Alright everyone, you know the drill. It’s Real Weddings Wednesday! Today’s Real Wedding Wednesday features Katie + Aaron’s intimate church ceremony, followed by the rustic and fun backyard reception in Durham, CA! Photographed by the talented Fits & Stops Photography, take some time to ogle the rustic and elegant celebration of Katie + Aaron’s wedding day!

Tell us a little about you and your beloved.

I was in the middle of my PhD at U.C. Davis, and what felt like rock bottom in life, and I got invited to go to a Friendsgiving and out in Sac afterwards. I didn’t want to go, but my mom insisted that I get out of my funk and go out with friends. We ended up at Goldfields (my go to bar in grad school), and my girlfriends noticed this tall guy immediately when we walked in. They insisted I go up to him (I’m 6’1” so it was hard to find tall guys) , I told them no – I really didn’t want to talk to anyone at this point in grad school ha! –  then they told me if I didn’t go up to him, they would do it for me. I couldn’t let that happen, so as I walked over to this tall guy, a gorgeous blonde walked straight up to him and I high-tailed it back to my girlfriends. They busted up laughing saying how awkward I was and I reiterated how much I did NOT want to talk to anyone. A couple minutes later, I felt a tap on my shoulder… it was the tall guy. Tall guy (he’s 6’9”!), turns out his named Aaron, and he asked me to swing dance with him. We danced to a few songs, and then were standing on the side introducing ourselves when I noticed an older gentleman gesturing for us to dance more. I asked Aaron if he knew that guy and he said yes, it turns out that was his dad. His ENTIRE family and a bunch of friends were there that night to see his brother DJ at the bar one last time. That hot blonde? His best friend’s wife! She was going up to Aaron to tell him to ask me to dance. The family has since told me they all saw me walk in and were bugging him nonstop to go up to me. We exchanged numbers, and proceeded to do long distance for the next 4 years while I finished my PhD and did a postdoc at Stanford. If you ask Aaron his side of the story, he’ll say this is correct. He’s a man of few words, ha!

The proposal! I had been bugging Aaron for some time because we weren’t getting any younger (30 and 31) and we had been together for over 4 years at this point, and I had given him a stone from my grandmother to get set as my ring. He wanted to take my parents to dinner to ask for their blessing but it was the middle of Covid. Instead, he called them during lunch one day when I was at work. He then planned the proposal with my sister. The running joke about the stone I gave Aaron was that it was big, so he kept saying I was going to have a Ring Pop for a ring. Anyway, we were with my family for Christmas Day (2020) and we were all opening gifts and it came down to the last package under the tree. It was a tennis shoe box – I had asked for running shoes – so I open the perfectly wrapped box (my sister helped him LOL), and I see this green knob-looking thing instead of my running shoes and I immediately said, “What’s this?”  I grab it and hear him say “it’s a ring”. I look up and he’s down on one knee and asks me to marry him. I immediately cover my face and gasp, and then ask him if he’s serious and he laughs and says of course he’s serious. My sister got the whole thing on video, my dad knew it was going to happen, and my mom was just as surprised as I was. She can’t keep a secret when she’s excited so she didn’t know the actual day of the planned proposal. We immediately called his parents and everyone was so happy and shouting with joy.

Wedding planning… during Covid…. Lord help anyone who ever has to plan during a pandemic! We were lucky that it wasn’t 2020, but boy howdy was this still a total pain. As a scientist who works in a hospital, I was keenly aware of how serious this was, so we tried to do everything in our power to make it as safe as possible for everyone, but especially our immune compromised family and friends. We got insanely lucky and no one got sick and the day was amazing!



What was the best part of your wedding day?

Seeing Aaron when I walked into the church and the rest of the world melting away. I am the luckiest gal in the world to get to marry my best friend.

What else would you like to share about your big day?

 Best. Day. Ever. Also, taco truck for the win. Wedding food always sucks and everyone was raving about the tacos and margaritas!red and orange wedding flowers


bride and groom kissing at catholic church

What advice would you give to our readers who are planning their weddings right now?

No matter what you do you’re going to tick someone off, so just do you. Lean into your soon-to-be-spouse and ignore the rest.

Anything that you would have done differently if you were given the chance?


First Dance song?

Ride With Me by Cody Johnson

Last Dance song?

Closing Time by Semisonic

newlyweds holding hands with engagement rings

Photos courtesy of and copyright Fits & Stops Photography  used with permission.

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