Brenda and Patrick met at one of their church’s young single adult congregations in Newport Beach. “I was sitting in our Sunday school class, and Brenda, as adventurous as she is, came up to me to introduce herself,” recalls Patrick. “Small chatter ensued and an immediate mutual connection was made through my niece, Mariah. Little did we know that Brenda would then become her aunt. It’s a small world after all.”
The couple got engaged the following year on a bench at Castaway Park, a week before Brenda’s birthday. “We had one of our early date walks here, and it was where I did not, as Brenda says, ‘lay a big fat kiss on her,’” says Patrick. “Although a year prior on that bench an opportunity for our last first kiss was missed, our journey to be sealed for time and eternity began in total bliss.”
Brenda is Mexican and Patrick is Samoan, and the couple knew immediately that they both wanted a party. “Fusing both of our cultures was going to be fun to put together,” says the groom.
Brenda’s dad is a violinist in a mariachi group in Sacramento, and Patrick’s family come from a healthy line of Polynesian entertainers. “We were confident the entertainment portion would be covered for our celebration,” he shares. “We intertwined our cultures as much as possible and even did so with our faith.”
The marriage ceremony was held in the Sacramento Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. “It was an intimate and quiet ceremony with a small group of family and friends,” says Patrick. “Brenda and I made specific covenants, or promises, to God and each other that will seal us and our future posterity for eternity.” The second ceremony was an exchanging of rings held at the Rancho Roble Vineyards. “Here, we were able to include all of our family and friends that could not be inside the temple with us earlier,” he says. “Although we did not share any vows during this ceremony, we did publicly express our testimonies of devotion to God, each other and to our families.”
The party kicked off with the couple’s grand entrance accompanied by a live mariachi band. Patrick surprised his bride by singing “Hermoso Cariño” by Vicente Fernández with the Mariachi band; and Brenda then surprised Patrick and his family with the Taualuga, a traditional celebratory Samoan dance. Adds Patrick, “Both surprises just illustrate the mucho alofa [which means much in Spanish and love in Samoan, respectively] we both have for each other’s families and cultures.”
— Darren Elms
Brenda & Patrick's Wedding Resources
Sacramento California Temple
Royal Solaris Los Cabo in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
“Amazing Day” by Coldplay
“Abrazame Muy Fuerte” by Juan Gabriel
“You’ve Got a Friend” by Carole Kin
“O Le Taualuga” by Pacific Sol
Bride surprised groom and family with a traditional Samoan Money Dance,
and she dressed in a Traditional Samoan Puletasi attire handmade and tailored from Samoa.
“Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen
Naked white cake and donuts.
Tulips, white Statice, Monstera, seeded Eucalyptus, Orchids, Hydrangeas, white Oriental Lily, Premium Million Star Gypsophila
We believe that marriage and families are everlasting and do not end at death. Through all the memorable moments of our special day, there was none more special that being sealed to each other for time and eternity inside the Sacramento LDS Temple. There was no music, no confetti or a large gathering. It was an intimate and quiet sacred ceremony where we both made covenants (everlasting promises) to God and each other. Promises that will bind us and our future posterity for eternity.
Patrick: When it comes to who to invite or who to have in your wedding party, remember that pictures can say 1000 words. Just don’t let any of the words be, “who is that?” “what is _____ up to today?” “I haven’t talked to _____ in awhile” – meaning I wanted (to invite) those that we both have and would realistically be keeping in touch with frequently.
Brenda: Work from the Macro to Micro. All the little details should really be looked at last, because all of those add up. So when you start from the Macro, you really know what you have as a budget for the little things.
It was 105 degrees on our wedding day, therefore we wished we would have had more items to make our guests comfortable – like shade, cooling fans, ice and more ice. We wished we would have also purchased more time at the venue to alleviate the set-up and clean-up stress of our celebration. Thank you, Donna Ganyo and team, for doing the absolute best you could under the circumstances.