Kristina and Brandon met through mutual friends about seven years ago. While she grew up in Vacaville, he came from nearby Fairfield. “The two towns seem to blend together, so we could say we’re from the same county or area,” she says. Though they were “just friends” at first and often worked out together, four years ago, they began dating and the rest is history. “If you would’ve asked us years ago if this would happen we would’ve never guessed it,” says Kristina. “But now we are married with a toddler and another on the way!”

The couple became engaged on Christmas in 2013 while ice-skating with some friends at Union Square in San Francisco. “We had been ring shopping the previous months so it was definitely in our cards,” she remembers. “I just didn’t know exactly when those cards were going to be played. Looking back, it was funny because he pulled me in right before he hit one knee and said ‘are you ready?’ I replied with, ‘ready for what?’ very confused. On the center of the ice he asked me to be his wife! It was very special…and very cold.”

The newly engaged couple had plenty of fun planning their wedding. Choosing not to hire a planner, they note it was exciting seeing all their work come together from a few sketches. “We didn’t want to overdo ourselves or have stuff that wasn’t our style,” she says. “The one thing I knew I wanted was a grand dessert bar that specifically had an assortment of donuts. Brandon really wanted to not wear a formal jacket, so he got his one request.”

When the pair exchanged vows, they wanted to be sure it was meaningful without it going on too long. “We included what was called a wine ceremony,” shares the bride. “You drink out of the same shared glass after the reverend says a few facts about life. We are wine drinkers, and it was really special to do things a bit differently.”

Both the ceremony and reception were held at the beautiful Yolanda Ranch in Woodland. “It was very laid-back and [full of] summer magic,” Kristina recalls. “The string lights above the reception area set the perfect mood for the evening and everyone had a really good time.

One memorable moment included their first dance. “We danced to Ellie Goulding’s ‘How Long Will I Love You,’ which is a magical song,” says Kristina. “The best part was our daughter parading around the outside of the dance floor trying to steal our shine; one of my favorite pictures is of us dancing and her standing in the back watching us. Most people get married first and then have kids, but I wouldn’t change how we did things for the world because it was so special having her there.”

—Darren Elms