Christine is our beautiful cover model for our Winter 2018 issue – and isn’t she just gorgeous?! We had as much fun working with her as she did modeling for us on our From Tahoe With Love cover model photo shoot. Keep reading to hear all about the photo shoot, and her intimate backyard wedding.

Why did you enter this contest?

I’ve seen a few people I know on the cover before and I always thought “How freaking cool.” It wasn’t until I was in the midst of planning my own wedding, browsing through Instagram looking for inspiration when I saw you were accepting applicants for cover models. Mostly I kept thinking “How cool would it be to show my future husband a picture of his future wife in a magazine?”

What do you do for a living?

I am an Operations Supervisor at Travis Credit Union. I am very passionate about my job. I work closely with a bright group of people who make coming to work everyday a pleasure. We promote financial education, financial literacy, and member advocacy. Improving people’s financial lives, one member at a time!

What do you do for fun?

I try and make everything I do fun. I go to work and have some fun, I come home and have some fun, I go to bed with my husband and we have some fun, but after a long week we like to get together with our friends and have some drinks, eat some good food, play some fun games. Having a good old time and making fun memories with family and friends is what I call fun.

Tell us your love story.

Oh boy, the beginning is kind of a mess! We were both in relationships when we first met. The first time we spoke: “Hey excuse me,” he said “my friend over there wanted me to give you his number and invite you to this party he is having.” The first time I spoke to my now husband was because his friend was too shy to ask me out himself! Thanks friend! So, it wasn’t love at first sight or anything romantic like that. My first impressions of him were actually not good! He was too cocky and young. After all I am a whole one year and two months older than him! But in all seriousness I was a single mom, and he didn’t seem like the type to be ready for all that. But time would pass and I would begin to get to know him better, and him me. Our love story started as a dying ember, but boy did it ignite into a wild flame.

The proposal was on Christmas Eve 2015. Opening gifts with our family in front of the tree, he had saved my gift for last. It was a photo album he had put together himself. It was in chronological order starting with the very first picture we had ever taken together in 2011. Under each picture he wrote about how much he loved me, how we had made so many wonderful memories together, and how he couldn’t imagine his life without me. Four years worth of memories I flipped through as I read his beautiful words out loud and the tears started to well in my eyes just from seeing all these memories put together in one book. Until I flipped to a page with no pictures. It simply read “WILL YOU…” only to look up through my tears and see him beginning to get down on one knee!!! To this day I can’t tell this story without crying. It was the best gift anyone has ever given me.

I knew he was the one somewhere around year three of dating. We were inseparable the first three years. We woke up, we went to work, (worked at the same place), and we made sure to take lunch break at the same time. After work we hung out, ate dinner, went to sleep, and repeat. For three years I never once got tired of this man. I only loved him more and more and I couldn’t get enough. One day I just knew: I will always love this man. We’ve gone through good, we’ve gone through bad, and through it all our love only grew stronger. Stronger than any love I have ever felt.

Tell us about your wedding day.

Our wedding day was 09-09-2017. Also my 29th birthday. My 9-year-old son gave me away. Oh and in case you were wondering, my favorite number has always been 9! We purchased our first home together in April 2017 (randomly given mailbox #9) and we knew before we found our home that we would get married in the backyard. We found the dream floor plan with the dream lot size, perfect for a backyard wedding, but the house was new construction so all we had to start was dirt! We were aiming for an April 2018 wedding. We figured one year would be a good amount of time to finish the backyard. We knew we had a long road ahead of us, so we dove in headfirst. What we didn’t know is that diving in head first to us meant finishing the backyard in less than 2 months! Amazed with our accomplishments, one of us (not even sure which) got the bright idea to just go ahead and get married on 09/09/17. A little over three months to plan a wedding sounds like a great idea right? It turned out perfect. My favorite part about the whole thing is that we worked for it. Neither of us comes from money so every little thing we have we worked for. We laid the sod, we planted the flowers, and we rolled every set of silverware. We did everything, and we did it together. That made everything extra special.

Since it was in our backyard, we kept it simple yet elegant with colors of white and gold. A couple of guests told me it was the best wedding they had ever been to because it was so comfortable and intimate. They said because of the fact it was at my home, made them feel comfortable and “at home,” allowing them to actually fully enjoy themselves. Another one of my favorites from that night: When I was younger I used to play clarinet and saxophone for a combination of six years. I used to be really good. My fiancé at this point has never seen me touch an instrument and also at this point it’s been over 10 years since I last played. Early on in the wedding planning I started daydreaming about surprising him with a saxophone melody at our wedding reception. It wasn’t until 11 days before the wedding that I go to rent a saxophone and get some private lessons! It was a little shaky, but my guests actually joined in and sang at a certain point while I serenaded him with Can’t Help Falling in Love by Elvis Presley.

