Even fairy tale endings begin somewhere. For Marisol and Gabriel, it started in their childhoods, when his mother began dating one of her older cousins. Gabriel, then a tender age of eight, and Marisol, an equally innocent age of seven, found themselves fortuitously joined at the hip on park trips, bike rides and church-camp outings. “I always thought that he was the cutest little boy ever,” Marisol recalls, “but, of course, I never told him—or anyone. I was just his little sister’s friend and, of course, I had cooties.”
That’s not all she had; fate, too, was on her side. Flash forward seven years after the relationship between the childhood chums’ older relations fizzled, and destiny intervenes. Gabriel, now 16, and a new kid at an unfamiliar high school, crosses paths with 15-year-old Marisol, who musters up the courage to say hello. A friendship is rekindled and, after a few more bumps in the road, they start dating. And a few years later, an engagement comes at Point Reyes National Seashore in May of 2011.
Finally solidly bound for the altar, the sweethearts commenced with the business of hands-on planning their big day to be officiated by Marisol’s pastor since she was five. “He also remembered Gabriel from when he was a boy,” she says. “It was nice to have someone who was with us from the beginning, and who witnessed us grow into what we are today, marry us.”
Describing their wedding day as traditional with modern touches—think unity sand and a wishing tree instead of unity candles and a guestbook—Marisol says, “We definitely wanted something classy yet fun because, as a couple, we’re bright and happy.” Enter hints of youthful style, dashes of saturated pigment and unique trimmings like brooches that Marisol tucked inside her bridal bouquet. Botanicals figured prominently elsewhere, too, from florally-themed décor to mini-garden kits as guest favors. Credit the custom-created ethos for lending both class and close-knit familiarity to the occasion.
Romantic surroundings allowed singular moments to unfold—notably the memorable homage the couple staged for long-married loved ones who set examples to which the young couple aspire—and created space for the humorous to temper the sentimental. For Marisol, watching her dad “get his groove on” is etched in her memory, as is the sense of “letting loose” that grabbed hold of everyone in attendance.
Complementing all of the embellishments—including the bride, dazzling in an Alfred Angelo gown—and memories-in-the-making, was the feeling of pure couplehood. “Gabriel and I are true companions; we do everything together and support each other in everything too,” Marisol says. “We like to be silly, but also are a bit old-fashioned and strong believers in the simple things. We wanted to make sure that our wedding conveyed the spirit of our young love”—one destined to grow old. Adds Gabriel, “If you’ve ever seen the movie Up, Marisol is ‘Ellie’ and I’m ‘Carl.’ Marisol is the adventurous one and I’m her trusty sidekick.”
Marisol & Gabriel's Wedding Resources
- Tier 1: Chocolate with mocha cream filling
- Tier 2: Lemon sponge cake with lemon mousse filling
- Tier 3: White cake with fresh strawberries, kiwi and raspberries. All with fresh whipped cream.
- Bridesmaid bouquet: yellow mums (buttons), Yellow roses, white dahlias, and green immature hydrangeas
- Bridal bouquet: carnations, roses, tulips and white freesia
- Boutonnieres: yellow calla lilies
- I really loved our photographer, Wendy Hithe! Even though some moments of the wedding didn’t go as we had originally planned she handled the changes well and with professionalism. I absolutely love our wedding pictures! They’re so crisp and clear. Wendy was great to work with!
- We also really enjoyed Beat Fleet DJs fun personalities and skill in creating a fun environment!
- I would say start early and don’t leave everything for the last minute. A year or two years can seem like a long time to plan, but before you know it, it’s here!
- Also, if you are feeling a little overwhelmed, step back and don’t be afraid to ask for the help of others!
- Also, for the bride and groom, a little bit of advice passed down to me: enjoy the process of planning your wedding and enjoy being engaged. You are only engaged once and so make sure that you are having fun planning it! Don’t let it become so stressful that it isn’t fun and memorable anymore.