Robert always joked that he was going to propose to Jill while she was doing one of her favorite things, riding horses. And he made good on that promise. “Robert suggested a trail ride at Folsom Lake, so I invited my best friend and her husband to go on the trail ride also,” she remembers. “It worked out perfectly because they were in on the proposal and were there to take pictures.”

Jill was in the middle of her master’s program when the couple began wedding planning, so she wanted to keep the process as straightforward as possible. “Our favorite part about planning was spending time together,” she shares. “We are both so busy it forced us to make time to get things done together for the wedding.”

Although they had 120 guests in attendance, they wanted to keep the ceremony intimate. “Jill’s uncle officiated so that was really special for us to have someone that we were very close to marry us,” says Robert. The bride and groom also wrote their own vows, infusing their senses of humor to keep the ceremony fun and light. Robert loves Dr. Seuss, so the ceremony included a reading written by the children’s author. Their dog also made an appearance, walking Robert into the ceremony.

It was important to Jill that her father, who has Parkinson’s, walk her down the aisle. She shares, “My older brother was also a champ during the ceremony. He had to make three trips down the aisle to escort my mom, one of the bridesmaids, and me until we reached my dad who was seated in the last row of chairs. Once we reached him, we did a hand off and my dad walked me down the rest of the way.”

At the reception, the newlyweds relished in seeing their guests enjoy themselves. “One of my uncles danced his heart out, which my aunt later said didn’t even happen at their own wedding,” smiles Jill.

They also set up different lawn games for guests to play during the reception and dinner, including corn hole and Jenga, both of which Robert built. “We had a custom wood brand that we used on the Jenga pieces,” he says. “The same emblem was also painted on the corn hole.”

Other than officially tying the knot, Jill and Robert say their favorite part of the day was spending time with close friends and family they don’t get to see very often. “And eating,” she adds. “We love eating.” 

—Darren Elms