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 husband (fiancé still by the time I entered) was rooting for me since day one. “They are going to pick you for sure!” He said without a doubt. I on the other hand was full of doubt. I never win or get picked for anything! “I told you!” He said when I was selected to be a finalist. I was thinking for sure this has to be one of the coolest things to ever happen to me!

Tell us about your cover model experience.

Filling out the application while planning my own wedding went hand in hand which made everything so easy and effortless. It was fun to sit down and reminisce about how I met my husband and how he proposed. For me it helped take away from the stresses of wedding planning and reminded me that this was a time to really enjoy my fiancé and our special day. Being selected only helped add to this already exciting time in my life and it gave me even more to look forward to! The shoot was just nine days before my wedding and I saw it as a nice practice run for what I could expect on the actual day.  The photo shoot was hard work. I remember thinking “If I can get through this then my wedding day will be a breeze!” It was incredible to see the amount of people and the amount of effort and work that went into this one day and I have a newfound respect for so many different people involved in this line of work. The photographs, the florists, the make up artists, the hair stylists, the cake designers, the set designers, every single person who works for the magazine who all had different yet equally important jobs, and the list goes on. My favorite part was getting to meet all of these different people and to watch them be passionate about their jobs and what they do. And they were all damn good at what they do! I was and still am beyond impressed with everyone that was involved in that day and I was honored to do my part as a cover model finalist.

-Interviewed by Kelley Saia

THE DETAILS “From Tahoe with Love”


Northstar California | 530-562-3830 |


Capture Photography | 916-913-2660 |

Shellie Kennedy, Primary Shooter; Jamie Gordon and Shelly Hull, Assistants


All Dolled Up Hair and Makeup Artistry | 530-888-1562 |

Cassidy Braddock (Hair) | Whitney Lancome (Makeup)


Lisa Harter Hair and Makeup Artist | 530-559-7292 |

Lisa Harter (Hair) | Rachel Baldwin (Assistant)

Happily Beautiful Makeup Artistry & Skin Studio | 530-632-0607 |

Happi Ybarra (Makeup)


Alma’s Bridal Boutique | 916-434-8084 |
Always Elegant Bridal & Tuxedo | 530-755-4282 | 530-487-7110 |
The Bridal Box | 916-742-4638 |
The Clothes Mine | 209-267-0417 |
De La Rosa’s Bridal & Tuxedos | 916-983-3400 |
Diamond Bridal Gallery | 916-521-9856 |
House of Fashion | 916-554-7440 |
Second Summer Bride | 916-330-4422 |


Bel Aire Bridal |
Chloe + Isabel |
Collections by Joya |
Hair Comes the Bride |
Macy’s |
Arden Fair Mall | 916-925-2845
Downtown Plaza | 916-444-3333
Sunrise Mall | 916-962-3333
Westfield Galleria at Roseville | 916-771-3333
Nissa Jewelry |
Ruby & Cordelia’s Millinery and Fancy Goods |
Sara Gabriel |
Stella & Dot |


Accents by Sage Floral Design | 916-799-6242 |
Amour Florist & Bridal | 916-392-8168 |
Bloem Decor | 916-447-2001 |
The Blonde Bouquet | 909-499-8644 |
Garden of Weedon Designs | 916-402-9356 |
Graceful Gatherings | 530-305-5339 |
Morningside Florist | 916-635-9891 |
Placerville Flowers on Main | 530-622-1121 |
Relles Florist | 916-441-1478 |
Strelitzia Flower Company | 530-758-5050 |
Visual Impact Design | 916-489-3746 |


Wholesale Flowers from | 877-507-6737 |


Tan Weddings & Events | 530-601-0914 |


Graceful Gatherings | 530-305-5339 |


Graceful Gatherings | 530-305-5339 |


Graceful Gatherings | 530-305-5339 |

with Wholesale Flowers from | 877-507-6737 |


Above & Beyond Cakes | 916-672-2259 |


Justin Buettner Wedding Photography | 916-220-0159 |


Bocca Catering | 916-834-3554 |

Special thanks to our real bride models—Christine and Tammy— and all of the professionals who contributed to this feature!

Click here to see more from the “From Tahoe with Love” photo shoot blog series!

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

Photos by Capture Photography/copyright Real Weddings Magazine.

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