Sarah and Oren met when they matched with each other on Tinder in San Francisco. The only problem? Sarah lived in L.A. After briefly meeting up while Sarah was in town, Oren convinced her to meet him halfway for the upcoming Independence Day holiday weekend. They met in Morro Bay and over the weekend, Oren realized that his relationship with her could become something more serious than just a dating app meet-up. The two dated for another three years before Oren proposed in Napa. Despite knowing he wanted to propose, he didn’t quite know when or how. Instead, he took her for a walk along the Napa River. “I had planned on asking her to marry me, but I didn’t really know where or how I wanted to ask her. I must have dragged her a couple miles,” says Oren. When they reached a good spot, Oren proposed, Sarah said yes, and the two began planning for their outdoor wedding at the Coal Shed Brewery on Mare Island in Vallejo.

The pair opted to forgo most wedding traditions. Instead of a long ceremony, they stood up and asked a friend to officiate a “ceremony” before the guests had dinner. “We exchanged our vows, kissed, stomped on a wine glass and started dinner,” says Oren. “We wanted to get onto the fun stuff.”

To match the industrial look of the building, the couple made another unconventional decision: they choose black for the color theme, with Sarah wearing a black lace dress. “Black is my favorite color and it’s what I feel the best and most ‘me’ in, so I just couldn’t see myself in white or any other color,” she says. “I really wanted to be true to myself.” The two also DIY’d a few projects to match the venue’s look, like their centerpieces, which were repurposed beer and wine bottles filled with LED lights and topped with succulents. “Oren put them all together with flowers and succulents from our garden, so it was just so great to see all the work he had put into making our wedding day so special,” says Sarah. Other guest-pleasing elements of the celebration included a vintage photo booth bus, outdoor Jenga and cornhole, and a dessert bar, complete with made-to-order ice cream from a local boutique creamery.

Both say that planning their modern wedding was a bit of a challenge due to the pressure to have a more “traditional” wedding. Despite friends and family who disagreed, they both knew they wanted a unique and personalized ceremony that truly fit them as a couple. “There was also a lot of pressure from people around us to conform at times and go with more traditional options,” says Oren. But the two stuck to their guns, and instead planned their perfect day surrounded by friends and family. Oren says the day was all he wanted and more. “It was just how I’d have imagined it,” he says. “I could have partied all night!” 

—Suzie Dundas