Bride: Denise Reed, 27

Groom: Tarik Assagai, 27

Reed, model, community college fashion instructor; Aggagai, grahic designer

Homebase: Sacramento, California

Wedding Date: May 16, 2009

Wedding Location: Old Sugar Mill, Clarksburg, California

More Than a Crush: A quiet and shy Denise met the outgoing and popular Tarik while they were still in middle school. “Tarik was the super popular and outgoing guy and I was the quiet, shy girl who kept to herself,” says Denise with a laugh. The pair graduated from the same high school as well but Tarik stayed in the California Bay area while Denise went south to Los Angeles for college. A chance meeting forced the two to reconnect and in May of 2004, the couple had their first date.

Vegas, Baby!: After the couple’s first date, they were inseparable. Tarik even relocated to L.A. for over a year to be closer to his beloved during their courtship. “Tarik, a former track star, is into extreme sports and likes to do things like jet-ski and ride dirt bikes,” says Denise with a laugh, adding that she grew to enjoy those activities too as their relationship grew. Three years after their first date, Tarik was ready to ask for Denise’s hand in marriage. He created an eventful proposal for a Valentine’s Day Denise would never forget. “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. Vegas is 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 but after some thought and planning my proposal worked out perfectly!” shares Tarik.

You Remind Me: 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,” reveals Tarik. Denise adds, “Tarik tells me that his mother would have liked me.” Hearing this revelation obviously made Denise feel more at ease about marrying the man of her dreams.

Simply Chic: Denise kept her wedding day look subtle and sophisticated. In fact, the fashion maven even did her own hair and makeup! “I’m simple and don’t like a lot of fuss,” explains the bride. The couple decided on the off-beat Old Sugar Mill winery for both the wedding ceremony and reception because of the unconventional appeal of the venue. “I loved the loft feel,” raves Denise about her reception locale. She used her favorite color, apple green, accented by chocolate brown to give the space an extra dash of spice.

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Budget Bridal Bite: Denise, ever the frugal fashionista, made sure she got the most bang for her wedding day buck. She 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! The newlywed suggests that those preparing to jump the broom turn to sites like as a penny-pinching resource as she did when creating her DYI wedding favors. Denise advises future brides to consider having a buffet style meal instead of a seated one to cut costs. Yet another money saving tip is skip the limo and rent an SUV, “It saves money and you don’t have the stress of waiting for the limo to arrive on time,” shares Denise.

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