When a Tracy couple wanted to take their 20-year love affair to the next level, they thought there was no better place to take their vows than inside their favorite downtown hangout.

“It’s our favorite place,” Tammie (Albritton) Oshiro said after she proclaimed her love to Paul Oshiro during an after-hours ceremony in Barista’s Coffee House on 10th Street on the evening of May 26.

“We have dates on Thursday and we always end up coming here,” she said. “And they let Simba (the couple’s dog) come. … It’s just our place.”

The couple moved to Tracy in 1999, and regular patrons would see them sitting side by side with Simba each week at Barista’s, enjoying their beverages of choice.

“I think it is one of our favorite places, and it’s a place that Simba loves,” Paul said. “That was part of it — we wanted him involved. He is such a big part of our lives.”

The owner of Barista’s, Sanjiv “Rocky” Sharma, said at first he was a little taken aback by the couple’s request to have their wedding at the shop.

“I said, ‘Let me think about it,’ because it was something that has never happened before,” he said. “This is something new, something really exciting. A coffee shop wedding — why not.”

With family and friends gathered inside Barista’s, everyone was eagerly awaiting the bride’s arrival in a gown she had purchased online from London. As the music played, all eyes turned to see her walking through the coffee shop toward Paul and Simba, who waited for her near the shop entrance.

Before the vows, the minister asked the couple to talk about how they met and their plans for the future. Both spoke of their love for each other and their bond with Simba, who sat between them wearing a pink bowtie, often looking up at them as they spoke.

Tammie told the gathering that they met online in a chat room while she was living in Texas and Paul was living in the Bay Area. She said they quickly realized there was chemistry between them and began talking on the telephone. Before they knew it, they were making plans to meet in person.

“It’s an easygoing relationship,” she said. “I can just be me and he can just be him. We’re happy together. I love Paul with my whole heart. I’ve never known anyone with such pure love.”

Paul said the turning point for him came when he couldn’t reach Tammie on the telephone for three days because she was in the hospital.

“I selfishly thought how bad I would feel if the unthinkable would happen and I never got to see her face to face,” he said. “That started the regular visits to Texas.”

He joked about how she lets him watch Cartoon Network and how he turned her into a Giants fan.

“I think we’re fun and very loving, always helping each other,” he said. “We’re there for each other for everything. Her love and devotion to me and my family knows no bounds.”

When talking about the future, Paul said, “Tammie and Simba by my side forever.

“My hope is that we can endure and cherish the coming years together,” he said.

As a token of appreciation to their guests, the couple offered a basket of favors: small paper bags with the message “The perfect blend, a special thank you from the new Mr. and Mrs.” — and inside, a bag of ground coffee.

Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at drizzo@tracypress.com or 830-4225.

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