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The Couple: Tania & Manuel

Wedding Date: September 21, 2013

Photography by Emily Tidwell Photography

Tell us a little about you and your beloved: Funny story…Manuel worked at one of the local grocery stores and we used to run into each other every now and then and chit chat. Then I started running into him at the Starbuck’s nearby on his morning breaks. This soon became my routine as well and we were casually “running into each other” at Starbucks. Eventually, we went out on a few dates and started getting to know each other, although we both weren’t looking for anything serious but after about a year or so of “getting to know each other” and hanging out we made it official.

The proposal was such a surprise! We were heading to Reno with friends for a concert and Manuel wanted to leave super early in the morning, I thought he was crazy but went along with it packed our bags and we were on the road by 6 a.m. We did the usual stops along the way stopping at Boomtown, Cabela’s and then breakfast. We finally made it to our hotel and were able to check in to our room, we were exhausted!! We both took naps and at one point Manuel woke me up to tell me he was going down to gamble, I of course continued sleeping.

After a while he came back up to the room and sat down next to me. He began to tell me how much he loved me and how much he appreciated me and I sarcastically kept saying “yes, I know, I love you too” and “of course you would do the same” not really paying much attention to what he was saying or doing. It wasn’t until he said “no really I love you this much” and put a box in front of me that I jumped up and said “what the heck is that?” (not your typical response to a proposal) I then opened the box and was speechless. He asked me to marry him. I, of course, said yes and the rest is history.

What was the most amazing part of your day? There were so many things…the rain, the thunder and lightning. But, I think the most amazing and memorable part of our day was when we were pronounced husband and wife there was a bolt of lightning right behind us and a thunderous boom as we kissed! Unforgettable!!

What else would you like to share about your big day? Our wedding day will go down in the books. We went from a 10% chance of rain to a complete downpour in 24 hours (mind you hasn’t rained like that since then). That resulted in my husband, groomsmen and friends (volunteer firefighters from Madison, Esparto & Yolo Fire Depts.) to move the entire ceremony and reception site in the pouring rain, in less than 4 hours into a hangar across the property.

Together with the catering staff, our DJ and venue staff they pulled it off and come ceremony time everything was absolutely perfect!! I couldn’t have imagined it any other way!

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Ceremony and Reception Site: Historic Oakdale Ranch

Officiant: Tina Day

Photographer: Emily Tidwell Photography

Wedding Planner: Raquel Lister

Caterer: Anderson Family Catering

Cake/Desserts: Homemade by Maria Tafoya (Mother of the Groom)

Flowers: K&M Floral

Favors: DIY Homemade Salsa

Bridal Attire: House of Fashion

Bridesmaids’ Attire: Alfred Angelo

Hair: Lexi Stornetta

Make-up: Gwen Gomez

Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas

Signage: Karen Nylund Gibson

DJ/Entertainment/Band: Firehouse Entertainment

Décor Rentals: DIY

Furniture and Linen Rentals: A Grand Affair

Honeymoon Location: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

First Dance Song: “God Gave Me You” by Blake Shelton (Sung by Octavio Genera – Brother of the Bride)

Any advice you’d give to our readers who are planning their weddings right now? Keep it simple, remember your budget and most importantly, remember it’s about you and your husband and that’s all that matters.

Anything that you would have done differently if you were given the chance? Not a single thing…our day was amazing and memorable!!

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

Photos courtesy of and copyright Emily Tidwell Photography.

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