Le-Quyen is the absolute sweetest! Her beauty, and kind, relaxed demeanor made her a breeze to work with on our Golden Girls Cover Model Contest Photo Shoot – something she kept hidden from her fiancé even while she was modeling for us! Keep reading to find out about how she met her fiancé, how he proposed, and what it was like to be a Cover Model Finalist.

Why did you enter this contest?

I was talking to a Real Weddings representative at a bridal event and she suggested that I submit an application. Normally, I would be too shy to do anything like this, but I thought this would be a good opportunity to try something fun, spontaneous and different. Also, who wouldn’t want to dress up in wedding gowns and look pretty for a day?! Plus, I am loving the whole wedding planning experience. It’s been a lot of fun looking at all of the different options for things and it’s exciting to have this opportunity to be creative and come up with something that reflects who my fiancé and I are together, so entering this contest felt like an extension of the whole wedding experience.

What do you do for a living?

I’m a policy advisor for a Commissioner at a state agency. We work on energy policy and planning matters. Our office has a variety of issues we work on which keeps it interesting, and even better, I have a really great boss and coworkers.

What do you do for fun?

I love hanging out with my fiancé, family and friends. It could be going out to dinner or just taking a walk; I’m happiest with family and friends.

Tell us your love story.

My fiancé and I met at a local dive bar. I was there with a friend and my fiancé was talking to the bouncer. My friend and I also knew the bouncer, so we went over to say “Hi” and that “Hi” turned into a longer conversation. It felt awkward talking “around” this guy (my fiancé), so I leaned over and introduced myself (as a friendly gesture, not romantically). I ran into him a few times after that, and about a month and a half later he asked me out, I said yes, and the rest is history.

My fiancé proposed on February 26, 2017. There had been a bunch of storms recently, but the weather was supposed to be nice over the weekend, so my fiancé asked me if I wanted to go out for a drive. That Sunday morning, when I went outside to the car, he was setting up his GoPro. That probably should have been a hint, but I didn’t think anything of this, because he and his friends are really into cars so it’s not unusual for them to set up the GoPro if they’ll be doing something interesting. We decided to drive along the levee so we could check out how high the river was after the storms. On the way back, we stopped and got out of the car to get a better look at the river and take pictures. After taking pictures I got back into the car, and my fiancé made a comment about how dirty the car was and walked around the car looking at it. He came back to the front and was kneeling on the ground looking at something, and then called to me to check something out. I got out of the car, and when I came to the front of the car he was kneeling on one knee holding something shiny up to me. I thought that there was something wrong with the car, so I just registered that the object was round and shiny, and was wondering where something shiny could have come off of a dirty car. I asked him “What is it? What happened?” And he responded “No, will you marry me?” My response was “Are you serious?” He said “Yes” and my response was “You know I will.”

There wasn’t one thing that made me decide that my fiancé was the one for me. It was a bunch of things. For example, after 10 years of being together, I’m still super excited to come home to him after work. (And I like my job.) It’s because we make a great team. We don’t fit in the category of “basically the same person” or “opposites attract”. We have overlapping interests and traits, but we also have different interests and traits. I work in conservation and renewables, he works on gas guzzling cars – but that’s what keeps it interesting. We understand that we each have our own strengths and weaknesses and together we balance and complement each other. With him, I can let my silly, goofy, nerdy side come out and that’s okay. He doesn’t expect me to always act or be a certain way. I can really be myself around him without judgement; I don’t have to justify my laughing fit, or my irritation, or whatever my reaction is to a situation. Neither of us thinks the other is perfect but we’re there to call each other on the important stuff and the rest we accept. And most importantly, even though we have different backgrounds, we have similar ideals and standards for how we want to live our lives.

Tell us about your wedding day.

We’re getting married at Vizcaya next year. We’re hoping the wedding will be elegant and modern, but nothing pretentious or super fancy or fussy. I’m most looking forward to having our friends and family celebrate with us. We both have large extended families and most of them live out of town/out of state, so it will be nice to have all of the people we like and love the most all in one place at one time. I’m hoping that the wedding will be a really fun party for our guests and that they’ll be able to say they had a great time.

What did your fiancé think about you entering this contest? What did he say when you became a finalist? What did you think when you were selected?

My fiancé is supportive of everything I do. If there’s anything that I want to try or do, but I express doubt or fear at trying it, his reaction is “Why? If you want to do this, then you should.” But he didn’t know I was a finalist or even that I got that far. All of the texts and emails said to keep the news quiet and to not share it with anybody so I didn’t. But it was really hard, so many times I just wanted to turn to him and say “Guess what….”

