Emily and Jeff first met in sixth grade, and continued attending the same schools all the way through high school. “Her previous last name was Sebastian and mine is Scott,” Jeff says. “There’s only one person in between us every year in the yearbook.”

Their common friends, location, family and circumstances often brought them together. Though they occasionally had a date for a dance, Emily says that she was a social butterfly, and Jeff had a long-term girlfriend all through high school, so their paths diverged. “We were always really good friends,” Emily says. “Then he went away to college in Santa Clara, and I went down to L.A. and worked.”

Once a year or so, Emily would go to one of Jeff’s games (he played soccer at Santa Clara University). But if he made tentative overtures, Emily didn’t respond. When she showed up at Jeff’s 24th birthday party in Chico, that was when he knew. He told his friend, “I think I have her this time.”

They started being a pair from that time, but it was still three years before he proposed. Emily’s family was taking a houseboat vacation at Shasta Lake, and Jeff and Emily both planned to be there. Jeff decided that would be the time to ask for Emily’s hand in marriage. “I frantically asked Emily’s parents, got their approval, and they said yes,” Jeff says. The second day at the lake, Jeff took Emily out on a Jet Ski. “I was super nervous,” Jeff says. “It was really awkward, because we were floating around on the Jet Ski, trying not to tip over.”

Emily had no idea that would be the day her beloved would propose. “I’ve been happy ever since,” she says. In the meantime, Jeff’s parents had come surreptitiously to Shasta to join the group. “When we were cruising in slowly back to the houseboat,” Jeff says, “my parents popped out, and the grown-ups were holding Champagne and screaming and yelling.”

Around 18 months later, they married at River Highlands Ranch & Vineyards in Grass Valley with Ray Johnston, their pastor from Bayside Church, officiating. Once the venue was decided, the rest followed naturally. The day before the wedding was overcast, but the next morning the sun was bright and clear.

Emily’s mom helped with the wedding planning, but to keep things flowing smoothly the day of, they hired Donna Hoeskstra from Joy of Life Events. Because Emily and her family have multiple food allergies, the couple decided to have several different cakes—three cakes graced the table, one in the shape of a boot and another a horseshoe, both gluten-free, and a three-tier cake for everyone else.

All of the sidetracks and waiting were worth it in the end. “I knew on my 24th birthday that we would end up where we are today,” Jeff says.

“It was an absolutely perfect day in every way, and we couldn’t be more grateful and blessed!” says the bride.

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