Real Weddings – WS09

When my husband and I got married nearly eight years ago, it was a surprise wedding. Yes, you read that correctly, it was a surprise wedding. To make a delightfully long story short, my husband proposed to me on a Friday night, and, unbeknownst to me, had set up our wedding for the following morning. He had arranged everything…the flowers, the harpist, the champagne, everything. Well, almost everything. Truly, the day was amazing and perfect in so many ways, but only one thing was missing—the big, beautiful white dress. My husband bought me a gorgeous ivory silk suit, which fit like a dream, but it still wasn’t the same as a traditional wedding gown, the one that so many of us dream about.

I told my friend, photographer Sarah Maren, my wedding story many months ago. She suggested a “Trash the Dress” photo shoot; and I finally took her advice and scheduled one for mid-October. Truly, the day was magical—playing dress-up in the late afternoon at the Old Sugar Mill, hair and makeup by Raquel at Image Provocateur, dress from Miosa, hair accessories from Hair Comes the Bride and flowers from Flourish. I’m not sure I could have felt more like a princess. Sarah, along with her husband Dustin, directed me perfectly and got some pretty darned cool shots. Finally, I got to complete my bridal journey—proving that it’s never too late! I cannot thank Sarah and Dustin and everyone who contributed to my special day enough. (If you’d like to see more photos from my “Trash the Dress” photo shoot, log on to our Web site: What an amazing time…thank you!

To help you get started on your journey, we’ve packed this issue of Real Weddings with ideas and resources meant to inspire and guide you throughout your planning in the months ahead. In this issue, we present 22 gorgeous real weddings and an additional seven real weddings featured exclusively online at, all highlighting couples in and around the Sacramento area; eight great beach honeymoon destinations (can we go now?!); gifts for everyone in the wedding party, and, of course, the Style Files: Your Local Wedding Planning Resource Guide from Sacramento to the Sierra. Our team has assembled photos featuring beautiful flowers and delectable cakes, usable tips and helpful hints, and local vendor resources to help you assemble your wedding dream team.

And, drumroll please…we present our cover model finalist feature with this issue’s finalists Chanie, Lisa and Tania. On a mild day in mid-September, these three beautiful, smart and extremely patient young women glammed it up for our cameras, and the result is nothing short of spectacular. Ladies, thank you! And, of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank all of our contributing vendors and our dedicated editorial team for their tremendous hard work and contributions to this piece.

Real Weddings Magazine is a labor of love for our team. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoy producing it for you! As always, I’d love to hear from you—feel free to email me at wendy(at)



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