Marissa and Anthony’s engagement story could be right out of a movie. The couple originally met through mutual friends and reconnected months later at a Saturday brunch. After two years of dating, Anthony, who works for the California State Assembly, proposed in the rose garden area of Capitol Park.
“We came up to a bench where there was a box with a big bow on it and a beautiful bouquet of flowers,” says Marissa, explaining inside the box was a book. “It was ‘our story,’” she says. “He had taken the time to put pictures together and write about how we met, things we had done and basically tell our story up to where we were at that point. I read every page as he sat next to me.” She continues, “[On] the last page, I read: ‘Marissa, will you marry me?’”
With a one-year engagement, “we had time to get prepared, save money and do the things we wanted to do before getting married,” says Marissa, who works for the California State Lottery.
The couple married in front of 225 guests in a traditional Catholic mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. They had a lazo placed over them by the bride’s grandmothers, a gift presentation from Anthony’s grandparents and a unity candle presented by their respective mothers. A mariachi band played as the newlyweds exited the church.
The couple had a first look before the ceremony, including reading their personal vows to each other. It was “intense and emotional,” yet fun and comfortable, says Marissa. “We both teared up and laughed with each other and it was really special for us.” Anthony agrees, calling the first look and private vow reading “the most intimate thing I have ever done,” he says. “I was anxious, nervous and eager, yet happy, to see how gorgeous she was going to look and what her reaction would be to my vows.”
Their 18-person wedding party included siblings and friends of the bride and groom. Marissa’a sister made stickers for the bride’s shoes that read, “Wifey for Lifey!” Marissa, who designed her own invitations, chose neutral colors accented by purple for a feeling of romance and glamour.
The reception at Scribner Bend Vineyards featured great food and wine. Marissa’s grandfather, a retired baker, made the wedding cake, which had lemon and banana flavored layers. “We wanted it to be white, classic and a simple design, and he did just that,” says Marissa. “We loved it.”
A funny moment? The maid of honor speech by Marissa’s sister. “She made a small speech and then busted out a rap for the remainder of it,” says Marissa, noting the rap was “hilarious and everyone loved it!”
— Kristen Castillo