The love story of Jessica and Joel begins with a song. Actually, the love story goes back four years before a song that would change both of their lives forever. The couple met in 2007, while both attended Azusa Pacific University. After dating throughout college, the now inseparable couple enjoyed a weekend in Malibu, when a surprise serenade overlooking the Pacific Ocean solidified what they each had known: They were destined to be together forever. Joel, being in a band, had secured a private restaurant balcony and set up with his band mates, before surprising his lovely lady with a heartfelt song he wrote for her. The sweet tune closed with a teary, “Will you marry me?” to which Jessica replied a quick “Yes.”

Jessica, a third grade teacher, describes Joel, a church worship leader, as hilarious, outgoing, entertaining and kindhearted. Joel describes his bride as intelligent, organized, driven, reserved and loyal. As they began the wedding planning process, Jessica shares that her favorite aspect was working with Joel and creating a wedding style that represented them individually and as a couple. Jessica describes the planning process as a bit stressful, but also calls it fun and memory-filled. “Even though wedding planning can be stressful, the times when I sat around the table with my mom, grandma and friends—and even my dad—making crafts were some of the best times of that year,” she describes.

Their special day was filled with unique touches, bride-crafted DIY projects and a vintage-meets-modern flare. With a simple and sincere tone, the ceremony included Bob Dylan’s “Wedding Song” and a recitation of a Dr. Seuss quote by one of Jessica’s former students.

The bride’s bouquet, made by her grandmother, was entirely antique brooches, pins and pearls, enhancing the overall vintage vibe in the most elegant manner. With a robust wedding party of eight groomsmen and nine bridesmaids, the couple had no shortage of happy and supportive friends. Bridesmaids walked the aisle in pastel pink and aqua knee-length dresses in varied silhouettes; the groomsmen donned individually different bow ties and boutonnières made of ivory lace and vintage buttons.

The ceremony was especially touching as the bride laid eyes on her groom. With the rolling foothills and vineyard rows at Sierra Ridge Winery as their backdrop, time stood still for just a moment. “When I walked down the aisle and saw Joel, tears streaming down his face, it was a surreal moment for me. After a year-long engagement and so much planning and preparing, it was finally happening,” Jessica says.

At a beautifully elegant outdoor reception, guests enjoyed Mason jars filled with sangria and lemonade and feasted on salads, chicken and prime rib. Love and laughter filled the air as the wedding party and guests alike danced to their hearts’ content. Jessica and Joel’s favorite moments of their wedding day were simply a series of happy glances—at one another and at the plethora of guests enjoying themselves and celebrating the love and happiness of a lovely couple.