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The Couple: Tara & Ryan

Photography by Devin Bruce Photography

Tell us a little about you and your beloved: Well, for the full story, you can check out the video from our Real Weddings Magazine “In the Mood for Love” styled photo shoot here. We magically met working in the theater while both working on a musical together in Sacramento. He was in the orchestra while I performed on stage.

Within two weeks of us meeting, we quickly formed a close connection. Shortly thereafter, we were inseparable. A year later, on Christmas, he brought me up in front of a small gathering of his family and friends to sing our favorite Christmas song “Santa Baby” while he and his musician friends played the song in the living room of his childhood home. His brothers were both recording and taking photos, but I did not know what was going on. During the lyrics as I sang “forgot to mention one little thing…a ring” he got down on one knee!

The planning of the wedding was pretty seamless. Having been to many weddings before, we sat down ahead of time to objectively decide what we did and did not want to incorporate. Early on, even before we got engaged, we established that weddings we had the most fun at were the ones that felt like a giant family and friends party.

We then established the three things that were most important to us: good food, good drinks, and a place for people to dance.  We are both very lucky to have so many creative and loving individuals who helped tie everything together. Being artists ourselves, we really wanted to utilize the talents of our friends. We made sure to hire a lot of small business owners and/or freelance artists. We also wanted to make sure we incorporated faces we recognized and love to surround us on our day.

What was the most amazing part of your day? Everything about our day was stellar. Everything went remarkably smooth and stress free. Though our ultimate favorite part was the 10 minutes of alone time we took immediately following the ceremony. This is based on the Jewish wedding tradition called the yichud. It was just us, jumping with joy and celebrating us just becoming husband and wife! Since we didn’t do a first look, I am so thankful we took the time to be in a silent space together and celebrate us.

What else would you like to share about your big day? My mom was having trouble being sold on the food truck idea. My husband and I really like Chandos, and our goal was to have an easy/no nonsense set up for the food. When all was said and done, everyone loved the food truck option…especially my mom! Plus the guys working the truck let us take pictures in it!

Also, my husband loves to brew beer. We went to Yolo Brewing Company with our wedding party about 2 months before and brewed the beer that we served at the wedding.

Ceremony and Reception Site: A beautiful private home owned by our friends, The Kayas, in Orangevale. They were gracious enough to host our wedding in their newly redone backyard, under an amazing gazebo. They worked around the clock to make the grounds of their remarkable estate was picturesque for our special day. eriously, the yard went on for days and had ample space to hosts all 110 guests. We were very blessed. Having a close friend who’s easy going and open to having strangers in their home is the best friends a bride and groom could ask for.

Ceremony Musicians: Since Ryan is a musician, we hired our dear friends to play. These our members from the group Ryan plays in, Ready, Set, Jazz.

Officiant: Our very special theater actress friend, Martha Kight.

Photographer and Photo Booth: Devin Bruce Photography

Videographer: Jake Newby Productions

Wedding Planner: Mostly me, the bride. However, I had a day before and day-of coordinator who is a professional stage manager. Joelle Robertson is a rockstar. Seriously, the best investment I made was finding someone to trust and say, “Here…run my wedding. Take over and I know you’ll rock it.”

Caterer: Chando’s Tacos

Cake/Desserts: Above and Beyond Cakes for the main cake and cupcakes while the cookies we had were made by the mother-of-the-bride (Donna), mother of the groom (Teresa) and sister in law (Sarah).

Flowers: The tables had roses from Costco while the wedding party and the bride/groom had sheet music flowers designed by Etsy artists: The White Bouquet (bride/groom), My Woolly Mammoth (bridesmaids) and One Mocking Bird Loft (groomsmen and family).

Favors: Tea from The English Tea Store and favor tags by Etsy artist, Reign and Rose.

Bridal Attire: David’s Bridal

Bridesmaids’ Attire: Various locations! I gave them free reign to find something that they loved and would wear again!

Hair and Make-up: Emily Jones of EnRich Salon

Invitations: Photo was from our amazing “In the Mood for Love” Real Weddings photo shoot. The print was done by Vista Print.

Signage: Vista Print and personal artist friend, Miranda Lawson

DJ/Entertainment/Band and Lighting: It’s Time Entertainment with Nick Javier

Décor Rentals: No rentals. Décor was either purchased through Etsy or Target, along with local artist friends that we then kept and incorporated into our home decor.

Furniture and Linen Rentals: Party Rentals

Other Rentals: Giant Connect Four from Rebecca’s Jolly Jumps

Honeymoon Location: Glen Oaks in Big Sir, CA

Any other of your wedding vendor(s) you’d like to call out that we missed in the above questions? Yolo Brewing Company where we brewed our wedding beer, grooms suit was tailor made by Suitopia.

First Dance Song: “The Very Thought of You” by Natalie Cole

Last Dance Song: “At Last” by Etta James

Any advice you’d give to our readers who are planning their weddings right now? Throw every concern you have about what people think out the door. That’s going to cause too much stress. If you aim at creating something that is uniquely you and your fiancé, and something that will serve the best representation of who you are as a couple, you will regret nothing. Also, ask for help. Especially when you don’t think you need it.

Anything that you would have done differently if you were given the chance: Aside from having glitter cannons? Nope!

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

Photos courtesy of Devin Bruce Photography.

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