Sacramento Weddings

It’s a Portuguese love story written in California. When a mutual friend set Patricia—who was born in Faial Island in the Azores and emigrated when she was just two years old—up with Gabe—who’s full-blooded Portuguese—she knew she had found the tall, dark and handsome man she’d been looking for.

Their shared heritage was just one of the bonds they quickly formed. She was drawn to how respectful he was, while he cites her kindness and penchant for sexy shoes as a few of the things that first caught his eye.

They dated long-distance for the first year and half of their relationship before Gabe decided to be closer to his “Portuguese honey,” in San Jose. It was on a stormy day just five months later—during a family trip to Patricia’s birthplace—that Gabe proposed. As the pair stood at the foot of a Virgin Mary statue, on a hilltop overlooking beautiful downtown Horta, Gabe’s two sons captured the moment.

Though Patricia did most of the wedding planning herself, some of her fondest memories are of spending time with her bridesmaids—who helped create the charming homemade fleece blankets that served as cozy favors for wedding guests.

Coming up with the list of friends and family who’d get to snuggle up with those blankets proved to be a difficult task, though. “We are both Portuguese and most of our families have had 400-plus guests at their weddings. We knew we wanted something much smaller and it was difficult getting the list down. [We are] blessed with so many loved ones around us—everyone wanted to be at our wedding,” Patricia says.

The intimate affair was held at The HideOut, a private property where the bride and groom stayed for four days with their closest friends and family—enjoying the huge man-made hot tub nestled into the rocks for an incredibly relaxing stargazing session, and even paddling out into the lake together (wedding gown and all) in the ultimate romantic moment.

With so much natural beauty around them, the simple elegance of their big day was enhanced by one of Patricia’s favorite details. “I was obsessed with the hanging string lights from the trees,” she confesses.

The entire event came together beautifully, and the ceremony was full of faith and love—as the couple poured paint on a canvas with Gabe’s sons to symbolize the unity of their newly formed family. They continued to celebrate with plenty of dancing (they actually ran out of music) and an ice cream sundae bar, along with a host of Portuguese treats made by family and friends.

With their special day now behind them, they’re looking forward to “falling in love more and more each day as we grow old together,” and “exploring the world together one country at a time.”

—Jennifer Resnicke