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MEMORABLE WEDDINGS –
Sylvia and Zachary


1518-Zach-Sylvia

A gorgeous entourage of bridesmaids escort the bride amidst California palm trees.

Text by Melanie Saxton Photos by Misty Dameron Photography

Sylvia Bernier of Katy and Zachary Seaton of Bakersfield, California met as university students. During their very first date, they discovered that they were a perfect pair!

Sylvia attended Cypress Springs High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences at Texas A&M University. She is a medical assistant at Farr Medical Group and is studying to become a physician assistant. Zach attended Garces Memorial High School in Bakersfield and earned a mechanical engineering degree at Texas A&M University. He is employed as an engineer.

The couple exchanged vows on Nov. 28, 2015 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church followed by a reception at the Stockdale Country Club in the groom’s hometown.

 

How They Met

On Nov. 28, 2011 – exactly four years prior to their wedding date – Sylvia sat on the bus after her last class for the semester. While waiting, she looked up at the door and noticed Zachary walking toward the seat to her right. Her heart began to race because he was the same guy who caught her attention by smiling the kind of smile that gives a girl butterflies as he exited the bus only a few weeks earlier. Little did she know that Zachary had been trying to talk to her for some time, but never had the opportunity until now. Seizing his chance, Zachary said, “Hello” and started a conversation. As the bus approached Sylvia’s stop, Zachary asked for her number and got it just in time.

 

First Date And Courtship

Two days after meeting on the bus, they enjoyed lunch at a sandwich shop and spent time getting to know each other. They liked each other immediately, and Zachary told Sylvia that she reminded him of Brad Paisley’s song Little Moments. The more they got to know each other, the more they knew that they were the perfect match.

At the beginning of their relationship, Zachary told Sylvia that the woman he says “I love you” to will be the woman he marries. Two years later on Sylvia’s 21st birthday, he finally shared what he had felt for a long time. Zachary told Sylvia that he was in love with her, and the feeling was mutual!

 

Proposal

A year before he proposed, Zachary began looking into diamond engagement rings and wedding bands. After months of searching to no avail, he designed the perfect ring himself and had it custom made. On Dec. 31, 2014, he and Sylvia drove to Huntington Lake, California where Zachary planned a snowmobile ride for the day. They reached the peak of the Sierra Nevada Mountains at an elevation of more than 8,000 feet. With a breathtaking view above the clouds overlooking the lake and valley below and amongst the snowy mountains, Zachary dropped to one knee and asked Sylvia the question that would tie their futures together. Sylvia cried, “Yes, of course!”

 

Engagement

The engagement was 11 months long. Sylvia was finishing up her senior year at Texas A&M while Zachary was working and living in California. Living 1,650 miles apart for a year wasn’t easy, but they still found time to travel to the Grand Canyon, to Venice Beach to parasail, to Napa Valley for a winetasting, and to the beautiful Sequoias.

 

The Wedding

The bride envisioned an elegant and traditional wedding infused with her favorite soft hues of pink and dusty rose. “It was my perfect fairytale,” she says of the exquisite ceremony, made even more special by falling on the same exact day she met her groom four years earlier.

Bridal Party: Monsignor Craig Harrison officiated as the father of the bride, Ronald Bernier, and mother and step-father, Daisy and Steve Wells, joined parents of the groom, Dennis and JoAnn Seaton, in witnessing the union of their children. Maid of honor Allison Bernier stood with bridesmaids Nicole Grimm, Kathleen Tillman, Zaina Hussein, Amanda Burkham, and Jessica Seaton. Best man Dylan Seaton stood with groomsmen William Bernier, Ryan Farrer, Anthony Martinez, Zachary Swick, and Dusty Pendergrass. Adorable Emme and Carson served as flower girl and ring bearer.

Floral: Dusty rose flowers, white roses, blush pink roses and dusty miller greenery arrangements added wedding-themed color to the church sanctuary and altar.

Attire: The bride wore a white Martina Liana gown with a low sweetheart neckline, low and beautiful back, delicate lace shoulder straps, dramatic cathedral train, intricate lace details, and scalloped hem. Peep-toed shoes completed the ensemble. Bridesmaids wore A-line chiffon sleeveless Bari Jay dresses in dusty rose with high necklines. The groom wore a black Vera Wang tuxedo, white tie, white handkerchief, black shoes and argyle socks. Groomsmen wore black tuxedos, dusty rose colored ties and black shoes.

Walk Down the Aisle: The bride became emotional when her father saw her for the first time in her wedding gown. He squeezed her hand as they stood anxiously waiting to make their walk down the aisle and told her how beautiful she looked. They looked at each other just before the doors opened, and then the bride only had eyes for her groom. “A string quartet played Canon in D and my heart was overwhelmed with joy the moment I first saw my handsome soon-to-be husband,” she says. According to the groom, the church door opened and he saw his beautiful bride. “I’ve never felt so happy and excited in my entire life,” he recalls.

Top Wedding Moment: Monsignor Harrison gave an absolutely beautiful homily and reminded the couple that it was no coincidence or accident that they got on the bus together exactly four years ago Texas A&M. God’s plan was being fulfilled, and the newlyweds felt very blessed.

