Real Weddings is celebrating it’s 10th anniversary and in honor of this milestone, we are checking back in with our beautiful cover models! We’ve been so lucky to work with over 60 local brides these past 10 years and we’re eager to see where they are now.

Leah (right) graced our Winter/Spring 2008 cover shot at Wine & Roses Hotel, Restaurant and Spa by XSiGHT Photography.

XSiGHT Photography | Wine & Roses | Lodi Wedding | melissa Strand | Real Weddings Cover Model Contest | XSiGHT Wedding Lodi | De La Rosa's Bridal | Ambiance Floral Design

Where and when did you get married?

We got married on October 27th, 2007 at Arden Hills Country Club.

Any children (fur or human)?

We have two beautiful children: Addyson Lynn, born December 15, 2008 and Wyatt Patrick, born April 5, 2010.

What is your career?

I’ve been lucky to be at home with my kids for the last seven years, and I recently started subbing for our local school district.

Where are you currently living?


Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to yourself on your wedding day?

I’d give the same advice I was given: stress before the wedding, but relax the day of. As long as I married my husband, nothing else really mattered.

What is your favorite part of marriage?

I have a partner in life. Someone who supports me in everything. Someone to share the good times and carry me through the bad.

Lastly, how was your Cover Model experience?

One of the best days, ever! It was so great to have a day of pampering and fun before our wedding. Who wouldn’t want to play dress up in beautiful gowns all day long?

 The cover model finalist contest photo shoot Real Weddings Magazine team members who produced this editorial feature include: Cait Herrera, Kelley Saia, Janna Marlies Santoro and Wendy Sipple

And, of course, thank you to all of the wedding professionals who contributed to our cover model finalist feature:


Wine & Roses Hotel, Restaurant and Spa

209-334-6988  |


XSiGHT Photography

916-444-9100  |


For Brenna:  

Rachelle Martinez, Bridal Marinez (Hair)

916-915-7973  |

Michelle Gonsalves, Bonjour Beautiful (Makeup) 

For Leah: 

Carol Cardinale-Ruiz, Bellisimo! Brides (Hair and Makeup)

Assistant Deena Ellis

559-641-7721 |

For Melissa:

Marie Wetherell, The Makeup Artist Academy and Agency (Hair)

Wendi Labban, Definition Beauty (Makeup)


Bella Donna Bridal  |  916-481-5065  |

De La Rosa’s Bridal & Tuxedos  |  916-983-3400  |

Dreamnette Bridal 

Miosa Couture  |  916-443-1301  |


Randolph’s Jewelers  |  |  530-622-3787


Ambience Floral Design  |  916-786-6851  |

Camino Flower Shop  |  530-644-5730  |

Fleurs du Jour  |  916-474-4479  |

Special thanks to our real bride models, Melissa, Brenna and Leah, and to all of the professionals who contributed to this feature!

Looking for more Cover Models? Check out the ongoing blog series here!

Blog post by Real Weddings Magazine’s Associate Editor Emily Peter.

Photos by XSiGHT Photography / copyright Real Weddings Magazine.

Leah’s family photo by Tiffany Elizabeth Photography.

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