Stephanie and Michael knew they were soul mates when they were fifteen. Others disagreed. Thirteen years later, they proved everyone wrong by getting married, and they couldn’t be happier.
They met the summer after Freshman year in Driver’s Ed class. Every day they talked, joked, laughed, and passed notes, like teenagers do. One fateful day, Michael took Stephanie’s hand, and they were inseparable. Although they were young, their relationship was very serious and the feelings they had for each other were as deep as they are today. They knew they were in love, but when others pressured Stephanie with the theory “You are too young to know what love is” and “You are way too young to be this serious about someone,” she broke up with him during Junior year. She was in tears, and as soon as it was over, she immediately felt a coldness in her heart. There was a hole there where he took up space.
It wasn’t until Stephanie’s senior year in college and Michael’s last year in the Marine Corps that they reconnected. As soon as they started talking, it was like they had never broken up. All those strong feelings rushed them both, and they knew that they had been right. They were soul mates.
Venue ~ Rancho Victoria Vineyard
Wedding Gown ~ Allure Bridal
Day of Coordinator ~ Simple Country Weddings
Rentals ~ Simple Country Weddings
Officiant ~ Glen Brooks, Lead Pastor
Catering & Bar Tending ~ Randy Peters Catering
Photography ~ Dawn Kelly Photography
D ~ Marquis Entertainment
Florist ~ The Blonde Bouquet
Baker ~ Go West Baking and Events
Makeup Artist ~ Polish and Pout, Jess Palmer
Hair Artist ~ Aria Hair Design, Carly Giroux
Stephanie decided on a First Look with her father. He was choked up and proud.
Stephanie is incredibly sentimental, and she knows Michael better than anyone on the planet. Here’s what she had to say.
“The most special moment, in my opinion, was having Michael open his wedding gift from me. We opted not have a wedding party to honor the absence of Michael’s best friend, who had passed away a few years ago. Michael and his best friend, Devin, had served in the Marine Corps together and were incredibly close. Though these past few years have been the most difficult that Michael has endured, and I knew this day would be especially challenging. I thought it would be really special, in lieu of Devin not being able to stand with us that day, to give Michael something of his that he could hold on to as we got married. Devin’s mother had graciously offered Devin’s dog tags for this purpose, so that I could gift these to Michael. I was so touched that Devin’s mother would allow me to give Michael something so valuable and important. It really meant the world that Michael could have an opportunity to wear them when we got married, and is something I will never forget.”
The car that took Stephanie to the ceremony means a lot to her. It holds very special memories for her.
“Michael proposed to me on my uncle’s property. My uncle passed away in my early twenties and it was a difficult chapter for me, since he was one of the closest people in my life. One of the gifts my uncle had loaned to me when I was younger was an 85’ Chrysler LeBaron; this was my first car when I turned 16. That car traveled with me through high school, college and even my post-college days living in San Francisco. When my uncle passed, I had the opportunity to purchase the car permanently from my aunt. That car meant a lot to me and I was humbled to be able to take care of it in his honor. We took the overnight train to Oregon to pick it up and had just arrived to the house that morning, first to have breakfast and then to visit my aunt at her work. Before leaving the house, Michael asked me to take a look at a tree that was on my uncle’s property. It was one of my favorite trees, since I spent nearly every year as a kid digging for archaeological treasures, playing in the cold grass, and sitting beneath it to admire Mount Shasta. Standing there, in the rain, he looked at me and said that he couldn’t think of anywhere better than here to ask me to marry him, since my uncle would not be able to be with us at the wedding; I’d like to think my Uncle Kirby was there watching when he proposed to me, under that tree. It was the perfect way to start our new chapter together.”
Stephanie’s Allure Bridal gown was customized to add 24″ to the train, which made it the most epic wedding dress ever.
This sweet couple worked tirelessly to make their wedding an interactive experience for their guests.
“Michael and I are avid book readers, so we wanted to find a way to weave this into the wedding. We decided that for the favors, we would gift each guest a book that we hoped they would really enjoy. For months leading up to our big day, Michael and I drove all around Sacramento searching for books that exemplified each person. We brainstormed the things that each guest is passionate about, whether that be their career, their hobbies, interests, etc., and selected a book that they could take home. Our goal was not only to let guests know how important they are to us (and why), but also to leave them with a keepsake that they could treasure and really use. Even for those who aren’t book lovers, we found a way to find DIY, classic car, and even wood working books to tailor to the specialized interests we felt would best fit the individual. When all the books were identified, we wrapped these by hand and placed each person’s name on the spine. We were fortunate to rent a beautiful bookshelf to hold our collection, with decorative flowers and a cute sign that read “thank you for being a part of our story.” When each guest arrived to the bookshelf, they looked for their name printed on the outside wrapping, and opened the book to find a bookmark. The bookmark had their table number inscribed to direct each guest where they should sit. We felt this would be a great way to have guests feel appreciated, pleasantly surprised, and also serve as an icebreaker meeting others at their table.”
Stephanie and Michael wanted their wedding to feel intimate, genuine, and down-to-earth. Their main goal was to have guests feel that it was their shared space. Summer holds a lot of special memories for them, so it was the obvious choice to plan for July.
Here they are, soul mates with baby faces. All the years of waiting was worth it for them to be husband and wife.