Liz and Grant were good friends in high school but went their separate ways. It wasn’ until their sophomore year of college, at different universities, that they reconnected, and with the potential for more.
After a year of renewing their friendship, it became clear to both of them that they desired more.
“Once we started dating,” says Liz, “I could see how Grant and I complemented each other in the light of faith. We were both raised Catholic, but our differences allowed us to point out the beauty of the faith in new ways to one another. “
“His appreciation for tradition is the perfect complement to my evangelical spirit and thus we are able to remind one another of the beauty of our faith in different ways.”
They began attending a weekly Bible study together with Father Sam, the priest who’d eventually celebrate their marriage, solidifying their individual faith lives and pursuit of each other. College meant several years of long-distance dating--including a full school year abroad--followed by Liz and Grant both returning to their hometown and beginning their respective careers. At the San Carlos Cathedral in Monterey, California, Grant proposed.
From the Bride: The day Grant asked me to be his bride, the Bishop happened to be at the cathedral for the evening Mass, which we attended right after the proposal. We were honored that he blessed our engagement after Mass, right in front of the beautiful cathedral.
We spent our engagement prepping for not only our wedding--which was so fun!--but our marriage, which was and continues to be refining in the best ways. After a 13-month engagement, we were married on July 1, 2017. What a blessing it is to have fostered a solid friendship before growing in our faith together as a couple, and eventually getting married.
You never know God's plan, and this rings true for us, as he was writing our story long before we even knew it! At the risk of sounding cliché, our wedding day could not have been more beautiful.
We had two primary goals for the day: first, to have a beautiful, sacred, holy Mass. And second, to host a joyful reception with our favorite people in the world, including a packed dance floor.
We always talked about getting married out of town--somewhere along the California coast or a quaint town in the wine country. When it came down to it, however, the most important thing to us was not to be in a beautiful city requiring our guests to travel. Being from the same place, we decided that our hometown was the best location for our wedding day. It was convenient for everyone and so special to get ready in my childhood home, while Grant spent the morning of the wedding in the home where we now live.
Summer days in California’s Central Valley can be well over 100 degrees, but our wedding day came after a big heat wave and was a perfect low-90s day with blue skies and a light breeze.
I wanted my sweet bridesmaids to all wear the same dress, but also wanted to somehow match my Maid of Honor and sister--we constantly match unintentionally! So, we wore the same pair of earrings, which I loved. I also gave matching bracelets to my bridesmaids, my sister, and my. It’s fun to see my favorite women wearing that jewelry now, after the wedding.
After going to different bridal salons to try on the same dress three times (I’m a little indecisive…thanks for your patience, mom!) I finally decided to go for it. My dress was totally different than what I originally envisioned myself wearing, but I loved its classic silhouette and open back detail. It felt simple, yet distinctive. Also, it had pockets--not only super fun, but convenient! Above all, my gown felt timeless.
Past brides had advised me to choose a new perfume for my wedding day, because the scent would always remind me of the day. I highly recommend doing this; now, a year after our wedding, I love wearing my perfume and it always takes me back to July 1.
I worked on the invitations with a co-worker who designed a beautiful suite for us, which we printed at a local shop. One of my bridesmaids and college roommates, Erika, calligraphed all of our envelopes and signage for the seating chart, ceremony welcome, aisle markers, and a Saint John Chrysostom quote.
Lauren Santos, the artist behind When Beauty Met Truth—whom I met while studying abroad together in London—drew a beautiful crest we used on our stationery and details. The crest inspired the aesthetic for the entire day. My favorite element is the dove, symbolizing the Holy Spirit.
We wanted our Mass to exude the beauty of the Catholic Church and of sacramental marriage, yet be engaging for non-Catholic friends and family members. Father Sam did a wonderful job upholding the sacredness of the Mass, while explaining things along the way for those not familiar.
For the Mass readings, we chose Tobit 8:4-8,Romans 12: 1-2, 9-18, and Matthew 5:13-16. We chose these readings in order to share their messages with our family and friends, and also because they serve as reminders for ways we strive to live our own lives. Particularly the salt of the earth and light of the world message in the Gospel reading—we believe living a holy marriage allows us to be a light to others in this world.
Family and friends did the readings and Prayers of the Faithful, and our parents brought up the gifts.
One of my favorite parts of the Mass was signing "How He Loves" during communion with my brand new husband, knowing all of our supportive and loving family and friends were receiving the Eucharist alongside us. It was a really special moment I'll remember forever.
We were elated that our family and friends--Catholic and non-Catholic alike--commented on the joy and beauty of the Mass. All too often we hear of people saying that Mass is boring or confusing, and we truly wanted our nuptial Mass to be a beautiful expression of our faith and marriage.
At the reception, we set a table with family member's wedding photos and a framed quote from Saint John Chrysostom: "The love of a husband and wife is the force the welds society together.” It was a fun way to honor our parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles as well as the beauty of marriage and the impact it can have on so many.
We enjoyed a delicious meal incorporating some of our favorite foods: local peaches—my favorite fruit—in the green salad, and gnocchi—Grant’s favorite pasta—as a second course. After the most heartfelt toasts from my Maid of Honor, Grant’s Best Man, and my dad, and following a surprise disco style father-daughter dance and a Mambo-Italiano mother-son dance, we spent the rest of the night on the dance floor with our favorite people! We opted for a traditional tiered wedding cake—funfetti with raspberry filling—and my mom sewed the tablecloth for our cake table.
We decided to do a sparkler exit; what better way to close out the most joyful day ever? After Grant and I buckled up in the car and started to pull away, I unexpectedly burst into joyful tears. We both felt overwhelmed with love and gratitude for our day. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
A faith-filled and joyful marriage can have a positive impact on so many people in our broken world, especially those whom we might not ever know we touched.
Photography: Cori Delgado Photography | Church: Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church - Turlock, CA | Reception: Del Rio Country Club - Modesto, CA | Videographer - Devad Weddings (https://devadweddings.com/) | Flowers - Farmington Flowers (https://www.facebook.com/Farmington-Flowers-Flowers-by-Megan-Dyk-172434006154428/) | Brides Dress - | Maggie Sottero via Miosa Bride (http://www.miosabride.com/) | Brides Shoes - Kate Spade (https://www.katespade.com/) | Brides Earrings - J. Crew (https://www.jcrew.com/) | Bridesmaids Attire - Alfred Sung via Brideside (https://brideside.com/) | Grooms Suit - Suit Supply (https://us.suitsupply.com/en_US/home) | Groomsmen Attire - Black Tux (https://theblacktux.com/) | Make Up Artist - Aneesa Smith (alwaysaneesa.com) | Wedding Crest - When Beauty Met Truth (https://www.etsy.com/shop/WhenBeautyMetTruth) | Calligraphy - The Love Letterer (https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheLoveLetterer)