Andrea and Aidalix were married in October 2020 in Sacramento. They decided to elope to Sacramento and celebrate all things California including having In-N-Out burger as their meal of choice. As part of our real weddings series, we are sharing Andrea and Aidalix's beautiful wedding story.
How did you two meet?
We met on Okcupid 10 years ago! We started talking there first and didn’t meet until a few months later. We were still out on the east coast, in NYC when we had our first date at Shake Shack in Madison Square Park (where we eventually got engaged too).
What was it like planning a wedding in the time of Covid?
It was a challenge for sure. We started the process of planning a wedding when we were still home on the east coast (NY/NJ) during the holidays before Covid hit. We live in Oakland, CA, so we had planned to travel to the east coast at least a few times in 2020 to visit venues and talk to vendors. That obviously didn’t happen. When months went by that we were just hearing of peoples’ weddings being postponed because of the pandemic, we thought that we should just put our plans on hold.
Fast forward to September 2020, things were getting pretty crazy in the United States, especially after RGB died. We decided to elope so that we could just be legally married already. Even planning an elopement was sort of stressful. Covid caused delays and/or special conditions for getting a marriage license in our county and many surrounding counties. We ended up finding an appointment in Sacramento, more than an hour away from us, for a Wednesday in the beginning of October. We decided to make a day of it by staying in a nice hotel, dressing up all fancy, and hiring a photographer to document the day for us. All planned in less than 2 weeks!
What things did you take into consideration during your wedding-planning journey?
During our initial wedding planning it was important that we use as many LGBTQ+ and POC vendors as possible. Since the wedding party fell through, we did want to still try to incorporate those things in our elopement. Our photographer, Kate, is part of the LGBTQ+ community and she knows Sacramento very well. We wanted to incorporate as many California-centric things as possible to commemorate our life here (we’re both originally from the east coast), so with Kate’s help we were able to have mini photo-shoots with very California-centric backdrops. We went to a succulent garden, mural of golden poppies, and In-N-Out!
Why did you decide to elope for your wedding?
We weren’t able to throw the wedding party we initially had in mind because Covid put a wrench in our planning. In addition to the pandemic, we were in a really crazy political climate making things feel a bit uneasy for us as a queer couple. As much as we wanted to throw a party and have all of our friends and family be part of our wedding, we also realized that just being able to get married and have a day for just us two would be just as special.
What was your vision for your special day? Why did you choose Sacramento?
We sort of had no choice based on the circumstances, lol. A lot of counties, including ours, were backed up on processing marriage licenses for months or had special conditions that had to be met due to the pandemic. Sacramento was one of the few counties close by that had open appointments. Once we booked our date in Sacramento, we said that we still want the day to be as special as possible but also as stress-free as possible. We found a nice hotel close to the Sacramento County Clerk’s Office (s/o to the Kimpton Sawyer) and booked a suite for ourselves. We were also lucky to have found Kate who was already familiar with Sacramento and knew exactly where to take us for our photos. She also served as our witness, btw :) We also knew that we wanted to clean up and look as nice as we could, with whatever outfits we could find in less than two weeks. After we got married at the county clerk’s office we started on with our photo-shoot throughout Sacramento, and then we ended our day with a nice dinner at the restaurant Kru. It was sorta awesome exploring Sacramento this way!
How did you choose your wedding vendors and outfits?
The only vendor that we really chose was Kate, as our photographer. We actually came across her through Instagram. Since we only had two weeks to find someone, we went to Instagram because we figured we’d come across more recent photos and be able to see who’s been working during the pandemic. We used hashtags like #bayareaphotographer #queerphotography #lgbtqweddings #lesbianweddings to do our search. We reached out to a few photographers that came up, a few of them were available in short notice, but when it came down to it we went with Kate because she had experience and familiarity photographing LGBTQ+ couples. As far as outfits, my (Andrea’s) go-to for suiting has been Kirrin Finch and Wildfang. I ordered a few options and went with a button-down and plum plaid blazer from Kirrin Finch.
I was extremely lucky to have a tailor that I frequent be able to make last minute alterations to my blazer and pants so quickly. Find yourself a trusty, skilled tailor and you won’t regret it.
We found Aidalix’s dress at Nordstrom Rack - so lucky right?! She found a dress she liked but had a different vision for. Aidalix mocked up a new design and within 2 weeks worked with a local seamstress to create a dress she loved. The dress was shortened to a midi/tea length and the extra fabric was used to create draping sleeves. We were also able to find her beautiful shoes last minute at the Jimmy Choo outlet store.
We were also super blessed to have amazing friends and family from back home send flower bouquets and boutonnières for us to have for our photos. It was extremely thoughtful of them and made us feel like they were there in spirit.
Your photos are beautiful, how did you choose the location to shoot your photos?
It was all Kate! We had never been in Sacramento before so we knew nothing about the best photo spots in the city. We just told Kate that we wanted the theme to be California-centric and she came to us with some great ideas. The one thing we requested was In-N-Out, not only for a quick meal after we got hitched, but also to represent a fun contrast to where we had our first date and got engaged in NYC (Shake Shack in Madison Square Park).
You mentioned you are planning for a sequel wedding on the east coast, where are you in the process for that, how is that coming along?
It’s still on pause actually. Since we eloped last year in October, a few other priorities have come up - we upgraded to a bigger apartment so we could work/study from home, Aidalix started nursing school, and we started saving for future things. We still talk about having a party - a fun one(!) - but it’s definitely a challenge planning from the opposite coast during a pandemic. Once we’re able to fly back and forth a few times and feel that it’s safe for all of our loved ones to come together, we’ll get the process going again. We definitely still want to celebrate our love with the people we love at some point!
What advice would you give to couples in the process of starting the wedding planning journey?
Consider eloping! We’re biased now :) but even other couples who decided to elope and have a party later don’t have a single regret. Eloping allowed us to have something that’s just for us two, and we loved it because we can still recall everything that happened that day. If a couple does decide to elope, we also recommend thinking of ways that you can make it special for the two of you. Especially if it’s just you two, you can plan the elopement around what you want and like.
Photographer: Katherine Elyse Photography