Well, the big day has come and gone, but the memories and the pictures will always remain. For those of you unable to attend Todd and Sandy's wedding, we offer you the next best thing: Every detail you could possibly want (except for the wedding night, of course) and all kinds of picutres of the event.
Pictures and Story
The pictures that show a credit were taken by Karen Burleson, from Images by Karen. We have made every possible effort to make sure that the scanned images are of the highest quality, yet small enough to be viewed easily and quickly on the web. The actual photographs (on photographic paper) are phenomenal! Karen did a wonderful job and conducted herself very professionally at all times. Sandy says that this money was probably the "best spent" of the whole wedding. She prizes her memories of the big day.
Do you want to know what the weather was like on Todd and Sandy's wedding day? Well, for a mid afternoon at the end of the month of September it was... BAKING HOT!!!! yes, you should have seen the drops of sweat coming down some people's faces. Only one week before, the temperatures were in the mid 80's (27 degrees celsius for the "imperial challenged"). But on the day of the blessed event, the mercury rose to a shocking 105 (or 40 in celsius).
Todd and Sandy, keeping with tradition, did not see each other the night before the wedding. Todd was put up for the night by his parents at the Hallmark Suites and Sandy stayed at their home in Orangevale. They said good bye to each other the night before the wedding, knowing they would only see each other again at the altar... a tender kiss was enough... for now.
At Hallmark suites
Todd's family (Mom, Dad, Sister, Brother-in-law and Niece) was staying at the Hallmark Suites. On the morning of September 30 everyone started waking up to getting ready. The wedding was not until 3.30pm, but they were sure it was going to be a long day and they had much to do to prepare for the big day. The most difficult part seems to have been waking up the flower girl. Todd and Patty were able to have a leisurely start to the day, enjoying an early morning cup of coffee before Todd headed back to the house in Orangevale around 10:00am.
At Todd and Sandy's (Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch)
On the day of the wedding Sandy left the Cortadera Drive address very early for her hair and make up appointement at the beauty salon. She took her wedding dress and everything else she would need later. Todd returned home and started to get ready with Raúl (Sandy's dad). Sandra was to meet Sandy at Vizcaya and get dressed there. Todd seemed to be very calm ...he lounged around in his "tuxedo shirt" and shorts, and made himself some lunch.
During this time, Raúl cunningly took pictures of Todd in several stages of dressing... here's one:
By the time the wedding party started arriving at Vizcaya, Sandy was almost ready in the bridal suite... she was desperate to see her dad who was bringing her lunch (she had not eaten anything at all that day, and was seriously starving). With sweaty palms and repeated looks in the mirror, she gulped down her food and tried to memorize her vows. Todd was still calm at this point. He even helped Raúl with an impromptu "transplanting" of two plants that were to be centerpieces in the front yard of the Vizcaya. Most of his time was spent inside the reception area, setting things up -- a clever excuse to avoid the blazing sun outside in the courtyard.
3.30 pm came and the wedding party started to make their way into the courtyard. The Bride and Groom have excellent video proof of Todd's nervousness: The video clearly shows Todd "nervously clutching his hands" behind his back, waiting for Sandy to come down the aisle. The bridal march began playing and Sandy and Raúl walked up the altar. After what seemed like an eternity they made it, despite having gotten out of step, and running out of music. This one really can be blamed on Todd, as he actually performed and recorded the music for the Ceremony (The "Bridal Chorus" by Wagner, and the "Wedding March" by Mendelssohn). One of the most heartfelt moments for Sandy was walking down the aisle on her father's arm. She was very proud that he was there to "see her off". She also wanted to look at her friends and smile as sort of a "thank you for being here" but, when she tried, her face started to twitch with emotion and she knew that profuse tears would soon follow. Instead, she took turns concentrating on her dad, and looking straight ahead at the groom. Todd's face took on the mesmerized look of someone truly in love...a look that Sandy would remember as the most romantic of her life.
When Sandy and her dad finally reached the altar, she could not contain her tears. Todd's dad, Lamar, welcomed the guests and asked in spanish: "who gives this woman in matrimony?" Raúl announced himself, then kissed Sandy and shook Todd's hand before finally giving her away. Todd was busy wiping the sweat off his brow. It still remains unclear whether the sweat was due to the sun, or the occasion!
As bride and groom held hands and listened to Lamar's speech, their hearts were swollen with love. Lamar's speech was very beautiful. It included the story of how Todd and Sandy had met and how Todd's family felt about his choice of a bride.
Then, the vows. The bride and groom had sat down several times before the wedding day to talk about what was important to them in their relationship and what they wanted to include in their vows. After much worrying about finding just the right words for the vows, the words came together fairly easily. Before the wedding day, they had never spoken the vows to each other, let alone with the earnestness they would use on this day. Todd was to go first and Sandy would never forget the look in his eye as he offered his vows to her. She could not contain her tears. She wanted to take in every moment, every detail, every sound, smell, word and every feeling of that precious moment...she never wanted to forget. All of Todd's diligent practice (and Raúl's relentless drilling) reciting the vows evaporated at the sight of Sandy's face when he turned towards her. Luckily, Lamar was there to prompt him when he lost his way.
Sandy's turn came and she found it really hard for words to come out of her mouth. The strength of her feelings did not make it easy. She had to pause several times to summon her courage. Sandy's favourite part was when she said to him, "You are my peace, you are my complement, from this day forward". She felt she had really found peace with Todd, and this was something they wanted to include in their vows.
