Brides Maiden Name: Sarah Frioux

Groom’s Name: Zyon Zate

They met: We met less than a week before deploying to Afghanistan together for 6 months.

Rehearsal dinner at: Stonewood Modern American Grill

Date of wedding: August 1, 2015

Church: None. We had both wedding and reception at EPIC. Our officiant was Kimberly Bashor of Hitching Hearts.

Reception venue: El Paso Import Company

Wedding day weather: Sunny, 96 degrees

Number of guests:  70

Approach to wedding planning: We started with a very vague idea of what an Up-themed wedding would look like. But we knew that we wanted it to be bright, fun, and enjoyable for our guest and ourselves. We set no limits. If we didn’t want to include something, then we didn’t, no matter how traditional. We were very lucky to have Angelica Razo plan our wedding. She took this vague idea and gave us all kinds of examples so we could explore what we really wanted. After meeting the first few vendors, we realized how talented they are and could see that the theme really sparked their imaginations. So, we told each of them what we were thinking, but encouraged everyone to create something unique and special.  Again, we tried not to set limits and wanted to see what they would create.

Pre-wedding celebrations: We had our rehearsal on Thursday and a party at our house the Friday night before the wedding. It was the first time most of our family and friends had met each other and gave everyone a chance to socialize before the day of the wedding.

Inspiration: This was truly a family affair. Our children were included in every aspect of planning. Our goal was to have an amazing time at our own wedding and create an event that was really representative of who we are.

Wedding theme and why chosen: Up is one of our favorite movies and one of the first we watched together (in Afghanistan, of course). The first 15 minutes is the most amazing love story and is exactly how we want our marriage to be. It was also a fun way to get the children engaged in the planning.

Colors: Cobalt blue, orange, fuchsia

Flowers: All of the decorations, including the arch for the ceremony, were done by Laura Carrillo. There were a lot of roses and hydrangeas, all in very bright colors. There were also a lot of non-floral decorations, like balloons and pinwheels and confetti.

Menu: Catering was done by Rudy Valdes and his team from Crave. We chose to use food stations. Because our kids were part of every step of planning, we let them each chose a station. Judy chose a macaroni and cheese station with various toppings. Evan loves sliders, so his station had 2 varieties of sliders. The steak and potatoes station was Zyon’s, and Sarah had a taco station.  The bar included a custom drink, strawberry ginger lemonade, which could be served with or without alcohol.

Wedding cake: A beautiful 4-tier cake, again with a layer for each of us. Confetti cake with raspberry filling for Sarah, marble with chocolate ganache for Evan, chocolate with cookies ‘n cream filling for Zyon, and strawberry cake for Judy. Sarah got one extra item, a table of cannolis from Ardovino’s Desert Crossing.

First dance song:  “Everything” by Michael Buble

Wedding favors: Chocolates from Chocolat

Advice: There’s only one goal on the wedding day. Get married! Everything else is details. Our priorities were to end the day married, full of delicious food, and having spent time with our loved ones. So we made a deliberate choice to let go of some details and trust that our vendors had it under control. Our job was to focus on why we were there and we’re proud to say we actually remember our own wedding.

If you knew then what you know now: We would plan for more free time with our family and wedding party. We would have loved just one more day to enjoy their company and remember why we asked them to be with us on our wedding day. We would also have had a plan to contain the confetti. 6 months later, we are still finding random confetti pieces in our house.

Wedding summed up in 3 words: Best day ever.

Honeymoon: Wine Country Inn, St Helena (Napa), CA

Vendor List 

Wedding Planner: Angelica Razo

Florist: Laura Carrillo

Music: NC DJ Productions

Food: Rudy Valdes, Crave

Wedding cake: Melissa, Honey Bee Cakes