“As retiring Sacramento NACE President, this service project—the donating of a dream wedding to one area deserving couple, that we dubbed ‘The Wedding of a Lifetime’—was something that I had wanted to accomplish since the beginning of my term, but wasn’t too sure it was going to happen. With so much going on and time running out our membership still believed in the project and went to extraordinary lengths to make it happen. Thank you to the Sacramento NACE membership—for without all of your support to our association we would have not been able to give back like we did! Sacramento NACE congratulates Brittany and Daniel on their recent marriage—we’re thrilled that we could make their special day be The Wedding of a Lifetime!”
—Sandra Wilson, President, Sacramento Chapter of the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE)
Brittany and Daniel met while attending Rio Americano High School in Sacramento, but their paths would not cross again until college at a barbecue over Thanksgiving break. “I remember the first time I laid eyes on Dan,” Brittany recalls. “I felt instantly drawn to him, not only from how handsome I thought he was but how mysterious he was to me.” This connection would linger for several years as both completed their studies and grew as friends. “I don’t think either of us expected to have our relationship develop into a serious thing, since it had never done so in the past,” she shares. “However, we were not 18 anymore, and I think everything worked out as it was supposed to.”
Early on, Daniel intended to propose to Brittany, having confided in her mother on which ring to pick out. When the couple joined Brittany’s family for a cousin’s wedding in Amherst, Massachusetts, Daniel took the opportunity to make his move. On their last night in Boston, Daniel planned a romantic dinner, but not before taking Brittany’s dad out for a beer and asking for his permission to marry his daughter. The couple enjoyed an amazing dinner at an Italian restaurant, before walking to get gelato from a famous nearby bakery. “I noticed Dan had been saying a lot more than usual about our relationship,” Brittany remembers. “I figured maybe the wine had gotten to him and he was just being romantic.” But when they sat down on a bench in front of a big fountain and Daniel got more nervous, Brittany realized what was going on. “I was smiling so much at this point, my cheeks hurt. He asked me to marry him and, of course, I said yes.”
The Sacramento Chapter of the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE) sponsored “The Wedding of a Lifetime” contest with the mission of donating their members’ time and talents to a bride and groom that otherwise could not afford the fabulous wedding of their dreams. Brittany and Daniel found the contest online. “It was the first time Brittany had looked at wedding stuff since she and her family had made the decision to cancel the wedding they had been planning for Labor Day weekend,” Daniel shares. They made this choice after Brittany’s mother was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer in November 2011. For months, Brittany watched and cared for her mother while she put up the fight of her life. Only a couple of days before the contest deadline, Brittany’s mom went back into the hospital for a final surgery. “One evening while I was working Brittany had to come by, and I ran outside to sign the entry form papers. Then she rushed to the post office where the last shipment of mail was leaving town,” he recalls. “Luckily, our entry forms made it on time, and we were selected as one of four finalist couples to interview with a judge panel.”
The interviews with the NACE judging panel were held at Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa. “Brittany and I were very nervous because we knew what it would mean to win this contest,” Daniel says. “It was going to be such a weight off everyone’s shoulders, especially because of what we had all just been through with Britt’s mother.” When the couple arrived, they were greeted by NACE member Mike Jensen, who explained what would take place and answered any questions they had beforehand, which helped calm their nerves a bit. After the interview, they were told they would receive a phone call the next day. “We did get a call,” Daniel says, “but it was to tell us the judges needed more time because they were having a hard time making a decision, which heightened the suspense for us.”
Four days later, the couple was surprised live on TV as Mark S. Allen from Good Day Sacramento and three members of NACE announced that they were the contest winners and would be getting their dream wedding courtesy of the Sacramento Chapter of NACE.
For their big day, Brittany and Daniel knew that they wanted to have their families with them first and foremost. “It was important that my mom was able to come,” Brittany says. Despite a busy schedule and limited time to plan, the couple was able to pull it off with all the help they had from the vendors and family. “Our favorite time planning was probably getting to meet the vendors and getting to know them,” shares the bride.
For their ceremony, the couple asked their personal pastor to officiate. “Pastor Todd has known us as a couple since we started dating so it was nice to have someone perform the ceremony that knew us and was able to describe us as a couple and individually as well,” shares the bride. “The ceremony itself was very sweet, funny, and unique to us because of this.”
