Stephanie and Victor met through a mutual friend at his birthday party. “We then went on our first date for yogurt and to a wine lounge,” she says. “The funny thing is, our first date really didn’t go that well.” So much so the two lost touch and didn’t communicate for a couple months. “I asked her for her number and she gave me a fake one. Just kidding,” laughs Victor. But Stephanie finally did send him a text while on a trip to Florida, and they decided to give it another shot. The rest is history.

For her 30th birthday, the couple planned a trip to Las Vegas to see Reba McEntire and Brooks & Dunn in concert.

“On the last day of the trip, Victor insisted that we ride on the High Roller (the observation wheel), at sunset,” says Stephanie. “Each turn of the wheel takes about 30 minutes to make a complete revolution. Once we got to the highest point, Victor got down on one knee and proposed.”

The bride came to the table with plenty of ideas for the wedding, especially with the help of Pinterest. “There are so many amazing ideas on that website and I wanted to do all of them!” she says. From the beginning, she wanted an outdoor wedding with a rustic theme. “I knew that I wanted to wear cowgirl boots under my dress,” she adds. “And it was really important to me that our wedding guests felt like they could let loose and truly join in our celebration.”

They decided to have a Wedding Tree Ceremony, one that revolves around a potted Japanese maple sapling that symbolized the roots of a new relationship and the continued growth of love. “Victor and I poured vases of water onto the sapling to symbolize the constant nurturing and nourishment required by a relationship,” shares Stephanie. “Our mothers poured vases of soil to the base of the sapling. This soil was from both of our childhood homes and represented the coming together of two families as well as the strong foundation from which our parents had provided us.” The newlyweds will plant the maple at the first home that they buy together. “We can watch it grow stronger throughout the years, hopefully just like our marriage,” says the bride.

“The moment I saw Stephanie walk down the aisle, I lost it,” says Victor of the ceremony. “I could not imagine something so beautiful. It was pure magic and the best moment of my life. I cried. Real men cry.”

— Darren Elms