Michelle and Daniel

Modesto, California



Photography + Cinematography | Karissa Wright Productions | @karissawrightproductions

Ceremony Venue | St Bernard’s Catholic Church

Reception Venue | The Century | @downtowncentury

Dress Store | David’s Bridal | @davidsbridal

Dress Store | Bianca’s Bridal Couture

Hair | Hair With Becca| @hairwithbecca

Makeup | MS Glam Squad | @m_s_glamsquaad

DJ | Sounds in Motion | @simdjmodesto

Transportation | Bella Tours Limousine

From the Photographer

The day of the wedding, the father of the bride got to walk, give a speech and give a dance at his daughter’s wedding with not one moment taken for granted by the bride and her family. Six months before the wedding, on June 6th (which also happens to be D day), the father of the bride, Alex, had a stroke. At the time, the stroke affected the whole right side of his body to where he was confined to a wheelchair. Immediately following the stroke, he was admitted to a rehab center in Modesto. Michelle came to him with tears in her eyes and asked him to walk her down the aisle in December (“No pressure”).


So during the whole time in the rehab they asked what he would like to accomplish while he was here. Everyone knew that his goal was to walk his daughter down the aisle. It wasn’t an easy journey. There were good days, but mostly there were bad days. During that period, the staff was so encouraging. They explained to him that the next three months would be the maximum gain and afterwards would be small gains. Alex told his speech therapist he had difficulty speaking. Three months in, he was rushed to the hospital having issues breaking and speaking. Michelle came to him again and asked him to speak at her wedding.

Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette?

When planning our wedding, we were trying to go for a rustic/urban feel. Being that it was a winter wedding and our favorite color is blue, I wanted to incorporate it somehow. So our color scheme consisted of steel blue, ivory, gold, and burgundy accents. My husband and I are both Catholic, so we had our ceremony in our hometown parish and then had our reception in the city where we currently live.


Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception?

My husband and I didn’t want to go through the hassle of finding several different vendors to decorate. So we were fortunate in finding The Century which took care of the floral and other decorative elements. They transported all the floral from the ceremony to be reused for the reception. We wanted a variation of center pieces so the flowers were placed in lanterns, wooden boxes, and large vases on the tables. We also had about 6 large manzanita trees scattered as well. Drapery was a big part of highlighting the sweetheart table with floating candles in clear vases. My favorite part was the market street lights that covered the brick walls and the soft up lighting which gave it a very intimate vibe. The only DIY part were the party favors placed on each person’s plate. They were s’mores in a bag labeled “Sending you s’more love” with our names and date that me, my husband and siblings started the night before our wedding day and finished in the early morning so they’d be fresh! I was happy our photo booth allowed people to take home their own pics, they created an album with the printed pics of guests that they could sign for us to take home, and it also had a flash drive copy.


What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?

Since I wanted a rustic feel, I told my florist that I wanted a lot of greenery made up of eucalyptus leaves with ivory flowers and burgundy accents. I had a cascading bridal bouquet with a mini version used to toss during the reception. My bridesmaids had a medium sized cascading bouquet as well. All the men in the bridal party had boutonnières and the women had corsages. The little white flowers bouquets with tulle used in the pews for the church were scattered as petals for the reception tables and my bridesmaid bouquets were placed in vases to be centerpieces as well. We had a hanging wooden box over the center table with white flowers and hanging down greenery. Our sweetheart table had its own large bouquet piece that flowed across the table downwards. During the meeting when planning, she executed the design flawlessly matching the samples I showed her. The flowers added the traditional elegance befitting of the theme I envisioned.


Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?

I loved how DJ George was able to personalize everything as our MC. He knew our time line, catered to the different music genres that our guests could dance to, and kept the crowd excited throughout the night. One of my favorite parts was at the beginning before we headed to the ceremony. We were able to read our personalized vows to one another at our reception venue while Karissa and her team took photos and recorded it. We were able to hold hands and hear each other’s voices on opposite sides of a large wooden door without actually seeing one another… saving our first look for when we’d meet again down the aisle.


Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.

Family means everything to me. So when shopping for all the dresses, we did it in a group with my mom, 3 sisters, mother in law and sister in law. I knew I wanted a ball gown/a-line look because knowing me, I didn’t want something too tight that would hinder my ability to dance and enjoy the food we paid for! I’ve always loved gold so my wedding dress was ivory with subtle gold glitter that sparkled under the lighting. The bodice had beautiful lacework done with tulle layers on the bottom. I bought it at Bianca’s Bridal Couture where they also matched my cathedral veil with beading/lace along the edges. I got ivory heals from DSW walking down the aisle, but majority of the night for comfort, my brother in law bought me New Balance sneakers that were white with subtle gold trimming for the reception . My bridesmaid dresses from David’s Bridal were all steel blue with the MOH having her top part of the dress lace to stand out. However, their design was still the same in chiffon fabric, floor length, and with a one shoulder top. The groomsmen came from Men’s Wearhouse rentals matching dark grey tuxedos, vest, steel blue ties and pocket squares we had to purchase separately to match the steel blue. My husband had a custom tuxedo made through Men’s Wearhouse as well that was navy blue with black satin lapels, an ivory shirt, black bow tie and ivory pocket square. For a personalized touch since Daniel loves cars and working on his own as a hobby, he special ordered cuff links for him and his party to wear which had the gear shift symbols on it.


How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.

Daniel and I met in chemistry class junior year 2008 in high school. We eventually became best friends and in March 2010, despite knowing we would have a long distance relationship because of college, one of our best friends, Natasha, encouraged Daniel to finally ask me out. From that point on, our relationship only grew and strengthened throughout the years. Because my family and I travel a lot, Daniel wanted to take a vacation someplace I hadn’t traveled before. So in August 2018, we planned a trip together to Chicago for a week. After visiting museums and site seeing, Daniel arranged for a surprise in the middle of the week. He took me to a Japanese botanical garden In the early morning where he proposed on a bridge overlooking the little lake. Little did I know he hired a photographer to capture the moment so we could show our family. Knowing how important they are to me, he then took me back to our hotel where he showed me a video he made recording my parents, sisters, and grandma congratulating us since he asked them for permission a month prior. He had lunch reservations made with a beautiful table next to a fountain awaiting us with a bouquet of roses. Afterwards, he finished the night with us kayaking down the Chicago River to watch the fireworks show on the water. It was absolutely breath taking and memorable.


What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?

The most anticipated moment of our wedding day was when our priest pronounced us husband and wife. We waited nearly 10 years for this since we‘ve been together since high school, so it was so fulfilling to finally make it official. Karissa and her team were able to capture our kiss close up, but also from the church balcony showing all our loved ones present to celebrate the moment.


Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?

I know that wedding planning can be very stressful…from coming up with the budget, selecting your guest count, and just making sure the day flows smoothly. The little details, while important, won’t be your main focus on your wedding day. What matters is what makes you and your partner happy, having the most important people that are there to support you present, and relishing in the beginning of your future together. It’s going to be a fun and memorable experience and having Karissa and her team capture that for you will be well worth it to remember your special day when looking back.