Kiersti and Chris are one couple that most certainly knows how to study well together. The two met while attending Whitney High School in Rocklin and have been inseparable ever since.
Although Kiersti, an Ohio native, was skeptical about finding a California guy who was a non-“mandals,” down-to-earth type, she’s now glad she was oh so wrong. As Chris was originally slated to attend a different school during the first year they met, both look back as it being purely God’s will that they ended up at Whitney together.
After about three years of dating, Chris decided to propose via a clever scavenger hunt that revisited places of memory in their relationship. Kiersti, however, just assumed it was an early birthday present. The perfect day ended with an amazing dinner at McCormick & Schmick’s and afterward Chris ordered dessert. That’s when she knew something was up (they never order dessert). Suddenly, he was on one knee and the big question was there, all spelled out in chocolate.
Setting out to plan for their day, Kiersti envisioned a look of timeless elegance and Tiffany-inspired colors. Family pitched in to hand-make the gorgeous place cards, stationery and favors, and Tiffany boxes filled with Buckeyes (chocolate covered peanut-butter ball candies) from a secret Ohio-family recipe.
During the ceremony, after Kiersti finished reading her vows to Chris, he—touched with emotion at her words—leaned in for a hug. “I presumed that he wanted to kiss me, which was way too early in our ceremony to be finalizing it with a kiss! So my reaction was to put my arms out in front of me and stop him from hugging me while saying, ‘No! Not yet!’” Uproar erupted from the guests at the tension breaker, which showed the couple’s funny side.
Other favorite moments were the sweet toasts by family members about how God had brought them together and the hilarious garter toss set to the Mission Impossible theme song. Instead of throwing the garter, Chris wrapped it around a Patriot’s football and threw it into the crowd of excited guys.
Looking back, “We had the most amazing day with the most amazing people. Even if things don’t go perfectly, you can’t worry about it,” the bride says.
Both advise other altar-bound couples to remember to enjoy the day and not get caught up in the little things. “Take your time and don’t rush into decisions,” she says.
They also recommend making a list ahead of time of all the specific wedding shots for the photographer, so you don’t have to worry about it the day of.
Post-ceremony, they whisked off to Maui where they had a blast snorkeling, traveling the Road to Hana and visiting the seven sacred pools.
The Toroks are both finishing their studies at William Jessup University and they admit to spending loads of time doing one activity a lot together: studying! It’s such a comfort to be able to understand where each is coming from, Kiersti says. But they also know how to relax and can often be found at the beach.
Kiersti & Chris's Wedding Resources
- The Red Bow Tie: 25 years ago, Kiersti's parents were married in Canton, Ohio in winter. The colors for their day were Burgundy and Black in contrast to the snowy winter scenery outdoors. However, Eric (the Bride's Father) didn't get the memo about the Burgundy, and insisted on wearing a bright red bow tie on the day of the wedding. Tammy, although unhappy, allowed it and now in all of their wedding photos there is a bright red bow tie staring back at them. Well, all leading up until Kiersti and Chris' big day, Eric kept pestering Kiersti telling her that he was going to ruin her color scheme (Tiffany Blue, Black and White) with another episode of the bright red bow tie. So, without any hesitation, he purchased a red bow tie and on the day of the wedding walked into Kiersti's bridal suite to surprise her with his newest purchase. Kiersti's face in the initial picture says it all—really?! Thankfully, Eric also got a nice silver tie that matched his tux, and didn't ruin the ceremony colors! But, not without scaring the bride, and snapping a few pictures.
- Ceremony Slip Up!: While I was reading Chris my vows, he got really emotional and was really touched by my words. Once I was done he was so overcome with emotion that he put his arms out around me to hug me. Well, I presumed that he wanted to kiss me, which was way to early in our ceremony to be finalizing it with a kiss! So my reaction was to put my arms out in front of me and stop him from hugging me while saying "NO! Not yet!" All of the guests died laughing and it showed them a more relaxed and funny side to our relationship—priceless moment!
- Take your time! Seriously, this is an enjoyable process and you need to take your time, look at your options, and don't make any quick decisions! One of the biggest blessings I had for my day was the fact that we had a year and a half to plan it. There wasn't a sense of rush or that I had to make a decision at any given moment. I had time to think about how I wanted my day, what I wanted to look like/feel like and enjoy all of those elements coming together.
- Be organized! I will never forget the first time I met my venue coordinator—every time we would ask a questions she would always answer it with, "Well, the organized bride gets what she wants, and the organized bride would do it this way..." But that advice was so true! The organized, detail oriented bride gets what she wants. This may sound crazy, but between me and my mom we had about 5 wedding binders! Having it all laid out and easy to access not only saved us time, but it made our visits with vendors so much simpler and smooth. So much of the tension that comes from planning the day has to do with lost paperwork or games of he said she said and such. Having everything in writing, organized, and at the ready relieves a lot of tension—take my word on it!
- Enjoy your day, on the big day! You only get one day—don't ruin it by being upset! Yes, something will go wrong. Things will be late, they won't look how you envisioned, your dress will feel weird the first time you put it on, but at the end of the day all that's going to stick with you is how wonderful it is to be with your best friend forever! That was one thing I had to keep telling myself leading up to the wedding. I am a perfectionist! I need things to be so detailed, so consistent, so predictable that I was so afraid that I was going to loose it on my wedding day. But with a few deep breaths, and some of the best friends and family, I was able to enjoy every single mistake and victory of the day. All I remember now has nothing to do with the negatives—it has everything to do with all perfect my day was. Get a positive mantra and say it to yourself every day leading up to your wedding.
- Make a list of all the wedding pictures you want and give it to your wedding photographer before the big day, that way you don't miss any of the pictures you want! It was so wonderful to be able to hand over all of my desired photos to my photographer and let both of them take control. That way no one was worried about making sure we got a photo with grandma, or if Bob was in a shot with so-and-so - the photographers had it under control and I was worry free!
- Have someone in charge of your honeymoon suitcases and all of your belongings that you bring to the venue the day of. That way, when the last dance is called and you and being swept off your feet to start happily ever after, you're not worried about your makeup bag being left in the bridal suite, etc.