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The Couple: Kaitlin & Paul

Wedding Date: April 22, 2017

Photography by Carmen Salazar Photography

Tell us a little about you and your beloved: We met while working at a small ambulance company in North Hollywood. He helped train new employees there, so after seeing me around the base during my first couple shifts, he made sure that he spent my next shift with me – you know, to ‘train’ me. We exchanged numbers, and he had to work past some of my hard-headedness before we finally went on our first date. After that night though, the rest came easy.

We moved in together in San Francisco after a couple of years together. And in the fall of 2015 we went on our first international trip together to Bali, Indonesia. While there, he had me get up way before the sun and hike up a very steep active volcano in the pitch dark, so that we could watch the sun rise at the top of Mt. Batur in Bali. And as we began our descent, he stopped me on a quiet secluded section of the peak, got down on one knee and started with “This may be the worst kept secret of our trip…” and asked me to spend the rest of our lives together. The ring was a gorgeous pear-shaped emerald that he had designed and selected himself, and I cried even more when I saw how perfect it was! I then told him to put it directly back in the box since we had to hike down the volcano still and I was NOT going to get it dirty immediately. We’ve now built our lives together in Oakland with our two little cats, Bruce and Belle, and are both looking forward to beginning school this year to further our careers.

What was the most amazing part of your day? Walking into the reception and reaching our sweetheart table to turn and see every single person in the room, who was there solely to celebrate my husband and I, and our love for one another. That was a powerful moment that I doubt either of us will ever forget.

What else would you like to share about your big day? My husband was in an acapella group in college, so for his Mother-Son dance with his mom, the members of that group sang “Johnny Be Good” as the two danced a fun swing-dance on the floor! I had also asked them to surprise my husband and they secretly practiced and then performed the song “Never Stop (Wedding Version)” by SafetySuit before our first dance. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place!

I was never going to fit into my mom’s wedding dress, which was actually just a simple dress that she had worn on my parents’ first date (they just celebrated 35 year anniversary together!). So instead I asked Pebbles Bridal, who was doing my dress alterations, to use a piece of my mom’s dress to create a pocket on the inside layer of my new gown. I then used that pocket to hold the guardian angel coin my dad gave me before I had left for college. It was a wonderful way to have them both with me throughout the day!

Ceremony and Reception Site; and Caterer: Vizcaya

Ceremony Musicians and DJ: Contemporary DJs

Officiant: Groom’s Brother

Photographer: Carmen Salazar Photography

Videographer: Kyle Mize Productions

Cake/Desserts: Above and Beyond Cakes

Flowers: Bella Bloom (Vicky here went above and beyond on the day of the wedding to help make sure all of the flowers being used fit in their spaces correctly and that I never had to even think of them! They were beyond stunning, and my bouquet matched perfectly the picture I had been dreaming of over a year.)

Favors: Amazon

Bridal Attire: Pebbles Bridal

Bridesmaids’ Attire: Various Locations

Hair: Emily Scott Hair

Make-up: Taryn Passifione

Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas

Signage: DIY

Lighting: Contemporary DJs & Vizcaya

Honeymoon Location: Italy (Venice, Florence, Greece – Mykonos, Santorini and Athens)

First Dance Song: “Eyes” by Kaskade.

Any advice you’d give to our readers who are planning their weddings right now? It is your day! Makes sure it stays true to you and your partner, and that when people leave, they know it came from both of your hearts. And to spend a moment, hopefully together, but to take in what the day MEANS! And that everyone in that room is there only to wish you well and send you off to live happily ever after. That’s such a memorable part of the day for me – all the love I felt in every detail and hug and photo and drink exchanged.

Anything that you would have done differently if you were given the chance? Don’t stress about the favors! I mean, how many favors have you really kept of the weddings you’ve gone to? Consider doing something different with that, or not doing them at all. It’s a small detail I got caught up on in the planning process, but wish I would have just let it go.

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

Photos courtesy of Carmen Salazar Photography.

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