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Originally published in Inside Weddings

When Jacqueline Salcedo walked into Expo Design Center for her first day of work, Marcus Fernandez spotted her and was instantly smitten. When he realized that she wasn’t a customer, but rather his new colleague, he worked to gain Jacqueline’s friendship, and from there, a relationship grew. “We became best friends and have been inseparable ever since,” Jacqueline says. Fourteen years later, Marcus took Jacqueline and their golden retriever, Lady, to Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles for a romantic picnic. There, he surprised her with two gifts: a cute onesie Jacqueline had been eyeing for their future baby, and a new collar for Lady that featured a tag engraved with the words, “Marry Marcus.”

After happily accepting Marcus’ proposal, Jacqueline got to work planning a wedding guided by a few key words: Seasonal; casual; textured; natural; rustic; abundant; and timeless. The couple wanted an outdoor venue that would allow Lady to attend, so they chose the picturesque Hummingbird Nest Ranch for the reception and the Spanish-style St. Elizabeth Parish for the ceremony. The church’s dramatic high ceiling and wooden pews needed little decoration, so simple arrangements of white and green hydrangeas adorned the venue. Jacqueline requested that Morrissey’s “Interlude,” a song she had always vowed to play at her wedding, open the traditional Catholic ceremony. The ceremony featured participation from the couple’s chosen madrinas and padrinos and a ritual presentation of flowers to the Virgin Mary, accompanied by “Ave Maria.”

After the ceremony, the newlyweds and their 175 guests headed to the ranch for the evening reception. Wooden tables decorated with white and green blooms and white linens stood overlooking stunning canyon views. Guests dined on rustic offerings and a selection of miniature s’mores cupcakes, red velvet cake pops, mini cheesecakes, golden retriever-shaped cookies, and a three-tiered cake. Marcus, a producer for CBS Radio, took an active role in planning the evening’s music. He and Jacqueline programmed, mixed, and edited their entire wedding soundtrack, right up to the end of the celebration. “Working in the music industry and having my co-workers at the wedding, I felt we had to step up our musical selections,” Marcus says. “We even chose our last song of the night [‘There is a Light that Never Goes Out’ by The Smiths] to coincide with sparklers all our guests had lit to cap off the reception.”

Looking back, Jacqueline and Marcus agree that walking out for their grand entrance at the reception and seeing family and friends cheering them was one of their favorite moments of the day. To future brides and grooms, Jacqueline offers this advice: “Take it all in, enjoy, and soak in every moment.”

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