Our real bride models are the best! Next up is Curissa—featured in our “Gold Country Glam” cover model finalist photo shoot. Check out her amazing proposal story!

Sacramento Weddings | Amador County Weddings | Farrell Photography | Hotel Sutter | Find your wedding venue

Why did you enter this contest?
Curissa: It’s a dream of mine to be on the cover of a magazine. This past New Year’s Eve, my fiancé and I spent the evening writing down our dreams and goals for 2019. One of my goals was to be on the cover of a magazine. I have a very unique look, wild curly hair, and I’m only five feet tall. So I don’t necessarily fit the “standard of beauty” that some would expect from a cover model. This is why I appreciate spaces where diversity is celebrated because it shows everyone that they should feel beautiful and comfortable in how they were created! I want to be someone who promotes self-love and makes people feel good about themselves. It’s my way of saying “This is why YOU should love yourself. You’re beautiful the way you are.”

At the time, I didn’t know how I would achieve that goal! I just knew in my heart that it was something I wanted, and I knew by writing it down, I could manifest it. On January 30, the manager of my wedding venue forwarded me a link to the contest. The deadline was February 5 and I dropped off my entry that day. I thought it was so cool how just a month prior I wrote this goal down and now the opportunity was right in front of me! No one but my fiancé knew that this was something I longed for. But still, the opportunity found its way to me. I believe it was destiny. This was meant to be.

What did your partner think about you entering this contest? What was their reaction when you were selected? What was your reaction when you were selected?
Curissa: My fiancé is my biggest fan and strongest supporter! He has taught me how to be fearless and pursue the life I envision for myself! I used to be really apprehensive about EVERYTHING. I would constantly allow self-doubt and anxiety to stop me from chasing my dreams. He’s always encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and take chances. As a result, I’ve learned how to choose faith over fear. So naturally, he was extremely proud of me for entering the contest! With no hesitation, he’s been saying “You’re going to get the cover” since the day I told him I entered.

Tell us about your cover model experience.
Curissa: It was so surreal. I felt like I needed to pinch myself throughout the day to see if I was dreaming. I was so amazed at the energy on set. From the glam team, to the photographers, to the set designers and Real Weddings team, everyone was passionate about their craft and genuinely happy to be there. The whole team was supportive and encouraging toward me. I felt extremely comfortable with a group of people I had just met! By the middle of the day, it felt like we were one big family. We were cracking jokes in between shots and just having a blast in each other’s company.

My favorite part was getting to wear so many beautiful wedding dresses. There is so much magic in a beautiful wedding gown. You instantly feel like royalty wearing one. I fell in love with each dress and kept thinking how lucky I was to be photographed in multiple wedding gowns. This is a bride’s dream come true! In the future, I’ll be able to look back on these photos and remember how magical this day was and how beautiful I felt.

Overall, my cover model experience was phenomenal! I drove home crying because I was so overwhelmed with gratitude. The day was amazing from start to finish. I felt extremely inspired to continue to pursue my dreams no matter how far-fetched, grand or scary they may seem! This cover model shoot was proof that anything is possible.

Tell us about your love story. How did you meet? What was the proposal like?
Curissa: Brandyn and I were introduced by mutual friends in 2011. The first day we met, Brandyn asked me where I saw myself in five years. I shared my goals with him and as he encouraged me, he said “WE have to make that happen.” While we didn’t initially hit it off, we remained friends and always recognized there was chemistry. In 2013, fate had it that we both ended up living in Los Angeles, fell in love and became inseparable.

Since 2013, we have experienced so much life together. We’ve moved to another country, started businesses, traveled the world, lost loved ones, conquered health issues, and suffered a miscarriage. Through the highs and lows of life, our bond has only become deeper. There’s no greater feeling than knowing no matter what life throws at you, you’ll get through it with your soulmate. I am beyond excited to spend forever with my best friend!

My fiancé proposed by telling me we had been recruited by his football team for a fun social media video featuring the players and their wives/girlfriends. The day of the interview, the staff explained that we would first be interviewed separately and then reunited to determine if our answers matched up. Of course, Brandyn volunteered me to be interviewed first. I began answering questions on camera about our relationship, and in the middle of answering the third question, Brandyn walked in from the curtain behind me. Suddenly, he dropped to one knee and popped the question! “Curissa, you’re the love of my life! Will you marry me?” Turns out, the whole social media video was a front for the proposal. He was the mastermind behind the whole thing! It was completely unexpected and one of the best days of my life!

