The love story between Francisco and Amanda started almost like a romantic comedy: they met when Francisco teased Amanda about her “Where’s Waldo-”esque striped shirt in their high school chemistry class. They later started dating and shared their first “I love you” with each other as teens.
However, unlike a romantic comedy, there was no plot twist or problem to overcome; the two dated for 11 happy years before becoming engaged in front of the massive Ferris wheel at the California State Fair.
The two held a traditional ceremony at Vizcaya Sacramento—a venue Amanda describes as a “unique find in the heart of Sacramento.” They did add a unique element to the vows, however: a wine box ceremony, in which the couple each placed letters to one another. “On our fifth wedding anniversary, we’ll open our wine box and read our love letters and enjoy our wedding wine,” she says.
The reception included a popular international tradition, too, pulling from Francisco’s Mexican-American heritage: a garter toss set to “El Baile del Toro,” a dance in which the best man acts as a matador and the groom acts like a bull attempting to reach his bride. “We wanted our wedding to be a fusion of cultures. This is a fun dance!” says Francisco.
Amanda spent much of her wedding planning efforts on the décor in the reception venue, with a palette she describes as “light and airy with florals highlighting every table.” They both say, though, that in addition to focusing on the aesthetic elements, food was also a big factor, from the late-night street tacos to the cake, with both apricot and strawberry-citrus buttercream tiers.
While it’s not unusual for couples to feel a little exhausted and overwhelmed after the wedding, Amanda and Francisco say that’s not the case for them. “The following months were full of infatuation,” says Francisco. “We could not get enough of each other in any capacity by constantly dancing to our first dance song, reviewing photos from our honeymoon and wedding, and drinking the remnants of our wedding wine.”
They both loved the celebration but, like many couples, wish they had slowed down a bit to enjoy it more. “The months and weeks that lead up to your wedding go by in state of constant worry and anticipation for the things that need to be done,” says Francisco. ”My advice is always to slow things down as much as you can on your wedding day.” But he’s willing to admit that’s not always possible. “As they say though, time flies by when you’re having fun!”
Amanda & Francisco's Wedding Resources
Danielle Lucas (Bridesmaids)
Chalk and Design (acrylic menu for Bride & Groom)
California Flower Wall Company
Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa in Maui, Hawaii
“Strangers in the Night” by Frank Sinatra
“My Girl” by The Temptations
“Es Mi Madre” by Mariachi en Medellin
“Cake by the Ocean” by DNCE
“Dear Future Husband” by Meghan Trainor
“Hay Viene el Toro” by Banda El Recodo
“At Last” by Etta James
• Naked cake with buttercream frosting and blue drips
• Buttermilk cake with strawberry and citrus buttercream (top tier)
• Buttermilk cake with apricot buttercream (bottom tier)
• Garden Rose
Wedding tips from Amanda:
Hire vendors that will elevate your event. Trust your team, make a timeline and try to relax. Choose things that make you happy and throw away all preconceived notions of what a wedding should be. Remember you are unique and so is your love, your day will never be like anyone else’s. Lastly, if you get overwhelmed, take a moment alone with your spouse and embrace the love around you two. Your wedding goes by so fast but these special moments will last forever.
Wedding Tips from Francisco:
Embrace every moment of the wedding planning process. From picking table linens to working on seating charts to planning your honeymoon, every step of the process will be eventful. Have fun planning your wedding and on those long nights where you and your soon-to-be spouse are crunching your budget, make sure you pick up your wife and randomly start dancing to your first song in your living room. She will love spontaneity and after all practice makes perfect. Smile often and laugh even more together because this is the first day of the rest of your lives together.
Our wedding was on one of the hottest days in June, during a heatwave. Because I was worried about ruining the atmosphere, I elected to not put out the umbrellas. We bought fans, put out water and the ceremony was to start in the evening. It was still too hot for our guest and our wedding party. Thankfully we were all hydrated but if I was to do it over, forget the ambiance bring out the umbrellas.