Sacramento Weddings

After meeting on the dating website Plenty of Fish, Lauren and Jamal fell in love quickly. As it turns out, though there are plenty of fish, the one Lauren would end up saying “I Do” to had been swimming alongside her for years. They grew up 10 minutes from each other in Sacramento, both went to school in southern California, and then came back to their hometowns before finally finding each other.

After dating for three years, Jamal brought the love of his life to a jewelry store to shop for the perfect ring. “I picked one out, he bought it, and that was that,” Lauren says of the occasion.

The proposal may have leaned a little to the practical side, but there were plenty of romantic moments in the works as they started planning their big day together. Right away they agreed to forgo the tension of an overly formal affair for the familiarity of a more relaxed and fun-loving event, and Lauren knew she wanted the freedom to do things her way—and for it to be pink.

The Old Sugar Mill proved the perfect venue for its flexibility to plan the day exactly as they wanted in a classically cool, industrial-chic environment that paired perfectly with the stunning white 1940s Pontiac Silver Streak that Lauren and her father arrived in.

The wedding day soon arrived, and through her months of careful planning, the thing that intimidated Lauren the most was the ceremony. “I cry really easily and was nervous about ‘ugly crying’ in front of 100 people, plus my new husband. I spent months focusing on how I was anxious for that part of the day,” Lauren recalls.

Thankfully, it all turned out well in the end. “The ceremony was more than I ever dreamed of. My dad and I drove up in the classic car and the wedding song ‘Moon River’ started playing. The sun was starting to set, and the song I’ve always loved was comforting and sweet. My dad was there with me, and we both needed a few big deep breaths before we started our walk. We made it to Jamal, and I didn’t trip…my stress and worries were gone.”

The newlyweds and about 100 of their friends and family then made their way to the reception with dinner tables in two long rows with classic white linens—the brick walls uplit with a romantic pink glow for the perfect combination of rustic elegance. Guests enjoyed hearty comfort foods like Southern barbecue, mac and cheese, and jalapeño cornbread, while the dulcet tones of music from the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s filled the air. Dessert was reflective of the classic undertones for the entire evening—white cake with layers of silky vanilla buttercream and strawberry preserves, all under a rough layer of stark white buttercream graced with fresh pink peonies and a gold glitter topper declaring it the “Best Day Ever.”

Their wedding day was undoubtedly one for the books, but Lauren is looking forward to a few more memorable moments as well. “I can’t wait to raise a family with Jamal,” says Lauren. “I have known from the very beginning that he would make an amazing dad. That is something we’re both so excited for.”

—Jennifer Resnicke