We're so excited to share the story of Danica and Peter's stunning wedding at Sunol's Casa Bella. As their wedding photographer, we got a firsthand look at this unforgettable day at one of our favorite venues.
But first, let's talk about how they first met! It's absolutely adorable and sounds like the kind of thing we all experienced as kids, trying to matchmake two of our teachers.
Two Middle School Teachers Fall in Love
In 2016, Danica and Peter met while teaching at the same middle school in San Jose. Peter taught math while Danica taught social studies. Peter asked Danica out more than a dozen times, rejected each time as Danica was adamant that they remain friends. Throughout all this, the students continuously spread rumors that the two of them were dating.
But one day, Danica was home with the flu and Peter brought her some soup. "With my guard down from the flu and that kind gesture," Danica told us, "Peter got the yes he had been waiting for and I finally agreed to a date." To keep the rumors and gossip to a minimum at school, they kept their relationship secret for over a year. Once they knew that this was long-term, "the real deal," as Danica put it, they finally told everyone.
In the spring of 2021, Peter decided it was time to propose. They had just bought a house and Danica was very comfortable not getting engaged any time soon. However, Peter tried to be sneaky one night and measure Danica's finger while he thought she was asleep. So she knew exactly what he was up to, and even knew when he was going to do it. Once he did propose, he was shocked that she had known for six weeks! But as Danica said, "How else would I have made sure I had the perfect outfit for the occasion?"
The First and Last Venue they Visited: Casa Bella
When it came to picking the venue, Danica and Peter wanted a spot that was elegant, beautiful, but still felt casual. It was important to them that everyone attending feel comfortable.
Their search ended at the first venue they visited - Casa Bella Event Center in Sunol. They immediately fell in love with it, and we understand why. With its beautiful indoor reception ballroom and ceremony area in the garden, Casa Bella offers the best of everything you could want in a venue. Plus, there are multiple areas outside for photos, and a bridal suite. We love venues that have everything included all in one place!
Trusted Choices: Relying on Casa Bella's Preferred Vendors
Since wedding planning can be a stressful ordeal, Danica and Peter decided at the beginning that their main goal was that planning be positive and relaxing. With Casa Bella's preferred vendor list, this made it so much easier for them. These are professionals who intimately know Casa Bella and are ones that the team at Casa Bella trusts.
All the vendors they chose from the list fit their vibe and price range, so everything worked out perfectly. It's even how they found us, as we are a preferred photographer with Casa Bella. They would have opted for a recommended dessert vendor as well, but had to choose a gluten-free bakery as Danica has Celiac Disease. Fortunately, they found Sweet Freedom Bake Shop in Pleasanton who made incredible cupcakes and brownies that everyone loved.
One other way they made everything easier was by booking us for their engagement photos. This increases the level of comfort they had with us during the wedding day, plus gave them gorgeous photos to use during the wedding, such as in their guest book:
The Wedding Day with a Beautiful Wedding Party
Our day at Casa Bella started in the upstairs bridal room, where Danica and her bridal party got ready. We have to point out and appreciate that Danica and Peter ignored the gender binary that most wedding parties have and instead brought in their closest loved ones for their bridal and groom's parties. And with the mix of two shades of blue with the grey suits - absolutely stunning, every single one of them!!
Since their goal was for a relaxing atmosphere while retaining elegance, having their wedding party in this way played a big role in ensuring that everyone was included and loved.
After everyone was ready, we guided Danica and Peter separately to a private area at the train station on the property for their first look.
After they saw each other for the first time, their entire party eagerly joined them for some gorgeous wedding party photos.
The rest of the day was simple, thoughtful, and gorgeous. The ceremony was personal, with words from the bride, groom, parents, and filled with tears and laughter.
There are some wonderful personal touches that filled the day. One memorable example was the heartfelt letters that they left for each table. It was important to them they every person felt loved and that this day wasn't just about the two of them. They definitely succeeded with these letters; everyone loved them! Opening them at the start of dinner was a great choice. Danica shared, "It was such a nice way to honor our loved ones for traveling so far and taking time out of their schedules to be with us."
While this was a personal touch for Danica herself, we absolutely loved it: comfy shoes for the bride! After the ceremony, or at least before hitting the dance floor, many brides change their shoes so they can be more comfortable. Danica changed into these Converse Chuck Taylors that were personalized with "I love you 3000" on the back. (LOVING this Avengers/Iron Man reference! Absolutely adorable.)
Love, Joy, and Thanks
This wedding was such a joy to photograph - truly. Danica and Peter are so obviously in love, and have built a loving family and community around them. The whole day was filled with smiles and laughter and everyone seemed so at ease.
Look at this giant group hug in the middle of the reception! It's hard to tell, but Danica and Peter are in the center of the group.
Thank you to you both for the opportunity to photograph your gorgeous wedding at Casa Bella!
Hair and Makeup: A Touch of Muah Beauty
Flowers: Pretty in Pink Events
DJ: Napa Valley DJ
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