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Saron & Julian Burford, June 4, 2023

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By her own account, Saron Kan Burford, 39, was always determined to be self-sufficient and “never had a focus on love.” That is, until she met her husband, Julian Burford.

Saron, a first-generation Cambodian American, had put her energy into earning her master’s degree and building her career. In 2017, she traveled with her family to visit relatives in Dallas, Texas. There, her cousin Ly invited his gym buddy, Julian, to spend time with them.

As their attachment grew over the next six months, Julian decided to “take a chance on love” by relocating to California in December. “Thankfully for me, and by the grace of God, it worked out in the end!” he said. Despite the distance, Saron never doubted his love and loyalty. She felt a deep trust for Julian and was moved by his attentiveness to her and their relationship, saying, “I felt at peace with him.”

The weekend before Christmas 2021, before their trip to Texas to spend the holiday with his family, Julian had Saron’s brother interpret while he asked her father for her hand in marriage. Her father gave his blessing and Julian began planning his surprise proposal. On Christmas morning, they all went to a park for family photos. There, in a lovely gazebo, as a romantic song played on his phone, Julian said, “We’ve been on this journey as best friends, but I was wondering if you’d continue on this journey with me as my wife?” He dropped to one knee and presented her with a sparkling engagement ring, and with tears of joy in her eyes, Saron responded, “Of course!”

“Our families are from two different cultural backgrounds, two different worlds. They would be traveling enormous distances, and we wanted to create a backdrop and a setting where everyone, approximately 125 guests, could come together as one, connect, bond and have fun!” Saron said. “We arranged a three-day event around the wedding so our extended families could spend time connecting with one another while celebrating love and diversity.”

On June 4, 2023, their wedding took place at The River Mill in French Camp. Saron was attended by her Maid of Honor, Lisa Lim, her best friend; her college best friend, Teresa Montanez; and her nieces, Gwyneth and Chloe Steele. The groom was joined by his brother, Joseph, as his Best Man; his cousin Christopher Poindexter; and college best friend Andy Fang as groomsmen.
Saron describes the morning of their wedding as busy, task-filled and exciting, but she also remembers feeling surprisingly calm and peaceful as a result of prayer. From the vows themselves to the formalities of the bouquet toss, cake cutting, mingling with their guests and more, the day was jam-packed. “It was an extremely ambitious timeline,” she says. “We feel proud that we were able to achieve it.”

The bride credits her outstanding bridesmaids for assisting her with all she needed including several clothing changes and a couple of unexpected challenges with her reception dress. They ensured all was right before sending her out to the reception for first dances, prayer and an amazing dinner.

Soon it was time for their sunset photo session and a final outfit change, where Saron and Julian had opted to honor her heritage by donning traditional Cambodian attire. Bridesmaids came to the rescue to properly affix her sash, twirling and pinning it just so. Somehow, Julian’s Cambodian pants had been left behind, but by then the couple had learned to “just roll with it,” posing for their sunset photos all the same, intent on enjoying every minute of the day.

“Our honeymoon at the Maldives’ Heritance Aarah resort was a manifestation of prayers and a totally unexpected blessing made possible by the generosity of our beloved friends and family,” Saron said. “Just the thought of our wedding day brings back pure joy and happiness.”

Briggs Photography

Bridal Gown
Sheryl Giles Bridal Couture;
B2BC Bridal Couture

Bridesmaid’s Gowns
Camille La Vie;
Amira’s Fashion Couture

Grooms Suit/Tux
Tuxedos of Lodi

Groomsmen’s Attire
Tuxedos of Lodi

Hair Styling
Hollywood Waves by Jessica Quintero

Karina Hernandez,
Jessica Quintero

Dj Johnny Sanchez

Sylveria’s Flowers and Gifts

The River Mill

The River Mill

M&W Dutch American Bakery

Lucky Jewelry

San Jose

Love Genre Films