Featured : Martha Stewart Weddings – Our Wedding Anniversary

Having a safe distance from a deeply emotional experience and getting the opportunity to relive it months later is a gift.  A true and beautiful gift.  With many thanks to the amazing team at Martha Stewart Weddings, I’m able to relive my wedding anniversary.

Last September, I celebrated a decade marriage to my best friend, business partner, and husband.  Ten years earlier, we promised our lives to each other on a warm beach in Hawaii.  For better, for worse.  In sickness and health.  In sickness…  That promise stopped me from speaking any more.  In sickness.  I looked at my mom with her buzzed hair and facial palsy from the chemotherapy and realized marriage extended far beyond a white dress and champagne.  With tears rolling down my face, I promised JD we’d be by each others’ sides through everything.  And more.

Ten years later, we gathered our families in our backyard to celebrate our love.  We hoped to recreate the warm moments of peace and love with a nod to our island nuptials.  When our families walked into our backyard, we wanted them to feel Hawaii and remember where it all began.

I’m beyond honored to see our island-inspired anniversary party featured on Martha Stewart Weddings (a longtime dream!), but I also wanted to share more photos here as well…


During the renovation to the home we'd just bought, we set a budget and agreed to only repair the inside of the house.  So you could imagine my surprise when JD said we should paint the house.  No, I said.  I paced the kitchen floor and said we didn't have it in our budget.  We should wait a year.  The house was just fiiiiiiiine.

When he said it'd make for a better background for our anniversary (his exact words were: “Think of all that beautiful light the white walls would reflect for photos!”), I agreed.  That man could sell me ice in a snowstorm if he convinced me it'd make for prettier photos!  😉


Every island-inspired party I searched through for inspiration felt like a elementary school luau, so I felt frustrated, until I worked with Larrissa, who created an boho chic tropical vibe…and I couldn't be happier.


Polo, of course, was a huge part of our day…I love this dog!


Our immediate families count up to 24 people (y'all we are Latino through and through!), so we were sure to add plenty of space for guests to sit and enjoy…


A decade with this gem of a man.  And I couldn't be more blessed with him by my side.


The only thing I wanted was for everyone to sit at the same table, the same way we did on our wedding day…I loved every minute of it.


These mini bananas?  I die.


One of my favorite photos from the day!


The center of the table was decorated with fresh fruit, tropical flowers, and and macrame runner…the creative team also hung handmade wind-chimes from our backyard trees



For a decade, JD and I have been shooting weddings and receptions for our clients…this was the first time in our career that we experienced an event like this that was entirely our own.  I cried throughout the night from thankfulness.


Handpainted macarons….yes please!


A tropical cake and a dessert bar that'd make a Hawaiian proud  😉


Our families surrounded us as recommitted our wedding vows.  Under the shade of large tree in our backyard, I told JD I'd marry him a thousand times over if I could.  In ancient Hawaiian history, the islanders took long fishing trips, later using the moon and stars to guide them home.  I told JD that he was my moon and my stars.  That as long as I stood by his side, I'd always find home…a place of belonging, comfort, and love.


JD loves panna cotta so these key lime panna cotta cups were ordered just for him!




At one point through the meal, I got up and snapped this photo.  I couldn't let the night pass without documenting this moment.  This moment when our families were together, happy and healthy.  This moment when we celebrated how far we've come.  This moment when a backyard meal christened our home as a place illuminated by the moon and the stars.


Design and Decor:  Inviting Occasions (Larrissa, you are a dream…the world can't handle your talent. Or beautiful heart)
Rentals:  Found Rentals (Jeni, thank you for being a constant friend and giving all of your soul to every event your team is a part of!)
Desserts:  Sweet and Saucy (Melody, we go way back together and I'm honored to walk in this industry with someone as kind, good, and hustling as you!)
Flatware and Dining Rentals:  Borrowed Blu (Cassandra, you went above and beyond to take care of us…you helped take things to a new level! Thank you!)
Invitations: Daydream Prints (Krystie, when I found your work online, I realized I found the perfect person to send a piece of our hearts [on paper] to our families…thank you!)
Photography:  Jasmine Star Photography (I captured all the detail photos, and my associate Tami Paige captured photos of me and my husband)
Location:  Newport Beach, CA (in the backyard of a home we recently bought and refurbished)