 

The Reception

The post-nuptial celebration at the Stockdale Country Club was an unforgettable experience. The bride’s impeccable attention to detail ensured that guests enjoyed the reception and danced the night away.

Décor: Lovely creative elements adorned the venue. The bride personally designed a “Welcome to our wedding” sign, a sparkler sign and a chalkboard sign that said, “Thank you for coming.” Dusty rose, dusty miller, blush roses and white roses filled tabletops, as well as white linens, dusty rose napkins, lanterns, rose petals and votive tea lights. In lieu of a guest book, the guests signed puzzle pieces and were given “Mint to Be” candies as favors.

The Cake: The first layer of the two-tiered wedding cake was flavored in marble, with a second layer in chocolate. The cake topper depicted a kissing couple ready to embark on their honeymoon.

Dancing: The couple started their first dance slow dancing to Eric Clapton’s Wonderful Tonight. Then, they surprised their guests by changing the pace and danced to Hank Williams Jr.’s Born to Boogie, performing fun country moves they learned at Texas A&M. Father and daughter danced to Heartland’s I Loved Her First. Mother and son danced to Louis Armstrong’s What A Wonderful World.

Top Reception Moments: Speeches from the bride’s father, the groom’s parents, the bride’s maid of honor (her sister), and the groom’s best man (his brother) were so heartfelt and touching that the bride cried many happy tears. Dancing with her new husband, family and friends was a lot of fun, especially when all the Aggies in the room did the Aggie War Hymn.

The Exit: The couple walked through a flurry of sparklers toward the groom’s 1971 Corvette Stingray, which he worked hard to completely restore over the previous year leading up to the wedding.

 

The Honeymoon

The couple spent eight days at the Westin in Maui, Hawaii. They watched an absolutely stunning sunrise from Haleakala’s summit at an elevation of 10,023 feet, then biked 23 miles downhill. They also enjoyed snorkeling massages, dinner on the beach, fun under the sun and a great deal of relaxation.

 

The bride’s dramatic cathedral train sweeps the winding staircase at the Stockdale Country Club.

The bride’s dramatic cathedral train sweeps the winding staircase at the Stockdale Country Club.

 

The bride and groom embrace during a quiet moment together.

The bride and groom embrace during a quiet moment together.

 

A spiritual moment: the bride’s attendants surround her in prayer.

A spiritual moment: the bride’s attendants surround her in prayer.

 

An emotional bride reads a love letter from her future husband.

An emotional bride reads a love letter from her future husband.

 

Almost ready! The bride is buttoned into her gown.

Almost ready! The bride is buttoned into her gown.

 

The bride and her mother share a joyous embrace as they prepare for the big moment!

The bride and her mother share a joyous embrace as they prepare for the big moment!

 

Zachary and his groomsmen strike a pose in sunny Bakersfield.

Zachary and his groomsmen strike a pose in sunny Bakersfield.

 

In a bittersweet moment, the proud father walks his daughter down the aisle.

In a bittersweet moment, the proud father walks his daughter down the aisle.

 

The handsome groom reads a love letter from his soon-to-be wife.

The handsome groom reads a love letter from his soon-to-be wife.

 

With Monsignor Harrison by his side, the groom awaits the arrival of his beloved.

With Monsignor Harrison by his side, the groom awaits the arrival of his beloved.

 

Picture perfect! The breathtaking bride poses with her bouquet.

Picture perfect! The breathtaking bride poses with her bouquet.

 

A two-tiered wedding cake amid pink-themed splendor.

A two-tiered wedding cake amid pink-themed splendor.

 

Guests at the reception enjoyed “Mint to Be” favors.

Guests at the reception enjoyed “Mint to Be” favors.

 

A wedding still life: shoes, perfume, garter and rings are arranged against a bouquet backdrop.

A wedding still life: shoes, perfume, garter and rings are arranged against a bouquet backdrop.

 

A unique guest book included clever puzzle pieces signed by guests.

A unique guest book included clever puzzle pieces signed by guests.

 

Custom homemade touches added warmth and elegance to the ceremony.

Custom homemade touches added warmth and elegance to the ceremony.

 

It’s official! Sylvia and Zachary head back down the aisle as newlyweds.

It’s official! Sylvia and Zachary head back down the aisle as newlyweds.

 

The groom dances with his emotional — and very proud — mother.

The groom dances with his emotional — and very proud — mother.

 

The bride and her father on the dance floor.

The bride and her father on the dance floor.

 

A chalkboard sign thanks family and friends for celebrating Sylvia and Zachary’s big day.

A chalkboard sign thanks family and friends for celebrating Sylvia and Zachary’s big day.

 

The couple smiles during a lighthearted moment during the wedding ceremony.

The couple smiles during a lighthearted moment during the wedding ceremony.

 

The groom next to his 1971 Corvette Stingray, which he restored for the wedding exit.

The groom next to his 1971 Corvette Stingray, which he restored for the wedding exit.

 

A welcoming sign designed by the bride added a personal element to the décor.

A welcoming sign designed by the bride added a personal element to the décor.


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