Johanna and Eric married on the perfect day: April 1. That’s the day of their first date and their anniversary a year later. The wedding happened on the seventh anniversary of that first date.
“The silliness of the April Fools’ holiday fits our personalities and gave us permission to be a little less formal,” says Johanna, explaining she and Eric originally met at Chico State, where they briefly dated. They met again five years later and have been together ever since.
They married in the courtyard at The Firehouse Restaurant in Old Sacramento.
Much of the décor came from the couple’s home. They did a lot of DIY projects too. They printed “April Fools” banners and letters for the tables; and they hand made the welcome sign. Johanna made all the flowers from wire and felt; Eric made wooden candleholders for the tables and he built the photo booth, including programming the screen interface from scratch. They also created clipboard activity kits for their youngest guests.
Most of their 125 guests were from California. Others traveled from Oregon and Utah. A family friend was the officiant.
Johanna “felt overwhelming relief and calm,” when she saw her groom at the ceremony.
Eric felt excitement: “The moment I saw her when she started walking down the aisle was the moment I could not stop smiling for the entire night.”
The newlyweds’ favorite moment came at the end of the ceremony, when they walked to the cobblestone alley behind the restaurant for pictures. “While we were there, we held and kissed each other,” says Eric. “I felt extremely happy and had so much love in my heart at that moment. I did not want to let her go.”
The bride and groom showcased their personalities in their attire. Johanna wore gold flats for the ceremony and then went mostly barefoot the rest of the celebration. Eric wore socks reading, “Today was a good day” that he bought the morning of the wedding!
Johanna honored family by wearing her grandmother’s bracelet and her great grandmother’s necklace. “We wanted to keep the focus on good food, good music, and family,” says Johanna, explaining they wanted the wedding to feel “like a big family party.”
The party included live music from Retro Jukebox Band. The groom even played drums during a song. “Everyone loved it, and it was an unforgettable moment for both of us,” says Johanna.
The wedding fun continued, especially when guests played April Fools’ pranks using props the couple left in a basket including whoopee cushions and hand buzzers. “Watching the kids dressed up in wigs and mustaches from the photo booth try to trick people with whoopee cushions was cracking me up all night,” says Johanna.
Eric laughed when guests sampled jelly beans, some of which didn’t taste great. “The kids kept taking them to people and saying, ‘Try this one,’” says Eric. “I loved the faces of those that got the gross ones.”
The wedding day was so relaxed for the couple, who honeymooned in Ireland. “It was extremely fun and went by way too fast,” says Eric.
— Kristen Castillo