Robyn and Jeff grew up only a few blocks from each other in the Sacramento area. “Although we went to different elementary schools, we both knew of each other through the Asian basketball league,” Robyn says. “We crossed paths during a history class in middle school. It was then when I developed my first crush for Robyn,” Jeff recalls. While in class, he passed Robyn the cliché note that said, “I like you.” Robyn kindly replied, “Thank you.” After about 15 years, the duo made the leap from friends to something more. They both realized their mutual feelings for one another, and from then on, their love story began.
While in Kauai at the Smith Family Luau, Jeff coordinated with the Smith family his plan to propose. After dinner, they invited guests to come on stage and learn how to hula, as most luaus do. Much to Robyn’s dismay, Jeff grabbed Robyn’s hand and brought her on stage. When the ukulele ended, Robyn quickly tried to exit with the rest of the volunteers, but Jeff proceeded to pull her back. That is when he got on one knee and asked for her hand in marriage.
Not unlike the Hawaiian sprit, the couple’s expectations for the wedding were pretty laid-back. One detail that did hold importance to Robyn was the flower selection. She knew she wanted them to be unique and simple but elegant in feel. “Lynda at Royal Florist was so attentive to every detail we expressed, and the outcome was exactly how I envisioned it,” shares the bride. She even took the couple to the San Francisco Flower Mart on two occasions so they could hand pick their flowers. Lynda also hand sewed all of the black and white bows for the aisles and for Robyn’s stunning bouquet.
The weather on the big day—which could only be described as “perfect”—was just right. Because they wanted it to be a surprise when Jeff first saw his bride, they chose not to do a first look. Although Robyn tried on dozens of dresses, the one she selected stood out because she knew it was the one Jeff would like the most. Once he saw Robyn, he thought she looked beautiful and had to hold back the tears. The couple selected specific songs to play during the ceremony, each with a special meaning to the couple.
An only child, Robyn dreamed of walking down the aisle with her dad all her life. They joked as they took the long walk down, but it wasn’t until right before they reached the guests when Robyn’s dad told her how proud and happy he was of her. “I held back the tears and thought, ‘I can’t believe he’s telling me this now,’” she says. Once they reached Jeff, Robyn’s father did it again and as he shook Jeff’s hand said, “You take good care of her.”
Prior to the wedding, Robyn and Jeff met with their reverend several times to discuss keys to a successful marriage. During those meetings Robyn and Jeff were asked to write two letters to each other: one about what it means to be best friends and the other about what it means to be husband and wife. With those letters, the reverend created their vows.
The ceremony and reception were held at Serrano Country Club. During the speeches, everyone that spoke shared a special story about the couple, making people laugh and cry. Jeff remembers a reception filled with friends and family having a good time.
“Everyone was drinking, dancing, socializing,” he says. “It was one big party and everyone was laughing and smiling. That meant the most to me,” Jeff says.
First Dance Song
Saving Forever For You by Shanice
Father/Daughter Dance Song
There You’ll Be by Faith Hill
Details about the cake
Two different flavors:
• White cake with Meyer lemon filling
• Marble cake with cream cheese filling.
• Simple design with buttercream and red anemone flowers decorated by the florist topped with two Precious Moments dolls in traditional kimono attire.
Details about the flowers
Flowers were very important to Robyn. She had a vision and her florist, Lynda, was able to make everything happen. Robyn & Jeff went with Royal Florist to the San Francisco Flower Mart and hand picked all the flowers for the wedding. From the lilac, dahlias, cosmos, anemones & succulents, Lynda was able to make the perfect pieces for the wedding. She tied everything in perfectly with the bouquets, arch for the ceremony, boutonnieres, and the two different centerpieces. Since Robyn couldn’t find the striped ribbon for her bow, Lynda sewed each one individually for her bouquet and the ribbon on the aisles.
Details about the favors
Fortune cookie soap in dish put together by the Bride, her mother & a friend of her mother’s.
Anything else you’d like to share about your wedding?
Our Stand Out Vendors:
• Ford Family Photography: Rebecca was amazing. Her team consisted of herself, a second photographer and her assistant Barry. They were all such a pleasure to work with and all of our pictures came out unbelievable. She was able to capture every aspect of our wedding as wee couldn’t have selected a better photographer.
• Serrano Country Club was a beautiful venue both inside and out with breathtaking views. Jennifer worked so well with all of our other vendors.
• Extreme Productions was AMAZING!
• Royal Florist: see specifics under Flower Details.
• Jeff & Robyn met with their officiant, Rinban Bob, on three occasions. During the first meeting they were given the assignment to write a letter to each other about what it means to be each other’s best friend. On the second visit they were give the assignment to write a letter to each other about what it means to be husband & wife. With those two letters, Rinban Bob created our vows and spoke so eloquently our story. Many of our friends said they had never been to a ceremony that brought so many people to tears. It was so meaningful to us because it was our words and our story.
• We had 1001 Folded Cranes that were designed by a friend. The crane is a symbol of longevity and prosperity in the Japanese culture. Folding an origami crane takes time, patience, and understanding, which are the same qualities essential for a happy marriage to last and thrive. The cranes also bring good luck, good fortune, fidelity and peace to the marriage. Our friends and family helped us fold each and every one of these cranes and Dina designed all of the cranes into a kimono pattern.
Any tips you’d give brides and grooms planning their wedding today?
• Remember to just stay calm & relaxed.
• There are lots of vendors out there. Select the ones that fell right for you. By having vendors that have all worked together in the past make the wedding so seamless. We didn’t even need a wedding coordinator because it was like we have three; one at Serrano, Rebecca at Ford Photography, and Dominic at Extreme Productions. They were all amazing!
• Just enjoy your special day because it’s all over in a blink of an eye.
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