Loren and Justin got to know each other slowly, running into each other at fraternity and sorority parties when they both attended UC Davis. It was at the gym, though—where Loren worked out and where Justin was employed—when they really met. “He was the reason I kept going to the gym and staying longer than I needed to,” Loren says. “I’d pretend to be watching TV, and I’d really be eyeballing him at the front desk. I had a major crush on him.”

They dated seriously for a number of years, and although it was understood they would be married some day, according to Justin: “It wasn’t a topic of conversation.” He decided on a surprise proposal on Loren’s 30th birthday. By then, Justin owned his own gym and planned to hold a party there, attended by more than 100 people. Of course she would say yes, he thought, but he did get a little nervous. At the party, Justin took the mic and recounted the story of how they met, and started joking and almost heckling her. “Then he got down on one knee and I lost it,” Loren says. “I think I said yes before he even finished asking me.”

They both agreed that they wanted the wedding to be local and an intimate time with friends. The ceremony had a unique twist: The couple wrote their own vows and read them from an antique book of Loren’s mother—the swashbuckling Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott—where they were pasted inside. The vows were so personal that both felt nervous saying them out loud, spilling their hearts in front of everybody. “Just doing the actual ceremony was the most anxious part of the night,” Justin says.

But when the formal, nerve-wracking part was done, it was all fun. What was best, besides the actual getting married part? Just about everything, both agree. The planner, Catrina Maria Designs, Loren says, was amazing, and kept everything right on track all the way through. They were also extremely happy with the DJ, Larry Burow of Extreme Productions. The couple told him they wanted everyone dancing, having fun and mingling. Burow told them, “That’s my job, to keep that going.” And he did. “Everybody had a blast,” Loren says.

Justin was also thrilled with the food. He didn’t want everyone to have to choose between two entrées—he always wants to try everything—so the food was served family style, and all of the choices had a different and personalized flair to them.

“All of the vendors were so delightful to work with and just made every little detail exciting for me,” Loren says. “It was awesome. I wouldn’t do a thing different. It was the best day—yet!”