She made sandwiches, he ate them. That’s how Tanya and Tyler met. “He started coming in every day to get a sandwich during lunch and was a huge flirt,” Tanya says of her now-husband. Eventually, they started talking. “He would always wait for me to be free so I could be the one to make his sandwich.” She used to work at Nugget Market and jokingly called him her “Nugget boyfriend.” This went on for about two months. For his part, Tyler says he tried to ask her out three times but Tanya never got the message. It was only when her co-worker spelled it out for her that she decided to write her number on the wrapper of his order. “We still have it,” she says fondly.
Almost four years later, Tyler planned the perfect surprise proposal. Tanya would have never foreseen a Valentine’s Day proposal because she thought it was corny. So, of course, that’s exactly what Tyler did. Tanya said she should’ve seen the signs—the fact that he insisted she did her nails and, more suspiciously, that his friend, Nelson, was calling his cell phone…on Valentine’s Day…during a romantic night out. She brushed it off and they went to Roxy Restaurant and Bar. Tyler ate a little too fast and Tanya noticed. He then retreated to the restroom and after a little shadow-boxing and a glance at the mirror, said to his friend Nelson, “Let’s do this!” Once back, he whispered, “this is for real” in her ear and the next thing she heard was shouting. “I can be really loud,” he confesses. “Excuse me, sorry to interrupt your meals,” Tyler addressed the crowd. “This beautiful woman sitting here has been the love of my life…I want to spend the rest of my life with this woman and have a family with her,” he said sincerely. He then got on one knee, put the ring on her finger and asked her to marry him. She said yes and asked if the ring was real. It definitely was.
Their wedding took place at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Sacramento, and their reception followed at the Elks Tower Ballroom. It was a perfect blend of her Indian heritage and his American background that included a traditional send-off ceremony, Tyler tying a necklace around her neck and draping a gifted saree over her head, a symbolic rallying cry by her relatives and first dances. Indian food, brightly colored lehengas and ‘90s rap music completed this unique shindig. “I didn’t want to do anything trendy, no matter how cool I thought it was. I didn’t want to look back on our photos in 20 years and wonder—what was I thinking?” says Tanya; because what really mattered was just the two of them. “Now I feel like it’s us versus the world,” says a smitten Tyler. “And she’s on my side forever.”
— Tara Mendanha
Tanya & Tyler's Wedding Resources
Lehenga (seamstress in India)
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa in Maui, Hawaii
“Yellow” by Coldplay
“Make You Feel My Love” by Adele
“My Wish” by Rascal Flatts
“Love on the Brain” by Rihanna
“Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen
XO by Beyonce
Kahlua Cake with buttercream covered in fondant
I told my florist that I wanted a lot of green, since there were so many other bright colors in the décor, and in the traditional Indian clothes people would be wearing. So all the bridesmaid’s bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces were mostly green with some white. My bouquet, the sign-in table arrangement, and the sweetheart table arrangement were the only brightly colored flowers. I wanted a natural, cascading look, and didn’t have any particular flowers picked out.
Little boxes labeled “Midnight Snacks” from Oriental Trading filled with chocolate-covered pretzels and Lindor truffles, assembled by family and bridesmaids
Jennifer Verdon of So Eventful was my day-of coordinator, and she truly went above and beyond what she needed to do. I cannot recommend her enough! And our wonderful photographers at uvVisions not only delivered beautiful photos, they were so instrumental in keeping the day running smoothly, and rolled with all the last minute changes and delays- and they are so much fun! I am so glad I had both of these vendors were there that day. There’s so much room for things to go wrong, but with these people in our corner, we pulled it off!
Plan ahead, and get a wedding planner! Due to our schedules, we weren’t able to really start planning the wedding until we had been engaged for several months – this made for a nerve-racking couple of months leading up to the big day. As awesome as Jennifer, our coordinator was, we would have loved to pull her into the process earlier on so that she could involved. We know she would have made our lives so much easier, so if it’s in your budget, get a wedding planner from the get-go.
If given the chance, I would have started planning as soon as we got engaged, and I would have asked my parents for a budget. There was a lot of back and forth for every decision involving money. If I had started planning earlier, I would have known earlier what I needed help with.