While Lara was working in Tokyo, Japan, performing for a Disney aerial show, Preston, a professional baseball player, was spending the season playing in the Nippon Professional Baseball league. “We actually met through Tinder Japan,” shares Lara. “After a few dates we both knew this was too good to be true!”
When Lara and Preston made the long trip from California to Cape Town, South Africa in 2018, Preston had an engagement ring tucked in the bottom of his backpack. After an afternoon of wine tasting and a nice dinner Lara entered their hotel room to dancing candle light and rose petals on the ground. Preston got down on one knee and popped the question.
The couple desired a vintage-style wedding. “We wanted our wedding to be magical and dreamlike,” shares Lara. They decided early on to do everything themselves to save some money. “Together we had a blast getting all the decorations,” says the bride. “We shopped at Goodwill multiple times a week to collect all the plates, utensils and table decorations to give it that vintage feel. We needed 120 so it took a lot of trips to all different locations but it was tons of fun.”
Preston’s cousin, a local youth pastor, officiated the wedding. “Besides the beautiful weather and location, the most special part was looking around and seeing people from literally, all over the world,” says Lara. “I had friends and family from South Africa, as well as Australia, Japan, France, The Netherlands and various parts of America. It really was emotional to see everyone come together from all corners of the world to celebrate our special day!” The couple also chose to write their own vows and saved them along with a special bottle of wine that they can open in five years’ time to reminisce.
They kicked off the reception with the first dance. Lara, coming from a lifelong career in contemporary dance, definitely wanted it to be special. Preston on the other hand, a “two left feet” kind of guy, was terrified. “We said for months we need to practice, to get it right, it had to be perfect,” says Lara. But in real life, the bride choreographed it the night before the wedding, and then the morning of the wedding, the couple practiced for 30 minutes then went back to getting ready for the big day. “We danced to Haley Reinhart’s rendition of Elvis Presley’s ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love.’ It was a romantic dance that really stopped the room. Preston actually remembered all the steps… almost.”
After the chaos of planning and getting ready for the big day, the couple says it felt like they hardly saw each other in the six weeks prior. “We wanted our wedding day to be about each other, and we can’t remember a moment the whole night that we weren’t right next to each other.”
Lara & Preston's Wedding Resources
Singapore and Thailand. Singapore we stayed at the Marina Bay Sands and the Vagabond Club. In Thailand, we stayed at the Koh Jum Beach Villas and The Tubkaak Boutique Resort in Krabi.
“Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Haley Reinhart
“That’s What Mama’s Do” by Jason Matthews
“How Sweet it Is” by James Taylor
“Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks
Lemon Cake with a blueberry filling
Featured flower was a lily in the bride’s bouquet with lilac roses and blue thistle
Prosecco filled chocolate balls in a small gold mesh bag, assembled by the bride and her mom.
• Our photographer was amazing. Most of our guest told us how awesome they were, just interacting and how professional they were. We enjoyed having them help us stay on track and Kris and Dee thought of everything!
• Addy’s Paella was amazing! They were the best choice we made to stay on budget but with the flavor and amount of food you could never tell. People raved about it, it was unique and smelled so good while they cooked it during cocktail hour.
• The Horseshoe Bar brought and served out of a refurbished horse trailer. It was our “splurge” because we booked them on a total whim at the Wedding Expo in Sacramento. They made the best cocktails and the whole communication leading us was awesome! Lauren was professional and the Bar was just the touch we wanted. People flocked to it and they pumped drinks out all night!
• Mike with Mr. DJ was great. We had a couple sit down meetings with him and he didn’t miss a detail. We didn’t get to meet Ivan, the actual DJ till the day of but we did speak to him through phone/email leading up. Mike made sure Ivan knew all the little details since it was on a personal property, and Ivan was great! He was a fantastic DJ, he even found a quick moment to check with Lara about a song that had been requested that was on our “dislike” list before he played it. He even helped serve champagne.
We both said after the wedding we made great choices with all of our vendors. They were a pleasure to work with and would recommend them all!