Happy Real Weddings Wednesday everybody! We have a gorgeous, unique elopement for you all this evening! Today, we’re celebrating April and Dean’s elopement set in Sacramento  — where you may recognize staples such as the Capitol Bridge, Tower Café & Theater, McKinley Rose Garden and Capitol Park complete with a jaw-dropping blue mural! Put your planner down, and scroll below for this bright and beautiful elopement. Happy Wednesday, and happy reading!

Couple standing in front of a golden bridge for their elopement.

Tell us a little about you and your beloved.

In 2013, I was coaching gymnastics in San Diego when Dean began taking my adult class after moving back home from college. We hit it off and were together for two years before moving for Dean’s PhD program at UC Davis. It was then that we fell in love with Sacramento which became our unofficial wedding theme. In lieu of a proposal, we exchanged letters during our 2021 trip to Paris. We’d assumed we’d get married the following year, but decided we didn’t want or need to wait. So with only a few months to spare, we planned to wed on our 9th anniversary. We invited twenty of our closest family and friends from the Bay Area, Southern California, Texas, and New York to come out on a Wednesday during peak Sacramento summer to celebrate.

Bride and groom standing in front of the Tower theatre and holding hands.

Bride and groom holding each other and smiling at each other in a garden.

Bride sitting on a bench with her legs hanging over her groom's lap.

What was the best part of your wedding day?

The best part of the day was after everything was said and done, we went to a wine bar called Ro Sham Beaux in the afternoon and got to relax with our siblings and friends. The stress of the day was gone, everything went well, and the weather, against all odds, was relatively mild. We’re very lucky we got to show our loved ones our wonderful city.

Bride and groom embracing in front of a large blue mural.

Black and white photo of the bride and groom holding hands and laughing.

Close up photo of a bride and groom holding hands.

What else would you like to share about your big day?

Throughout the process, we evaluated every aspect of a typical wedding and decided whether or not it made sense for us. We didn’t have a bridal party, an officiant, a normal ceremony, a bouquet, etc. But we had the most important people there; we had good food and drinks, a lovely photographer, and we got to wear our Vietnamese áo dài. Neither of us are religious so instead of an officiant, we opted to have a non-clergy wedding which meant we could declare ourselves married with two witness signatures. Being non traditionalists, it didn’t make sense for anyone else to have the authority over our relationship. We surprised our moms by asking them to be our witnesses. For us, doing more would have added a lot of unnecessary stress and cost which would take away from the day instead of adding to it. We’re grateful everything felt genuine to who we were as people and a couple.

Bride and groom holding hands in the street.

Photo of the skyline with a palm tree.

Bride and groom celebrating with their = family and friends.

Bride and groom smiling after signing the papers for their elopement.

What advice would you give to our readers who are planning their weddings right now?

There are many ways to celebrate a wedding. Explore your options, be creative, and leave out things that don’t feel right.

Photo of the outside of Table Vine.

Photos courtesy of and copyright Azara Images used with permission.

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