The Couple:
  Marissa & Justin

Wedding Date:  September 22, 2012

Photography by Lyndsay Undseth Photography

Tell us a little about you and your beloved:  We jokingly call our wedding the greatest show of bipartisanship Sacramento has seen in years.  Justin’s a Texas-born Republican and I’m essentially a California Democrat. In many ways, we couldn’t be more opposite.  We met working for Governor Schwarzenegger and initially couldn’t stand each other. Somewhere along the way we managed to figure out that we had the important things in common and fell in love.  There must be something in the water in the Capitol  —  three other couples from that administration are either married or engaged.

What was the most amazing part of your day?  Making the commitment to build a life together surrounded by family and friends and then celebrating with them was so incredible.  It was really important for us to have a ceremony grounded in faith, that focused on our commitment to God and each other… and then to have a hell of a party.  We like to think we accomplished both!

What else would you like to share about your big day?  He proposed with a beer cap — Lone Star beer comes with puzzles on the cap and I love puzzles.  He had one custom-designed to read “Will you marry me?”  Once I figured out the puzzle I said yes!  We brought this into our wedding by having the place cards and table numbers be puzzles from Lone Star Caps and the corresponding answers.  I think everyone managed to sit in the right place!

We decided to do a “Texas Country Cocktail Hour” with Texas-themed cocktails, Texas beer and a live country band.  It was a hit — and a nice nod to Justin’s roots.  The Buck Ford Band was so popular with all our guests — everyone wished that they’d played longer.  Having the day captured by Lyndsay Undseth Photography was important for us — Lyndsay has such a great feel for the important moments and relationships.

We live in San Francisco, but given the number of out of town visitors we had flying in, the consistent weather and the ease/proximity of everything Midtown,  Sacramento was a great place to have a wedding.  Plus, meeting, starting our relationship and getting engaged there made it a particularly special place to for us.

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Ceremony Site:  St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. One of the first organized parishes in Sacramento.  We loved the history of the church, their strong commitment to Sacramento’s midtown community and the simple but beautiful interior.

Photographer:  Lyndsay Undseth Photography

Videographer:  Ryan Rigley

Reception Venue:  Elks Tower Ballroom

Hair:  Lindsey Koutz for Mirror Mirror Salon (also a bridesmaid!)

Bridesmaids’ Attire:  J. Crew

Invitations:  I designed our entire invitation suite after being inspired by a template I purchased from Etsy seller Swell & Grand, and had them printed locally.  My favorite part was our response cards which said “Wouldn’t miss it for the world” or “Regretfully secede from this union.”

Flowers:  Karen Silva Designs — Karen is wonderful, our flowers were gorgeous and she is one of the most thoughtful, accommodating vendors I have ever worked with personally or professionally.

Caterer:  RoliRoti Gourmet Rotisserie — we wanted hearty, delicious and fresh but not fussy food.  RoliRoti is a mainstay of the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market and the SF Food Truck scene.

Cake:  Lovely Layers Cakery

DJ/Entertainment/Band:  Band: Buck Ford Band, DJ: Julien Marquez, DreamSound

Favors:  Blackberry Jalapeno and Apricot Reisling Jam, made with love (and a few bad words) by the bride and bridesmaids.  I grew up making jam with my mom every summer and thought it was a fun way to incorporate more of our Texas/California story with the jalapenos and wine.

Photo Booth:  Jensen Photo Booth

Honeymoon Location:  Maui, Hawaii / Todos Santos, Baja Sur, Mexico

First Dance Song:  “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)” by Otis Redding

Any other of your wedding vendor(s) you’d like to call out?  Conway Creations staffed our event and Stacey was incredible!  The 4th Street Grille was where we hosted our rehearsal dinner — the private room is perfect for groups and the food is delicious and affordable.  Finally, The Citizen Hotel in Midtown is so accommodating and has top-notch amenities and staff.

Any advice you’d give to our readers who are planning their weddings right now? 1. DIY is not for the faint of heart and it isn’t always cheaper — so be selective about what you do yourself. 2. Be a team, play to your strengths and let go — there’s something pretty adorable about watching your fiance rubber stamp return addresses. They weren’t all perfect, but it was one more thing off my plate. 3. Don’t be all wedding all the time. That’s crazy talk. Go out to dinner or drinks and be something besides THE BRIDE. 4. Most importantly, don’t forget to stop and remind yourself why you’re doing this — to celebrate starting the rest of your life together.

From the Groom: Enjoy the entire process, if you do it right, you’ll only do it once in your life. And especially enjoy the wedding weekend. Worry more about spending time with friends and family, and less about the actual wedding.

Anything that you would have done differently if you were given the chance? I don’t regret not having a wedding planner, but in retrospect, it would have been helpful to have a coordinator for the days leading up to and the day of our wedding.  There were a lot of moving parts and I wish I had hired someone who I trusted to make decisions for me that I didn’t have time to make.  Thankfully, an amazing friend of ours stepped in the day of to keep the trains running on time.

Photos courtesy of and copyright Linday Undseth Photography.

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