Aileen & Sandy: A Destination Wedding in Santa Rosa, CA

Aileen and Sandy found the ideal setting for their autumn wedding while vacationing in Napa Valley, and booked the picturesque venue before they were even engaged! THE BRIDE Aileen Anastacio THE GROOM Sandy Sandoval THE DATE September 23 It was just after Christmas 2002 when Aileen, a 34-year-old chef and business owner based in the Philippines, went to Boracay, an island 200 miles south of Manila. She was on vacation with her friends, but while she was there, she met 39-year-old businessman Sandy, who was staying at the same resort. The two hit it off over drinks one night, then agreed to go sailing the next day. That evening, they sat on the beach for hours, talking until sunrise, and they both realized they had found someone special. “A week after we met,” Aileen says, “Sandy called one of his close friends and said that he finally met the girl he wants to marry.” They continued seeing each other after they returned home, and a year and a half later, on a trip to California, began scouting wedding locations. “It was an awkward situation, since we still weren’t officially engaged,” Aileen admits. But they knew that they wanted a fall wedding (it was already May) and that a Napa Valley winery would be the ideal setting. So they booked it. The awkwardness soon subsided when, a month after their trip, Sandy popped the question at Aileen’s favorite restaurant in Manila.