The Couple: Kristi and Dan
Wedding Date: July 1, 2012
Photography by Catherine Sackett Photography
Tell us a little about you and your beloved: Dan and I met through my best friend Kelly Hodges. Both Dan and Kelly are on the Honor Guard through the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department.
Proposal From Dan:
My original proposal plan was a simple one: I would surprise her with a weekend getaway. I would drive her to an airport where a helicopter would be waiting for us, we would fly over our favorite resort, the Silverado, in Napa, CA. When she looked down, she would see our friends and family holding a giant sign that I hand painted: “Kristi, will you Marry Me?”. We would land at the airport where the Ferrari was waiting, and we would drive to the resort to meet everyone for a great afternoon into evening.
Who would have thought that rain would hit in the beginning of June?? The backup plan turned out to be better. Thanks to great family and friends, I still surprised her with a limo, provided by my friend Ed. We drove to the Silverado from Sacramento. When we got there, everyone was in place to surprise her on the main steps of the Silverado Mansion. As she was going around giving everyone hugs, thinking that this was just an early surprise birthday party, I motioned her into the center and got to a knee to ask her to spend the rest of our lives together. Luckily, she said yes!
It was a dream proposal come to fruition. I was completely caught off guard which made it even better since I thought it was a birthday party. Dan was so extremely thoughtful in every detail of that day. Meeting with the restaurant chef months in advance to plan the meal, having a cake delivered, and the rooms booked of all the guest that wanted to stay and celebrate.
Having my parents present meant the world to me. Turning around and seeing tears in my daddy’s eyes made my heart smile. My happily ever after began the moment Dan asked me to be his bride.
Kristi is the woman I spent my life waiting for. She is the completion to my existence. Now that she is in my life, life can really begin. I don’t have to say things to her, she just knows….. When I need warmth, she provides it. When I need love, she provides it. When I need laughter, she provides it. When I need conversation, she provides A LOT of it. I am honored to get to share my life with such a God loving, caring, compassionate, giving, selfless, funny, beautiful, intelligent person.
Dan is the man I have waited 32 years for. He is kind, caring, funny, passionate, hard working, dedicated, and above all else my perfect match. Agreeing to meet him for lunch on June 11, 2009 was the best decision I have ever made. From the moment I met him I was intrigued. His warm smile and sweet nature had me from the moment we met:) Listening to him talk about his family, friends, job, and his passions I knew he was one incredible man. We laugh daily, we share our wants and desires, and we know that we have been blessed with a great life. I feel LUCKY everyday that we have each other and I am honored to be his wife. Mrs. Donelli sounds FABULOUS!!!
Dan and I have been blessed with incredible friends and family. We envisioned our wedding to be romantic, relaxing, and fun. I wanted to take the time to create most of the items at the wedding. I made my bouquet out of 95 broaches, some family heirlooms and others came from my wonderful bridesmaids. I had the opportunity to add over 1,000 Swarovski crystals to my “something blue” shoes, create the program fans, menus, and my personal favorite was the bling out flip flops that I personalized for each female guest that attended the wedding (I didn’t want them to have to walk in the grass in their heels). I wanted every guest to feel special at our wedding because each person that was there had an huge impact on our lives, whether as individuals or as a couple.
I loved surprising Dan with his personal Cuban Cigar roller for the night ( the rest of the guests enjoyed that as well). Planning the wedding was not stressful, but more of an adventure for me. Allowing the creative side to come out and it gave me time to think about ways to give back to our guests.
What was the most amazing part of your day? Besides marrying the man of my dreams the best part of the day was having my dad walk me down the aisle. He (John) is the most incredible father I have ever met. Both my parents have molded me into the person I am today through their guidance and constant support. Every girl should have that special moment when her father sees her for the first time in her wedding dress and that moment to me is something I will never forget.
What else would you like to share about your big day? Everything about our day was special, from our wedding vows, the first kiss, first dance, the father-daughter/ mother-son dance, the food, dancing, the after party. It was the perfect day for Dan and I to become one.
Ceremony and Reception Site, and Caterer: Le Rivage Hotel and Spa (Now The Westin Sacramento)
Officiant: Mindi Russell, Chaplin of the Sacramento Sherriff’s Department
Photographer and Videographer: Catherine Sackett Photography
Cake/Desserts: Tracy Cakes
Flowers: Strelitzia’s Florist
Favors: Candy bar, cigar roller, photo booth and personalized flip flops
Bridal Attire: Maggie Sottero
Bridesmaids’ Attire: They wore whatever black dress they wanted, all I asked is that they wore fun and fabulous shoes
Hair: Stephanie Hampton (personal friend)
Make-up: Julaine Dugan
DJ/Entertainment/Band, Lighting, and Photo Booth: Joe Kalamaras
Rentals: Le Rivage Hotel and Spa (Now The Westin Sacramento)
Honeymoon Location: Aventura Spa Palace, Mexico
First Dance Song: “Lucky” by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat
Any advice you’d give to our readers who are planning their weddings right now? Enjoy every moment, do not let the process overwhelm you.
The day of the wedding, stop often and take a moment to look around and take it all in, the venue, the people, the surroundings. It’s the little moments, the smiles/looks, the people talking and interacting with one another, the times who look at your “husband” and he doesn’t realize you are looking at him. All of it is special and you definitely DO NOT want to wake up the next day and say “ I can’t recall our day, it went too fast.”
Anything that you would have done differently if you were given the chance? Nothing, every detail played out as it should have.
Blog post by Real Weddings Magazine’s Social Media Maven, Aimee Carroll.
Photos courtesy of and copyright Catherine Sackett Photography.
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