When it came to picking bridesmaids, Tara knew exactly who to choose. She'd have her best friend since high school, Lisa, and Heather, her college pal and former roommate. It was Heather who set up Tara with her future husband. "Ryker and I met in college in San Diego," Tara tells us. "The first time we really hung out was when went to the same midnight movie showing with mutual friends. My roommate Heather told Ryker that she could see us getting together one day."
But Heather would have to wait awhile to become an official matchmaker. Tara and Ryker spent that Summer as friends before they fulfilled Heather's prophecy and started dating. After more than three years together, Ryker proposed. In fact, sneaky Ryker got Tara's other bridesmaid, Lisa, in on the engagement action, asking Lisa to hide with a camera so the proposal, and Tara's reaction, could be caught on camera, paparazzi-style.
During their nine-month engagement, Tara planned their November Southern California wedding. She mixed girlie elements — like pink, hearts, and sparkles — into the industrial setting of Culver City's SmogShoppe. Tara didn't shy away from DIY projects, making glittery table numbers and personalized photo cards for each guest's seating assignment. Although uninvited, rain showed up on their big day, but Tara and Ryker didn't mind. Tara tells brides to "remember what the day is really about: celebrating the commitment you're making to your partner with your loved ones."
Get a look at the sparkly urban celebration now, and see some of the unconventional elements Tara incorporated, including balloons instead of flowers, a food truck dinner, and doughnuts for dessert.
Photos by Michèle M. Waite