Veronica and Peter first met at the restaurant INK Eats & Drinks in downtown Sacramento after a night of dancing. “I commented on how Veronica had the best purse of the night,” recalls Peter. “My best friend Joey (and eventual best man and officiant) joined Veronica and her friend for some late-night eating.” But, according to Peter, Veronica was really only interested in being friends. “I chased Veronica for three years until she finally gave in and we started dating,” he says. By that time, she was living in Los Angeles, so the two dated long distance for almost a year. After some more convincing, she decided to move back to Sacramento to be with Peter.
Before Christmas in 2012, the couple jetted off to Rancho Palos Verdes to stay at the beautiful Terranea Resort. “I had given her an early Christmas present to hold on to when we left,” he says. “It was a book I put together, highlighting the story of our relationship—where we met, where we had traveled, and all of the things we’ve enjoyed doing together.” As she got to the end of the book, she came to a page that said 12.15.12, best day ever, and then blank pages. “I told her I needed her help in completing the book.” He got down on one knee with a ring and proposed.
“We love to dance and it was part of our courtship,” Peter says. “We wanted to create a fun atmosphere where everyone would want to jump up and dance.”
The couple decided on a small, intimate wedding so that they could easily mingle and speak to each guest. In addition to having great food and wine for the guests, they wanted a lively celebration. “We love to dance and it was part of our courtship,” Peter says. “We wanted to create a fun atmosphere where everyone would want to jump up and dance.”
The ceremony took place on a ninth-floor terrace at the St. Regis with breathtaking views of San Francisco. Officiant and best man Joey asked the question, “Who has it better than you two?” To which they both happily responded, “Nobody!” They also included a Korean duck ceremony on behalf of the groom’s mother, and Aleron Strings played classical music before the ceremony. The recessional song “Don’t Stop Believin’” inspired by Journey, rang true for a groom who never gave up on his chance for love with the bride.
— Darren Elms
First Dance Song
"L-O-V-E" by Nat King Cole
Father/Daughter Dance Song
"Grandpa" by The Judds (the grandfather/daughter dance)
Mother/Son Dance Song
"A Song for Mama" by Boyz II Men
Cake Cutting Song
"Birthday Cake" by Rihanna
Details about the cake
One of the prominent colors in our wedding was blue (Blue Tuxedo for the groom, blue dresses for the bridesmaid, blue table clothes, etc). With that, we wanted a blue velvet cake. The St Regis did an amazing job creating a blue velvet cake with cream cheese frosting! It was delicious! The color for the inside of the cake and outside of the cake was in Tiffany Blue. The design on the cake was all done by hand, including the edible flowers.
Details about the flowers
Colors – A combination of creamy white, pale blush pink, grey, teal, gold, and silver.
Flowers Used - Sweet pea, spray roses, open roses, lissanthus, dahlias, scabiosa, ranunculus, garden roses, and silver foliage.
Overall look & feel - Romantic and elegant using a variety of full, fluffy, and ruffled floral blooms in a variety of shapes and sizes all accented with textural greenery.
Details about the favors
Ghirardelli Chocolate’s in Silver Gift Boxes (the Groom works for Ghirardelli Chocolate! He got a deal on them!).
Anything else you’d like to share about your wedding?
Our wedding was an intimate wedding that only had 58 people, including the bride and groom. We wanted quality time with our guests, and with each other, during the course of our special day. Ultimately, we got what we wanted and didn’t feel that we missed spending time with anybody or each other.
In our search for a wedding venue, our #1 requirement was the quality of the food. As we visited different venues and tried the food, the St Regis blew us away! Before we made our decision, the St Regis hosted a lunch for us at Vitrine (the onsite restaurant) and it was amazing. Our food for the wedding lived up to the billing, the St Regis even created an Asian inspired appetizer for the cocktail hour that wasn’t on the menu (it was a pork belly bao item that was to die for!).
The cocktail hour was fantastic. The room was across the hall from our reception and included our signature drinks. Veronica’s signature drink was called a “Mochilini Martini”. This turquoise colored drink has a piece of mochi as garnish! Inspired from a drink that Veronica had from their very first date! Peter’s signature drink was Gentlemen Jack and Ginger… no romantic story there… that’s just the drink he liked at the time!
For our ceremony, we included our version of a Korean Duck ceremony (the groom is ½ Korean). In this ceremony, the groom gives a wooden duck to the bride’s mother. The wooden duck is a symbol of certain valued virtues. These virtues include: mating for life, structure and harmony. In our version, the bride also provided a duck for the groom’s mother.
As foodies and wine lovers, we brought some of our favorite wines for our guests to enjoy! Some of the wines came from our favorite wineries in Napa. These wineries include, Frank Family, Domain Carneros, and Chappellet. We also provided a delicious French wine for our guests, Domain de Baron’Arques. For ourselves, we chose to drink our favorite red wine of all time, Winston Hill by Frank Family for dinner and Le’Reve by Domain Carneros for our toast.
Before our toast, the St Regis provided us with a sabering ceremony, where a St Regis appointed “Saberer” sabers the top off a bottle of champagne. This St Regis Ritual happens at every St Regis at 6pm to kick off the evening. They also do this for wedding toasts. We have an amazing picture of this where you can see the top of the bottle flying through the air.
We cannot express how great our DJ was. He played great music. We kept a theme of 80’s and 90’s hits, mixed in with some more contemporary requests. He kept the party going all night! One of the favorite moments was when everyone was singing Starship’s “Nothing’s Going to Stop Us Now”. Another great moment that the DJ inspired was the groom’s mother dancing the night away (She’s 73!) and having a dance off with one of the groomsmen!
Any tips you’d give brides and grooms planning their wedding today?
Use pinterest to keep all your ideas in one place!
When it comes down to making decisions, do what is best for you and don’t worry about all the recommendations or opinions others.
If you have the money, hire a wedding planner! We had a wedding coordinator that went above and beyond in our planning but it was still a stressful process for ourselves.
We would recommend a first look and pictures (bride & groom and wedding party pics) before the ceremony. We got to enjoy time with our guests during the cocktail hour.
Keep organized! Use excel spreadsheets to organize the wedding and provide everyone (Vendors and wedding party) with timelines, to keep everyone on track for the big day.
Don’t drink too much the night before! Our rehearsal dinner was amazing (at Bluestem Brasserie in SF) and the wine and drinks were flowing! It’s real easy to get into party mode a day early!
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