Derek and Katie

in New York, United States

Videographer: Tony Castaneda Films
Venue: Yosemite National Park
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Yosemite National ParkCeremony Venue
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Yosemite National ParkReception Venue
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Tony Castaneda FilmsVideographer
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Wedding Date on Sep 25, 2018

We met 10 years ago as co-workers. While our friends and colleagues always joked about us being the perfect match, we laughed it off for nearly 3 years. In 2011, on our own terms, we found ourselves together and discovered we grew up our entire lives around the corner from each other. We fell in love quickly, hard, and our compatibility was apparent to everyone around us. After 6.5 years of dating, we got engaged before Derek's birthday dinner in the most meaningful way imaginable. As we walked toward the restaurant, we curiously (Derek's plan all along) stopped in an unopened, newly renovated wedding venue after hearing voices from inside. The owners asked if we wanted to tour it after we explained Derek's grandparents  previously owned the popular night club and Kate's grandparents spent many of their weekend nights dancing in it. As we were touring, Derek asked "you know how I never ask for anything on my birthday?" And when Kate replied "yes?" he continued,  "This will be the first and only thing I ever ask for..." as he got down on one knee in front of the "DiCastros" sign. Exactly 4 months to the day, we exchanged vows during an intimate ceremony at sunrise in Yosemite National Park. It was just the two of us, our officiant, photographer, videographer, and a few clapping spectators who were there to witness the sun rise over Half Dome. Planning our wedding was easy after we made the difficult decision to do it some 2,600 miles away from our friends and family.  We knew from the beginning we needed it to be done in a way that felt true to us and although we entertained the idea of getting married locally, the money we would spend on what felt like a production for others became a factor and a stressful thought that clouded the entire process. We chose California because of our individual history there and we both knew it would provide the experience we were looking for.  Our wedding was the epitome of a fairy tale. We knew it would be intimate, romantic, and we would take the time to focus on ourselves but what we didnt know, is what it would do for us as a couple. Taking the opportunity to make our entire trip, from San Francisco to Yosemite to Lake Tahoe, more about us and less about others was a dream come true and gave us the opportunity to reflect on our journey, share our gratitude for each other, and enjoy on the the huge step we were about to take as a couple without hundreds of eyes watching.  Living in such a moment without a plan or cell phone service was the best part. Our hope is that all couples will choose to make their wedding day, whether traditional or non-traditional, about them. Be selfish. Say no if it's not what you want. Don't settle for something that isn't a reflection of you as a couple just to please others. It's the joining of two families but more importantly, it's the joining of two people who are creating a life worth living together and are accountable for surviving the highs and lows that come with committing to another person.  Begin your marriage by giving your undivided attention to what's important to you.



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Derek and Katie

in New York, United States

Videographer: Tony Castaneda Films
Venue: Yosemite National Park

Sep 25 2018

Bookmark
Likes
Share

We met 10 years ago as co-workers. While our friends and colleagues always joked about us being the perfect match, we laughed it off for nearly 3 years. In 2011, on our own terms, we found ourselves together and discovered we grew up our entire lives around the corner from each other. We fell in love quickly, hard, and our compatibility was apparent to everyone around us. After 6.5 years of dating, we got engaged before Derek's birthday dinner in the most meaningful way imaginable. As we walked toward the restaurant, we curiously (Derek's plan all along) stopped in an unopened, newly renovated wedding venue after hearing voices from inside. The owners asked if we wanted to tour it after we explained Derek's grandparents  previously owned the popular night club and Kate's grandparents spent many of their weekend nights dancing in it. As we were touring, Derek asked "you know how I never ask for anything on my birthday?" And when Kate replied "yes?" he continued,  "This will be the first and only thing I ever ask for..." as he got down on one knee in front of the "DiCastros" sign. Exactly 4 months to the day, we exchanged vows during an intimate ceremony at sunrise in Yosemite National Park. It was just the two of us, our officiant, photographer, videographer, and a few clapping spectators who were there to witness the sun rise over Half Dome. Planning our wedding was easy after we made the difficult decision to do it some 2,600 miles away from our friends and family.  We knew from the beginning we needed it to be done in a way that felt true to us and although we entertained the idea of getting married locally, the money we would spend on what felt like a production for others became a factor and a stressful thought that clouded the entire process. We chose California because of our individual history there and we both knew it would provide the experience we were looking for.  Our wedding was the epitome of a fairy tale. We knew it would be intimate, romantic, and we would take the time to focus on ourselves but what we didnt know, is what it would do for us as a couple. Taking the opportunity to make our entire trip, from San Francisco to Yosemite to Lake Tahoe, more about us and less about others was a dream come true and gave us the opportunity to reflect on our journey, share our gratitude for each other, and enjoy on the the huge step we were about to take as a couple without hundreds of eyes watching.  Living in such a moment without a plan or cell phone service was the best part. Our hope is that all couples will choose to make their wedding day, whether traditional or non-traditional, about them. Be selfish. Say no if it's not what you want. Don't settle for something that isn't a reflection of you as a couple just to please others. It's the joining of two families but more importantly, it's the joining of two people who are creating a life worth living together and are accountable for surviving the highs and lows that come with committing to another person.  Begin your marriage by giving your undivided attention to what's important to you.


Wedding Team

Y

Yosemite National ParkCeremony Venue
Learn More

Y

Yosemite National ParkReception Venue
Learn More

T

Tony Castaneda FilmsVideographer
Learn More

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