M&M’s have had a small but sweet part to play in Caitlin and Ian’s love story. The couple met nine years ago at a friend’s party. “I remember him standing in the kitchen while everyone was talking about tattoos; he lifts up his shirt and screams, ‘I have a tattoo!’ His personality and laugh were infectious and I couldn’t resist his energy,” recalls Caitlin. “He was different from any other guy I’d met.” Not skipping a beat, Ian asked Caitlin’s friend for her number and called her immediately after she left the party. “I asked her to be my girlfriend with custom M&M’s two months after we met, on Valentine’s Day,” remembers Ian.

Seven years later, Ian popped the question with—you guessed it—M&M’s. The couple headed to Hoffman Park in Carmichael for their anniversary celebrations, where Ian had organized a special picnic. For dessert, he revealed a crystal jar filled with personalized M&M’s. When Caitlin deciphered the tiny lettering on the candy that read, “Will you marry me?” she looked up and they both just grinned at each other from ear to ear. Ian then proceeded to get on one knee and ask that sweet little question, to which her answer was a resounding “yes.” On returning home, she found pink and red paper hearts hanging from the ceiling and stuck to the walls. “Everything he does, he does in the most special and thoughtful way possible,” she gushes.

Their wedding was held at the Schrammsberg Estate—a venue that felt special to Caitlin since it was located in the town where they grew up and eventually met. Caitlin was a true DIY bride; making chalkboard signs, wood box centerpieces, striped flag banners and a cornhole set. Ian and his dad built the ceremonial arch under which they stood and read their custom vows.

The groom is of Scottish and Irish heritage, so they also had a hand-fasting ceremony that symbolized their devotion to each other, and they made do without the garter and bouquet toss and the money dance, to make room for more partying.

Caitlin found a creative way to say thank you to her guests, by incorporating a “thank you” ice cream cart into the celebrations, where they dished out ice cream bars to guests. Most touching, however, was when the DJ played back a recording of Ian’s vows over a slow number that people were dancing to; there was almost a collective “aww” from the crowd. “It was magical,” recalls Caitlin.

“It feels so good to call Cait my wife,” says Ian proudly. Bound by their vows and ties, the couple can’t wait to step into the future, planning for children and a home. “There’s a depth to our relationship that wasn’t there before. I didn’t know I could love him anymore than I already did,” says the happy bride.

—Tara Mendanha