I was so excited when I was selected as a finalist. I had to read the text twice to make sure and then for the next half hour I was kind of worried that they would send me a follow-up text saying they made a mistake. I really wanted to start cheering out loud, but I couldn’t. Instead, I just walked around with a cheesy grin on my face for the next couple of days.

Tell us about your cover model experience.

The cover model experience was amazing! The application/selection process was a little nerve wracking because it was like going through a job application/interview process: turning in your application (hoping you’ll somehow stand out and waiting for a call), going to the interview (luckily, Wendy is super nice), and then waiting to hear back (during which you relive the interview and wonder if you did anything “wrong”).

What was your favorite part of the day?

It’s hard to say what was my favorite part of the day, it was all so much fun. I loved meeting the Real Weddings team and everyone else who were working on the photo shoot – they were really nice and it was great getting to know them. And then of course, it was awesome having my hair and make-up done, getting to wear so many wedding gowns, and posing for photos. I’ll admit, it feels nice to get pampered and look like a princess for a day. Afterwards, I was a little sad the day was over: it went by so fast. But at the same time, I had this happy feeling like ‘I can’t believe I just did that!’

-Interviewed by Kelley Saia

THE DETAILS “Golden Girls”


Helwig Winery | 209-245-5200 | helwigwinery.com


Sweet Marie Photography | 707-685-7694 | sweetmariephotography.com
Mindy Aagaard, Primary Shooter, Dante Fontana, Assistant


Lea Buehler BGorgeous (Hair) | 916-705-5827 | bgorgeous.com
Jenifer Haupt, I Make Beautiful (Makeup) | 916-532-9800 | imakebeautiful.com


Bellissimo Brides | 559-641-7721 | 559-307-8063 | bellissimobrides.com
Carol Cardinale (Hair and Makeup) , Crystal Renee (Assistant)


Always Elegant Bridal & Tuxedo | 530-755-4282 | 530-487-7110 | alwayselegantbridal.net
The Bridal Box | 916-742-4638 | thebridalbox.net
The Clothes Mine | 209-267-0417 | theclothesmine.com
De La Rosa’s Bridal & Tuxedos | 916-983-3400 | delarosasbridal.com
Diamond Bridal Gallery | 916-521-9856 | diamondbridalgallery.com
House of Fashion | 916-554-7440 | hofbridal.com
Second Summer Bride | 916-330-4422 | secondsummerbridesac.com


Baublebar | baublebar.com
Bel Aire Bridal | belairebridal.com
Chloe + Isabel | chloeandisabel.com
Collections by Joya | collectionsbyjoya.com
Hair Comes the Bride | haircomesthebride.com
Macy’s | macys.com
Arden Fair Mall | 916-925-2845
Downtown Plaza | 916-444-3333
Sunrise Mall | 916-962-3333
Westfield Galleria at Roseville | 916-771-3333
Ruby & Cordelia’s Millinery and Fancy Goods | rubyandcordelias.etsy.com
Sara Gabriel | saragabriel.com
Stella & Dot | stelladot.com


Accents by Sage Floral Design | 916-799-6242 | accentsbysage.com
Amour Florist & Bridal | 916-392-8168 | amourmoments.com
Bella Bloom | 916-498-8588 | bellabloomflowers.com
Bloem Decor | 916-447-2001 | bloemdecor.com
The Blonde Bouquet | 909-499-8644 | theblondebouquet.com
Jenn Robirds Events | 626-841-3758 | jennrobirdsevents.com
Morningside Florist | 916-635-9891 | morningsideflorist.com
Placerville Flowers on Main | 530-622-1121 | placervilleflowersonmain.com
Relles Florist | 916-441-1478 | rellesflorist.com
Strelitzia Flower Company | 530-758-5050 | strelitziaflowers.com

Wholesale Flowers from FiftyFlowers.com | 877-507-6737 | fiftyflowers.com


Tan Weddings & Events | 530-601-0914 | tanweddingsandevents.com


Jenn Robirds Events | 626-841-3758 | jennrobirdsevents.com


Tin Roof Farmhouse | 415-269-6762 | tinrooffarmhouse.com


Tan Weddings & Events | 530-601-0914 | tanweddingsandevents.com


Jenn Robirds Events | 626-841-3758 | jennrobirdsevents.com
with Wholesale Flowers from FiftyFlowers.com | 877-507-6737 | fiftyflowers.com


Ettore’s Bakery & Café | 916-482-0708 | ettores.com


Justin Buettner Wedding Photography | 916-220-0159 | jbweddingphoto.com


Bocca Catering | 916-834-3554 | boccacatering.com

Special thanks to our real bride models—Kayla and Le-Quyen—and all of the professionals who contributed to this feature!

Click here to see more from the “Golden Girls“ photo shoot blog series!

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

Photos by Sweet Marie Photography / copyright Real Weddings Magazine.

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