Childhood sweethearts Elena and Andrew married in a late summer wedding at Wine & Roses Hotel, Restaurant and Spa in Lodi. The couple—who met in homeroom in seventh grade when they were 12 years old—got engaged during a trip to Santa Cruz with their friends. Everyone made a wish at a wishing bridge. After Elena made her wish, she opened her eyes and Andrew was on one knee.
Fast forward two years to their rustic and romantic wedding in front of 80 guests in Wine & Roses’ garden area. The bride’s aunt Jo Ann was the officiant, and Elena walked down the aisle to a soft acoustic version of “Wonderwall,” following Andrew’s cousins who walked down with a sign that said, “Here comes your Wonderwall.” “It was perfect and definitely made an impact on him,” Elena recalls. The couple wrote their own vows, which were moving, and concluded the nuptials with a unity ceremony involving a new lemon tree, which they’ll plant at their first home. The emotions of the day surprised Elena. “I had been with this man since I was 12 years old, and I felt like there was nothing we haven’t ever said, and no emotion I had not felt with or toward him already,” she says. “But on that day, I felt things I had never felt and heard things I had never heard.”
Andrew was overwhelmed by his bride’s secret serenade. “After the toast, Elena actually surprised me, which never happens, with a song she had written and performed for me acoustically,” he says, explaining, “I will never forget how I felt when her voice cracked, holding back emotion, as she sang the ending lines of the song: “A love like this is rare I’m told, but with you I swear I’m growing old, and baby I hope you know, we’ve got a long way to go. But for now I’m here, singing to you my dear, it’s my favorite year…in September.”
The color palette of seafoam blue, white, gray and green was showcased throughout the wedding, especially to create “the aura of a fairy tale,” says the bride. Completing the fairy tale, Elena wore seafoam blue heels as an interpretation of a glass slipper and dazzled in her princess dress, but there was one problem. “My dress was so darn fluffy that it somehow made contact with one of the candles on the table and caught on fire!” says Elena, noting she didn’t even realize the dress caught fire. “I walked away as the groomsmen frantically put it out!”
After a honeymoon in Maui, Elena and Andrew, both entrepreneurs, are living in Sacramento but plan to move to Hawaii in the near future.
— Kristen Castillo
Elena & Andrew's Wedding Resources
Kanai A Nalu in Maui, Hawaii
"So Close" by Jon McLaughlin
"My Girl" by The Temptations
Grandmother/Grandson Dance: "Hallelujah, I Love Her So" by Ray Charles