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Blissful Retreat: A Breathtaking Rustic-Chic Wedding At Tierra Retreat Center In Leavenworth

By: 
Kelly Skahan
Blue Rose Photography

Cate Bereznay and Chris Landingin met the first day of high school. When their honors English class was asked to reflect on their summer reading assignments, the students were fairly quiet—except Cate and Chris. “We had both done some extra reading and presented wild counterculture theories that had our classmates in an uproar,” Cate says. “We knew that very first day that we had an ally in one another.” Their friendship turned romantic six years later, and they’ve been together ever since.

Chris wanted to propose in San Francisco, where the pair had taken a meaningful trip early in their relationship—and, conveniently, Cate and her mother had plans to run a half marathon there. The day before the marathon, Chris surprised Cate in Golden Gate Park with a blanket covered in photos of the couple and mementos from their travels together, as well as their dog, Gatsby. She then proposed to Cate in a rowboat on the water in front of Cate’s mother, father and best friend. “I said, ‘Yes, a thousand times yes,’” Cate said. “And then I asked if I still had to run the half marathon with my mom. The answer was yes.”

The ceremony and reception featured handmade touches from both families. The pair was married under a timber frame that Chris and her “wolf pack”—the name she bestowed upon her half of the wedding party—had made just for the big day, and Cate’s cousin read from Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in the case legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States. During the ceremony, the pair passed their wedding bands to all of their guests in a wooden bowl carved by one of Chris’s wolf-pack members and tied together with Cate’s mother’s handkerchief, and Chris’ aunts made a special quilt for the couple to commemorate the day.