We’re back with our regular scheduled programming. You guessed it — it’s Real Weddings Wednesday! And we’re excited to kick start our weekly blog series with Rachel and Russell’s beautiful estate wedding in Sutter. This special day is full of elegant touches, be it the flowers, the amazing gown from AE Bridal, or the stunning venue — we know you’re going to want to see more. Keep scrolling to read about the couple, and to see more great photos!

Tell us a little about you and your beloved.

Russell and I met each other in 2012 at a middle school event.  We quickly became good friends and maintained that friendship until we were in college.  In 2020, we started dating after our college decided we should do remote-learning for classes temporarily. After dating for about a year, we knew we were inseparable and that we should be married.  In 2022, Russell proposed after we went back to the place our first date was at.

Bride getting ready for her beautiful estate wedding.

What was the best part of your day?

The most amazing part about our wedding day was our exchanging of vows.  To us, it made our marriage feel like it was more than paperwork and event planning. It made it feel intimate and sacred. It was so special to share this moment with our loved ones and to this day, most people share their favorite part of our wedding was the vows.

Father walking the bride down the aisle at her estate wedding.

Bride and groom kissing after they say "I do."

Bride and groom walking away together after their ceremony.

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

A week before the wedding, Russell started to come down with something. It progressively became worse throughout the week, leading to a 104 dregree fever. The night before the wedding we were wondering what we would do. We were even worried we would even have to take him to the hospital if his fever continued to rise. Miraculously, the morning of the wedding, his fever broke. It was a blessing, and we were able to genuinely enjoy our wedding day!

Bride and groom taking wedding photos with their bridal party at their estate wedding.

Bride and groom taking wedding photos at their beautiful estate wedding.

Advice from the couple:

My first piece of advice would be to write your own vows.  It’s more meaningful to make personal promises than to do what is standard. On hard days and on good days, we remember what we promised each other at our wedding and do our absolute best to deliver on those promises. My second piece of advice is to choose people you can trust for your wedding party. There are so many unforeseen events that can happen leading up to your wedding, or on your wedding day, so make sure your wedding party stands with you and supports you!

Wedding cake.

Anything you would have done differently?

It is really difficult for us to think about what we could have done differently because we loved our wedding. We did some unconventional things, like having a sweetheart table (a table just for the bride and groom to eat at) and letting our bridesmaids pick whatever dresses they wanted to wear. However, we would have definitely gone with a different DJ. Our DJ demanded $1,000 in cash as soon as he got to the venue, ate a half rack or more of ribs brought by our caterer (our guests complained they didn’t get any ribs because of him), and never announced any events unless people forced him to.

Bride and groom cutting their wedding cake.

Bride posing for her estate wedding.

Bride about to kiss her groom.

Photos courtesy of and copyright Kylee Hicks Photography used with permission.

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