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!”  

—Suzie Dundas