Sacramento Weddings

As a nursing student, Jennifer was assigned to shadow a physical therapist for a day, and Tony happened to be that therapist. “I had trouble concentrating because I found her so beautiful,” he says of her, while Jennifer also sensed that “he was something special.” The next day, he was ecstatic when she asked him out, and that first date confirmed their suspicions—they were definitely meant to be together.

Then one memorable rainy day, Jen walked into Tony’s house to find a pathway of rose petals and candles leading up to a large heart in front of the fireplace, with Tony in its center. On one knee, he proceeded to ask her to marry him in the presence of her best friends, family (both their sisters were on FaceTime) and soon-to-be parents-in-laws, much to Jen’s delight.

The two then set out to plan a wedding that involved nature and revolved around near and dear ones. Jen and Tony have a great love for hiking and snowboarding, so when they laid eyes (and taste buds) on Karmere Vineyards and Winery in Plymouth, they knew they wanted to get married among the verdant vines. “I wanted mellow, earthy and natural, with some shabby chic charm,” Jen says, so they went with green and hints of ivory. Her father made the arbor under which they got married, and her mother helped create the Mason jar centerpieces. Jen herself made a “bar” sign with wine corks collected from people she knew, while her sister made signs out of parts of wooden pallets. A friend also chipped in, making a pin for her bouquet that had a small, framed picture of her grandmother on it.

The vineyard on the day of the wedding was lush and green, having soaked up the previous night’s rain, inspiring new beginnings. As the wedding party walked down the aisle and Jen and her father watched from a window, he said he could not have been more proud of her for marrying such a good man; later, he gave a heartfelt, tearjerker of a speech calling Tony his “first son”—both fond memories for the couple. The rest of the celebration flowed smoothly—much like the wine.

Everyone was in their element, and Jen and Tony could not have asked for a better way to begin their lives together. “I’m always thinking about Jen every minute of my life—whether I’m at work, hanging out with friends, getting my workout on or running errands,” says an enamored Tony. Marriage suits these two well. According to Jen: “You strive for unity rather than one person being right over the other.”

—Tara Mendanha