Caitlin remembers the first time she saw Jay, sitting on the floor of the design building at Sacramento State. “As a typically shy person who normally doesn’t approach strangers, I felt very comfortable approaching him to ask for directions,” she recalls. “Within a short time speaking to each other, we realized that we shared many friends.” Caitlin went on her way, and days later she had a friend request on Facebook accompanied by a simple message: “I hoped you would remember me from the hallway.” After messaging back and forth for a couple weeks, the pair decided to meet up for lunch on campus. Their first official date on Valentine’s Day in 2012 would prove poignant just one year later.

“We became engaged the weekend before Valentines Day in 2013,” notes Jay. “I planned a surprise trip to San Francisco where we would go to an art museum, hike up Twin Peaks and have dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant, E Tutto Qua.” A flower delivery at dinner included a personalized note reading: “Will you marry me?” Remembers Catilin, “I said yes, but it was also funny because Jay said, ‘Wait, wait, I have a ring too.’”

Family and friends were a big priority while planning the wedding, ensuring all could attend and have a great time.

“The exciting part of the planning was getting to know our vendors, like our photographer Meagan Lucy and our DJ Larry Burow,” says Jay. “I felt like the better they knew us, the more personal their contributions to our wedding would be. It was also comforting working with them, as we could tell they were the best at what they do.” Once they found their vendors, Caitlin says that it was easier to focus on the smaller projects she planned to make the event more personal, like the “Mr. and Mrs.” sign she found on Etsy and working with Bloem Décor Floral and Event Design’s Liezet Arnold.

The ceremony was beautifully scripted and officiated by Cindie Wilding. “She was a joy to work with, as she took the time to get to know us as individuals and as a couple,” shares the bride. “Our guests enjoyed how it was written like our love story.”

At the Heritage Room of Arden Hills Resort and Spa, 120 guests celebrated the newly wed couple with dinner, toasts and plenty of dancing. The bouquet and garter tosses were also very exciting and memorable. “My youngest cousin, Madison, caught the bouquet and our friend, Sam, caught the garter,” says Jay. “It was fitting that he caught the garter, as he and his girlfriend were the next of our friends to get married.”

As time flew by, the last song was playing and the couple was saying goodbye to their remaining friends and family.

“I would advise any bride and groom not yet married to try to savor every moment of their wedding day because it goes by exceedingly quickly,” remembers the bride.

—Darren Elms