Danielle was back in Roseville after graduating from college in San Francisco and decided to take her mother out to lunch. When she arrived at her mom’s office, Danielle was introduced to another employee, Matt, also a recent college grad who had been living in Davis. But it wasn’t until six months later—at the office’s holiday party—when the two struck up a conversation that lasted an entire night…and blossomed into a lifelong love.
On the couple’s first date at Mel’s Diner, the chemistry was instant, and natural. “We were talking about where we saw ourselves in the next several years and our lives just seemed to fit together already,” Danielle says.
On the final day of 2011, Matt took Danielle on a picnic to a special park where cotton-tailed rabbits hopped around, unfazed by the onlookers. Matt pretended to set up the camera’s timer, but instead put the camera on video mode and proceeded to propose to his future bride.
The wedding took place in early summer at Sienna Restaurant in El Dorado Hills. With the idea of intimacy in mind—there were 84 guests in attendance—the restaurant’s private back patio served as the perfect setting for the ceremony and reception.
The ceremony, though mostly unreligious in nature, took place under a chuppah, and the cloth used to make the traditional Jewish marriage canopy was from a tablecloth belonging to Danielle’s late grandmother. “I thought I would be more emotional at the ceremony,” says Danielle, “but I was so excited that I couldn’t stop smiling.”
The couple had about a year and a half to plan the event, but everything was just ideas and hypotheticals until about nine months out. “When Danielle walked down the aisle, it was the culmination of all of the planning and effort that we had put into making this day so special; at that moment I felt like the luckiest man in the world, to be able to spend the rest of my life with her,” says the groom.
Guests were greeted in the cocktail area with framed photos taken in a photo booth at the couple’s engagement party. Above the patio hung a draped cloth tent, which boasted an elegant chandelier. Below were tables topped with jars and mercury glasses filled with succulents, moss, peonies and yellow craspedias. Each place setting included a take-home potted succulent—grown by the groom’s father and stepmother—adorned with a monogram designed by the bride. Placed around the patio were small, moss bunnies to represent the engagement and Danielle’s love for animals. Other personal touches included hand-painted signs and handkerchiefs hung on clothespins for guests to dry their “happy tears.”
“I was surprised at how smooth everything went. The weather was fine, the food was perfect, and there were no catastrophes,” Matt says.
“I was so excited to be marrying my best friend and wouldn’t have changed a thing about the day. I was relaxed and enjoyed every minute,” Danielle describes.
Danielle & Matt's Wedding Resources
Ho Hey by the Lumineers
Peonies, succulents & craspedias.
• Our wedding coordinator, Mary Young, through Sienna was phenomenal. She was one step ahead of us starting the week before the wedding and throughout the whole night. We are so grateful for all her hard work.
• We also loved staying at the Enchanted April Inn. The softest sheets we've ever slept in. The scenery was beautiful and the amenities were luxurious.
Be flexible and open to taking advice from your vendors. If you get along with your vendor and trust them, they will take care of you and make sure your day runs smoothly.
I would have woken up earlier and started my makeup and hair earlier. I felt rushed up until the ceremony!