How many love stories begin with the couple wearing ugly Christmas sweaters on their first date? Taylor and Jordan’s does! They met online and decided to see each other in their holiday gear, share some food and beverages, and then enjoy a wonderful night walking through Sacramento’s Fabulous Forties neighborhood. Strolling through the Christmas lights launched the script for their self-proclaimed Hallmark movie.

Jordan gets the credit for initiating the date but they both knew that this was “it” early on. Their time in life and experiences helped them know that they were both ready for the natural progression. Moving in together at the six-month mark signified their plan to get married. They became engaged one year and 10 months after that first date.

The hints of a proposal were in the air and finally Jordan decided to hide an empty ring box for Taylor to find, just to throw her off. Fast forward and Taylor planned a random getaway day, just to decompress from work. Jordan decided to join her and they made a weekend of it in Squaw Valley for a fall escape. Jordan brought the real ring box with him, hoping to propose in Truckee, but the box got wedged closed and he had to postpone popping the question.

Finally, later in the hotel room Jordan was able to propose! The date, October 27, is also Taylor’s parents’ anniversary. After the proposal a few phone and FaceTime calls ensued. It was important to share the news with a few more family members before their young nephew divulged it first.

Taylor and Jordan chose a winter wedding date to help avoid the hot sun and Sacramento heat. The weather was a mild 60-70 degrees and their day was perfect. A quick walk through, the evening before the wedding was a simple rehearsal and allowed them to share some Chinese food together, just the two of them.

Their ceremony was intimate with close family and friends, followed by a reception including even more friends at a local brewery. Food trucks and beer fueled the guests. When Jordan walked into the reception, he headed toward the food but needed to say hello to everyone. “My coworker handed me a plate of food and it tasted so good. MVP of the reception for sure. I needed food and there it was—the essence of our relationship—tacos and beer.”

Friends played games and mingled, enjoying the relaxed vibe the couple had imagined. This wedding did not include the traditional checklist of activities but one moment stood out as Taylor’s favorite. Their photographer suggested that they have a first dance, away from the crowd, just behind a curtain. “Just the two of us. We had an unexpectedly private two-minute moment, which also turned out to be our favorite picture,” she says.

— Susan Wallace