Sacramento Weddings

In 2009, Ashleigh began working at a post office right next to the fire station where Frank was employed. “Before work, I [would jog] around the post office and then go by Starbucks for coffee,” she shares. “The second week into my routine I saw Frank at Starbucks. The second I saw him something inside told me he would be significant in my life.” After a few weeks of smiles, polite “hellos” and doors being held open for her, Ashleigh finally got the nerve to ask him to lunch. From then on they were inseparable.

To throw Ashleigh off track, Frank made up a story about his co-worker wanting to upgrade his wife’s wedding ring for their 20th anniversary, so the four of them headed to the San Francisco JewelryMart, where Ashleigh’s grandmother is a member. “Frank and I had been together for four years and occasionally talked about marriage, but we were in no hurry because everything was so perfect,” she shares. “When we got into JewelryMart, Frank told me to pick out the diamond I wanted,  because he had spent the last four months trying to find out what I liked and finally gave up. It was such a surprise, and Frank is not a man who can keep a secret, so it was pretty unexpected.” Frank officially proposed to Ashleigh after asking her father, grandfather and nine-year-old son for their blessing.

“We planned on half of the budget to be for the food,” says the bride of their wedding planning priorities. “We decided that instead of cutting out things we really wanted for the reception we would focus on keeping the guest list reasonable [and opted] to invite the loved ones and friends who we spend time with and give them an amazing celebration.” Ultimately, the couple split the ceremony and reception between different days.

They exchanged vows at the San Francisco City Hall, where Ashleigh’s grandparents and aunt and uncle were also married. “We shared the ceremony with 11 people,” she says. “It was very intimate and special. After one-and-a-half hours of pictures, we decided to take a cab to the hotel. While we waited, we sat on the steps of city hall in a wedding dress and a tux…it was so relaxing to be able to just sit without a care in the world and watch the city go by.”

The reception was held at The Firehouse Restaurant. “When we walked into the courtyard, it took my breath away,” remembers Ashleigh. Frank was also amazed at how beautiful everything was. In lieu of a DJ, they booked a vocalist. “Gary sounded like Frank Sinatra,” the bride adds. “The whole night felt like a movie.

—Darren Elms