After falling in love with Mendocino, Cassi and Roni shared their vows and married in a romantic woodsy wedding brought to life with plenty of DIY projects.
How long have you been together, and how did you meet?
R: We have been together for a total of 2 1/2 years. We met like anyone else would in the 21st century, Tinder! I was traveling up north to visit my brother and nephew, and that is when I decided to see what Sacramento had to offer. My first swipe of the night was Cassi. I tried to play it cool for as long as possible, but I knew I loved her very early on.
Before any engagement, Cass and I made a deal that Cassi would be the first to propose if Cassi walked down the aisle to me at the wedding. It was the perfect compromise.
Roni and I always have told each other our love is like “when the lake meets the mountains.” It has stuck with us ever since.
I set up an overnight trip to Lake Tahoe. I took Roni to the Eagle Falls hike in Emerald Bay. Initially, I thought the picturesque photo op was at the top of the trek. Well, it was actually right below the area where we parked. So I set up the Go Pro and tripod to capture the moment. Roni thought we were just taking pictures, and BOOM, I got on one knee and asked the most beautiful woman to be my wife. She said yes!
We finished the hike and checked into a hotel at Stateline. I surprised her with a sunset Lake Tahoe cruise for the evening to celebrate us. It was the most magical trip, enjoying each other and our future.
It didn’t end up as magical as when Cassi prosed to me. But, I knew from the beginning I also wanted her to feel as special as I did with a proposal!
So I planned a sunset proposal in Cabo San Lucas, MX. My parents were in on the proposal and helped me on our trip. After a grueling long travel day, we sat to have dinner and as one would on the first day of vacation, drinks started to flow. I, on the other hand, was too nervous to eat or drink. So as I sat and watched the sunset set and we had dinner, my stomach started to sink. My plan was falling apart!
It ended up happening on the beach as planned but in the complete pitch dark. She was in total shock and couldn’t believe I even had her ring with me. She said yes back to me, and we spent the rest of the trip celebrating our (second) engagement.
The inspiration of the wedding day.
We wanted the vibe to our wedding to be “Intimate, Woodsy and Romantic.” We previously did a styled elopement photoshoot with Ali Boundy and two other photographers in Mendocino, CA. It was then that we fell in love with the woodsy, intimate vibes of being surrounded by the mountains. We loved getting lost in the mystery of never-ending trees during the shoot.
The best florist in the world, Chrissy Williford, created the most beautiful bouquets for the shoot. After seeing the arrangement Chrissy chose, we knew we needed to hire her and get the same style bouquet. Chrissy, hands down, brought our vision to life.
There was quite a bit of DIY for our big day. Roni’s mom is a craft wizard, so we were blessed to have her getting down and dirty with the Cricut.
We made a cake topper, a welcome sign, and an “unplugged” ceremony sign! We also made all of the appetizers and food for the wedding before the big day. With our mom’s helping to heat up the food, and it was a serve it yourself style buffet. A family friend made us homemade cheesecake for dessert!
The Wedding Day
It rained, snowed, hailed and it was sunny on their wedding day. They got every kind of weather imaginable, but they stuck it out.
The love and support from their friends and family radiated throughout the day, keeping them warm even when it was snowing. We started by getting ready in two separate bedrooms of a Lake Tahoe Vacation Home Rental. Roni gave Cassi a book of beautiful boudoir photos and Cassi got really emotional seeing Roni look so beautiful.
After they were both ready, they met at a trailhead down the road for a first look. Both wearing the dresses of their dreams and killer shoes, they saw each other for the first time. There were so many tears, and it was amazing. Seeing each other before the ceremony is always so magical and it’s one of the only quiet moments of the day. After that, they did quick first looks with their dads, then went inside to have the ceremony.
Roni and Cassi had an agreement that if Cassi got to propose first, Roni got to walk down the aisle first – that way Cassi walked to her. That compromise was so sweet.
A quick “unplugged” hack they implemented was this: The officiant asked that everyone keep their cell phones & cameras in their pockets for the duration of the ceremony, but if everyone followed the rules, the couple had a surprise for them after their first kiss.
Once they were officially married and all of my professional photos were taken cell-phone-free, they told everyone to get out their cameras and then they stopped and posed mid-aisle for everyone to snap their own insta-pics! It was really cute and it worked perfectly.
After the family portraits, we went down to take sunset photos overlooking Lake Tahoe. They had another hack where they put holes in the bottom of Ikea bags, stepped into them, put the straps on their shoulders and held their dressed up for the hike to the lake. Honestly, it was perfect and hilarious.
Once the sun went down, we went back to the house for some cake and dancing. Roni and Cassi have the most energetic personalities separately, but together they are downright electrifying. Their love is so powerful and the people around them support them so hard, in such a beautiful way. It’s a special thing to be part of.
Favorite moments from the wedding day.
R: Two of my favorite moments was the first look, seeing Cassi in her dress and glam looking absolutely stunning. I was anxious and nervous, and the moment I got to hug her, those nerves went away. Before our cake cutting, a second favorite moment was cheering “hell yeah” with all our friends and family.
C: One of my favorite moments was definitely seeing Roni for the first time! With just the two of us, to soak in each other’s beauty and love.
A second favorite moment had to be our first dance together as wives. We danced to the song “Beyond” by Leon Bridges featuring Luke Combs.
Cinematographer Kyle Mize
Decorative Element Mountain Vibes Rentals
Dress Designer Lillian West, Maggie Sottero Designs
Engagement & Wedding Rings East West Gem Co
Florist Wildrose Floral
Furniture Hire El Dorado Hills Party Rentals
Hair Tina Romo Hair
Makeup Wild Sueño
Shoes Betsy Johnson, ASOS
Suit Designer Jos Banks