Math teacher’s love story: ‘Our best friends got married to each other, and then we got married’

January 28, 2020 — by Anjali Nuggehali and Jeanette Zhou

At a wedding seven years ago in Lake Tahoe, first-year math teacher Lisa Ginestet-Araki, then known as Lisa Ruddy, was getting ready to be a bridesmaid for her friend Jenna Anderson. The two had been friends since their time as students at Saratoga High. 

At the wedding party, Lisa Ruddy met Laurent Ginestet-Araki, a groomsman, at the request of Jenna and Frank, Jenna’s groom.

“Jenna and Frank wanted me to meet two of their groomsmen, Laurent and their other friend Chris,” Lisa Ginestet-Araki said. “They actually thought I would be more interested in Chris, but I surprised them when I said I was actually interested in Laurent.” 

To get to know one another, Laurent and Lisa went to Double D’s in Los Gatos where they played pool and talked. 

One and a half years after attending the  wedding, Lisa and Laurent started dating. Five years later, in April 2019, they got married at Hakone Gardens in Saratoga. It was no surprise that Frank and Jenna were in the wedding party.

Laurent had gone to Los Gatos High, and while Lisa says that she and Laurent may have met a few times, neither Laurent nor Lisa stayed in touch after high school.

“We probably met in high school, but I went to Michigan and he went to Berkeley, so we never saw each other during college,” Mrs. Ginestet-Araki said. “After we both moved back to the area after we graduated, we met again at the wedding.”

Laurent Ginestet-Araki, a marketing product manager for a biotech company called Cytek, said besides their wedding, they have many memorable moments as a couple including a hike up Mount Rainier in Washington. 

“The views at Mount Rainier were so amazing, and it was one of our longer hikes that gave us a sense of accomplishment once we were done,” he said.

However, while the couple have gone on many other amazing trips, such as to Miami and Japan, the couple’s favorite memories come from “normal” activities. 

“Laurent was the one who got me into ultimate frisbee, which we do every weekend,” Lisa said. “It’s really the day-to-day things we do together that are really memorable.” 

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On March 27, members of the Air National Guard converted the Santa Clara County Convention Center to a temporary federal facility for about 250 coronavirus patients. The center is to house those who have tested positive for the virus, but don't require intensive in-hospital care. More information can be found through the local news. Photo courtesy of Randy Vazquez of the Bay Area News Group.

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