What made you want to model for this photo shoot?
Why not?! We love to have fun and do new things, especially together, so we figured this would be something of that nature that we can show our friends and family and any future kids we have. Plus, to be honest, as a now former bride, I really didn’t want to let go of everything wedding related just yet. I had so much fun planning our wedding and we had so much fun celebrating with everyone, that this was a small way for us to still play “bride and groom” even if just for a little while longer.
What was your favorite part of modeling?
We both really enjoyed hanging out in Old Sacramento early in the day, before the swarms of people moved in for the day to play tourist, go to work, or have lunch. We both agreed that being able to walk the railroad tracks and get up close and personal with the trains was a fun experience. Neither of us truly love to be in front of the camera, so to be able to step out of our comfort zone a bit, get all dressed up (having someone do your hair and makeup is beyond awesome!) and have to play a part, was new and unfamiliar, but a good lesson in going with the flow and enjoying the moment.
What was your favorite part of this shoot? Did you relate to the concept?
I think we both agree that our favorite part of the shoot was that we did it, and that we did it together. We’re always learning new things as we progress in life, and stepping out of our comfort zone every once in a while is a part of that. Everyone on set was great to work with and so nice! Getting to hang out with our model dog, Moose, for a short time was also a favorite moment, as we both love dogs.
While the style of the shoot was not at all similar to our wedding, the concept of “This Is Me” very much was. When planning our wedding I wanted to make sure that it directly reflected us individually and us as a couple, so it was “This Is Me,” “This Is Him,” and “This Is Us.” I had a vision, and dove in headfirst with it. Our families know how particular I am, and trusted that whatever I did would look great, so they were behind us 100% with my décor and style ideas. I certainly did it my way, but overall, our wedding day was a direct reflection of both of us.
What do you do for a living?
Steve: I am a mason. Many people these days don’t really know what a mason is, as it is becoming a lost art. But I lay brick, stone, tile, block, etc. Anything from the simplest of cinderblock walls to the more creative, mosaic designs.
Laura: During the school year, for three days each week, I am a Certified Substitute Teacher in the Elk Grove Unified School District. For the other two days and during school breaks, I work as an Office Assistant at my family’s longstanding business in East Sacramento, Sacramento Valley Alarm Security System, Inc.
What do you do for fun?
Steve: For fun, stress relief and to relax, I like to work on cars. I like the challenge of fixing something that is broken, or improving something that just doesn’t sound or look right. I’m also a fan of baseball. I grew up playing on teams here in East Sacramento, and down south where my dad lives. We try to go to at least one or two MLB games a year.
Laura: I joined my CrossFit gym, Aquila Fitness (aka CrossFit East Sacramento), back in January of 2013 and have actively attended classes three to six days per week since then. I love the workouts but I also love the community and all the friends I’ve made in the past five years of being a member. I also run the gym’s Instagram account (@aquilafitness), do occasional posts on their Facebook page and have been dubbed the “Social Chair,” for our out-of-gym social events we have throughout the year. I also try to be a good dog mom and make sure to walk our two female Labrador Retrievers at least a mile each day.
As a family we try to go on weekend adventures, when time allows. Most recently, we went whitewater rafting down the American River. Dillon Beach is a favorite because we can bring the dogs along with us, too. Driving to San Francisco to explore the city or driving around Lake Tahoe is always fun. And when we have more time, we like to venture down to Southern California to visit Steve’s family in Dana Point.
Tell us about your love story. How did you meet? What was the proposal like?
