On New Year’s Eve 2010, Rachel and Kaine were both celebrating at Harlow’s in Midtown Sacramento. “We met at the bar, and he was generous enough to buy me and my friends a few drinks, and nice enough to stand with me in the (long) coat line when we were all leaving,” says Rachel. “I figured that earned him my number.” But a month went by with no word from Kaine. Rachel didn’t realize Kaine was living in Napa and not in town often. But when he did visit Sacramento, the two spent a Second Saturday Art Walk together. Adds Rachel, “We haven’t spent many Saturdays apart since.”
The couple moved to Washington D.C. in August of 2012 so Rachel could attend George Washington University for graduate school. “It was a big move for us, but the fact that we could do it together really solidified our relationship.”
Kaine, who loves the outdoors, talked about visiting the National Botanical Gardens but they hadn’t been yet. After Kaine stopped someone to take a photo (which was actually a video) he got down on one knee. “I don’t remember what he said because I just started crying!” remembers Rachel. “We celebrated that night with a fancy dinner out.”
According to the newly engaged couple, they wanted the wedding basics to shine when the day arrived. “Good food, good booze, and a rockin’ DJ that kept everyone on the dance floor all night,” shares the bride. “Everything else just built around that!” For the ceremony site, they did have one condition: Kaine wanted to get married under a large tree. “He had been to weddings like that before and always pictured that for his own big day,” says Rachel. “So when we found Rancho Victoria Vineyard and they told us that we could get married under a huge, beautiful oak tree then on to a reception with a big dance floor, we were sold.”
Kaine was very close to his grandfather who introduced him to bird watching as a boy, a hobby he still enjoys today. “His grandfather passed away about a year before our wedding so using birds throughout the day was our way of honoring him,” shares Rachel. For the ceremony, they wrote their own vows and both brought up how important it is to root for the other person’s sports team—the Chicago Cubs for Kaine and the Sacramento Kings for Rachel.
At the reception, games were set up to keep everyone busy while the couple took photos. “Of course plenty of alcohol was flowing, including our signature drink ‘Right as Raine,’” she says. “Raine is our portmanteau: Rachel + Kaine, which Kaine created.”
By the close of the evening, “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey pushed the reception to a climax. “Everyone was belting it out, but towards the end, all of our friends and family gathered around us in a circle to finish it out strong,” says Rachel. “To be surrounded by everyone we love at the same time, with us in the middle, was an amazing feeling. We literally felt the love!”
— Darren Elms
First Dance Song
“Have a Little Faith in Me” by John Hiatt
Father/Daughter Dance Song
“Love Never Fails” by Lisa Haley
Cake Cutting Song
“Sugar” by Maroon 5
Last Dance Song
“Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey
Details about the cake
The Groom’s cake was carrot cake, Kaine’s favorite. We had a dessert bar so there was an assortment of goodies – cookies, chocolate pudding, fruit tarts, lemon bars, something for everyone!
Details about the flowers
It was a spring wedding so we wanted the flowers to be colorful and match the season. The main color of the wedding was purple, but we didn’t want it to be all purple, so we wanted flowers that would accent the main color. We also wanted a more natural look, like we could have just picked them that morning. Flowers on Main hit the nail on the head – they were colorful and looked amazing with purple!
Details about the favors
Wedding Garden Sprinkles (plant seeds), from Potting Shed Creations
Anything else you’d like to share about your wedding?
We were only in California a handful of times while planning the wedding, so we had to pack a lot into a few visits. There was one day where we saw 3 venues! Rancho Victoria Vineyard was actually the last venue we saw on that long day, and we’re sure glad we did. We fell in love immediately and it was a no-brainer after that.
I also had to pack all my dress shopping into those few visits. We went to many dress retailers, and every dress I tried on I had to dance in. I needed a dress that would move as much as I planned to on that dance floor! We actually found the dress I ended up choosing at one of the last places we went, La Soie Bridal in Sacramento, and had to squeeze it in among all the other wedding things we were doing that weekend. I tried it on, and I knew right away it was right for me. I could really get down since it was so light, but super sparkly which is exactly what I wanted!
For our first dance, Kaine and I had choreographed a few spins and dips. We practiced a lot leading up to the big day, but Kaine was still pretty nervous he’d drop me! Luckily it all worked out and I stayed on 2 feet. Our first dance took place at the exact perfect time for the sun to be setting behind us. Many people told us it was one of the most beautiful moments from the wedding.
Any tips you’d give brides and grooms planning their wedding today?
It may get overwhelming at times, but in the end remember it’s just a big party where all your most favorite people in the world get dressed up and come celebrate with you. Which is pretty awesome!
Involve the groom in as many emails and decisions as possible. Also, give him reign over a specific part of the wedding. Kaine was in charge of all food and booze, since those were very important to him. He dealt directly with the vendors for those items. It took some things off my plate and gave him ownership over the wedding too!
You should also try take in some moments. Take mental pictures of the event and remember the way you feel. The memories of the feelings are what I wanted to remember the most.
Plan other events around the wedding if you can – rehearsal dinner, after party, post-day brunch. The day of the event you are so busy you don’t have as much time as you’d like to talk to everyone. Having these other events allowed us to actually have conversations with people!
What would you have done differently if you had the chance?
We would definitely not have order the suits online. Most of them came back ill-fitting – too tight or too short – even the groom’s! It would have been better to work with a local men’s clothing store where Kaine and the other groomsmen could go in and get professional measurements. These are photos you will have for the rest of your life so it’s worth getting the right fitting clothing.
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