California couple Denise Reed and Tarik Assagai said “I do” before 100 guests on May 16, 2009, at The Old Sugar Mill in Clarksburg, California. The rustic winery just minutes from Sacramento served as a beautiful backdrop for the duo on their big day.
This darling duo has known each other since the seventh grade. Still, they weren’t immediately a pair. In fact, they were initially opposites.
“Tarik was popular and outgoing and I was a quiet, shy girl who kept to herself. I had a huge crush on him but I never expressed it, but years later I would find out the crush was mutual,” explains Denise.
A model and part-time fashion instructor, Denise is a style maven to say the least. But she’s also frugal. The bride purchased both her strapless, sophisticated wedding gown and her halter, sexy reception dress from affordable retailer David’s Bridal. Her reception dress was on sale for a mere $99!
Tarik lines up for the main event with his closet pals by his side. Just months before he began dating Denise, Tarik lost his mother. He was supported by close friends, family and, of course, his sweetie, Denise.
“I believe Denise came into my life just months after my mother passed away to fill the hole in my heart. My mother was taken away from me and was replaced by an angel and the love of my life,” shares Tarik.
Tarik is a handsome groom in his black tuxedo with green accents. Ever the thoughtful partner, he proposed to Denise during a romantic getaway.
“My original plan was to go to Hawaii and propose to her on the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean. Unfortunately, I had project deadlines and was unable to take off for that trip. Vegas was only a three-hour drive and Denise had never stayed for more than a day. I had no idea how I was going to propose (Helicopter ride? Grand Canyon?), but after some thought and planning my proposal worked out perfectly!” shares Tarik.
Since the bride’s favorite color is green, she chose it as the main dress hue for her bridal party. Close friends (one that she’s known since the 5th grade!) and aunts rounded out Denise’s bridal party.
Denise and Tarik have been inseparable since their first date back in May 2005. Tarik even moved to Los Angeles for a year and a half while Denise was in college there. Tarik has owned his own company ACS Digital since he was 19 so it was easy for him to move to L.A. for his honey. The couple eventually moved back to their hometown Sacramento to further pursue their careers in the fashion and Web/graphic design industries, respectively.
“We had no idea what we were doing while we cut the cake. Apparently neither one of us paid attention at weddings we have been to in the past. We basically had to talk each other through it. ‘Do I feed you or do you feed me? Don’t we feed ourselves and wrap our arms? Do we need a fork?’” remembers Tarik.
“She is obviously beautiful and has a beautiful smile just like my mother did. A couple of my aunts have said the same thing,” shares Tarik. The couple also honored Tarik’s mom during the wedding ceremony.