in April. Throughout the ten months of planning, the phrase “April Showers Bring May Flowers” kept running through my head. But April 17, 2010 was possibly the most beautiful day I have ever seen. The sun was out, the sky was the brightest blue. We were truly blessed with the perfect day.

Aside from the perfect weather, the most amazing part of our wedding was seeing everything we had planned come together. Every decision from the color of the tablecloths to the songs at the reception fit together exactly right. My personality tends to be a bit dramatic since I grew up performing in musical theater. Brett was patient with me throughout the planning process and generous enough to allow me to incorporate my love of musical theater throughout our wedding. The processional songs were all instrumental versions of  show tunes. The reception tables were all named after Broadway musicals. When a song from that musical played, that was the cue for that table to go to the buffet. Though he stopped short of allowing an actual choreographed dance number, Brett did allow my favorite colors, dark purple and fuchsia, as our wedding colors. That’s love.

Some of my favorite moments at the reception were thanks to Randy, our Emcee from Premier Entertainment. With our help, he wrote personalized introductions for each member of our wedding party as they entered the reception. He also told our “Love Story” to everyone as we ate dinner which was awesome because not everyone knew how we met or how Brett proposed. Cutting the cake was also very special because my Mom did the cake for us. When it came to the bouquet toss, I had some definite opinions. I’ve never liked the bouquet toss tradition. This is probably due to the fact that I’ve been to so many weddings and was forced to stand out there and dive for one too many bouquets.

Instead of the toss, we did a Longevity Dance. All married couples were asked to the dance floor. After a few minutes, Randy asked all the couples married for less than one year to step aside, then five years, then ten and so on. In the end, Brett’s grandparents, married for over 60 years, were the only ones left dancing. They, along with a special couple from my family married for 58 years, each received part of my bouquet. As for the garter, let’s just say that Brett doesn’t like the spotlight as much as I do. So for the garter toss, Randy brought out all the guys to the dance floor with Brett. He had them all kneel and sing “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” to me. It was so much fun to see all of those big strapping guys uncomfortably singing their hearts out! At the high note Brett tucked my garter into our pal’s pocket. It was the best! The dancing continued after that. We made a point to select the best dance songs we could find because we just wanted everyone to be able to dance and party… and they did up until the last minute!

What else would you like to share about your big day?  Some of my favorite moments were from that morning- getting coffee with my bridesmaids, having our hair and makeup done together, eating lunch in the hotel room while joking and getting ready for the wedding. I surrounded myself with the most amazing and awesome women and it meant so much to have them with me as I prepared for our wedding.

Ceremony Site:  Newcastle Wedding Gardens 

Reception Venue:  Red Horse Barn at Newcastle Wedding Gardens

Photographer:  Brian and Erica Ganyo of Brian Ganyo Photography

 Videographer:  Miranda Smith from Premier Entertainment

Wedding Planner:  We did most of the planning ourselves but Georgia Barron at Newcastle Wedding Gardens was extremely helpful!

Caterer:  Tre Events, LLC

Cake:  Baker’s Delights

Baker’s Delights is my Mom’s bakery in Woodland. I figured we would have someone else do the cake so that she could just enjoy the day. But when I suggested that, she was appalled. Somehow she made it work! She baked and decorated the cake and still was able to join us for our pre-wedding girly lunch at the hotel.

Flowers:  Visual Impact Design

Favors:  In lieu of favors, and in honor of our two dogs, Baxter & Bailey, we made a donation to the Sacramento SPCA. We did a doggy photo session and created a poster informing our guests about the donation in the foyer of the reception area.

Wedding Dress:  Alfred Angelo

Bridesmaid Dresses:  Alfred Angelo 

Hair: Krystal Safonov from Runway Salon

Makeup:  Vanessa Carew from Runway Salon 

Invitations:  Wedding Paper Divas

DJ/Entertainment:  Randy Bartlett from Premier Entertainment

Honeymoon location:  We stayed at the wonderful Hyatt Resort in Maui. It was the most amazing week filled with sailing, snorkeling, luaus and a lot of sun bathing on the beach! Perhaps the best Honeymoon advice I can offer is to give yourself a day or two when you return from your trip to relax and organize gifts before returning to work. Our two days were priceless!

Any other of your wedding vendor(s) you’d like to call out?:  Our Ceremony Officiant was my friend, Shawn Cash, formerly of the Shawn and Jeff Morning Show on 100.5 The Zone. I spent a year on the show reporting traffic and joking with the guys. Shawn added his quick wit and humor to our ceremony- it was perfect!

First Dance Song:  Today by Joshua Radin

I’m a big Ellen Degeneres fan and first heard the song when Ellen played her wedding slideshow to that song since Josh Radin was flown in to play at Ellen’s wedding.

Any advice you’d give to our readers who are planning their weddings right now?  I’d say the largest challenge in the wedding planning process was resolving what I thought a wedding should be and what would actually be a reflection of Brett and me. The first hurdle we faced was the guest list. The best advice someone gave me was to remember quality over quantity. She reminded me to make sure we didn’t invite everyone we had ever met, rather just the people in our lives who meant the most.

The second bit of advice is to stay as organized as possible. For those ten months of planning, I kept a binder full of contracts and color swatches and ideas. Maybe it was a bit large, but if we needed to verify the amount for the caterer deposit or match the color of the bridesmaid dresses, we knew where to look!

We did as much as possible to save money where we could. A graphic designer friend of mine from work designed a “wedding logo” for us. With that in hand, we were able to design and create our seating chart, programs, and table signage all on our own and saved a lot of money. A special thanks to my bridesmaids for their help in cutting and gluing and stuffing those programs!

One last thing: At our tasting for the reception food, we were about to select the generic chicken because we thought that was what everyone would enjoy. However, when we both bit into these amazing ribs, we thought- we want these! We decided to go with those, and a lot more of the comfort food variety. We got so many compliments! Go with your heart!

Anything that you would have done differently if you were given the chance?  We thought long and hard about this and the answer is no. We would have done nothing differently. I guess we would have had more cake. Neither Brett nor I got more than that one bite of my Mom’s cake. But since she owns the bakery, she set us up afterward. That just goes to show how wonderful the day was!

Photos courtesy of Brian Ganyo Photography

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