Kim and Steven were just teens the first time they met as members of a church youth group, but with Kim already seeing someone else, her future husband was forced to wait patiently before making a move. The pair went on to date throughout high school but decided to put their relationship on hold while attending UC Davis. They went nearly a year without contact until one day their paths crossed at the gym.

“I think I always knew Steven was the one for me, but because we met when we were so young, I wasn’t ready to think about marriage,” Kim shares. “I am so happy that we started talking again and we still had the same values and goals in life.”

Despite their on/off dynamic, Steven never doubted that they would one day become husband and wife. With a seven year history under their belt, he decided that the time was finally right and elicited the help of Kim’s mother and best friend when it came to ring shopping. He carried the bauble around in his pocket for nearly a month before realizing—in the midst of a Saturday morning hike—that the right moment had finally arrived. “Halfway through the hike there was a lookout point that was beautiful,” Steven recalls. “We were alone and it was the perfect time to ask, so I did. I learned later that the trail’s name was Steven’s Trail. It was meant to be.”

Kim was so overcome with emotion that she forgot to actually say yes, but her excitement was proof enough that the intimate proposal was a hit. Although he had hoped to be married by the following month, Steven soon realized that planning a wedding would take more than a few weeks’ preparation. For her part, Kim had visions of being a fall bride surrounded by deep, rich colors, but as the process evolved, she realized a soft, simple palette befitting a June celebration was more her style. When it came to choosing a locale, the couple says that they were stumped until Kim’s uncle (jokingly) suggested they use his backyard, an offer that they ultimately took him up on. “It had everything we were looking for and it holds a special place in Kim’s heart,” Steven explains. “The house is filled with memories of family.”

When the big day finally arrived, Kim was nervous to walk down the aisle, but her fears disappeared as soon as she saw her groom standing at the altar. Looking back, the bride says that she “wouldn’t change anything.”

“The best part was being surrounded by so much love and support on a day I will never forget. You can’t go wrong with good food, good wine and lots of dancing.”

—Morgan Cásarez