Jenna & Mario
Three years ago I met Jenna at church – she was a 🦄. Seriously, she was wearing a unicorn costume at church! And for some reason I thought she was married with kids. We didn't see each other again for another nine months until we ended up in the same small group, where I would show up after work in 👔 business attire. She told me recently that she thought "professional" Mario was 😍. I decided to test the waters (literally) during a half-marathon where she was volunteering at a water station. I flirted – it was a swing and a miss ...
Nevertheless, she resourcefully got my number and we started texting, sporadically at first but eventually it became the norm. Months go by and she invites me to a rodeo fundraiser! (Does that mean she asked me out first?) Fast forward many dates and a year later, we visited my family in Switzerland when I finally said those three words, "Ich liebe dich" (I was too scared to say it in English, so I said it in Deutsche! 😂) and she replied, "I love you too!" ... a few looooong weeks later 😫.
Skip ahead several months and I finally had everything I needed to ask her to marry me. We were at a park around sunset and I had the 💍 inside my chest pocket. I think at some point I awkwardly slapped her hand away as she held me because it got too close to my pocket. I was nervous! Eventually, I gave her a handwritten note and asked her to marry me. She confidently replied, "sure?" which is Jenna speak for "yes!" That was good enough for me!
So here we are, getting ready for a new season in life together ... God is good.
-Mario (Story audited & approved by Jenna!)
WE ARE REGISTERED AT...
THE WEDDING PARTY
Ex-coworker, cyclist and a savant strategist. If you have a problem, Andy has the solution! I serendipitously met Andy at my previous job and he was the one who encouraged me to attend the.point, a young adult ministry at The Grove Community Church. There, I would eventually meet Jenna! Moreover, he also lead the very first small group that she attended. (So, double thanks for making her feel welcomed enough to stick around, I owe you one!) Between long carpool rides on the 91 freeway and post-bike ride talks in the garage, he’s given me more advice than I can remember (the ones I don’t remember are probably the best ones!).
クリスマス・サン (Christmas-san!) A man’s man, fearless competitor, father to four of my favorite girls and a stranger’s best friend. I met Trevor in Japanese class 16+ years ago. We had plans go to snowboarding but never did, and we lost touch after that semester when he went to North Carolina to study the Bible. Six years later, Andy and I met in front of his friend’s house on our way to go snowboarding. When he told me the name of his friend, I couldn’t believe it! When his friend walked out of the front door, I was flabbergasted. It was クリスマス・サン! We finally got to snowboard together! On our most recent trip Trevor suggested Jenna to me (she was his assistant in a class for new believers at church). I played it coy, he didn’t know that we had already gone on a few dates! Nonetheless, I was encouraged that she had Trevor’s endorsement and the rest is history!
Peaceful, patient and gentle, my twin brother is the exact opposite of me! 😅. Despite many fights over who gets to watch tv (he wanted to watch Star Trek, I wanted to watch Michael Jordan’s Bulls) or who gets to play the Super Nintendo, we managed to get through life together. He’s helped me get through many difficult life moments - from a fist fight with the neighborhood bully (I lost, but together we won) to struggling with my calculus homework in 14th grade, Manuel was there. Together we learned how to change a car engine with just a technical manual, a cherry picker and borrowed tools. Always calm and composed, he is a good dude to have by your side when you are irrational and need someone to keep you cool.
Jessie exudes a welcoming presence wherever she goes, a trait my 10-year-old self picked up on quickly when we first met. Uber shy little Jenna was comfortable around Jessie, and that comfort has only grown throughout the years. Jessie has been one of my biggest advocates, through pursuing new jobs, tackling a lofty goal, writing college entrance essays, and seeking to discover my personal purpose in my community – Jessie has offered incredible advice and wisdom. Her positivity and enthusiasm encourage all around her to build a better and kinder world.
My small risk of befriending the girl in my kindergarten class with the chin patch paid off BIG TIME! Alicia is the most intentional friend I have ever known! She always writes EVERYONE a card for his or her birthday, she mailed me care packages when I lived in Chile, and she bakes the most delicious desserts. From kindergarten besties to middle school band buddies to college roommates, Alicia has been there through it all. Getting married wouldn’t be the same without her by my side.
THE WEDDING LOCATION
Lake Hills Reserve Park
16310 Village Meadow Dr.
Riverside, CA 92503