Ellie and Braydon first met in 2006 when she was a cashier at a market and he was “very flirtatious.” They became friends and started dating in 2010. Five years later, they got engaged during a camping trip in Rio Vista. A year after that, they married in a ceremony and reception at the (now-closed) Lincoln Farmhouse.
Ellie and Braydon celebrated with 185 guests. Their officiant, a close family friend, presided over the nuptials. “Our son (my stepson) was included in the ceremony and we made promises to each other as well as to him to uphold this sacred institution and keep it filled with love and support,” says Ellie.
She was most surprised by how emotional Braydon was during their first look. “My husband started crying when he turned around and saw me,” she says. “He just kept saying ‘I love you.’ He was in awe.”
When Ellie looked into Braydon’s eyes, she felt relieved and felt the stress melt away. “He hugged me and I was reassured that this was, thus far, the best day of our lives,” she says.
Braydon, whose favorite wedding memory was the first dance with his new wife, says, “My heart was full of happiness and joy in knowing that I would spend the rest of my life with her.”
The bride’s favorite memory focused on family. “Our son, he had the biggest smile on his face all day and was so handsome in his tux,” she says. “He came over to me after the ceremony, gave me a white rose and said, ‘Mom, you are beautiful.’”
Honoring family traditions was important to the couple: after their rehearsal, the groom, the father of the bride and the officiant opened bottles of champagne with a sword. “Essentially it meant passing the sword from the father of the bride to the groom to protect and take care of the bride,” Ellie explains.
Also, on their wedding day, they started their ceremony at half past the hour, “It has been said on my mother’s side that you should start a wedding at half past the hour because on a traditional clock the only place to go from there is up,” says Ellie.
Ellie credits her mother with planning and decorating for the wedding. The party featured timeless styling with a navy blue and gold color scheme, as well as great flowers and food. Plus for a sweet treat, the couple had a gelato food truck at the end of the night!
While, overall, the day was “beautiful,” there was one hiccup, “When the power went out right in the middle of my toast, I just laughed it off and upped my voice volume,” says Ellie.
— Kristen Castillo
Ellie & Braydon's Wedding Resources
Manava Resort & Spa in Moorea, French Polynesia
The most wonderful part was waking up that morning knowing that at the end of the day when I went to bed I was married to my best friend, and we had the most beautiful wedding to celebrate our love for each other.
Do not be afraid to say not to some things, and don’t hesitate to get crafty.