The Couple: Jessaca and Billy Downing
Wedding Date: June 11, 2011
Photography by Shoop’s Photography
Tell us a little about you and your beloved: Jessaca and Billy meet in Sacramento in 2005 through mutual friends. Despite Jessaca’s work taking her to San Jose, and then to Los Angeles, they maintained a long distance relationship for two years until Jessaca was able to relocate to Sacramento for good.
Jessaca graduated from Sacramento State University with a degree in Social Work, and Billy graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a degree in Sociology. We enjoy traveling to London to watch Arsenal Football Club play at Emirates Stadium, visiting the Napa Valley and having lunch at Solage where we were married, or just relaxing at home watching Harry Potter movies.
Jessaca works for The Association of California School Administrators helping to organize educational seminars across the state, while Billy is the Managing Director of The ESM Group, an educational services firm that works with students across the world on how to navigate the college admissions process.
What was the most amazing part of your day? We both agree that our most favorite part of the day was our first dance. It was a song that we love and it was the absolute perfect choice. When we danced it just seemed like the world disappeared and that we were the only two people in the room. I sang in his ear and he held me so close it was as if nothing could ever separate us. The moment was so intimate and so magical that we will never forget the feelings we shared on the dance floor: utter joy, absolute faith, indescribable love and such incredible friendship. When we were finished dancing our guests were enamored. Many were crying and all night we heard them say that they could not take their eyes off of us during our dance, they could feel our love for each other and it had moved them just as it had moved us.
What else would you like to share about your big day? We chose Solage because of the amazing cuisine that they serve. Often times wedding food is just so-so, but having a meal that people would remember (in a good way) was really important to us. Solage came through 100 percent. I have never seen so many empty plates and our friends and family are still saying that it was the best lamb they have ever had.
Ceremony Site & Reception Venue & Caterer: Solage Calistoga
Photographer: Shoop’s Photography
Videographer: Razor Byrne
Wedding Planner: MAP Events
Cake: Perfect Ending
Flowers: Cherries Flowers
Favors: All the materials were sent in from Greece.
Wedding Dress: Priscilla of Boston
Bridesmaid Dresses: Nordstrom
Hair: Tobias from Sugar Salon
Makeup: Jessica Palmer
Invitations: Laura Hooper Calligraphy
DJ/Entertainment/Band: DJ Chris Fox
Photo Booth: I assembled the photo booth with various items I had and I found a large frame and painted it gold at this awesome vintage shop is Sacramento called Summer Porch. Luckily the florist had two amazing vintage chairs and shepherd hooks to hang the frame from. I created a photo album for guests to stick Polaroids in and I also purchased props from MustacheGlass and a guest book banner from 2PerfectionDecor.
Honeymoon location: London and Mykonos
First Dance Song: “Magic” (itunes session) by Colbie Caillat
Any advice you’d give to our readers who are planning their weddings right now? Just enjoy every moment because it truly flies by. One thing that we did that we were so happy about doing was taking pictures before the ceremony. Our photographer set up a private moment for Billy and I to meet in a secluded location. She called it our “first glance.” This gave us an opportunity to exchange gifts that we had for each other and to just be alone together for a few moments. It was the only time we had alone for the entire day. After the ceremony we did take a few pictures with family and the bridal party, but we were able to attend the cocktail hour and say our hellos and thank yous to our guests, which meant we were actually able to enjoy the incredible dinner prepared by Solage.
Anything that you would have done differently if you were given the chance? Nothing! It was perfection!
Photos courtesy of Shoop’s Photography.
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