Marie and Mike’s love story could be straight out of a romantic movie. Both from California, they met in London where Mike was living and Marie was starting her solo backpacking trip across Europe.
Marie’s father hadn’t told her, but he emailed several of his friends for European travel recommendations and one of those friends emailed Mike. Marie and Mike met for a drink and the encounter turned into a 12-hour sightseeing tour across London. They liked each so much that Marie delayed her plans to visit Ireland for a week and instead extended her time in England.
In meant-to-be fashion, as she prepared to fly home, Mike was flying back to California for a conference in Sacramento. Over the next year, Marie traveled to England to visit Mike and the couple met up for travels in Spain, Mexico, Arizona, Utah and New York City. A year later, Mike moved back to California and another year later they got engaged.
After an 11-month engagement, they married at the Good Shepherd Catholic Church. Marie loved walking down the aisle with her parents to meet Mike. “We grasped each other’s hands,” she says. “It was definitely a very cool moment like, ’This is it! We did it!’”
The couple worked with planner Jenn Robirds Events for their ceremony and their reception, the latter which was held at The Willow Ballroom and Event Center.
“We really wanted to make sure our family could be there and to make the weekend easy for everyone,” says Marie, noting she and Mike hired a 56-person bus to transport their family from the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel in downtown Sacramento to the ceremony then reception.
Marie honored her grandfather, who was a beloved accordionist for Italian weddings and other special events throughout the Central Valley. The newlyweds played a recording of him performing “That’s Amore.” Marie says that was the most sentimental moment of the wedding day. Additionally, Marie’s cousin made cannoli using her grandmother’s recipe. “It was really special to incorporate my grandparents in our wedding since they are no longer with us,” she shares.
The fall wedding featured dark and moody colors like black, gold and maroon and their stunning black and gold cake was non-traditional and one of Marie’s favorite elements. Mike’s favorite part of the day was “seeing all of our closest family and friends together. It’s pretty rare that everyone gets together at once, so that was really neat.”
Looking back on their wedding, they and their guests will remember the dancing. “It was truly the best day and hands down the most incredible party we have ever thrown,” says Marie.
And in true romantic movie fashion, the couple honeymooned in London, where they recreated the first day they met.
Marie & Mike's Wedding Resources
Celebrations! Party Rentals and Tents
Celebrations! Party Rentals and Tents
• Four Seasons Resort in Marrakech, Morocco
• Como Metropolitan in London, England
• The W Hotel in Amsterdam, Netherlands
“At Last” by Etta James
“The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra
“A Mother’s Song” by T Carter
“Sugar” by Maroon 5
“Single Ladies” by Beyonce
“Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye
We had a black chocolate ganache cake that was fudge with coffee mousse on one level and buttermilk with chocolate mousse on another level.
We also had a cannoli bar that used the bride’s family recipe. My mom’s cousin made all the cannoli shells and filling herself and the caterer stuffed them. There were several toppings that guests could choose from – including roasted almonds, powdered sugar, chocolate and cherries.
I don’t recall types of flowers, but I wanted to make sure that they were very deep maroon!
My grandfather passed away three years ago. He was very well known in the Italian community in the Central Valley and would play his accordion for Italian weddings, celebrations and other special events. My mom took him to record and sing some of his favorite songs before he passed away.
We played one of his songs and danced to it during the wedding. The song was called, “That’s Amore.” You will notice when you see the photos of our escort display/seating chart, it says “That’s Amore” and on the menus they said, “buon appetito.” We also used my grandmother’s family recipe for cannoli, so we were able to incorporate a lot of Italian elements that reminded me of my grandparents even though they could not be with us for our special day.
I would have danced a little less and spent more one on one time with the guests. But I don’t regret it! I danced for hours and so did everyone! We heard from so many people that it was the best wedding music (lots of classic rock during cocktail hour) and people danced that normally don’t step on the dance floor!