Even though they grew up in the same town, attended the same high school and had mutual friends, Andrea and John didn’t know each other.

That all changed when, “Facebook played matchmaker,” says Andrea. When she saw John as a “suggested friend” on the social network, she sent him a friend request. Soon they started dating. A year and a half later, they got engaged during a Napa vacation.

The outdoorsy duo (he’s a hunter and fisherman) got married at their ranch in Isleton—the same ranch where Andrea grew up. “We wanted to have a place where we could get ready and stay the night,” says the bride, noting the spot was also ideal for her father who’s in a wheelchair. The ceremony was short, sweet and very relaxed. The guest list included local guests, as well as guests who traveled from as far as San Diego and Oregon. “Even in front of almost 200 people it felt like it was just the two of us,” says Andrea.

“We are simple people,” says Andrea, explaining she and John dressed modestly and comfortably for their wedding. He wore jeans, and his boutonnière, a rifle cartridge,  was made by a family friend. She wore a simple yet elegant dress from Sparkle Bridal Couture, which was accessorized by her mother who spruced up the bride’s jacket with lace and rhinestones. John remembers, “how beautiful my bride was. I was in awe as she walked towards me.” And Andrea admired her groom, too, saying, “He looked so good in that cowboy hat.”

The couple uniquely honored each of their families. John’s dad, John Sr., had a ring made with their family crest imprinted on it, and the sweetheart table was draped in Andrea’s grandmother’s lace.

Their first dance had a family connection, too. Andrea instructed the DJ to stop playing their first dance song as if it were stuck. The DJ then played a Jackson Browne song to honor John’s mother who died in 2007. “He had no idea,” says Andrea. “When the song got a little faster all of the guests joined us. It was the best.”

The couple took photos on the property, including posing with their family friend’s 1935 red Chevy Roadster.

The reception vibe was comfortable. “We had mismatched china, distressed chairs, farm tables simply draped in lace from one end to the other and vintage sofas for seating in our cocktail area,” says Andrea. “I love simple, understated décor.”

The mother of the bride did some DIY, including decorating the wagon wheel above the ceremony site. Market lights crossed the lawn over the tables.

The BBQ meal, prepared by a family friend, even incorporated some of the couple’s own lamb. “We raise sheep and we served lamb sliders,” says Andrea, “They were amazing!” Since the bride prefers ice cream to cake, the couple dished up ice cream with waffle cones, as well as cookies.

But the sweetest wedding moment? “Having everyone who we love so much all in one place was my favorite,” says Andrea.

The couple took a cruise to Alaska for their honeymoon. Their love story continues back home at the ranch where they were married. 

—Kristen Castillo