Tell us about your wedding day.
Curissa: We were married on April 28, 2019 at the Willow Ballroom in Hood. We had a southern-inspired wedding, motivated by my grandmother’s New Orleans roots. Our décor was very romantic with lots of brass candles, pampas grass, and greenery to mimic the French Quarter. Our guests enjoyed a southern menu that features shrimp and grits bites, fried green tomatoes, beef brisket, mac and cheese, and more. In an attempt to bring New Orleans to Sacramento, we surprised our guests with a traditional second line parade led by a live brass band.

We are blessed to have so many family and friends who have supported us from the start of this relationship. They have been rooting and praying for us since the start, and I was most excited to share this moment with them! I just couldn’t wait to embrace and dance with everyone. Our wedding was the perfect balance of elegance and fun. We absolutely loved celebrating love and life with the people who mean the most to us.


If you could offer any advice to future brides what would it be?
Curissa: My advice to future brides would be to enjoy the process. Don’t get caught up in the stress of planning, pleasing other people, or the grand production of hosting a wedding. Keep the focus on you and your spouse. Reflect on your journey to this moment and decide what matters most to you two on your wedding day. Then go for it!




  Hotel Sutter

209-267-0242 | hotelsutter.com


  Farrell Photography | Steve, Stephanie and Jesse Farrell

209-257-4583 | 916-717-7902  |  farrellphotography.net


  JB Wedding Photography | Justin Buettner

916-220-0159 | jbweddingphoto.com

Lisa Harter Hair and Makeup Artist | Lisa Harter (Hair)

530-559-7292 | lisamharter.com

Happily Beautiful Makeup Artistry & Skin Studio  |  Happi Ybarra (Makeup)

530-632-0607  |  happilybeautifulmakeup.com


All Dolled Up Hair and Makeup Artistry  |  Melissa Oretta (Hair) and Lynsee Stewart (Makeup)

 530-206-7775  |  alldolleduphairandmakeup.com


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

My Martha Design Boutique

530-622-6009  |  mymarthadesign.com

Second Summer Bride

916-330-4422  |  secondsummerbridesac.com


Ariat  |  ariat.com


DSW dsw.com


Always Elegant Bridal & Tuxedo

530-755-4282 | 530-487-7110  |  alwayselegantbridal.net

Chloe + Isabel chloeandisabel.com

Deepa Gurnani  |  deepagurnani.com

Hair Comes the Bride  |  haircomesthebride.com

Luxurious Bridal

209-400-1915  |  luxuriousbridal.com

Macy’s | Moka Davis, My Stylist@Macy’s Roseville Galleria

916-787-3310  |  macys.com/mystylist

Mariell  |  mariellonline.com

Sorrelli Jewelry  |  sorrelli.com

Style Avenue Studios

916-812-1114  |  styleavenuestudios.com

Twigs & Honey twigsandhoney.com

USABride  |  usabride.com


Accents by Sage Floral Design

916-799-6242  |  accentsbysage.com

Ames Haus Design

916-730-1635  |  ameshaus.com

Amour Florist & Bridal

916-392-8168  |  amourmoments.com

Carson Valley Florist

775-266-9285  |  carsonvalleyflorist.com

Curious Floral

916-812-2506  |  curiousfloral.com


916-212-5179  |  flourishdesigns.com

Morningside Florist

916-635-9891  |  morningsideflorist.com

Paradise Parkway Event Productions

916-384-5520  |  paradiseparkway.com

The Party Concierge

916-440-8080  |  partyconcierge.com

Placerville Flowers on Main

530-622-1121  |  placervilleflowersonmain.com

Relles Florist

916-441-1478  |  rellesflorist.com

Rodarte Floral Design

916-799-3625  |  rodartefloraldesign.com

Strelitzia Flower Company

530-758-5050  |  weddingsbystrelitzia.com

Wild Flowers Design Group

916-899-1289  |  wildflowersdesigngroup.com


Wholesale Flowers from FiftyFlowers.com

877-507-6737  |  fiftyflowers.com



 Paradise Parkway Event Productions

916-384-5520  |  paradiseparkway.com


Blossom Farm Vintage Rentals

530-681-8937  |  blossomfarmrentals.com


Designed by Paradise Parkway Event Productions

Wholesale Flowers from FiftyFlowers.com

877-507-6737  |  fiftyflowers.com


Frank Vilt’s Cakes

 530-409-7046  |  frankviltscakes.com


Real Weddings Magazine


Special thanks to our real bride models, Blythe and Curissa, and to all of the professionals who contributed to this feature!

Click here to see more from our Gold Country Glam Cover Model Photo Shoot.

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

Photos by Farrell Photography / copyright Real Weddings Magazine.