Sure, most people might recommend against dating your coworkers but for Kristina (known as Tina) and Russ, a workplace romance turned into wedding bells after they met on the job. Russ applied for a role where Tina worked, and as the executive assistant, Tina greeted him when he came into the interview. He got the job, and eventually, the two started dating. Three years later, he gained another new title: husband. Tina said yes to Russ’s proposal after he got down on one knee at her surprise birthday party, surrounded by her friends and family.

The two married at Crocker Art Museum in early August. Both are avid art lovers, so when Tina learned they could have the ceremony in one of her favorite rooms of the museum, she had a hunch that would be the perfect spot. “We saw a couple more venues,” she says, “but we couldn’t get past how amazing it would be to be married in that ballroom.” 

Though the gallery itself provided plenty of gorgeous décor for photos, Tina and her bridesmaids made a few DIY items to use during the ceremony and reception, including an unplugged ceremony sign, seating arrangement sign and hand-dipped wine glasses as favors.

It was the celebration of the couple’s dreams, but there were a few humorous hiccups throughout the day. “During our wedding ceremony, our pastor called me Katrina three times during his speech. On the third time, my mother-in-law corrected him by saying Tina very loudly,” says Tina. “The whole room laughed out loud.” Despite the humorous error, Russ still thought it was a perfect ceremony. “Her smile lights up any room, and she was just breathtaking to behold,” he says. “It was a sight and feeling I will never forget.”

The celebration then moved to a second venue for the reception, which was also filled with moments Tina lovingly remembers. “My favorite part was my best friend’s toast, which was a rap and dance using the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme music,” she says, “but she plugged in her own words to describe how Russ and I met and fell in love.”

Both Tina and Russ agree that the biggest challenge was staying within their budget, especially as their guest list ended up being a bit higher than they were initially expecting. The bride says she’d slow down the engagement timeline a bit if she had to do it all over again. “I would try to take more time to plan, to not feel stressed about money, budgeting or guest count.”

The couple recalls the wedding and the days that followed as a whirlwind of excitement. “For me, it was a bit like a roller coaster: crazy excitement, then one day of rest to say ‘whew.’ Then more excitement and anticipation,” says Russ. And Tina agrees. “I felt relieved as soon as it was over,” she says. “Plus, I couldn’t wait to get away on our honeymoon cruise as husband and wife!” 

—Suzie Dundas