Following the vows, guests moved inside for the reception. The party was in the beautifully decorated barn where guests enjoyed a wonderful dinner, many memorable moments in the photo booth, and of course, the speeches. “Both of us cried when my dad gave his speech,” Brittany says. “It was very memorable, very thoughtful and meant a lot to both of us.”
Brittany & Daniel’s wedding was a service project by the membership of:
Find out more about NACE at sacnace.com.
Thank you to all of the Sacramento NACE members who donated their services to fulfill The Wedding of a Lifetime service project!
Sacramento NACE members who contributed to this event:
Accents by Sage | 916-799-6242 | accentsbysage.com
All Seasons All Reasons Catering | 916-451-9393 | allseasonsallreasons.net
Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa | 916-482-6111 | ardenhills.net
Cindie Wilding, Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant | 916-337-2787 | cindiewilding.com
Classic Party Rentals | 916-444-6120 | sacramento.classicpartyrentals.com
David Girard Vineyards | 530-295-1833 | davidgirardvineyards.com
DJ Crooner & Associates | 916-722-5971 | djcrooner.com
Hyatt Regency Sacramento | 916-321-3520 | sacramento.hyatt.com
Jackson Catering & Events | 916-483-7300 | jacksoncateringevents.com
Jensen Photo Booth | 916-334-9999 | jensenphotobooth.com
La Tavola | 916-321-9333 | latavolalinen.com
Ludy’s Catering | 888-666-3088 | ludys.com
MarNel Productions | 916-392-5000 | bridal-expos.com
The Memory Journalists | 916-802-8004 | memoryjournalists.com
Real Weddings Magazine | 916-988-9888 | realweddingsmag.com
Rent-Rite | 916-925-5866 | rent-rite.com
Siegel’s Portrait Design | 916-772-7533 | siegelsportraits.com
Supernatural SoundZ Entertainment | 916-685-6935 | supernaturalsoundz.com
Sweet Cakes by Rebecca | 916-370-7760 | sweetcakes.biz
Visual Impact Design | 916-489-3746 | visualimpact-design.com
Wilson Vineyards | 916-744-1456 | wilsonvineyards.com
Brittany & Daniel's Wedding Resources
A Song for My Son On His Wedding Day
Over the rainbow by IZ
Single Ladies by Beyonce
“Pink Panther” theme song
Madagascar vanilla butter cream frosting, fresh strawberries and strawberry filling, champagne cake. Ombre style/colored cake (purple fading to white) with rosette butter cream design.
Roses, stock, hydrangea, oriental lilies, delphinium, larkspur, gladiolas, snaps, lisianthus, queen annes lace and bells of Ireland.
Daniel and I couldn’t have asked for more when it came to the love and support we felt from all the vendors. We were blessed to be able to spend our day with such an awesome team of people. Everything went perfectly. I would highly recommend all our vendors. The photo booth from Jensen's Photo Booth was a huge hit and one of our favorite things at the wedding. Our guest book/photo album is awesome. We cannot wait to see our video! Jen from The Memory Journalist is very sweet, professional, and someone you can tell who loves their job…and is very good at it because of this. Dina and Randy from Supernatural SoundZ Entertainment are very professional and helpful, but also very fun to work with. We enjoyed all our meeting with them. Kendra from Pfeiffer Event Planning was awesome and was able to think of things I would have forgotten otherwise. She took care of all and any loose ends and made it all happen. Sandy Wilson from Wilson Vineyards is a wonderful person and is very helpful in organizing the venue. The food from Jackson Catering & Events was amazing, all of our guest raved about it. The cake from Sweet Cakes by Rebecca was just what I had asked for and looked amazing and taste even better.
We were very happy with our decision to do the “first glance” and see each other before the wedding. (I had been very reluctant to make this decision) but once the day came I was happy I got to spend that extra time with Daniel. He is my best friends and it was “our day” so I was anxious to see him and begin our day and I knew I had made the right decision to do the “first glance.” Doing this also gave us extra time to spend with our guest rather than taking photos. If you debating what to do, we personally were very happy with the decision to see each other before and I would recommend doing so.