At the time Josh first met Cami, he was actually trying to score a date with her roommate. “She brought Cami along on the Fourth of July, and I took them both to the top of a building on campus, as I knew a bunch of friends that had access to watch the fireworks,” remembers Josh. “Cami and I started talking, and then a few days later I wrote her an impromptu song to convince her to come to a Shakespeare in the Park performance.” A couple of dates later and the pair became an item. “Funny enough, it caused a bit of a stir with the aforementioned roommate,” he adds.

If a song prompted a first date, you know the proposal must be something special. In October 2011, Josh snuck home while Cami was out on an errand to leave a note on their door before hiding out at a local coffee shop. The envelope contained a series of smaller envelopes, along with a note indicating the order in which they were to be opened. “This started her off on a scavenger hunt across Berkeley, following mildly tricky clues I’d left her,” he says. “First to the local grocery to grab a bottle of wine, then to a nearby chocolatier to pick up something sweet, and finally up to campus where I was waiting.” They met on the front steps, and walked up to the “Big C” in the hills. “We enjoyed our wine and chocolate and watched as the sun began to set, and then I told her to open the final envelope, which contained a note that said, ‘say yes.’ And she did!”

Both Cami and Josh note that their amazing parents offered a helping hand with the wedding preparations, allowing the couple extra time to focus on aspects that were most important to them. For instance, Josh homebrewed 20 gallons of beer, and Cami spent hours on an assortment of decorative elements, including a wall of colorful paper chains that became the backdrop for the sweetheart table during the reception. “We were definitely a little worried—in the days immediately preceding the wedding—about everything coming together in time, but it did, and the day couldn’t have gone better,” shares Josh.

“We were definitely a little worried—in the days immediately preceding the wedding—about everything coming together in time, but it did, and the day couldn’t have gone better.” says the groom.

The pair wrote the wedding script themselves, piecing together bits and pieces of things they liked from around the Internet, but still making it very personal. Highlights included a reading of the poem “On Marriage” from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, and the bride innocently pulling her vows from her décolletage on cue.

The reception was held in a large back yard above the ceremony area with a beautiful tent and colorful globes illuminating the party. At one point, the groom’s uncles decided to jump in the pool for a swim. However, right before the last dance, the couple realized that they hadn’t completed the marriage certificate, so they ran to get Uncle Chris, the officiant, out of the pool. “He jumped out, wrapped a towel around his waist, sat down on a flagstone bench near the pool and said deadpan, ‘step into my office,’” says the groom. “It was hilarious.”

At the end of the evening, the newlyweds walked down to a waiting town car, flanked on both sides by guests holding sparklers. “We actually got to run it twice, as the first time the end of the line hadn’t finished lighting their sparklers, so we took the opportunity to run back and do it one more time,” says Josh. “A crazy, wonderful day.”

—Darren Elms