Sacramento Weddings

Freshman year at Northwestern University changed Katie’s life in ways she couldn’t possibly imagine. She became close friends with a girl on her floor, and when that friend’s older brother, Tyler, came to visit in 2008, Katie was smitten.

She wouldn’t meet him again until she moved to San Francisco in 2011, where he had been living after graduating from Stanford. In need of a tour guide, she offered payment in the form of cookies for an introduction to the city. They soon started dating, and while on a trip to North Carolina with their families, Tyler made an excuse to get Katie away from the crowd (he’d “bought candy he didn’t want to share”) and led her toward an undercover photographer.

He gave her a book titled The Many Reasons Tyler Loves Katie and what was (probably) a very romantic speech that culminated in a proposal. Both of them were too excited and nervous to recall the particulars of what he said.

They knew they wanted a low-stress day for their wedding, but with only six months to plan, there were definitely some speed bumps on the road to “I Do.” About a month before the wedding, “we realized we still had a bunch of DIY projects to get done, vendors to pay and random things to accomplish,” Katie says. But, with the help of some fantastic wedding planners and a hefty dose of DIY diligence, 55 of their family members and close friends gathered in Tahoe City for the occasion, and everything went off without a hitch.

Their short-but-sweet ceremony was set in a small clearing in the trees at The Gatekeeper’s Museum. It was literally seven minutes long, and opened with the famous “Mawwiage” quote from the classic movie The Princess Bride, setting the tone for the romantic and playful evening.

Sprinkled among the natural beauty of their ethereal and woodsy venue were little nods to the couple’s nerdy nuances—like Hedwig (Harry Potter’s owl) tucked away on a tree branch, the phrase “Speak Friend and Enter” on an archway (from The Lord of the Rings) and a mockingjay pin on one of the caterers (The Hunger Games)—that guests were encouraged to find in a scavenger hunt.

After the ceremony, guests enjoyed a cocktail hour and lawn games before indulging in an array of tapas at dinner tables decorated with natural moss runners, lanterns and flower arrangements springing from the pages of hardback books.

According to Tyler, the cake was “delicious, pretty, inexpensive and probably organic.” They opted for several different sizes of the tres leches offering from Whole Foods, which looked every bit a classic wedding cake with elegant white icing and luscious ripe berries.

After some heartwarming speeches, everyone made their way to the dance floor to have a good time with the newly minted Mr. & Mrs., which actually led to a slightly stressful moment for the mother of the bride. “Katie’s mother was extremely worried at one point because her 78-year-old father had disappeared—we had a bunch of people out looking for him, then someone spotted him on the dance floor getting down with the bridesmaids,” Tyler says.

With their celebration behind them, the couple is looking forward to getting their Bernedoodle puppy, which Tyler jokes “is a fancy hypoallergenic cross between a Bernese mountain dog and a standard poodle that Katie can cuddle with mercilessly and won’t make [me] sneeze uncontrollably.”

— Jennifer Resnicke