Leilani & Matthew

Written by Darren Elms

Photography by Sarah Maren Photographers

Wedding Date: 11.11.12

Sarah Maren Photographers

Though both raised in small farm towns, LeiLani and Matt seem destined to meet. Matt had relocated several times for work and LeiLani has lived in Hawaii and traveled extensively to Hong Kong, Cambodia and Romania, yet they connected while back in her hometown of Yuba City. Perhaps you don’t have to travel the world to find the boy next door!

Six months into dating, they would celebrate their half-year anniversary on a summer night by the river at Scott’s Seafood. “We were gushing over each other and our crème brûlée,” remembers LeiLani, “when he said, ‘you ready to do this?’ He asked me to stand up and nothing could prepare me for the time-stopping moment when he got down on one knee and said, ‘I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you, will you marry me?’” Once she caught her breath and said yes, they walked along the riverfront with a magical full moon above them.

The couple decided on a retro, rockabilly -inspired shindig hosted at LeiLani’s uncle’s car shop, complete with classic cars and a snap-on tool altar. “There were superhero aspects throughout, as Matt is Superman, and I, of course, am Wonder Woman,” she smiles. “We had a huge dance party with our kiddos and friends and family to finish off the festivities. It was themed, gorgeous and a total blast.”

LeiLani says she could not have done it without her fabulous vendors, or “friendors” as she would come to call them. “Being in the wedding industry for almost 10 years, it was a humbling and honoring experience being the bride and having them create my big beautiful day.”

The new bride says that her favorite moment of the day was that “first look” at her groom-to-be in the enchanted and romantic orchard.

“I walked toward him with the understanding that this was the man of my dreams who I get to spend the rest of my life with and raise our children with—it was so surreal and beautiful; then, when he turned around, time stood still. He is my home. When our eyes met, I knew I had finally come home.”

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Leilani & Matt's Wedding Resources

CEREMONY SITEPrivate Residence
OFFICIANTAlex Miladi, bride's father
CEREMONY MUSICRonnie Rollins, piano and vocals
PHOTOGRAPHERSarah Maren Photographers
Phone: 916-538-3602
Phone: 888-808-KATE
RECEPTION SITEPrivate Residence
BRIDAL ATTIREAlways Elegant Bridal & Tuxedo
Phone: 530-755-4282
BRIDAL VEILTrew Luv (hairpieces)
Phone: 916-212-5179
Phone: 916-212-5179
Phone: 916-212-5179
CATEREROzark Backwoods BBQ
CAKETinker Shoppe
CUPCAKESBeyond Blessed
PHOTO BOOTHSarah Maren Photographers
Phone: 916-538-3602
TABLE RENTALSPelton's Party Rental
CHAIR RENTALSPelton's Party Rental
ADDITIONAL RESOURCESAlways Elegant Bridal & Tuxedo
Phone: 530-755-4282
Always Elegant Bridal & Tuxedo
Phone: 530-755-4282
Leslie Greenetz
Honeymoon Location

Kona by the Sea in Kona, Hawaii

First Dance Song

“You are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne

Details about Leilani & Matt's cake

The personal cake was like an adult ho-ho. Dark chocolate cake with marshmallow crème filling. It was covered with White chocolate and black polka-dot fondant. We had little Lego Superman and Wonder Woman cake toppers. Our cupcakes were chocolate with marshmallow filling with cream cheese butter cream frosting, with black and white polka dot wrappers and sprinkles. The kids had red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and they were decorated with Superman and Wonder Woman rings.

Anything else you’d like to share about your wedding?

Special and unique moments:

  • Having a blended family, we wanted this to be a marriage ceremony celebrating the union of our two families. We had the kids each read a part of I Corinthians 13, the Love chapter, and my 4-year-old ended it with “Love never fails.”  We took communion as a family and made vows to each other…it was so significant and really special.
  • My dad (very traditional and Persian) who officiated, ended it with “You may shake the bride’s hand” and then “you have to kiss me first,” so we kissed his bald little Iranian head and then finally got to kiss each other – it was hilarious!

Great Vendors:

  • Sarah Maren Photographers: You cannot get a more fantastic, fabulous, artistic, brilliant and hilarious quality photographer anywhere – they just don’t exist. From our superhero skyscraper show stopping engagement pics to capturing our wedding so beautifully, I just cry when I look at the photos. Sarah goes above and beyond capturing the moment; she tells the story of your love and shows you how breathtaking it really is. She outdoes herself every time. I’m the luckiest girl ever to have her capture my life’s more important moments.
  • Shannon from Flourish: I had no idea what art flowers were until Shannon started sketching and scheming away until this creation appeared that completed my wedding day dreams even more vividly than I’d imagined. Her sweet and sassy personality makes it so easy to say what you’d like but trust her to give you the overall look you’re going for even if you don’t know how to say it. Her designs are so unique to the personality of the client. I’ve never felt more understood than when she handed my unbelievable bridal broach bouquet that completely embodies who I am. She’s an incredible artist.
  • Geoff and Lisa Bardot from The Goodness brought their cute perky and perfectly wonderful selves to the scene with cameras in hand ready to tell our “Brady Bunch” story on film. They are punctual, adorable and so very professional, but the way they captured the heart and soul of our individual stories and families, and made it into a breathtaking keepsake…I’m forever indebted. Best gift I could ask for. I adore these two and have come to expect nothing but the extraordinary from The Goodness. I would advise make a wedding video “mandatory,” understanding that it’s the most important moment in your life together, and to capture that timelessly is irreplaceable. I will have my children’s age, voice, faces frozen for a moment in time…and the ceremony that made us a family, and the celebration of the full circle redemption of it all…what a keepsake.
  • Bree Gianassi Little from Always Elegant Bridal & Tuxedo: Her expertise and customer service is unprecedented, and it’s a bonus that she’s a dear friend of mine. I was overwhelmed to have the “moment” that every little girl dreams of when I donned my ’50s-style tea length sweetheart necked white frock, where I caught my breath at the sight of myself expressed perfectly in a wedding dress. It was “me” and it was perfect and she picked it out. It’s a charming boutique experience unlike anything else you’ll find locally or otherwise.
  • The Amazing Kate from Kate Miller Events was involved from the beginning and was instrumental in deciding to go for it and make it happen in a total of just eight weeks!!! Couldn’t have pulled it off without her. She helped me come up with the concept and design, and walked me through the details down to the big day and the moment that we got in the getaway car and breathed a sigh of blissful relief that all had been executed beautifully and precisely what we dreamed of. Kate Miller Events is the best there is.
Any tips you’d give brides and grooms planning their wedding today?

This is my second time around and I feel like that gave me the advantage to know what really matters and what not to worry about. The great thing about weddings these days is that you are given artistic license to express your personality and preferences freely. Have a party, be yourself, show your true colors loudly, and enjoy the celebration aspect of the wedding.

What would you have done differently if you had the chance?

We wouldn’t have done anything differently. It was an amazing celebration and our kids said that it was “best day of their lives!” My 4-year-old, MiaBella, came running into my room the morning of the wedding, exclaiming, “Today’s the day we’re getting married!” and it was!