“It was a stressful day and when I saw him the stress went away and I just took in the most important part of the day, my husband,” says Keri, who married Toshi in front of 85 guests at Studio 817.

The couple met six years ago when she was a barista at a coffee shop where he stopped for a daily caffeine fix.

They got engaged on a beach in Fort Bragg. Keri was on vacation with her family and didn’t know Toshi had driven there as a surprise. He had written, “Will you marry me?” in the sand. The tide was quickly rising and nearly washed it away before Keri saw it. “Toshi was hiding behind the rock, stressing out about the tide,” Keri says, explaining she saw the writing and “immediately turned around and Toshi was walking up behind me. The rest is a beautiful blur.”

A year and a half later, they said their “I do’s” under a birch arch that was covered with flowers and draped with blush pink linen. Two large white lanterns filled with flowers were on each side of the arch. The décor also included chiavari chairs for the ceremony seating and welcome signs with wedding party information, including all of their grandparents’ names. The bride’s father made a wooden cake box, which matched the farmhouse dinner tables.

Their wedding’s simple and elegant vibe was complemented by a blush pink and navy blue color scheme with copper accents.

Keri’s favorite detail was the olive oil thank you gifts, which matched the table number signs and the wedding invitations.

Toshi’s godfather officiated the ceremony and the couple wrote their own vows. Keri loved her husband’s vows, explaining, “he normally isn’t one for many words or emotions, but his vows were beautifully written and heartfelt.”

They personalized the ceremony by celebrating the groom’s ancestry. “Since Toshi is very proud of his Japanese roots, we implemented the Japanese wedding tradition called San San Kudo,” says Keri. “We invited both of our parents up early on in the ceremony and we shared saké for good luck and as a sign of respect for our parents.”

The couple made sure they had some private time too. “During cocktail hour, we came back early from taking photos and we cuddled on a couch in the reception area,” Keri says. “We spent 10 minutes enjoying each other’s company and looking around at our beautifully decorated wedding reception.”

Toshi says his biggest challenge was making sure Keri, who worried about the guest list, “didn’t get too stressed out from wedding planning.”

The couple enjoyed seeing their wedding vision come together. Toshi marvels, “how nice everything turned out, how beautiful my wife looked and how well behaved our daughter was.”

Their daughter Emery took over the dance floor. “She was hilarious with her little booty shake,” says Keri. 

—Kristen Castillo