The Couple:  Courtney Nichols and Brian Renick

Wedding Date:  August 6, 2010

Photography by Sarah Dawson Weddings & Portraits

Tell us a little about you and your beloved:  Brian and I went to the same college around the same time and even played dodge ball against each other, but had never met! We both decided to go on last fall and were matched up instantly. We began chatting online and realized all the commonalities we had, from mutual friends, to our faith, to a love for going to the movies and watching crime shows.

We emailed back and forth for a month, (44 single space pages in a word document once we added it all up!) and had our first date November 7, 2009. We knew within a few weeks that no one else in the world would ever be able to make us happier than each other, and our talks about our future began.

Brian proposed on March 20, 2010 after sending me on a scavenger hunt to all the locations that marked milestones in our relationship, such as our first kiss, where he first knew he loved me, and where we made our relationship official. It was the perfect day and the start to our life together.

What was the most amazing part of your day?  The pastor who officiated our wedding suggested that we write our own vows, and even though we were skeptical at first, we are so glad we did. We didn’t share them with each other before hand, and hearing Brian proclaim his love and commitment to me in front of all the people who mean the most to us is a moment I will never forget.

We have had multiple people share how our wedding ceremony was so much more intimate because of our vows, and I will tell every person I meet that writing your own vows is the best way to go.

Ceremony Site:  Sun City Roseville

Reception Venue:  Sun City Roseville’s Timber Creek Ballroom

Photographer:  Sarah Dawson Weddings & Portraits

Wedding Planner: Myrna Smith

Cake:  Freeport Bakery

Flowers:  Ambience Floral Design

Favors:  Black boxes with monogram stickers from Michaels, personalized M&M’s

Wedding Dress:  Alfred Angelo

Bridesmaid Dresses:  David’s Bridal

Hair:  Danielle Parker of Eternity Hair Studio

Makeup:  Jessica Palmer

Invitations: 123 Print

DJ/Entertainment:  DJ Crooner

Honeymoon location:  Cancun, Mexico. I work for a school district and school started back up for the year on August 9. We spent our wedding night at the Citizen Hotel in Sacramento, and we are going to the Grand Caribe Park Royal resort over Thanksgiving break. It would not have been possible without the contributions our friends and family made to our honeymoon registry that we set up on!

Any other of your wedding vendor(s) you’d like to call out?   This wedding would not have been possible without all the time and effort that my mother invested into our big day! She’s amazing! The staff at Timber Creek also were fabulous in their execution of the day and were so flexible with my requests! They even went so far as to bring the meal plates out to the guests to the tune of “Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Beast, complete with dancing around the room! I will recommend that venue for many years to come!

First Dance Song: I Have and Always Will by Dave Barnes

Any advice you’d give to our readers who are planning their weddings right now?  The more personal you make your wedding the more memorable it will be for you and your guests. Throw in personal touches of your interests or aspects of your relationship so that the people attending will really get an idea of who you are together and they will feel more a part of the celebration.

Also, research cheaper ways of doing the ideas that you love. I love pomanders and the look of them at a wedding ceremony and we were able to rent silk ones on for much cheaper than buying fresh ones! There are so many resources out there on the Internet, all it takes is a little time and some creativity to achieve the theme and look that you want.

As for advice on the wedding day, someone wise told me that the day goes by so fast and in an instant it will be over. Their suggestion was to take some moments during the day and be a guest at your own wedding. Stop, look around and take in the atmosphere, how you are feeling and how much fun your friends and family are having enjoying your special day. I also woke up before everyone else on my wedding day, and even though I didn’t plan it, I was so grateful for that hour I had to just reflect on my life and what this day means to Brian and I. It put everything in prospective and helped calm my nerves before all the events took place. I would suggest any bride to try and do that, it will make for a much more stress free day!

Anything that you would have done differently if you were given the chance?  I would have not chosen to do meal options for the reception. I loved the idea of having my guests choose between a meat dish and a vegetarian dish, but it was such a big hassle in the end. Unless you have guests who have a very strict diet, I would choose one meal for everyone if you want a sit down meal. It makes the seating much easier and you don’t have to keep track of everyone’s choices in order to let the vendor know the food count. The simpler the better!

Photos courtesy of Sarah Dawson Weddings & Portraits

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