Jessi and Michael struck up a friendship as coworkers at a BBQ joint in Rocklin. Her smile and her style caught his eye and she couldn’t resist his humor and good nature. As time went on, it wasn’t just the smoker that was heating up, Jessi and Michael were falling in love. They spent more and more time together and, in a sure sign of growing affection, took to calling one another “Bee.”
Michael decided to surprise Jessi by planning a trip to Hawaii. Of course, a girl couldn’t help but wonder what else he might be planning. But once there, the days went by with no surprises. Toward the end of the trip, after a romantic dinner at a restaurant right on the ocean, they took a walk on the beach. It seemed to Jessi that it was pretty crowded for some reason, and she mentioned it to Michael but he just shrugged. The truth was, he knew that there would soon be a fireworks show starting, and that would be his moment.
So they walked on and just as the night sky lit up, Michael turned to Jessi and dropped to one knee. There he was, “with an ear to ear grin, holding this ring. So I started by smiling back and saying, ‘Are you sure?’ He just giggled and nodded his head. Then of course I said yes, and started to cry! It really was a magical moment.”
Once back in California, they found a charming old victorian mansion to hold their wedding. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but it’s address was on Bee Street. So how could they have chosen anyplace else? Jessi doesn’t consider herself a traditional bride whatsoever, and she went with bridal party colors of dark navy blue with pops of maroon and red.
For florals, color drove Jessi’s decisions. She recalls, “I wanted colors that would pop and complement the blue tones in our clothing. I didn’t have requirements about the exact type of flowers, my only specific request was to have those awesome blue thistle things!” And so beautiful arrangements and bouquets were provided in rich shades of oranges, peaches, reds, with the accents of blue thistles and lots of greenery.
Cute little wedding favors of little mini jars of honey with small pieces of lacy burlap tied over the lids combined elements that evoked the day’s victorian theme with the couples’ personal “Bee” nickname.
When it came to dressing up, Jessi says, “Since the wedding had such a Victorian inspiration, I knew my bridesmaids and I all had to have long lace sleeves. I had my gown custom made by a local designer who created an incredible, light icy blue, straight-across-the-shoulder gown with an empire waistline, flowing bottom half and long lace sleeves. The light grey top lace had such incredible romantic detail that was covered in floral accents with tons of sparkling rhinestones that gave an extra whimsical feel. It was beyond what I ever imagined.” Michael’s amazing light grey suit with a light blue tie complimented her look perfectly.
Part of looking your best is great hair and makeup, and Jessi was delighted with her beauty vendors. she offers this advice to brides: “For ladies especially, do not go the cheapest route when it comes to your beauty vendors, or have your best friends do it (unless they are professionals themselves then in that case GREAT). If you spend a bundle on photography and you don’t get great quality hair and makeup artists to take care of you, what are those photographers taking pictures of? They are taking pictures of YOU, and after that day is over, all you have left for the rest of your life are those pictures.”
Fortunately for Jessi, she already had a great working relationship with an excellent local photographer, Andrea Bucheli of Bucheli Photography. “My experience working with Andrea has always been a delight. She has shot some of my makeup and body painting works in the past and always did such a fabulous job so I was honored to have her shoot my wedding. She is always so professional, so sweet, very well spoken, and the pictures were beyond beautiful – they just look like a dream.”
Before the ceremony, Jessi recalls, things went actually pretty smoothly, except that she forgot the groom’s gift at home. Luckily a family member was able to save the day by picking it up on his way to the wedding! And once things got underway, even one of the local bees wanted to help out. During the ceremony there was a little baby bee that kept trying to pollinate Michael’s boutonniere which the couple considered a good omen and a special sign of good luck.
After the ceremony, capably officiated by Michael’s uncle Tony, concluded, it was time for guests to enjoy cocktails while the newlyweds went off for photos. Jessi reflects, “The only thing I wish we had done differently would be to allow two hours for cocktails instead of one. Because I didn’t want my groom to see me before the ceremony, we took up the whole cocktail hour taking pictures so neither of us got to really relax and mingle with guests.”
When it was time to rejoin the party, everyone sat down to a fabulous feast of Shaved Prime Rib, Chicken, Salmon, six different salads including classic Caesar to Caprese Salad, Quinoa, Orzo Pasta Salad, bread and mashed potatoes. And then, of course, cake! “Our cake was the main dessert. It was a three tier cake with the top layer being a chocolate Boston Cream Pie like cake, the middle layer was an almond cake with a delicious raspberry filling, and the bottom layer was a classic vanilla cake with a blackberry filling. The whole cake had a light top layer of butter cream frosting.”
When everyone had their fill, and the speeches and toasts were done, it was time for that most romantic moment, the first dance. Jessi recalls, “It was a magical moment and really the one time that Michael and I could just embrace each other. The wedding day is very hectic, with the bride and groom being pulled in every direction a lot to take pictures, vendors asking questions, coordinators asking questions, all your guests wanting to take pictures. You really don’t spend much quality time together on the day of until later. That moment was my favorite moment.”
“Our music was such a great mixture of songs that brought great memories to us and songs that we knew our family and friends would love. Nothing modern either. Our first dance song was Body and Soul by Amy Winehouse and Tony Bennett. Michael’s mother son dance song was Simple Man by Shinedown, which is such an amazing song for that dance. Finally for the father daughter dance I chose Just Fishin’ by Trace Adkins. I knew that had to be the song because when I was a little girl my favorite thing in the world to do was to go fishing with my dad, and I was a total daddy’s girl.”
Jessi’s little nephew Westin was the star dancer of the party, showing off his break dancing moves. “He mopped the entire dance floor with his rented suit, doing spins and twirls on his back. He went from person to person asking them if he could hold their hands and then climbed up their body, pushed himself off to do a back flip and then went back to his dancing. It was hilarious!”
After it was all over, instead of a traditional honeymoon, Jessi and her “hunny” Michael just wanted to spend time with their closest friends so they had a party bus drive everyone straight from the reception up to a rental house in Tahoe for three days of relaxation and partying. even a busy bee likes a little downtime!
[PHOTOS] Bucheli Photography [VENUE] The Wedgewood Sequioa Mansion [REHEARSAL DINNER] Buca di Beppo [VIDEO] Hector Rivera [DECOR] Cocomont Styling [CAKE] Frank Vilt’s Cakes [FLOWERS] Couture Flowers by Dottie [GOWN] Yennie Zhou Designs [HAIR] Hair by Prashante [SUIT] Men’s Wearhouse