For sports-loving high school sweethearts Giselle and Joseph, nothing could sideline their relationship—not the challenges of school, not being in a long-distance relationship, and not even being on rival sports teams in college. With Giselle on the dance team at UC Davis and Joseph on the football team at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, these two sports fans found themselves cheering on rival teams all throughout college. Fortunately, they approached their relationship with the same amount of spirit and enthusiasm, and finally got engaged in 2016, after nine years of dating.

For Giselle, an adjuster for Allstate Insurance, and Joseph, a high school physical education teacher, their 10-month engagement flew by. They opted for a Sunday morning wedding at Vizcaya, and when it came to the ceremony theme, Giselle and Joseph kept it classic. They chose an elegant black and white color palette accentuated with delicate gold details, like vintage lanterns on the reception tables and an engraved gold cake cutter. They continued their color scheme through the celebration, including their cake, which they both felt was important to have at the reception. “Most of the weddings we attend have dessert bars instead of cakes. We felt strongly about having a traditional tiered wedding cake and it was definitely a hit!” says Giselle. They even came up with the design for their one-of-a-kind vanilla and chocolate buttercream cake themselves, and paired it with homemade cookies made by the maid of honor’s boyfriend. “They were gone in 60 seconds, along with the cake!” says Giselle.

Though Giselle’s favorite part of the ceremony was officially tying the knot—“I only waited nine years!”—her favorite part of the reception was something she holds near and dear to her heart, literally. During the speeches, Giselle’s mom revealed the giant “Be Mine” Valentine’s Day card Joseph made for Giselle a decade earlier, while they were still in high school. “He couldn’t believe I saved it all these years!” says Giselle. For Joseph, he fondly remembers watching the best man’s speech. “You never know how speeches will go,” he says, “but it was funny and special.”

Giselle and Joseph loved having a morning wedding. Not only did they not have any time to be nervous, but it also gave them plenty of daylight to drive around town and take photos in the vintage car they rented for their grand exit. As they left the reception and posed in the car, guests waived DIY’d wands covered in ribbons and bells to send them off.

From the first look to the cake cutting and everything in between, their wedding celebration ended up being everything they wanted. Though they’d had nearly 10 years of memories together by the time they tied the knot, their autumn celebration takes the (beautiful!) cake for being the best day of her life. “I felt the happiest I’ve ever been,” says Giselle. “We both couldn’t stop smiling.” 

— Suzie Dundas