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The Couple: Donna & John

Wedding Date: June 8, 2018

Photography by Chuck Roberts Photography

Tell us a little about you and your beloved: John and I met on a dating website we were both toward the end of our subscription when we connected. We had our first date on April 11, 2014. We lived about 1 ½ hours from each other so we met in the middle for dinner. We hit it off from the first date and spent 3 hours getting to know each other! My favorite part of our conversation was his obvious love for his boys. When the date was over John was walking me to the car and I realized I didn’t have my keys and apparently when I saw him crossing the parking lot for our date I was excited and I just got out of the car, we got to my car and the car was turned off but my keys were in the ignition and my windows were rolled down. First impression? He still teases me to this day.

The proposal was a happy ending story on May 10, 2017. John and I were on the patio having a conversation about partnership and I said to him, “A partnership is two people that are married.” So I asked him if he ever wanted to get married again he did not reply so I patiently waited total silence so I said It’s ok if you don’t I just want you to tell me. Total silence again then I was getting upset and sad about him not answering, when he did answer he asked me if he could back to me in a few days?

What the heck!! I said, “NO!” I sat there not knowing what to think. He could see that I was upset and the next thing I know he gets up and goes inside and I can hear him getting into the safe he then proceeds to come back outside and get on one knee and proposes to me, he had had the ring and was planning on proposing on Saturday. I was speechless, I never expected it for a minute and then the tears came of course. So, he made me go back in the house so he could show me his original plan.

We started planning fairly quickly and set our date for June 8, 2018. John was very helpful and very involved which made it great! He even learned how to use the Michael’s app during the shopping stage (LOL). Once we decided our rustic theme, I stopped searching on Pinterest, which can be overwhelming. So we made the decision and started purchasing the things we needed over time.

What was the most amazing part of your day? Everything! It was perfect and such a wonderful day with our close friends and family we loved every minute of it!

What else would you like to share about your big day? We are a blended family and our children are grown. We had them all together and they were our wedding party. John’s oldest son, Josh, was the Best Man. My daughter, Tabitha, was the Maid of Honor. My son Charles gave me away. John’s younger son, Zach, walked our 2 Grand Daughters, Taryn and Kamryn, the flower girls down the aisle.

Ceremony and Reception Site; and Caterer: Auburn Valley Golf Club

Officiant: Our Church Pastor, Tony Jones, from Parkside Church

Photographer: Chuck Roberts Photography. Mackenzie Roberts was amazing and so fun to work with. We are not very photogenic and she worked her magic. We had so many amazing pictures for our engagement photos and our wedding.

Wedding Planner: It was a group effort myself, my sisters, daughter and extended family.

Cake/Desserts: Divine Desserts by Aguirre. We had an assortment of single serve desserts that were amazing. We had a small wedding cake to cut and John had a groom’s cake with his favorite team, the Oakland Raiders.

Flowers: Safeway

Favors: Frames for the photobooth photo, as well as tags saying “Thank you for sharing our fist meal as Mr. and Mrs. Harcus. Also, we had a special something for all the little ones too.

Bridal Attire: Purchased online and altered my Alterations by Melody

Bridesmaids’ Attire: David’s Bridal

Hair and Make-up: Ashley Testino

Invitations: Chuck Roberts Photography. Mackenzie truly is amazing.

Signage: DIY, Tabitha Brothers and Donna.

DJ/Entertainment/Band and Photo Booth: Creative Memories Entertainment. Michael Anderson and his team are amazing. He handled everything…he handled the whole night! He is a master of ceremonies and kept the night moving perfectly. We had some of our young adult family members say it was the best wedding they have ever been to. The photo booth was such a hit and everyone was getting involved and having such a wonderful time.

Honeymoon Location: Montego Bay, Jamaica for an all-inclusive 12-day honeymoon. It was truly amazing, romantic, relaxing and a lot of beach time together.

Any other of your wedding vendor(s) you’d like to call out that we missed in the above questions? 

Dance Instructor: Jessica Daye of Ambitions Dance Studio in Colfax, CA. She was funny and so much fun. We looked forward to going to our dance lessons, it was a Friday night date for 3 months prior to the wedding!

First Dance Song: “God Gave Me You” and “Homegrown”

Any advice you’d give to our readers who are planning their weddings right now? Don’t stress and make it fun. We did our vendors first and made payments to them when we could so we had no big cost right before the wedding. We made all of decorations and everything was purchased on sale or at a discount. It made the planning so much fun always looking for the things we needed together. It came together so well with the help of our families on the day of.

Anything that you would have done differently if you were given the chance? I think the only thing would be making it last longer, the time goes by so fast so please take in every moment and make all the memories you can. It was truly one of the best days of my life.

Photography by Chuck Roberts Photography.

Blog post by Real Weddings Magazine’s Social Media Maven, Aimee Carroll.