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Kyle and I’s love story began with 8 letters and a period… match.com. After two long-term relationships, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and try something new. I wasn’t really wanting to date anyone else from Yuba City. No offense! Kyle messaged me first and his open liner was “Chico State Woot Woot.” It was easy to reply to him since we immediately had something in common of going to Chico State University. Kyle and I began messaging back and forth on June 17th, 2017. He had just begun his vacation to Costa Rica, which, he than later was dubbed the name “Costa Rica Guy” whenever I spoke about him to my friends and family.

After a week of snap chatting, facebooking, messaging on match back and forth, we had our first date on June 24th. Kyle was a gentlemen. After I told him we could meet up half way (he was from the bay area), he insisted that he drive to Yuba City and take me out on a date in my town. We ended up going to “The Happy Viking” and “Sutter Buttes Brewery” for our first date. I can honestly say, at least for me, there was instant chemistry between us. We spent the night talking, drinking (Kyle had to finish one of my drinks cause I started to get a little tipsy), dining, and when it was time to part, he gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek.

Since the first date and Kyle making our relationship “official” on July 30th, Kyle and I shared a long distance relationship for the first year and a half. We lived 97 miles apart, but dedicated our weekends in order to make our long distance relationship work. When we first started dating, we created a “bucket list” together. This list consisted of experiences, places we would like to visit and things we would like to create together. Things like go to AT&T park, Disneyland, and build a firepit. This list consisted of 20 items and whenever Kyle and I would complete something on our “bucket list” we would cross it off. The last item on our “bucket list” was Engagement.

So while I was on summer break and a solo trip to Europe in 2018, Kyle decided it was time to make things “official”. He made the effort and drove to Yuba City one afternoon to ask my dad and my mom for my hand. He then asked his mom and his sister to help him pick out the ring. So as I got back to California on my birthday and both of our families enjoyed dinner at “The Dead Fish,” I was the only one in the dark where everyone else knew the big secret. Two weeks later, on July 28th, 2018, Kyle asked me to marry him in San Francisco at Baker Beach. He pulled the ring out of his bag, made me wait there after pulling out the box and walked over to a rock to put his bag down, and THEN got down on one knee and said, “Madeline Stephens. You’re the love of my life and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?” It was the happiest moment of my life and will continue to be one of the happiest moments of my life.

What was the most important thing for you about finding the perfect dress?

The most important thing for finding the perfect dress was making sure it was “me”. Not picking a dress that changed my look or personality. When people saw me walk down the aisle, I wanted them to think “yup, that’s our Maddy”. Another huge part was making sure I was comfortable. If I picked something totally out of my element, I would have been self-conscious the whole night and would have worried about how I looked.

What was the best personal moments of your wedding day?

The best and most personal moment of my wedding day was getting to see Kyle for the first time during our first look. I’ve never felt more beautiful and sexy than in that moment. Having the perfect dress obviously helped that.

Please share something that stood out on your wedding day?

Kyle’s Answer: “How beautiful my wife was walking down the aisle”. (No I did not prompt him lol).

Madeline’s Answer: Everything was gorgeous. The site. The ceremony. The venue and reception. Mostly the people. They showered us with so much love. It was beautiful.

What was your inspiration for your wedding day and dress?

                I didn’t really have inspiration for my dress. I guess my inspiration would be Disney since we had hidden Mickeys throughout the ceremony and reception. However, my dress was not the poofy, princess style dress that I went in thinking I was going to get. At the end of the day, I wanted something comfortable, sexy, and me. I’ve lost a total of 120lbs over the past 10 years. To me, I never had that moment to shine and I wanted to make sure I was “glowing” on our special day. Bree and her team accomplished that. When I originally bought the dress, I was a size 12, but I lost about 20-25lbs before the wedding. We had to take 4 sizes off my dress. I was almost in tears the first time I tried it on again, but with a little work and 4 alteration appointments later, my dress was exactly how I imagined it. Comfortable, Sexy, and Me.

Any advice to future brides?

                Don’t sweat the small stuff. There are thing that are going to go wrong or that are not what you envisioned. Don’t let it get to you. Enjoy every moment because literally this big event you planned for 6 months, a year, etc. is over with before you know it. It goes by so fast, just be in the moment with your new hubby!

The wedding talent behind our day: Photographer: Mike Lukin Photography |  Venue: Newcastle Wedding Gardens and Red Horse Barn | Wedding Dress: Always Elegant Bridal and Tuxedo (design by Martin Thornburg) | Cake/Dessert: Stephens Farmhouse | Florist: O’Shays Flowers | Caterer: Matt Mermod, Caterer and Owner of Newcastle Wedding Gardens | DJ/Music: TSPdj.com Steve Allard | Invitations: Vista Print | Men’s Attire: BlackTux.com | Bridesmaids: Azazie.com | Hairstylist: Maribel Esparza (Bliss Salon) | Make Up Artist: Karla Perez (Bliss Salon) | Alterations by: Laura Shulthise