Looking back on the first time they met, Jaimie Zundel and Allen Basso agree that it was apparent from the very beginning that they would always be together. After one night spent as teammates during an annual “Olympics: New Year’s Eve Party”, Jaimie and Allen chose to spend all their successive weekends together as budding soul mates. So, at the end of a surprise trip that he arranged to the Buchard Gardens in British Columbia, Allen made it official and asked Jaimie to be his wife. They decided that for the rest of their days, they would continue to remain, in life and love, the only teammate one another would ever need.
For Jaimie and Allen, choosing their wedding date was easy, but not for any of the typical reasons a couple might consider, such as preferring a certain season, to commemorate a first date or to accommodate a work schedule. Jaimie and Allen knew they wanted to get married on June 12, 2004 because “12” is Allen’s lucky number and the same one he wore when he competed in water polo at USC. Finding the perfect location, however, was a more challenging task that forced Jaimie and Allen to search all of Southern California for a magical place where they could have both their ceremony and reception in one sprawling venue. The fell in love with the city of Rancho Santa Fe just north of San Diego and ultimately chose that area’s Rancho Valencia Resort to hold their summer celebration.
In keeping with the bright colors already found around the resort, the couple decided to harmonize their florals with the natural setting. The Sunrise Patio where the ceremony was to be held and the expansive reception tent fashioned on the Croquet Lawn, were dressed in simple, whimsical arrangements of roses, cymbidium orchids and hydrangea in deep variations of pink, raspberry and red, accented by shades of green.
Jaimie began her wedding day surrounded by warmth and support. She had breakfast with her parents, probably the last opportunity they would have all day to spend some alone time together, and received a special gift from them. They had written Jaimie a letter full of their hopes and dreams for her future with Allen, which her mother read aloud over breakfast. It set the tone for the wonderfully emotional events that would soon follow and remains one of her fondest memories of her wedding day.
Michael Zundel, a special member of the bride’s family and an Elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, performed their moving, outdoor wedding ceremony. “Allen and I were very lucky that we could have my father’s cousin perform our ceremony. He especially made the ring ceremony wonderful and very special”, remembers Jaimie. Allen’s father was one of his best men and stood close by as Allen became Jaimie’s husband. The important role both of their fathers played that day made their passage into marriage even more meaningful.
Jaimie and Allen welcomed guests into their reception by joining each other for their first dance, set to “True Companion”, under the massive and striking chandelier suspended over the tents’ dance floor. Later, guests joined Jaimie and Allen to groove to the couple’s favorite ‘80’s music during dancing breaks between courses of the exquisite sit-down dinner presented by the resort’s chefs.
During every wedding the unexpected inevitably occurs, and the couple exercised a positive “go with the flow” attitude when they decided to focus on the luscious taste of their Valencia orange and Irish toffee wedding cake instead of its aesthetic appeal. The chocolate frosted look that Jaimie hoped would coordinate with her invitations and decor did not turn out exactly how she envisioned it, but the compliments she and Allen received on the cake’s “inner beauty” made her initial displeasure easy to overlook.
It is safe to say that their 155 guests didn’t notice a single element out of place because they were too busy participating in a touching and lively celebration that was entirely about Jaimie and Allen. Their wedding was so enjoyable, particularly for them, because Jaimie and Allen actively chose to enjoy the planning process. Some of their favorite memories as a couple resulted from their trips down to Rancho Santa Fe to decide on their wedding details. Jaimie and Allen remember laughing a lot throughout their thirteen month engagement and as they celebrated their marriage, and they are lucky enough to have the rest of their lives to continue doing so as they take on future adventures the way every couple should, as a team.