“I suspected we’d date one day,” Dannon Kuiper says of her husband, Zachary Rease. He’s a cousin of two close friends of hers, so Dannon had known of Zack for years, but she had always been in a relationship. After a breakup, he helped move her new roommate in. “I made him dinner to thank him for helping with everything and he liked the food so much he convinced me to apply for culinary school,” the bride reveals. Now I’m a chef and I couldn’t have found a career I love more!”
Their relationship developed quickly – “I knew he was the one to keep around,” Dannon notes – and the couple went on their annual weekend trip to South Lake Tahoe. Despite being so anxious that he threw up his breakfast that morning, Zack successfully planned a surprise proposal on a pier overlooking the lake. “I was so nervous I that I yelled ‘duh!’ instead of saying ‘yes!’” exclaims Dannon.
As the father of the bride is a retired baseball player and current broadcaster for the San Francisco Giants, the couple knew that getting married in the off-season was a must. “November sounded like a beautiful time of year in the bay to get married, and it was,” the bride muses. Finding the perfect venue was easy. Years before, Dannon had been a junior bridesmaid at her uncle’s wedding at a local country club and fell in love with the location. “Its history just stole my heart,” she confirms.
The sweethearts knew they wanted their nuptials to come across modern and original. For the ceremony, the bride and groom switched sides to read their vows in order to represent that marriage means taking on your spouse’s friends, as well as their family. They wrote their own vows, filling the statements with playful jokes while still baring their souls. “I even snorted I was crying and laughing so much!” laughs Dannon.
Naturally, baseball is a very important part of the Kuiper family’s lives, so the couple was sure to incorporate America’s pastime throughout the big day. “I knew I wanted lots of white, gold, and baseball green,” affirms the bride of her wedding colors. Additionally, the guest book was a home plate, and instead of a standard numerical order, the tables were marked with the jersey numbers of Dannon’s favorite players – past and present – from the San Francisco Giants, including her dad. For both the recessional and the grand exit, guests were provided with “rally rags,” small towels fans wave in the stands during important moments of baseball games. The rally rags were printed with two baseball bats crossing in an “X” with the newlyweds' first initials and wedding date in each section.
As Dannon and Zack entered their reception, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” by Tony Bennett was played. “If you’ve ever been to a baseball game at AT&T Park then you know that's the song they play after the Giants win and it's time to go home,” explains the bride. “To me it means ‘wow, that was a great night.’ And it was.”