Maggie and Kevin (whose nickname is Odie) first met when they were 12 years old—they even went to middle and high school together as well as college. But they didn’t get together as a couple until a mutual friend invited Maggie to join Odie and his friends to hang out and try new restaurants. Then they dated for nearly two years before Odie proposed during Maggie’s family’s Secret Santa exchange on Christmas in 2013.
The gift was “a digital frame that played out the timeline of our relationship,” says Maggie, who had been expecting a puppy, not an engagement ring. The last two photos? One showed Odie drawing “Will you marry me?” in the sand on their Hawaiian vacation, and the other image was of the ring Odie chose for his bride.
The couple married the following autumn in front of 280 guests at the Sacramento Grand Ballroom, in a dusk ceremony officiated by Odie’s aunt. Maggie’s mother and father walked her down the aisle, “since they’re both equally responsible for being the woman I am today, and Odie respects them both equally,” she says.
Maggie, a dental hygienist and Odie, founder and CEO of a mortgage and real estate brokerage firm, wrote their own vows. Odie’s vows were “memorable, funny and very touching,” says Maggie. “He spoke to me was as if we were the only ones in the room—it was very natural.” Odie loved the ceremony, which he says was filled with “laughter, happiness and love…from beginning to end, I thought it exemplified our personalities and love for each other.”
The couple honored family at the wedding by displaying generational wedding photos along the entrance. “All the marriages on both sides have lasted through the years, so Odie and I hope to carry on this tradition,” Maggie says.
Odie, a Japanese-American celebrated his heritage with 1,001 folded cranes for good luck, which were fashioned into a three-tier chandelier at the venue. Maggie honored her Chinese heritage by marrying on November 8, since eight is the luckiest number in Chinese culture. “Odie and I have grown quite superstitious of that number more so now,” she says, explaining that they gave their guests “Lucky 8’s” lotto scratchers as favors.
Since music is important to Odie, he made the entire playlist for the ceremony and the reception. Even the groom’s music history made the party: One of the rap songs he wrote years ago was used as the couple’s grand entrance into the reception. The groom’s favorite wedding detail was the custom monogram logo his friend created. “I thought it looked awesome projected on the back wall of the venue during our reception,” he says.
After a seven-day honeymoon to Costa Rica, the couple settled into their home in the same neighborhood where they both grew up.
First Dance Song
"I Will Always Love You" by Troop
Father/Daughter Dance Song
"Stand by Me" by Ben E. King
Bouquet Toss Song
"Pour It Up" by Rihanna
Garter Toss Song
"On to the Next One" by Jay-Z
Last Dance Song
"Cupid" by 112
Details about the cake
Serving sheet cakes were fruit basket and coffee crunch cake. Decorative cutting cake was Vanilla bean cake with swiss strawberry meringue butter cream.
Details about the flowers
All white flowers for centerpieces. Collection of hydrangeas, garden roses, tulips, lisianthus, football mums, roses. Boutonniere made with spray roses and eucalyptus buds. Brides bouquet of all white peonies. Bride's mother had blush garden roses.
Details about the favors
Muslin bags: Bride screen printed "for richer, for poorer" with custom logo at A1 Trading Company, stuffed with $1 Scratchers and a lucky penny.
Anything else you’d like to share about your wedding?
Help from friends & family:
Other than large pieces, all the DIY details were done by us. It took a lot of time to run around to collect items and think of ideas but in the end it all tied together just how we had imagined. This was truly made possible by all the efforts of close friends and family. We had a lot of contacts that helped in every detail and also in cutting costs and staying within budget. Kevin & I wanted to fund the whole wedding by ourselves and we were able to stay within budget because of all the help and creativeness of our friends. For example, the best man is the head chef for the catering company so that helped with menu selection. A guest offered to gift us the oysters for hor d’oeuvres. A friend’s coworker volunteered her time to take over delegation and day of planning. our good friend who sideshows as a florist as a hobby did all our flowers at cost. Everyone came the day before to help with setup and took off work to be there for us. It was a truly touching moment to look around and see the help that poured in and we never had to even ask.
We had a very unique incident. This ties in with things may go wrong the day of, but not to let it shake you. We had a very large canvas photo print for our guests to sign. We also had open bar throughout the night. I did think in the back of my head someone may do something stupid and draw on our faces instead of signing in the white designated space. Sure enough, a close friend came up to both Kevin and I individually to inform us he was in big trouble and needed to apologize. So in the middle of the dancefloor he informs me he drew a tribal tattoo on Kevin’s face on the canvas. Yep, a tattoo that matches Mike Tyson! I just took a deep breath and said it was ok, maybe we’ll laugh about it later and walked away. Kevin thought it was hilarious. My girlfriend’s immediately tried to think of ways to fix it, but after the hoopla calmed down we chose to leave it as is and see it as a memory, and to haunt the vandalizer in years to come. We know he felt really bad. So it does hang in our great room on the wall with a gold tattoo on the groom's face. It would’ve been so easy to get upset about it but it was already done so we rolled with it and now we don’t even mind.
We almost didn’t have a videographer to save on cost, but our florist knew of an old high school friend who had a business. He was less than half the price we thought we had to spend and he made a quality video that got rave reviews. They were extremely professional and skilled. They made the entire process so easy and really took the time to get to know us . We felt so comfortable and natural around them and it showed in the video. We love our video and are so happy to have this keepsake for years to come. They have received many inquiries for their services after posting our video. They deserve it!
Limo bus taxied our guests from the venue to our after party location, the Park Ultralounge where we had private booths reserved.
Engagement photo Canvas print for guest sign-in purchased from Fabness
Custom made drink stirrers with Washi tape by BG
Manzanita Trees: branches donated by acquaintances, then sanded down, spray painted silver, plastered into white ikea ceramic pots by Bride & Groom
Origami Crane 3tier chandelier: 1001 cranes folded [good luck in Japanese culture] by Bride & Groom, chandelier assembled by Origami Designs
Monogram Design custom designed by groom and Hironaka promotions
Custom photo booth backdrop designed by groom with custom logos
Photo booth props custom made by Niko Tudo
All centerpieces vases/glassware [~170] purchased from Goodwill stores. We spray painted them to have an antique silver look.
Any tips you’d give brides and grooms planning their wedding today?
Write down every quote and who quoted you when talking with vendors. I made sure to do this and when the quote changed they had to honor the original quote I received the previous month. I also noticed, everything is negotiable. We shaved hundreds if not a couple thousand off our total cost just by asking or negotiating terms.
To really enjoy the day and moment. It does pass by so fast and its easy to get caught up and pass you by. My bridesmaids made sure to check on me and I stayed calm to make sure I savored in the moment. I also made sure to not let anything, no matter what, ruin the day.
We chose to have a first look and to finish all pictures before the wedding was to begin so we could have time to enjoy our guests. We are so glad we did that because it was the only time Kevin and I got to spend time together and enjoy our wedding day together with some quieter moments. Once the wedding started and you're being pulled every which way, we didn't have a second to stop and enjoy it with each other. And we didn't feel it took away from a special moment of first seeing each other at the alter. It still was amazing to walk out and see him and all our loved ones at the ceremony and I still had butterflies. I look back and feel that I really did get to spend some quality time with my husband on our wedding day, which I hear isn’t always the case.
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