Justine and Edward’s families had been friends a long time. But it wasn’t until he moved from Los Angeles into his aunt’s house in American Canyon that the two got to know each other better. Six months later, they become a couple during a camping trip.
Fast forward to December 2018 when they got engaged in front of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Edward had already asked Justine’s parents for their blessing—they hid to catch the proposal on camera. The Golden Gate Bridge was significant for Edward since it symbolized starting a new life in Northern California.
The couple, who are both registered nurses, married nearly a year later. They choose their venue, Vizcaya Sacramento, for its warm garden lights and romantic vibe. The bride is a Disney fan and the dusty blue color scheme helped her vision for an enchanting wedding come to life.
Justine loved walking down the aisle with her father. Edward’s aunt officiated the wedding. “She rooted for us since the beginning,” says the bride, noting that that aunt’s daughter was the flower girl and passed out seven flowers as she walked down the aisle to represent the years the couple had been together.
The groom honored his father, who passed away when Edward was young, by having the bridal party enter to the Tarzan song, “You’ll Be In My Heart.” Edward’s dad often sang that song.
The couple’s fur baby, Buddy, wore a tuxedo and was the ring bearer. Justine and Edward had a love letter ceremony, where they both wrote letters to each other, to be opened on their first anniversary. They also asked their parents to write letters of advice about marriage and to write on the envelope what anniversary year to open it.
The newlyweds had their first dance near the end of cocktail hour, outside, surrounded by their guests with sparklers. During the reception, the couple also danced to NSYNC songs, “Bye Bye Bye” and “Pop” since they both loved the boy band when they were kids.
Justine’s favorite moment was the first look. “With so much built up anticipation and only talking to each other briefly on the phone, the butterflies in my stomach were stronger than ever,” she says.
“Doing the first look beforehand was great because we got to really enjoy the last few hours before our wedding together,” says Edward, who liked having the entire bridal party lined up before the ceremony. “The anticipation and excitement of knowing all our friends and family were waiting just around the corner, the music setting the mood, it was great build up to a memorable night.”
Justine and Edward did most of the wedding planning on their own. Still they’re grateful for the help from their venue’s event coordinator. They’re also appreciative of their event and floral designer, CL Décor, “She worked within our budget and knew we wanted to be practical. She also provided florals so it was definitely a win-win. We used the decorations from our ceremony and brought them into our reception—the vases with lights that lined the ceremony aisle and the bridesmaids’ lantern bouquets became centerpieces for the tables.”
“Because our families had already known each other for years prior, the reception was really a celebration where everyone was able to catch up with people they hadn’t seen in a while,” says Justine.
Justine & Edward's Wedding Resources
Chanpreet Kaur (did one of the bridesmaids)
Thy Vo, friend, did bridesmaids' makeup
Krispy Kreme Donuts
Sandals Grande & Ladera in Saint Lucia
“More than Words (Matoma Remix)” by Extreme
“My Girl” by the Temptations
“Mama” by Boys II Men
“Motivation” by Normani
“I Don’t Like It” by Flo Rida
“Bye, Bye, Bye” by NSYNC
Horchata cake with maple glazed donuts, cream cheese bread, and Ferrero Rocher chocolates
We didn’t have a particular flower we liked but knew we wanted some reds, whites, and lots of greenery.
Our dog Buddy was our ring bearer, and our flower girl passed out seven flowers to our guests as she walked down the aisle to represent our 7 years together before marriage. Instead of a grand exit, we had our first dance in an outdoor courtyard surrounded by our guests with sparklers. Our MC Ethan was amazing and definitely got the crowd going with our DJ Gio who really knew how to keep the crowd going! During our parent dances, we each had a slideshow of us growing up through the years in the background.
Take advantage of cloud based storage to keep things organized. We had a combination of Apple Notes, Google Docs, and Google Sheets to go back and forth on as different things popped up along the process. We wouldn’t always have access to a computer so being able to add things on the fly via our phone definitely helped.