Elisa + David, our real couple models who star in “The Art of Love” styled shoot in the current issue of Real Weddings Magazine, are two of the sweetest (and most patient) people we know! During the day of our styled shoot, we were met with all kinds of weather:  cold + wet, full sun + warmth…and wind, lots of wind. It caused some, shall we say, stress during the day, but our amazing vendor team met the challenge like the consummate pros they are (wait until you see the behind-the-scenes video and you’ll totally know what I mean). And our real couple models Elisa + David were amazingly patient with all the hurry up and wait, then change fast, then wait some more until the rain stops, then shoot this fast while the wind dies down, then, well, you get the idea. Throughout the day, they put smiles on their faces and totally pretended they were on a balmy beach somewhere—and you just had to be near them for a few seconds to see how giddily in love with each other they are! We adored them fully and completely, and we bet you will too! Here, you get to know Elisa + David just a little bit more!

What made you want to model for this photo shoot?
Elisa: I was so delighted by the opportunity to spend time with David celebrating this fun season of life we’re in and enjoying being the bride and groom! Real Weddings was a super helpful planning resource to me as a Sacramento bride, and I was excited to get to be a part of a publication that is so well-loved and dedicated to helping out other brides! When I first got engaged, I didn’t know quite where to begin or how to find vendors outside of word-of-mouth or exploring Instagram. But, no joke, I found our actual wedding venue thanks to an ad in this very magazine!

David: I’ve always been behind the camera having done video work for weddings before, so when Elisa told me about the possibility of being in a full on professional photo shoot I was quite excited by the idea.

Tell us about your modeling experience.
Elisa: It was such a wonderful and memorable time. From first contact with Wendy through the entire day of the shoot, everyone we got to work with was incredible. Wendy and Emily are absolute bosses, Happi (MUA) and Alexis (hair stylist) were my big sisters for the day, helping me feel comfortable and beautiful, and Kayla (photographer) was a total doll and the best cheerleader! I was a bit unsure what to expect walking into the shoot, but everyone was so warm, friendly, and helpful that I quickly felt at ease and just enjoyed the day!

David: Modeling for Real Weddings was an experience like no other. Wendy was a master at keeping things professional yet high-spirited and fun. I was blown away by the sheer scale of the shoot, and we felt privileged to get to witness such talented professionals at work.

On Elisa in photos above:  Hairpiece by Mariell; Earrings by Sorrelli Jewelry; Necklace by MonJude Studio; Gown from Brides for a Cause

On David in photos above: Suit, Shirt, Tie and Shoes from Tuxedo Den

How was modeling with your significant other?
Elisa: Oh we had a blast. It was fun getting to see each other all done up and it was such a unique and special way to enjoy this sweet season of being engaged! David had never seen even a photo of me in a wedding dress and Iʻd never seen him in a tux so we enjoyed feeling like we were playing dress up all day together and celebrating being in love.

David: It was a dream come true! Having Elisa there served to calm any nerves that I had, plus being able to see her in not one, not two, but six whole wedding looks made me feel like the luckiest guy in the world!

What was your favorite part of the shoot?
Elisa: The location and the dresses were amazing. I love the Crocker and it felt so special to get to visit on a private day all while wearing these incredible dresses that were in themselves works of art! The theme for the styled shoot was Timeless European and it was beautifully executed by Haley (planner), Tish and Sam (florists) and the whole team. Some of the colors used were similar to the palette for our actual wedding so it was fun to see how they were incorporated!

David: My favorite part of the day was walking into each of the different stunning settings that the design team had carefully selected around the Crocker Art Museum and taking in the beauty of the surroundings! Everything was curated so specifically and I, personally, resonated with the urban wedding style of the shoot.


On Elisa in photos above: Jewelry by The Modern Gem; Gown from Always Elegant Bridal & Tuxedo

On David in photos above: Suit, Shirt, Tie and Shoes from Tuxedo Den


Tell us about your love story. How did you meet? What was the proposal like?
Elisa: My fiancé, David, and I got acquainted in Hawai’i, where he lives, after I moved on island to attend college! Crazy how small the world is sometimes…back in the 90s, our dads roomed together briefly in college (Sac State!) AND our moms had been roommates at UC Davis! So I grew up knowing about his family as old friends of my parents, but didnʻt actually know any of them personally since they lived so far away. After I moved on island, I reached out, seeking connections and new friendships, and ended up finding my greatest friend and future family!

David proposed to me on December 27, 2021 on an old walking bridge in Historic Roseville that he covered in string lights and decorated with rose petals and marquee letters in our initials. It was utterly magical and looked and felt straight out of an enchanted forest! I always doubted that heʻd be able to surprise me with when he would propose, but he pulled it all off without me suspecting anything and I was completely caught off guard (in the best way!). I was even wearing sweatpants and sporting bare nails, proving that I had no idea what I was walking into!

David: Elisa and I met in 2019 while she was in Hawai’i to attend college—we hit it off straightaway! I knew from very early on that she was the person I wanted to marry.

The proposal was just the way I imagined it to be with both of our families present to witness it and the fact that Elisa was actually surprised! All these factors came together to make for a perfect night!

On Elisa in photos above: Flower Earrings by Strelitzia Flower Company; Gown from Perfect Dress Party

On David in photos above: Suit, Shirt, Tie and Shoes from Tuxedo Den

Tell us about your wedding day.
Elisa: Our wedding is a celebration of all the things we love the most with the people we love the most! David and I are getting married in an outdoor garden venue in Sacramento and will be DIY-ing most of our decor to personalize the space for our special day. Our wedding style is what weʻve been calling “garden party glam”, combining the vibrant colors and natural elegance of nature with classic statement elements of glitz and glamour! We are excited to treat our friends and family to a fun day celebrating the gift of marriage!

David: We all know thereʻs a lot that goes into weddings, but all that really matters to us is good music, having our friends and families present, and that we will be married by the end of it!


On Elisa in photos above: Earrings from Macy’s; Gown from De La Rosa’s Bridal & Tuxedo

On David in photos above: Suit, Shirt, Tie and Shoes from Tuxedo Den

If you could offer any advice to engaged couples what would it be?
Elisa: Enjoy it and donʻt be afraid to ask for help! The engagement season is filled to the brim with experiences youʻve dreamed of since you were a child and memories youʻll keep with you for years to come. Absolutely romanticize those times and cherish the people surrounding you, but donʻt forget to consider how youʻre building towards your upcoming marriage, not just how youʻre planning your wedding! The wedding, as incredible as it may be, is just a single moment compared to the marriage, which is for a lifetime. David and I have benefited from getting dinner with couples who have been married for decades to learn from them and praying together each night as we tackle the craziness and overwhelm of beginning our lives together!

David: Donʻt lose sight of whatʻs happening in the present even though there are great things up ahead! It can be daunting to prepare for so many significant life changes at once, but remind yourself to be present and fully enjoy every moment—youʻre creating memories that will last for a lifetime.

On Elisa in photos above: Earrings by Renewable Jewels; Gown from The Bridal Box

On David in photos above: Suit, Shirt, Tie and Shoes from Tuxedo Den

Special thanks to our real couple models, Elisa + David, and all of the professionals who contributed to this feature!

Click here to see more from this photo shoot!

Blog post by Real Weddings Magazine’s Editor, Wendy Sipple.

Photos by AshtonImagery Photography and Film/copyright Real Weddings Magazine.