Early on in their wedding planning, Kimberly and Grant faced a challenge. They had booked a church and a separate reception site. Then they started booking other wedding vendors. But four months later, the reception venue cancelled.

They started looking for another venue and for budget reasons, chose to have everything at one location. “We visited many potential venues and Belle Vie Vineyard was the most beautiful, we loved the layout, and it stuck in our minds after visiting,” says Kimberly. “We chose an outdoor ceremony spot because it was so picturesque.”

Their wedding style was minimalist with romantic, Tuscan touches. They chose white flowers with simple greenery and soft blue accents. A hundred guests attended the wedding with half coming in from around the country.

When he first saw Kimberly, Grant was, “full of joy, excited and reassured that ‘it was right.’”

Upon seeing her groom, Kimberly felt comforted and safe and knew “that no matter how the day itself turned out, I was going to be with him forever afterward, and that feeling was just indescribable bliss.”

The couple’s love story started two and a half years earlier when they met on a dating app. A little more than a year later, they got engaged at the beach in South Lake Tahoe, the area where they’d taken one of their first day trips as a couple.

They had traditional elements to their wedding but with a few twists. For their unity ceremony, they chose to braid three cords to represent the verse from Ecclesiastes 4:12. “I liked the symbolism behind this Bible verse, and now we have a keepsake that we put up as décor in our living room,” she says.

Instead of a bouquet toss, Kimberly gave her bouquet to her grandpa in memory of her grandma, who passed away four months earlier. It was also sentimental because Kimberly and Grant’s wedding date was also her grandparents’ wedding anniversary.

Kimberly’s favorite wedding day moment was when Grant dipped to kiss her at the end of the aisle after being announced as husband and wife.

The wedding had funny moments, too. Grant loved walking into the reception to “Brass Monkey” by the Beastie Boys. Kimberly and her best friends danced to an “aerobic workout” routine they created back in high school.

Kimberly laughs, recalling how troublesome her veil was on the windy day. During the first look, the veil flew out of her hair and into the air. “Thankfully our photographer snatched it before it was lost in the river,” she says, noting her sister had to hold onto the veil during the ceremony so it wouldn’t blow away.

The dinner menu featured the couple’s favorite food: a wood-fired pizza buffet. They cut a small cake and had a dessert bar with vanilla and chocolate cupcakes, candies from a friend and homemade goodies baked by the bride and her mother.

The newlyweds, who honeymooned in Spain, advise other couples to be present in the moment since the day goes quickly. Kimberly is still in awe, “how everything came together more beautifully than I could have ever imagined.” 

— Kristen Castillo