We originally met when we were five (Laura) and six (Steve) years old when we were on the same Dodgers tee-ball team for the River Park Baseball League in East Sacramento. I (Laura) was always eyeing the boys, especially those who were blonde haired with blue eyes, so I definitely was a little smitten over Steve. He, being a boy, didn’t really realize I was in his space, as I was the only girl on our team who happened to be a little tomboy-ish, so I kind of blended right in. We eventually wound up going to the same elementary school for a couple of years, and all of junior high school together at River Park’s (then called), Caleb Greenwood K-8 School. (FUN FACT: We now have our original school sign hanging in our backyard, as the school went through a bit of a name change and they were literally going to throw it out. Friends of ours saw the sign hanging out by the school dumpster, and knew that if anyone would want it, it’d be us. After a couple of phone calls and emails to the school principal at the time, it has made its permanent residence with us.) After Steve graduated in the first 8th grade graduating class (Laura followed him in the second graduating class), he moved to Southern California to live with his dad and attend high school. No social media (or really, cell phones) existed back then, so we simply lost touch. Fast forward to May of 2013 and I get a random friend request on Facebook from Steve. I was shocked, but of course, instantly accepted. After a few comments and casual conversations back and forth over Facebook, we decided to meet up in person, now that he was back living in Sacramento to be closer to his son. Since that time, July 12, 2013, we’ve been pretty much inseparable, making our relationship official as boyfriend/girlfriend on September 1, 2013. Steve moved in with me not too long after, in the home we now share in, you guessed it, River Park. His, now 13-year-old son, Ryan, moved in with us full-time in the fall of 2016. Together, the three of us, along with our two dogs, Jeter (a nine-and-a-half year old female chocolate lab), and Jessie (a nearly seven year old female black lab), our Maine coon, ball of energy of a cat, Frankie and two red-eared slider turtles, Red and Spence (along with a bunch of feeder fish, they’ve made friends with and won’t eat, as they were intended), make up our family.
As for the proposal…
I love to travel! Steve does too, but he’s never really been too far east, and never out of the country. So, I decided that he and I needed to go on an extended, out-of-the-country vacation, just the two of us. After some debating on where this adventure would be, I wound up booking us a seven-day cruise to Mexico that we went on in May of 2017. On board, my cell phone didn’t work, and he got very little reception with his coverage, so it was literally just the two of us (and a ship full of people we didn’t know) for seven days straight, and it was awesome! I had given him the cruise as a gift for our three-year dating anniversary back in September of 2016, with plenty of time for him to get a passport and for us to work out coverage of who would watch Ryan while we were away. Apparently, Steve had planned on proposing at some time relatively soon, and just decided to do it while we were on our cruise. I kind of suspected he had something planned, because, let’s be honest, most guys aren’t that sly on keeping secrets. Plus, he had told his entire family, and they were all acting a little strange…not their normal joking, crazy antic selves; lots of long hugs and just general awkwardness that was out of character for them. In any event, while the proposal was nothing elaborate, it was perfect. We had gone back to our room after playing (and winning!) BINGO, to rest up before heading to dinner. He simply laid down next to me in bed and asked if I would marry him. And of course my response was, “Babe, I’ve told you before that if you asked me to marry you, I would say yes.” And he said, “So, I’m asking,” and he showed me the ring with tears in his eyes. I was shocked and asked him if he was serious, and he just nodded his head. The ring went on my finger, we kissed and hugged, and that was it. Simple, yet perfect. Nothing extravagant. Nothing overdone. In fact, I told him that if he had rose petals strewn all over the room and a bottle of champagne, I would have been upset, because that is not like either of us. We are definitely more casual, and go with the flow.
Tell us about your own wedding.
Our wedding was everything we hoped for! We had a destination wedding in Steve’s native Southern California, in Dana Point. Our wedding was simple, colorful, and full of love. We got married on a cliff, in a park, overlooking the Pacific Ocean in San Clemente, with 100 of our dearest family and friends witnessing our beginning. It was short and sweet, but full of heart and very family oriented. We had the most amazing sit down dinner with the choice of steak, chicken, salmon or vegetarian (no one complained about the food, so that’s good!), an open bar of beer and wine, a make your own s’mores station (they’re Steve’s favorite), a lot of dancing and so much fun! My mom diligently made multi colored and patterned napkins for everyone, that tied in my colorful, beachy vibe I was going for. They, along with a little rose gold sequence table runner action, some greenery and succulent centerpieces provided by Steve’s aunt who owns a floral shop in Sacramento, along with little, individual color potted succulents that served as place cards for all our guests, made the space come alive. When planning it out, I knew everything was either all going to look completely horrible together, or it was going to looking amazing…there wasn’t going to be any in between. It was, thankfully, the latter. Everyone said they loved every aspect of our wedding, and that they never would have thought to combine all the elements for which I did. It was the most perfect blend of everything that was us, and I couldn’t have loved it more. I loved our wedding, and was very sad that it had to come to an end.
