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To Have and to Holden is our series where we interview real couples about their romance, weddings, and whatever else comes up along the way. Enjoy!
Trish and Matt met working in the same restaurant. Flash forward four years, and they've started an ice cream company together and gathered their closest friends and family to celebrate their wedding. Matt chose The Faceted and Trish The Full Column Baguette in yellow gold for their wedding bands. Read on for their story (and to learn more about Chunky Butt Ice Cream).
How did you two meet and start dating?
We met back in early 2017 working at the back of house of a Berkeley restaurant. We would work together for barely an hour a day on the weekdays and for a bit more on the weekends, but we would each be busy with completely different things and barely spoke. There was a lot of respect for each other’s work ethic that built up from that time. It eventually evolved when our common friend in the kitchen, whom we both would confide in, acted as a match-maker! On our first date, we got off opposite BART trains at the exact same moment and saw each other right away - it was like a movie! Then we walked in circles around Lake Merritt, shared a sandwich from Ike’s, and spent eight hours just getting to know each other better. We were both shy babies back then!
How did you get engaged?
It was in between holidays in late December 2020, after three and a half years together and six months into our micro-business, when Matt proposed on the pier of a beach in snowy Lake Tahoe the morning before we left. Apparently, Matt had the engagement ring since July and told no one but waited for the perfect moment. We phoned our parents and best friends on our ride back home, and it made for a significant New Year’s celebration.
You started a business together during COVID - could you talk a bit about how that happened and what you do now?
Naturally, as food workers, we both lost job security early on in the pandemic. With more time on our hands, we started making ice cream at home. Friends and family who wanted a pint or two offered to pay for ingredients and delivery, so we started doing no-contact drop-offs to pass the time. We didn’t even have our own car back then; we would rent a car for the day and drive around. It was a way to keep busy and pass the time safely. Eventually, it caught on - and so did our bills. The Bay Area is notorious for being an expensive place to live, so when ice cream started paying for rent, we dedicated ourselves to making it a worthwhile endeavor. Fortunately for us, Matt’s old company allowed us to use their kitchen for production and pop-ups. We’ve had quite a successful year, and we’re very proud.
After the wedding, we went on a mini honeymoon to the Pacific Northwest in lieu of our original plan to explore Mexico. We visited parts of Oregon and Seattle for the first time. Now, we’re back and gearing up to make Chunky Butt Ice Cream more regular on the scene with new inspired flavors and old favorites.
What’s your favorite thing about working together?
Apart from being best friends, working together as a couple has its practical perks, for sure. The main challenge, though, is vulnerability. One thing we agree on is that living together during a pandemic lockdown, while navigating a growing business together, was the make-or-break moment for us and we’re sure, for many other couples. We knew what it was like to be broken up in the past, and we knew that we wanted to make it work. Chunky Butt was proving to be something viable, and we both wanted to make that work as well. That might be our favorite part. You can trust that the other person is in it to make it work, personally or professionally, and you can go on from there. Just as important is that we’re almost forced by the dynamic to learn more about each other every day, ever-curious, ever-open. Not every couple is able to experience that.
What’s a moment from your wedding day that you’ll remember forever?
Trish’s dad’s speech, hands-down.
Our wedding in Oakland was an ode to our Mexican family, culture and tradition. We are still planning a church wedding in the Philippines where most of Trish’s family resides, so her side was just a single table. That made it an emotional moment when Trish’s dad spoke on behalf of her family. He had the dad jokes but also brought on the tears. The entire room was silent when he was delivering his heartfelt speech, and it was the most special moment we had not quite anticipated to hit the very top of our list. We knew it would be good, but we had no idea how epic it would really be!
What’s some advice you have for couples planning a wedding right now?
Embrace the COVID wedding. It’s better than you think, and really, it’s all you need.
Like our family told us, planning a small wedding or a big wedding is the same. You put the same amount of effort and love into it, so make it good. Good for you. What you like. For us, that was making it all about family. But for you, that could be different. Just like with all things worthwhile, know your WHY, like they say, and always go back to it when you feel overwhelmed.
Early on, we decided our wedding should be intimate, sustainable, and personal. We did everything DIY. Our guests were just family and a handful of our closest friends. We had one of our favorite taco trucks parked outside, a bartender with personalized cocktails and housemade syrups, a tres leches cake from one of our favorite small bakeries, a coffee pod station for those who prefer it to alcohol, and Filipino sweet bread for our souvenirs. We invited a Mariachi trio to play during our entrance. Our wedding invites were online via Greenvelope. All the decorations are reusable, for our home - red clay earthenware, cactus plants, a wall hanging backdrop now in our bedroom, talavera tiles as coasters that we intend on making a tiled table with for our future home. The bridal bouquet is made of everlasting flowers, while the boutonnieres were succulents we have repotted. We even brought to-go boxes so guests wouldn't go home empty-handed.
Our ceremony was a quick exchange of vows, and we lit a set of unity candles while all the guests held their own individual candles to signify the coming together of our two families. We had the money dance, but instead of dancing with the guests, we danced with each other to the tune of Oh Honey by Delegation while guests came up to us and pinned bills. We were supposed to play a round of Loteria, but people were already having so much fun that we decided to spend the rest of the time just chatting with our guests who we all hadn’t seen in so long due to the lockdowns. (That was the one thing we did not want to happen - to be so caught up in the traditional wedding schedule that we would not be able to actually spend time with our guests! We see couples suffer this all the time.) We also requested money-gifts instead of having a registry, and we used a bulk of that money recently to buy an ice cream cart!
Select your wedding suppliers intentionally. There were a couple of snafus that happened at the venue, but each of our suppliers was gracious, professional and agile. It made for less stress all around. We sent out reminders to everyone to be vaccinated or tested before the day and had hand sanitizers ready on each table. You can never be too safe when it comes to something as serious as COVID.
Lastly, enjoy the moment - it’s easier said than done. In order to do that well, make sure your expectations of the day and of each other, your families, entourage, etc. are communicated clearly. Share your wedding non-negotiables with those you can depend on so that they have your back and can make it happen for you. Otherwise, especially for people who find security in a sense of control, it can get a bit chaotic. But at the end of the day, make peace with whatever happens. Your marriage is bigger than a one-day affair, and you now face the future together. There are bigger fish to fry!
What was important to you in choosing a ring? What made you choose Holden?
The most important value to us when we chose our rings was that they had to be very US. Not sought-after, not necessarily unique either, just US. We wanted people to see our rings and say, “That’s so you!” When we came upon Holden, the options were so classy, impressive, and limited. We liked that. It felt like you were choosing from the best options, not a plethora. Holden shows a deliberate hand and a restraint that only speaks to a thoughtfulness in design. We strive for the same in our creations, and so we appreciated it very much in the ring options. Not to mention, the customer service was ace. Honestly, we didn’t need much convincing, apart from which size and width to get!
What does love mean to you?
Love is strength. It requires courage and demands faith. No matter what life puts us through, it’s love that keeps us going.
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