As avid hikers, we like to think that any relationship established while on the trail is bound to be solid.
Audra Montenegro and Christopher Carter were friends in high school who later connected in the office. Coworkers had planned a hike together, and everyone bailed...except for the two of them; and so began their outdoor adventures together. It eventually led to more intimate escapades, and finally to love. Four years after that first trek, Carter proposed after a trip to Hawaii.
"Nothing's better than being surprised," says Montenegro. "The best part of this story, is that we were truly friends before even thinking about one another romantically."
Though they did kiss once at a party in high school. "No rhyme or reason to it, and no feelings before or after it...weird, huh?"
When pondering where they'd celebrate their big day, Carter saw a guitar on the wall signed by his favorite band, the Rolling Stones. They knew right then that they wanted a music venue close by that had a notable history of artists that had graced the space. Sally Tomatoes, in Rohnert Park, was just the place—the venue has welcomed acts including the Goo Goo Dolls, UB40, Dirty Heads, Michael Franti, and Ziggy Marley.
Their decor was dusted with gold accents and DIY touches—glitter candle holders, and doilies handmade by Montenegro's grandmother. Even the aisle was gilded with spray-painted buckets hung on shepherd's hooks, filled with baby's breath. To match the warm tones, mercury glass vases held white dahlias and peach roses. The couple created a guest canvas for their loved ones to "leaf" their mark on the tree with two blue love birds perched in the center. And for favors, they gave out homemade peach jam.
The newlyweds even shared a love lock ceremony in which two heart-shaped locks were joined together by the groom's father and the bride's mother to represent the two families coming together; then they were given the keys to toss. Joined for life!
Venue + Caterer: Sally Tomatoes, Rohnert Park
Cake: Willow Trees Bakery
Dress: Starlet Bridal
Jewelry: Timothy Patrick Jewelers
Tuxedo: Macy's Tuxedo Shop
Bridesmaid dresses: Azazie
Event planner: Zane Events
Floral designer: Atrellis
Hair and makeup: Kacee Bacera