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The Couple: Jackie & Austin

Wedding Date: August 21, 2016

Photography by Valley Images Photography

Tell us a little about you and your beloved: Austin and I met on a whitewater rafting trip down the American River. My friend invited me to go with her and her boyfriend, who was a good friend of Austin’s. Austin was the rafting guide and he seated me right next to him for the four-hour trip down the river. I like to think that our relationship has been full of adventure from the very beginning.

Austin proposed to me on October 10, 2015. We took a weekend trip to California’s central coast, a place neither of us had explored and had desperately wanted to explore. We went to Paso Robles for some wine tasting and at the first winery, Austin lured me into the vineyards and then got down on his knee and asked me to marry him. It was just the two of us and it was so special. We went inside and celebrated with all the amazing people at the winery, one of which cried when we told her we got engaged right outside!

Austin and I absolutely love traveling together and are always looking for a new adventure. When it came to planning our wedding, we knew our honeymoon trip would be the light at the end of the tunnel after the ten-month journey of wedding planning. We wanted to get married outside and decided on a venue that was unlike anything else, the Empire Mine State Park. The majority of the wedding planning was done in our tiny one bedroom apartment after work. We did a lot of the planning ourselves and brought in all of the decorations with the help of our friend and family. We wanted our wedding to be simple, intimate and fun.

What was the most amazing part of your day? The most amazing part of our wedding day was celebrating with so many of our family and friends, most of which had traveled from other parts of the state and country to be with us. We couldn’t believe we were in the same place with all of the people we love the most! I remember sitting down to eat dinner, and looking around at the guests thinking how lucky we were to have everyone with us.

What else would you like to share about your big day? We had an epic dance party to a mix of Arabic music and 90’s R&B.

Ceremony and Reception Site: Empire Mine State Park

Officiant: We asked our good friend Adam to officiate our wedding. We couldn’t wait to ask him to do the honor! He has such a big heart and an even bigger sense of humor, and he knew each of us individually and as a couple. We knew he would be the perfect person to marry us.

Photographer: Valley Images Photography

Wedding Planner: We did not have a wedding planner, but our amazing friend Lauren, wife to our officiant, was the day-of coordinator. The day was was absolutely perfect thanks to her!

Caterer: Antonio Ayestaran Custom Catering

Cake/Desserts: Gristmill the Bakery

Flowers: Little Boy Flowers

Favors: DIY Wine Cork Magnets

Bridal Attire: Lili Bridals

Bridesmaids’ Attire: J Crew

Hair and Make-up: All Dolled Up Hair and Makeup Artistry

Invitations: DIY with a template from Etsy.

Signage: The signs were made by my good friend, Caitlin, who taught herself calligraphy.

DJ/Entertainment/Band: Mountain Event Productions

Photo Booth: DIY with the help of Austin’s brother, Travis, and Party City.

Furniture Rentals: SRC Party Center

erLinen Rentals: Nevada County Laundry and Linen Supply

Honeymoon Location: Spain and Southern France

First Dance Song: “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green

Any advice you’d give to our readers who are planning their weddings right now? It’s okay if you sweat the small stuff during wedding planning; we’ve all been there. Believe it or not, you’re not the only one who ordered 5 different hair accessaries on Etsy because you couldn’t decide on one! Just remember that your marriage is more important than anything else and that your wedding day is just one day of the beautiful journey. Be present on your wedding day and take in all the celebration, emotions, and joy. The day goes by so fast. When it came to the wedding day, I didn’t think once about what the centerpieces would look like, if the signs were in the right place, and if the cake would arrive on time.

Anything that you would have done differently if you were given the chance? I would have changed into my comfortable shoes earlier in the night!

Photos courtesy of Valley Images Photography.

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

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