Apparently the “cootie shot” Natalia got when she was in elementary school worked, because instead of catching “cooties” from Zach, she caught the love bug. The friendship that sparked in second grade is one that has proven to stand the test of time. Five years after Natalia and Zach decided to turn their friendship into a relationship, Zach popped the question on a special date. Though the proposal was not flashy, Natalia describes it as “perfect” since it meant that they were finally getting married.
Like many girls, Natalia had been thinking about her wedding long before the engagement. Since the couple decided on a short, three-month engagement, the bride-to-be was glad that her planning was well underway. While all of the details and decisions became overwhelming at times, it was finalizing the guest list that proved to be the most stressful. The couple had agreed on an intimate wedding of 50 guests, which meant that they couldn’t have everyone they know and love present.
Aside from small and intimate, Natalia and Zach wanted a celebratory time; they wanted their guests to enjoy a romantic atmosphere without anything feeling too uptight. Natalia thought that a balance of romance and rustic would accomplish this goal. She was right. The handmade touches—including the necklace and bracelet that she donned (made personally for her by her maid of honor)—also helped her dreams come true. We especially loved the favors, which were Mexican wedding cakes made by Natalia’s mother, paired with coffee beans, and sealed with adorable stickers designed by another one of the bride’s friends.
The day itself was exactly what the couple had hoped for: “A day filled with hugs, love, laughter and happy tears.” A few hiccups along the way turned into great memories. Natalia lost her veil two days prior to the wedding, which proved to be a blessing in disguise since it was an incredibly windy day—the bride was grateful that she didn’t have a long veil to contend with while taking pictures. And the pastor just happened to call Zach by the wrong name during the ceremony, but it gave everyone a good laugh.
The couple’s first dance was the highlight of the day. It felt like the first few moments of calm that they had together as husband and wife, and they will never forget it. The bride says, “It was wonderful just taking a moment to just dance with my husband in the middle of the madness.”
At one point during the reception, the bridal party headed outside to get some fresh air. We just huddled all together, laughing and joking. I remember looking around and just feeling so blessed that these were the people we had to support and love us. All in all, a perfect day.
First Dance Song
Then by Brad Paisley
Father/Daughter Dance Song
I Loved Her First by Heartland
Mother/Son Dance Song
Mama, I Love You by the Spice Girls
Cake Cutting Song
How Sweet It Is by Michael Buble
Bouquet Toss Song
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper
Garter Toss Song
Harlem Globetrotters Theme Song
Details about the cake
I chose two kinds of cake. Chocolate (which is my favorite) and a yellow cake for the non-chocolate lovers. The chocolate cake had a chocolate ganache frosting while the yellow cake had a yummy vanilla buttercream frosting. Pleasing everyone is impossible, so we just did the best we could.
Details about the flowers
I really had no clue what I wanted as far as flowers. I relied heavily on my florist Cheryl from Accents by Sage to give me guidance. She did a wonderful job of helping me find out what exactly I liked and what I didn’t like. We ended up going with white and blue hydrangeas, white anemone flowers, babies breath, and a few roses. They looked gorgeous!
Details about the favors
We had little brown paper coffee bags with a window filled with Mexican wedding cakes (made by my mother) and coffee. There was a sticker that my friend Ashleigh Altizer made that played off the Starbucks (where I work and where we both love to go) logo but instead of the siren, it was the Siren and a male figure, and around the outside it said “Zach and Natalia” with our wedding date. My cousin (who was also a bridesmaid) helped me put them all together. She also glued pretty paper to all of the mini closthespins we used to secure the bags.
Anything else you’d like to share about your wedding?
I cannot say enough about our photographer Kim from Kim J Martin Photography. Since we had such a small wedding it was imperative and non-negotiable that I had a photographer that would be able to capture all the love and joy from that day so that I could share it with those not able to be there. I got all of that and more out of Kim. She was so helpful, supportive, understanding, and I never had a doubt that the pictures would be anything less than amazing!
Any tips you’d give brides and grooms planning their wedding today?
Try to remember to not stress out.
The best advice I got while planning my wedding was this: Even if everything goes wrong on your wedding day, you can still consider it a perfect day if you end up married to a person who completes you.
So when the day of our wedding came I made the decision to forget everything that could go/was going wrong. So what if I had no idea where my veil was? Or if the day turned out to be insanely windy? I focused solely on the reason for the day. I was marrying my best friend. I was surrounded by people who loved me and who I loved. That was what was important.
Real Weddings Magazine is the most widely-distributed wedding magazine in northern California, and features the very best Sacramento and Tahoe weddings, ideas, inspiration and resources to help you plan your most perfect wedding day!