sacramento-wedding-photography-E&S-LISARICHMOND-RW-WS14-7After serving in the Peace Corps in different countries, Emily and Shannon were introduced by a mutual friend. A beautiful courtship turned into a proposal during a weekend getaway in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Emily had planned the weekend as a combined celebration of a birthday and anniversary. To Shannon’s surprise, the weekend also turned into a celebration of their engagement when Emily presented her with a custom-designed ring and a proposal.

The couple did their best to wait until the weekend was over to start talking plans, but once they did, they were off and rolling. Their vision was to have an outdoor wedding in a beautiful setting, and for the entire day to be personal and a reflection of who they are. An awesome dance party certainly wouldn’t hurt either.

The pair found their ideal outdoor site at Vine Hill House where they were able to have both the ceremony and the reception. To truly make the entire day a reflection of themselves, the couple turned to friends and family throughout the planning process; their advice to other brides is to do the same, in order for the day to feel even more special and unique.

All of the wedding’s details helped make the day everything they dreamed it would be, but it was the ceremony’s details that were truly special. Shannon and Emily omitted traditional readings from the ceremony and instead asked those participating to write their own. The couple did not hear them until that day, which made them even more touching. The twosome also wrote their own vows, making every aspect of the ceremony a true reflection of them.

The reception was equally special. The speeches from both sets of parents, Shannon’s best friend and Emily’s sister stood out as one of the couple’s most memorable parts. But yes, they did get the awesome dance party they were hoping for too.

“Best day of our lives… truly beyond any expectations.”

Guests enjoyed bottles of organic California olive oil as favors, and a picture or two from the photo booth gave both guests and the newlyweds some great entertainment.

The celebration continued during a three-week honeymoon to Thailand and Cambodia. It was a perfect pairing of backpacking and lounging for a couple that seems to be a perfect pairing themselves.

—Kelley Saia

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