As a token of their commitment, they exchanged rings. This was the part that the bride had always feared, as she was wearing gloves. "Big mistake", she reflected afterwards. She had planned on removing the gloves for the ring ceremony, but had no idea of what she would do with them for the rest of the ceremony: "How would she get them back on"? "When would she put them back on"? In the end, the gloves got passed from groom to the best man, to the ring bearer and somehow ended up in the box of stuff that made it back to their home after the wedding! The best man also thought he would be helpful and take the "ring box" away from Lamar while he was reading Todd's lines during the ring ceremony. Unfortunately, he didn't realize that Todd's ring was still in the box! Fortunately, he was only a step away when Lamar asked to have the box back.
Then bride and groom exchanged something else: silver coins. Following a latin american tradition, the bride and groom exhanged silver coins to represent the material things they will share in their life together. After the ceremony, they retained the coins (which are not legal currency, and have no real value) as a keep-sake.
Finally Todd and Sandy were pronounced husband and wife. They walked down the aisle together, gathering briefly at the back of the courtyard for hugs and kisses, before their photographer, Karen Burleson, commandeered them for the formal portraits. The guests proceeded to the reception room to enjoy their appetizers of cheese, crackers, shrimp, crab cakes and wine.
To read Lamar's Ceremony, click here.
After pictures in the courtyard, the wedding party joined the guests in the reception room or "Garden Suite". This was the second time the newlyweds were introduced as Mr and Mrs Todd Holsopple... wow!
There were lots of friends that Todd and Sandy wanted to "hang out with", but they couldn't neglect their duties of the day: smiling for pictures, sitting down and looking pretty, and making sure there were no caterer screw-ups, etc.
The cake cutting and toast
The cake cutting and toast was another favourite moment for the couple for two reasons... First, they were hungry: theyhad not been able to eat any of their food, and second, toast time brought more love and more tears. Todd fulfilled his deepest fantasies and got to relieve some stress by going "samurai" on the cake (well...at least he posed for a picture that way). It was agreed upon before hand that the bride and groom would not partake of the seemingly "age old" tradition of smearing cake on one another's face. Still, it was "touch and go" there for a long tense minute.
The Best man started congratulating Todd and Sandy and baffled everyone by saying that his next job was to be that of Godfather. Todd and Sandy gulped at this, not beacuse Keith would not make a good Godfather, but beacuse this made them think of the "next step" ...just when they were supposed to be enjoying themselves :)
Then Sandy's dad proposed another toast. He had been planning it for a while and had translated it into English and written it on a piece of paper. Half way through his toast, Sandy started crying again (yes, we know... typical bride). A few other people wept too. It was nice to hear Sandy's dad welcome Todd into his family and bless America. Here's exactly what he said...
Not to be outdone, Todd's mom said: "I want to say something too"... It was funny to hear Todd exclaim "Oh, no!" (Ha ha ha). She made people mushy again with her speech... she talked about her happiness with Todd and Sandy's marriage, she mentioned the first time Sandy had told her that she loved her son, and how much joy that had brought her. She also said that had they (Todd's mom and dad) gone out and searched the world for a better companion for Todd, they couldn't have done a better job.
By popular request, Todd and Sandy agreed to open the gifts during the reception. The person most heatedly campaigning for this was Pam, a friend of the bride and groom and also a former neighbour. Why did Pam want them SO vehemently to open their gifts then and there? Well.... that is becuase Pam had gotten them everything that they had inlcuded in their list of "other needs" in the Gift Registry section of this web page. Imagine that! she got them the italian car (not a Ferrari, but it's still italian), a sail boat, an Aspen ski lodge and an italian villa... Yes, she got them all of these things... IN TOY SIZE! She sure pulled their leg... everyone cracked up with laughter as the bride and groom opened every one of Pam's presents. After this, boxes and cards kept coming. They were showered with good wishes. Sandy kept every card and has plans to start a scrapbook to hold every possible memory of the day. They also want to thank everyone for their generosity and good will.
This was one of the coolest moments for Todd and Sandy. Sandy had never ridden in a limo before; neither had her dad or sister. They were very excited. They had talked about sticking their heads out of the sunroof and shouting, "Hey! we just got married! Woohoo!", but the chauffeur would have none of this. Oh well, they still had fun sipping more champagne, playing with the control panel for lights and music and talking with the friends and family who were there with them. Chad and Marsha (parents of the Ring Bearer) somehow found us on Highway 80 and proceeeded to honk until we rolled down the window and waved at them. Todd also managed to get a pretty good picture of them! You can see them in the Limo Ride section of the Picture Gallery.
They hired a twelve passenger limo (this thing was long) to carry the wedding party to their sleeping quarters, or cars. Then, it was back to the Vizcaya where Todd and Sandy had rented a room for the night.
Sandy remembers Todd's "mesmerized look" returning while they were riding in the limo. Apparently, this was when it really hit him... the emotional side of what they had just done :)
The wedding night
Did you REALLY think we were going to tell you about the wedding night?! Well, the only things that Todd and Sandy want to give away are that they had a swell time talking about how things had turned out and about the most romantic moments of the day for each. Sandy thought that Todd had quite a bit to drink and was... a little merrier than usual! They stared in shock at how many pins Sandy had had to take out of her hair (sixty-nine to be exact). Finally they fell asleep, only to be awakened by a leafblower the next morning (and we're talking "early").
The Maid of Honor - Sandra Fernández
The Best Man - Keith Dungan
Father of the Bride - Raúl Fernández
Parents of the Groom - Lamar and Patty Holsopple
The Ring Bearer - Robbie Worrall
The Flower Girl - Whitney Claxton
The place Todd and Sandy chose for their Special Day is called, "The Vizcaya Mansion" is located in Downtown Sacramento, within minutes of the State Capitol. The victorian architecture of the Vizcaya as well as its beautiful courtyard make it a very romantic location.
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