Shasta and Mike met on a blind date through a mutual friend. And while Shasta had a back-up plan for a quick getaway—she would have to get back to work after her lunch break—should the date be terrible, she definitely didn’t end up needing it.

On date number two they shared their first kiss. “He told me, ‘You are not leaving without a kiss.’ It caught me off guard since he usually has a quiet and reserved demeanor,” Shasta says. “I finally asked him about that night. He said, ‘I wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to be stuck in the friend zone.’”

Mike soon proposed during their first stop on a weeklong road trip. They picked their date immediately for the close synchronization of 10-12-13. Even with 16 months to plan, Shasta wouldn’t procrastinate. They figured the date would be a popular one, and they acted fast to lock in their top vendor and venue choices.

The couple lives in the heart of El Dorado County, where they have a wide selection of wineries as potential wedding settings. “We had our wedding in the lovely Shenandoah Valley at Helwig Winery,” Shasta says. “The theme we did was ‘rustic elegance,’ because we’ve always been the country type and would feel the most comfortable in our cowboy boots and Levi jeans.”

For the rustic décor, the couple used old wagon wheels, hay bales, burlap, old wooden crates, old seat springs, rusty buckets, horseshoes, barn wood signs, wine barrels and peacock feathers. The groom used his carpentry and welding skills to make and build some decorations. “I made our wedding altar out of cedar split rails and a special welcome wedding sign with barn wood,” he says. “It brought the wedding to life,” the bride adds.

And to, literally, drive home the classically country feel? They bought a vintage 1954 Chevy truck to use as a photo prop and a future DIY project. “We bought the Chevy to make it one of our first husband-and-wife projects by planning to build it into a hot rod,” the groom says. “We thought it would be cool to have the ‘before’ Chevy pictures on our wedding day and take ‘hot rod’ Chevy pictures after the project is completed.”

Though most of the planning was relatively stress-free, the low came with finalizing the guest list when some hadn’t RSVP’d. “I had a tough time making the ceremony and reception assigned seating and shuttle schedule because of not acquiring the final guest count until the last minute,” the bride remembers.

Yet, on the big day, every moment was unforgettable.

“Our wedding didn’t ‘fly by,’ like you hear most newlyweds say,” Shasta says. “Mike and I had promised each other to take in every special moment that occurred that day.”

“During the course of the evening, we even made time for ourselves by taking a stroll in the moonlight and soaking it all in while still being in complete shock that we were married!”

—Kourtney Jason