Robbin and James met online through the dating website “It started with a wink—an online wink,” says the bride, who explains that after exchanging a few messages, she and James went on their first date.

Many dates followed over the next nine months, ultimately leading to James’s sunset proposal in their backyard, which overlooks Sacramento’s skyline. “He started a conversation with me and the next thing I knew, he was on one knee asking me to spend the rest of my life with him,” she says. “Of course I said yes!”

Engaged for a little over a year, the couple married in an outdoor ceremony at Winchester Country Club in Meadow Vista. Among their 150 guests were many out-of-towners from New York, where the groom’s family is based.

Robbin beamed in a five-layer Justin Alexander dress with crisscross straps. She also wore diamond stud earrings that were once her grandmother’s and honored her groom’s family by wearing a diamond necklace from James’s aunt who has passed. “Now all of the brides in the family wear it,” Robbin says.

While the ceremony was traditional, one of the groomsmen was not! Their cockapoo puppy, Jesse, was a member of the wedding party, as was James’s father who was best man and Robbin’s sister who was maid of honor.

“It was a traditional non-denominational ceremony with one twist: one of our groomsmen was our pup, Jesse,” says the couple.

A reception followed in a big tent, also at Winchester Country Club. “We loved the view, and I really wanted our reception in a tent with chandeliers,” says the bride. Hot weather (106 degrees!) could have been a wedding day stressor but things worked out. “Thanks to the vendors who provided wave cool fans, we were saved!” Robbin explains.

The soft color scheme incorporated pink and gold, paired with crisp white. Reception tables featured a mix of high-low centerpieces and sleek glassware. Guests dined on filet mignon, salad, potatoes and pasta. A sweets table featured candies like gummy grapefruits, pink-and-white striped puffy poles, cherry sour candy and watermelon sours. For dessert, the couple and their guests savored an elegant five-tiered pink and yellow gold cake that looked too pretty to eat! The couple’s cake cutting knife had history, too; it has been passed throughout the bride’s family, first being used by her parents and then by her sister. “It has all of our engravings on it,” Robbin says.

The bride enjoyed wedding planning, especially visiting all of the venues. Staying on budget was tough though. “It is hard to stay on budget when you have big dreams like I did,” she says. Her favorite wedding moment came when she and James took “first look” photos before the ceremony. “When I first saw him dressed up in his tuxedo, I cried!”

—Kristen Castillo