The Couple: Melissa and Mark Mennucci
Wedding Date: November 6, 2010
Photography by:  Jenn Bartell Photography + Design
Tell us a little about you and your beloved:  We met each other 11 years ago at UC San Diego. We lived in the same dorm on campus our freshman year and had the same major, Structural Engineering. Our social and academic lives became quickly intertwined…there was instant chemistry! However, the timing was not right romantically because we were involved in other relationships. We developed a strong friendship for three years until one special night when everything changed…we were finally together! Though there were fireworks, we will spare you the details about that night.
After completing our undergraduate studies, we attended UC Davis together to complete our master’s degrees. Our career paths began, and I got a job in Downtown Sacramento, while Mark moved to San Francisco to pursue his music dream by trying to succeed in a rock band. Three years of long distance definitely was challenging…there were a handful of times where I thought we would not make it. Our love for each other was strong enough to carry us through these tough times, and Mark finally moved back to Sacramento.
In September 2009, we went on an amazing trip to New Zealand for three weeks. Mark proposed on a private beach in Abel Tasman National Park. We spent a day kayaking along the coast stopping off at various remote beaches. While relaxing on the sand for a lunch break, Mark pulled out a ring and proposed. It was spectacular! Can you believe Mark had the guts to bring the ring on our kayak over open waters? He packed the ring in a box in a ziploc bag in his jacket pocket in a waterproof kayak bag stored in the center compartment of the kayak. Once we departed the beach, I re-packed the ring in that same process…I was way too nervous to row back with the ring on my finger! Mark definitely scored some brownie points for that move.
What was the most amazing part of your day?  We absolutely loved our ceremony!!! Having an outdoor wedding ceremony in November on the coast was a little risky, but we really lucked out. The sun was shining and the waves were crashing in the background. We were married by our great friend Jeff, we were surrounded by our dearest family and friends, our friend Jake along with Mark’s brother Jon performed a special song they wrote, and our friend Doug recited a beautiful poem while a hummingbird hovered over our heads. The experience was truly magical!
What else would you like to share about your big day?Melissa let me hang my rock band banner (a silhouette of a flying pheasant with missiles under its wings) over our dance floor. This is a small representation of the type of person she is… she didn’t want that ugly thing hanging at her wedding, but allowed it because she loves me. Robin, one of Melissa’s bridesmaids, brought a microwave to her hotel room and made us all bean/cheese burritos at 2 a.m.…. that food saved our lives. There are many other memories like these that we will always remember… there was no way we were going to have a traditional stuffy wedding.

Ceremony Site and Reception Venue:  Timber Cove Inn
Photographer:  Jenn Bartell Photography + Design
Videographer: Hal Ballenger (Bride’s Uncle)
Wedding Planner:  Barb Gustafson
Caterer:  Timber Cove Inn
Cake: Costeaux French Bakery
Flowers: Garden of Weedon Designs
Favors: Korbel 187mL champagne bottles
Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero from J’aime Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses: Impressions from J’aime Bridal
Hair and Make-up: It’s a Date at the Powder Room
Invitations: Media Plus – Birchcraft Invitations
DJ/Entertainment/Band: declines to say as the couple would not recommend company
Honeymoon location: Caribbean Cruise
First Dance Song: “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica
Any advice you’d give to our readers who are planning their weddings right now? Take in every moment and appreciate every second of your wedding day. There is so much time and effort involved in preparing for your big day…once the day comes it absolutely flies by.
Anything that you would have done differently if you were given the chance? We wished we had a better DJ. At first we were going to have a friend do the announcements and play music on our iPod. After we attended several weddings prior to ours, we realized having a DJ would be less stressful. Mark found a guy on Craigslist for a fairly inexpensive price relative to the other DJ rates. Unfortunately he was late; he did a poor job with announcements (even though we gave him a typed script), and overall he was extremely unprofessional. A good DJ is worth the investment!
Photos courtesy of Jenn Bartell Photography + Design.

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