A few days before her wedding, a bride might be confirming payments with vendors or packing for the honeymoon, but this particular bride, Christina, spent those days worried about an unexpected wedding crasher—a longstanding oak tree that had fallen directly on the barn she was set to marry in.
As Christina’s trusted bridesmaids gathered around her to assure her it would all work out, her wedding planner and the team at Taber Ranch got to work. A crane was brought in to remove the tree; they did as many repairs as they could manage; and a seamstress was hired to create elegant 40-foot-long sheer drapes to help hide some of the damage. At the end of the day, it looked like another romantic detail that had been planned all along.
It was important to Christina that she and Chris get married in a barn to honor her family heritage—she grew up on a farm in Sunol before moving to Elk Grove in high school. Though her beloved was at a rival high school in the area, they didn’t meet until a blind date to a Giants game in 2009. Needless to say, they hit it off and in November of 2013, while in Denver for a conference, they took a walk down Larmier Square and into a tunnel with Americana murals leading to an airy patio with trees swathed in lights. “As I walked forward by myself, I said, ‘Wouldn’t this be a nice place to get engaged?’ and proceeded to turn around to walk out of the tunnel right past Chris,” Christina recalls. “In order to salvage the moment, Chris asked me to come back and as soon as I turned back, he was on one knee.”
When the big day arrived, it was exactly the rustic-modern affair she had hoped for. Chris had insisted on drinks and snacks to greet guests on arrival, and Mama Kim’s food truck obliged by parking by the reception tables for easy access to tasty treats like mac ‘n’cheese and jalapeño corn bread with red chili honey butter. Their Cajun-style dinner was served on picnic-style tables with an ice bucket running down the middle to hold Coca-Cola, beer, wine and champagne bottles, as well as a lush stripe of dusky fall flowers for a touch of natural elegance—all of which lent the reception a gourmet, Southern, family cookout atmosphere.
As the last of three women to be given away in her family, the moments with her father were particularly special to Christina. The feel of his strong weathered hands gently guiding his treasured daughter to her husband is one that will stick with her for years to come.
“This demonstration of love will be something that is burned into my memory, because at that moment I knew everything was exactly the way it was meant to be,” Christina says.
As they look forward to their lives together, Christina jokes that Chris is excited about the prospect of “lots of travel, golf, horses and favorable income tax rates! I, on the other hand, am excited for my own farm with a barn that has trees that are located at least 100 yards away.”