In 2014, the universe just kept bringing Jeffrey Cruz and Ammy Pukasamsombut together. “While I was training for a powerlifting competition, a friend invited me to an LA gym I had never visited,” Ammy remembers. There she was introduced to Jeffrey. “Our initial conversation was brief, but after that particular encounter, we coincidentally kept running into each other at that gym at various hours on different days.” Eventually, they gave in to fate and exchanged numbers. “Then our love story blossomed.”
Five years—and three fur babies—later, Jeffrey got down on one knee during a photo shoot for their pets. “I was so stunned I could not speak,” Ammy recalls. “After a few moments, he asked the question again. I cried tears of joy and gleefully shouted, ‘Yes! Of course!’ Soon after, we began wedding planning!”
There were a few must-include elements to their wedding day, and they pegged planner Susan Dunne to find ways to incorporate them that seemed congruous and chic. “We dreamed of having a wedding that was romantic, timeless, and fairytale-like,” says the bride, whose aesthetic is evident in her Disneyland digital content. “We wanted pieces of what we love to be included in our special day: our three pugs named Mushu, Tofu, and Uni; our favorite holiday, Christmas; and Disney.”
It was a tall order. They locked in the theme—”Winter Wonderland in Southern California”—and got to vision-boarding. “Susan found ways to incorporate elements that highlighted who we are as a couple and used it to help design mood boards with ideas for the overall ambiance, color schemes, textures, florals, and more,” Ammy shares. “For the color scheme, we chose various shades of yellow. Yellow has always been my favorite color; it symbolizes happiness, optimism, and enlightenment, which fit the occasion.” The setting, too, was paramount, and Ammy had just the place in mind. “I discovered Calamigos Ranch through social media several years ago, even before I met my now husband,” she shares. “I had my heart set on getting married there one day. Fast forward to 2019: From the moment we saw the waterfall and chandeliers, it felt like we were walking through a whimsical fairy tale.”
Keep reading to see how the couple’s wintery fairy-tale vision came to life on a sunny Malibu day in November 2021, as planned by Weddings By Susan Dunne and photographed by Anya Kernes.
Ammy had one goal in mind when it came to her wedding-day look: She wanted to channel Cinderella and envisioned long, puffy, romantic sleeves. “When I first put this gown on and turned around to look in the mirror, I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear,” she remembers. “I felt beautiful, confident, and very much like a modern-day princess.” For her hair, she turned to another famous princess: “I went with a long, loose Rapunzel-style braid with a crystal headpiece and custom flower hair pins by Lindsay Marie.” Rose gold eye shadow—her makeup artist used a palette from Charlotte Tilbury—completed the fantasy look.
We were both so giddy and couldn’t stop laughing.
Jeffrey looked sophisticated in a dark blue three-piece suit. “The first look was really important to us because we wanted a moment alone to share before walking down the aisle,” Ammy says. “We were both so giddy and couldn’t stop laughing. We just had so much fun.”
Their unique wedding party included the bride’s mother as maid of honor and two adult cousins as “flower guys,” the bride says. “They wore formal suits with fanny packs stuffed with flowers.”
For the ceremony, planner Susan Duane and floral designer Liz Winter of With Love Floral Co. set out to recreate the setting of “Kiss the Girl” from The Little Mermaid (naturally, that’s also the song Ammy walked down the aisle to). “The waterfall represented the water, while the grounded half-moon-shaped arch depicted the boat,” Ammy describes. There were other Disney nods as well, like scroll-inspired signage and flowers under cloches like in Beauty and the Beast.
No matter what, through it all, we are forever—to infinity and beyond.
“Jeffrey and I wrote our own vows,” Ammy shares. “As Disney lovers, a special quote I expressed in my vows was that no matter what, through it all, we are forever—‘to infinity and beyond.’”
Cocktail hour was all about Christmas. “Our escort board had ceramic ornaments as guests’ place cards; they were also gifts for them to take home. For our guest book, we used wooden ornaments for guests to sign—so essentially our guests took one ornament and gifted one to us.” A snow machine created a magical photo moment alongside a quote from Frozen’s Olaf: “You are worth melting for.”
In addition to sipping signature cocktails, guests could hit the hot cocoa cart for matcha cocoa bombs and cookies shaped like the couple’s pugs.
“The reception was truly an enchanted magical Disney-tale,” Ammy says. “The ceramic chargers had an old-world stone look and paired perfectly with the modern plates. The flowers and candles embodied Beauty and the Beast.” Terracotta touches and berries were woven into the floral design, mixing warm and cool elements.
The duo danced to “Blessed” by Thomas Rhett for their first dance.
Smooth buttercream was topped with organic ridges on a three-tier strawberries-and-cream cake, adorned with sweet peas and berries for a romantic touch.
“As anticipated, our night was jam-packed; by the end we were exhausted and hungry,” Ammy remembers with a laugh. “We went to the room and changed into something comfy, and Jeffrey asked if I wanted to get In-n-Out. It was like he read my mind. After a day full of festivities, it was nice to finally have time for each other.” The love continued as they honeymooned at the most magical place of all: Hawaii’s Aulani Disney Resort.