Friday, December 17, 2010

Justin and Stephanie Castillo Celebrate 1 Year

The happy couple is still treasuring their perfect courtyard wedding!

Anniversary: December 19

Written by Allison Hopkins for Très Fabu Event Planning and Design 

There was no question in their minds that a candlelit courtyard wedding was a must. It would be an ideal setting for uniting Stephanie’s Italian family with Justin’s Guatemalan side. A year later, they still can’t believe just how special it was.

Stephanie credits it to “the perfect storm of an amazing wedding planner and an amazing mother.” 

The unbelievable transformation of the Sheraton Grand Sacramento into a quaint church ceremony followed by a romantic courtyard reception left the bride, groom, and their guests stunned. It involved 600 candles, amazing lighting effects, a fountain (complete with pavers and moss), ironwork candelabras, olive branches, fresh flowers, and sugared fruit. Elegant colors were used throughout the décor: antique gold, creamy ivory lace, olives, champagnes, and browns.

“I could not believe I was walking into the Sheraton Grand when those doors opened,” says Stephanie. “Wedding guests were taken to our very own church though lighting, décor, ambiance, and romantic candlelight.”

As Cat Stevens’ “Morning Has Broken” began to play, Justin and 190 guests turned to see Stephanie in a beautiful ivory lace gown coming down the aisle, escorted by her two brothers. The song was chosen in honor of her father who has passed, as it was his favorite music. The lighting in the room, which was created by Extreme Productions, set the feel of the last of the setting sun coming through the windows…truly perfect for their 5 o’clock wedding.

Father John Mabry married the couple in a traditional yet very personal ceremony. Stephanie and Justin chose readings from various religious and literary sources and after much thought, decided to exchange traditional vows.

“Something felt so right about saying the same vows as our parents and grandparents who were there with us that day (in body and spirit),” says Stephanie.

Following the ceremony was a cocktail hour in the private courtyard (the reception room) where guests enjoyed listening to a live Spanish acoustic guitarist, Jesse Christian Hendricks.

The “courtyard” itself was nothing short of magic…between the beautiful fountain in the center, the amazing head table, and the overall lighting effects: hanging market lights set the tone for the evening and gobo lights mimicked the shadows of leaves from the moonlight. Each table had unique containers collected from local antique stores: old copper pots and gorgeous urns, no two the same, were filled with olive branches, rosemary, spray roses, hydrangeas, pears, and grapes.

“It was like every one of the vendors went all out to do what they do best,” says Justin.

Dinner was catered by the Sheraton and included vegetarian and non-vegetarian options; the main course was portabella mushroom risotto timbale or Petaluma chicken filled with apple brioche stuffing. A three-tier cake followed, with chocolate grand marnier, triple chocolate, and the couple’s favorite, chocolate pistachio!

Looking back, the evening is an unforgettable memory for the couple, just as their first dance—“Memories Are Made of This” by Dean Martin—had promised. A year later, Stephanie and Justin are enjoying feeling even more connected and content to be with their soul mate. Stephanie is still loving her job as a special education preschool teacher and Justin continues to work with computer programming…and is thrilled to be getting a new drum set! The couple plans to celebrate Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Guatemala, along with their families.

For more information about the vendors, please visit:

Event Planning, Design & Decor: Très Fabu Event Planning and Design,

Photography: CinZo Celebration Photography,

Lighting: Extreme Productions,

Floral: Floral Artistry,

Video: Sheffield Multimedia/Phillip Alan Films: and