What was it like modeling with your real significant other (if applicable)?
I think it’s safe to say that we had a lot of fun. Often when we have our picture taken, it’s one of us usually holding the camera/phone, so it’s hard to get the big picture of what’s going on around or behind us, or to actually see us from top to bottom. Selfies just don’t include a whole lot of the picture takers. So to have an actual photographer with a camera and a team of stylists hanging out and giving direction, it was a fun experience to be entirely in the frame. We have our fingers crossed hoping that the team got the images they wanted! (Editor’s note: we did!)
If you could offer any advice to future brides, what would it be?
Enjoy every moment of the planning process. Don’t stress about the small things. Don’t stress about the big things, or what you or someone else may think the big things are. Invite only those that you genuinely love and want to be there to share your day with you and your spouse. Do not, in any way, feel obligated to do things in a way that is not truly and uniquely you and your soon-to-be lifelong partner’s vision of how you want the day to go. Take time with your spouse, after your ceremony and during your reception, to be in the moment and enjoy the party that is the beginning of your life together. Do not shop for your wedding dress until you are ready to do so, and go with your gut feeling; you know what you like, you know what your comfort level is, you know your vision, be open to other possibilities, but don’t be afraid to always fall back on your gut and go with it. Embrace every second of the day, because it goes by so fast. Above all else, HAVE SO MUCH FUN!
Interviewed by Kelley Saia.
916-794-1699 | oldsacvenue.com
Chris Morairty Photography
916-247-8084 | chrismorairtyphotography.com
DESIGN, STYLING AND COORDINATION
Cross & Dot Events
916-807-4505 | crossanddotevents.com
STYLING AND FLORAL DESIGN
The Bloom Lab
916-996-5572 | thebloomlab.com
DESIGN, STYLING AND CAKE DESIGN
Go West Baking and Events
916-708-6264 | gowestbakingandevents.com
The Hidden Table
916-337-8613 | thehiddentablegourmet.com
HAIR AND MAKEUP
Pretty Girl Fix
707-400-5696 | prettygirlfix.com
Sparkle Bridal Couture
916-538-6615 | sparklebridalcouture.com
Second Summer Bride
916-330-4422 | secondsummerbridesac.com
DSW | dsw.com
Macy’s | macys.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 Fine Millinery | rubyandcordelias.etsy.com
Sorrelli Jewelry | sorrelli.com
Paper n Peonies
903-780-7772 | papernpeonies.etsy.com
CUSTOM SIGNAGE AND RIBBON PLACE CARDS
Swoonable | swoonable.net
BALLOON DESIGN AND INSTALLATION, AND DRAPING
The Party Concierge
916-440-8080 | partyconcierge.com
BAR, BAR BACK, CHIVARI CHAIRS AND CHAMPAGNE GLASS RENTALS
Celebrations! Party Rentals & Tents
916-773-2133 | 916-562-2900 | 775-773-8900 | celebrationspartyrentals.com
ALL OTHER RENTALS
Getting Hitched Design & Rentals
916-807-4505 | gethitchedweddingrentals.com
530-377-6203 | magicallighting.biz
209-245-5200 | helwigwinery.com
JB Wedding Photography
916-220-0159 | jbweddingphoto.com
Special thanks to our real couple models Laura & Steve, our groomsmaid Le-Quyen, our ringmaster Chef Russ Landers from The Hidden Table and Moose the bulldog, and all of the professionals who contributed to this feature!
Blog post by Real Weddings Magazine’s Associate Editor Emily Peter.
Photos by Chris Morairty Photography/copyright Real Weddings Magazine.
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