Third generation Sacramentans, Rosemary grew up in Carmichael and Joseph in Greenhaven. But this wasn’t exactly a “girl next door” kind of love story. The couple met on Facebook.

“Joe went to elementary school with my cousin, and he saw a picture of me on her Facebook profile,” shares Rosie. “I must have looked extra attractive that day, because he ended up sending me a private message wanting to connect, only as friends.” But Rosie had a boyfriend at the time, so Joe patiently held tight. “His excuse for sending me a friend request was that we are both Croatian, and ‘Croatians should stick together.’” Eventually the couple would meet in person six months later, when Rosie was indeed single. “As it turned out, we had a ton of mutual friends, and our grandfathers were in each other’s weddings on our fathers’ side,” she says. “I guess Croatians do stick together.”

The couple got engaged at Mulvaney’s B&L, where Joe booked the small “dish room” in the back of the restaurant. During the appetizer course, he put an old wine cork on the table and asked Rosie if she knew what it was. ”Umm…Tempranillo?” she questioned. He replied, “Well, yes, it’s a Tempranillo cork, but it’s also the cork from the bottle of wine we shared on our first date. I saved it, because I knew that I was going to marry you after our first date.”

To honor the Croatian grandfathers that were in each other’s weddings, both Rosie and Joe chose to marry at the very same cathedral. “One of my oldest friends, Connor Mickiewicz, was the cantor and sang a beautiful version of ‘Ave Maria’ during communion,” says Rosie. “Joe’s grandfather, George, opened his home to many Irish priests when they first got to Sacramento 50 years ago. One of those last remaining Irish priests, Father Michael Dillon, officiated the mass. He gave a beautiful homily that emphasized the sanctity of true love between two people, not just a man and a woman.”

When the couple arrived at the reception, there was a bottle of champagne waiting. “It was a wonderful short moment of peace and quiet just for the two of us before the party began,” she remembers. The venue, the Memorial Auditorium, also had a special significance to both the bride and groom. “Joe’s 90-year-old grandmother used to dance there once a week; my dad attended the roller derby there; I graduated there in 2001, and a number of iconic bands had played there over the years,” she says.

With all that history in one place, what would be the most memorable moment of this newest milestone?

“My vote would be for the feeling I got during our first dance when 300 people are looking at you, but it felt like we were dancing in our living room with no one there.” ― confides the bride.

—Darren Elms