Cassandra + Justin: Wedding on the West Coast

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Our memories and experiences with our partners are things to revisit when one requires the strength to propose a new chapter in life together. Justin drew strength from the personal things that solidify his relationship with Cassandra, to propose to her.

Some relationships don’t need grand gestures of love. For Cassandra + Justin, the more intimate, the better. See their gorgeous, Californian wedding photos below!

Tell us about your proposal.

Justin: At the time, we were living in an apartment in downtown San Francisco. We typically would take after-dinner walks in the neighborhood near Grace Cathedral. One of our favorite parks is across the street, Huntington Park, which has quiet little benches scattered throughout to sit on. The night I planned on proposing, I had friends hide Champagne and flutes in the bushes behind one of our preferred benches, while they remained undercover across the street, ready to take pictures when I got down on one knee. It was simple, but still completely nerve-wracking for me because we were in public. I knew Cass would be completely surprised because it all felt like part of our normal ritual. What I didn’t anticipate was my rambling incoherence leading up to getting on one knee. I completely blacked out and couldn’t recall one sentence of what I actually said to her. It was pretty obvious that all I had to do was hurry and get to the punch line, which I promptly did while fumbling to hold the engagement ring in front of her.

Cassandra: He’s right about my being completely surprised. It was your average Tuesday night, so I took my sweet time cleaning up dinner and lingering over my beer; I’m sure he was going crazy. We loved that park for a lot of reasons — we planned careers and dissected failures and ate many a breakfast burrito on that bench — so once I realized what was happening, I knew exactly why he had chosen it. It was low-key in a way that suited both our personalities, and a perfect representation of everything we had been through to that point. And no one stole the Champagne! Way to go, universe!

How did you know your partner was the one?

Justin: Our first date clicked like nothing I had ever experienced before; the best conversation.

Cassandra: The first date was pretty epic. Was only supposed to be an afternoon kayak — wound up going for hours and hours, into dinner and walking around the city that night. On the second date, he made me laugh so hard I shot soda out of my nose. There were a million other things, but we just fit in a way that seemed like the most natural thing in the world.

What do you love most about your partner?

Justin: Our shared humor comes so naturally.

Cassandra: He has this endless patience and excitement about our life together. Humor is a huge part of that, but he’s always interested and willing to do whatever he can to get us where we need to go.

What was your favourite part of the wedding day?

Justin: She crushed her vows, I was so impressed and in love watching her up at the altar.

Cassandra: Oh, man. It’s a blur of ‘awesome’, but the moment before I walked out might be it: we had a gypsy jazz quartet play our processional, an instrumental cover of a Blind Pilot song that always reminds me of the early years of our relationship. I was excited and nervous, but feeling pretty calm overall, and then the quartet came in with that song and everything that was about to happen rushed over me — getting hit with that, and then seeing Justin grinning down at the altar a few seconds later was the most alive I think I’ve ever felt.

Describe your wedding theme.

Justin: Tantalizing for the senses.

Cassandra: Rustic fairy tale meets best backyard party you’ve ever been to.

What was your favourite detail?

Justin: The band absolutely nailed the energy we hoped to capture. They kept the night moving and engaged the crowd really well. It was impossible not to get out there and have a good time.

Cassandra: We printed out these little photo cards — hundreds of shots of both of us as kids, with family and friends, and six year’s worth of embarrassing photos from our relationship— that we strung up on clotheslines around the barn where all the dancing was. Right as the wedding was about to start, we realized they had been left back at the house. I wasn’t bothered, just figured we’d go without them. I’m not sure who did it, but someone went back and got them, and by the time the reception started, they were up. It was such a hilarious personal detail that was really striking when you saw it all laid out.

What is marriage to you?

Justin: My wife is a partner that holds me accountable to be the best version of who I am. She challenges, encourages, explores, empathizes, advises, and helps create a home we want to come back to every night. My role is to do the exact same for her.

Cassandra: To me, marriage is a level of trust and freedom to craft a deeply rich life you can be proud of with a total ally. Both of us would do that for the other with or without the piece of paper, but when you’re in love like that, the additional step was just an extra excuse to celebrate each other.

Carly Tia
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