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Only In Santa Cruz

Tue, Jan 28, 2020

MAH Love Stories

This Valentine's Day The MAH is hosting a number of unique ways to celebrate and spend time with loved ones.

From Speed Weddings & Vow Renewals to 2-for-1 Admission the museum will be overflowing with love all day long. To get ready for the Valentine's Day extravaganza, get to know a few of the couples who's love story featured The MAH from first dates to vow renewals.

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Yethzéll Viana Díaz & Marcelo Díaz Viana Neto

Yethzéll and Marcelo met while working and volunteering at a tech non-profit in Watsonville. They got married at The MAH because "that's where we were when we first started dating. Marcelo was giving a talk on his MFA thesis work, and I went to support him. As he was talking about his work, it's like a light went on in my head and I totally fell for him."

Three words to describe your relationship:

"Absolute, Perfect, Match" & "About, damn, time"

Why did you choose to get married at The MAH?

"We actually got married on the spot he was standing on when he gave that talk and I fell for him. Then, having Libería Donceles and Regeneración up was super exciting for us. Our friend Kyle Lane-McKinley had a piece up that chronicled the earthquake too. And, OMG I'll always remember the day I stopped by and first saw HongSeok Ko's Blue Sky: Same & Different balloon installation: it felt like being transported to a world in the clouds! It felt like every time I came in to talk to Claudia about the wedding, there was something another amazing thing going on in the museum that I couldn't wait for all my friends and family to see! The venue couldn't have been more perfect at that particular moment in time."

What was your favorite part about getting married at The MAH?

Yethzéll: "One of the things we decided early once we were set on having an actual wedding ceremony was that it be an introvert-friendly wedding. We are both weary of typical social situations which usually include small-talk and some level of self-consciousness (at least for us). When we were thinking about venues, we wanted a place that would give people options. Do you want to be on the dance floor the whole evening? Cool, go right ahead. Would you rather wander around alone and explore all of the cool art? That works too!"

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Jared Gamboa Leake & Cristina Leake Gamboa

Jared and Cristina were both living in Santa Cruz when Cristina's friend Alli sent out a message via group text message asking if "anyone is interested in a hot, doctor babe." Then after three months of trying to get her number and one date in Capitola Jared left saying, "I knew as soon as I saw her that she was the one for me."

Three words to describe your relationship:

"Awesome, Love-filled, Super fun." & "Honest, Supportive and Hilarious."

Photos by Haley Longbottom.

Why did you choose to get married at The MAH?

"There are so many things. The staff was easy to work with and the space felt like it was our own for the night. At the time the portrait exhibition, See, be Seen, was going on in the second-floor gallery and both Cristina and I had artwork hanging in the show. We also got to use the large picture frame for our "photobooth setup". We have a lot of friends that live out of town and it was great for them to get a taste of the history of Santa Cruz through the MAH's eyes."

What was your favorite part about getting married at The MAH?

"We loved being able to use the balcony space during our exchange of words and the design of the staircase when we had mariachi's processing us down to the main floor. The outdoor spaces were awesome to use and everyone enjoyed the screaming hand in the elevator."

"We feel a real sense of community in Santa Cruz and the MAH is an extension of that."

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Chance Decker and Teresa Decker

Chance and Teresa first met while working at Long Beach State. Chance shared that, "I can still remember when our Director first walked her into my office to introduce her. I tried to play it cool, acting like I didn't want to hang out with coworkers outside of work, but I eventually followed my heart and asked her out via interdepartmental mail for our first date on Valentine's Day."

Three words to describe your relationship:

Love, Laughs, Learning

What was your favorite part about renewing your vows at The MAH?

It was so fun to have our 2 daughters be a part of the ceremony, they have been looking at our wedding album for years so it was so fun for them to be included this time. It was also amazing to be around so many other people on their special day.

Chance: I can also now make corny dad jokes like, "I love your mother so much I married her twice!"

What was your favorite part about renewing your vows at The MAH?

"We loved the idea of a community event (aka Speed Weddings) and something that was going to be super easy that we could just show up to. We organized our own wedding and it was a lot of work, the MAH made it easy to focus on the fun for our renewals!"