Their love story…

It all started in 2010 at Durham Parks & Recreation. I was a lifeguard and swim instructor and Marc worked in the after school program. Marc likes to say I was his “Wendy Peffercorn”. For 3 summers we sat next to each other at the Durham pool, talking and getting to know each other while sporadically hanging out outside of work. For us it was all about timing and when it was finally our time to be together, we became inseparable! 


The proposal happened in our favorite spot, Upper Bidwell Park. All three of my sisters were in town, along with my Nonna, which made our evening all the more special. The night of Nonna’s 96th birthday Marc had the idea to take our dog, Obi, for a swim at sunset (me and my sister Marilyn were headed to Yosemite the next day, so this was his last shot before everyone left town).

After celebrating we headed to the park with 2 of my sisters, Marilyn and Cheryl. Marilyn brought her camera and since she has grown a love for photography it wasn’t too strange to have them along for sunset photos. Marilyn also had mentioned that she was dying to take sunset photos before she left town, so that helped convince us to get there.

While at the park Marilyn leaned over to show me a photo, all the while Marc was putting a new dog tag on Obi’s collar. Like nothing had happened, I threw a stick for Obi and Marc casually mentioned he bought Obi a new dog tag. I reached down to see what it said and it read “Will you marry me?”. I then turned around and Marc was already on his knee. Marc didn’t need to say anything else, plus he didn’t really have a chance, since I yelled “YES!” right away.

What was the most important thing for you about finding the perfect dress? 

I had three things I wanted in a dress – I wanted to be comfortable, I wanted to show my back, and I wanted lace.  I stayed open minded to trying on all sorts of dresses, but in the back of my head I had this criteria I thought I’d like.  I guess all in all, my biggest thing was comfort since I knew I’d be wearing it the whole day.  Everything else just fell into place.

What was the best personal moments of your wedding day? 

Right before the ceremony started I was given a few minutes to myself.  I didn’t realize how much this was needed until everyone left the room and I was alone.  The whole day goes by so fast and you’re surrounded by so many people you love, which is amazing, but it was so needed to just be by myself, take a deep breath, and take everything in.  I kinda did a self talk in the mirror and started crying because I was so excited.  Then, my Dad came in and I cried some more…all happy tears of course.  He just asked, “are you ready?” and off we went!  That moment to myself let me gather my emotions, my thoughts, and just gave me some “me” time.  It was perfect.

Please share something that stood out on your wedding day?

Our ceremony. You always picture what it’s going to be like or feel like standing up there, but until you are actually there you just don’t know.  I had no doubt that we would cry and feel emotional, but going through the process was an unforgettable feeling.  From walking down the aisle, to seeing Marc for the first time, and finally being up there holding his hands.  I felt like it was just me and him up there, we barely noticed anyone else in the crowd.  I was most nervous about reading my vows but, again, once I was up there it was like it was just me and him and I got to tell him how much I loved him.  The whole ceremony felt so genuine and loving, I would love to relive that moment every day.

What was your inspiration for your wedding day? 

I wanted a very natural look – by natural I guess I mean simple decor, or non-extravagant.  A garden look with lots of flowers and twinkle lights.  I wanted soft greens, pinks, whites, brushed gold.  Colors that would compliment the season of Spring.  I love eucalyptus and garden roses, so I started with that idea and went from there.  After that all the DIY projects started.  Because our wedding was in the Spring we were unsure of rain and we wanted a location to have an outdoor ceremony and indoor reception.  Since most of our wedding was going to be inside, my goal was to bring flowers and the nature feel inside.  

Any advice to future brides? 

Whatever you do for your wedding, do it for you and your future husband.  If people don’t like or agree with your thoughts & ideas, who cares!  That was the best advice I stuck to.  If you base YOUR wedding day off of what other people want, you may look back and feel regret.  And that is a horrible feeling to have for your wedding day.  There is a way to gently let people down if you don’t like their ideas, but all in all, do what you want as a couple. The people that really care about you will understand.

The wedding talent behind the day: Photographer – AVH Photography {she was the BEST! We would definitely use her again for professional photos.} | Venue – Canyon Oaks Country Club | Wedding Dress: Always Elegant Bridal | Dessert – Cake: Lovely Layers {we did a small cake for the symbolism of cutting the cake} & Desserts: Shubert’s Ice Cream & The Donut Nook {SO good.} | Florist – Pam Young with Cambray Rose {She was amazing and captured everything I wanted.} | Caterer – Canyon Oaks Country Club | DJ/Music – The Wedding DJ {highly recommended.} | Invitations – Ann’s Bridal Bargains | Men’s Attire – Men’s Wearhouse for Groom and Groomsmen & Formal Education for Father of the Bride | Bridesmaids – Always Elegant Bridal