Our thanks to One Love Photography for their stunning photographs…
How does a man show interest in a woman without crossing the line into stalker territory? For Michael O’Brien, he took the direct approach when it came to meeting his beautiful neighbor living in a lower duplex unit in Newport Beach.
“I was eating dinner on the patio with my roommates and Michael introduced himself,” said Kris Rusert. “They recalled the situation as he ‘bee-lined’ for me, and they made jokes about how it would be mentioned at our future wedding.”
Kris wasn’t thinking wedding right then, but wondered how she kept running into her new neighbor through “chance” encounters at the beach.
“He’d do random drop-byes, until we finally made official plans to hang out,” she said.
Michael avoided stalker territory, but he underwent an aggressive pursuit of the woman of his dreams — a woman he would later marry in March of 2014 at Holman Ranch.
And, yes, the story of Michael’s “bee-line” toward Kris was repeated several times that day.
For their first official date, the couple actually stayed in and made dinner, “which is essentially exactly how we are as a couple now,” Kris said. “It was around Michael’s birthday and we whipped up quite a little feast in celebration. It was fun to cook together and really get to talking about our lives and families.”
Later the couple moved from Newport Beach to Northern California for Michael’s job and the two loved to spend time in local parks.
“Cuesta Park in Mountain View was such a fun location to picnic, jog and walk the dog,” Kris said. “We would go there almost every weekend. In September right before moving into San Francisco, Michael suggested doing a picnic there. I didn’t think much of it since it was such a part of our life. Well, that night started like a normal evening and ended with him asking me to marry him. It’s a day and a place we will never forget.
The couple knew Holman Ranch was the perfect wedding venue for them from the moment they stepped foot onto the grounds.
“Holman Ranch takes your breath away,” Kris said. “I wanted a location that required little design and it did exactly that. It’s magical.”
The couple loved how they could transition throughout the property for the event. “Every part of the property unfolds a new perspective,” Kris said. “The town (Carmel Valley) is very charming and was a great destination for our guests.”
Because their family and friends are so important in their lives, Michael and Kris felt overwhelmed emotionally. “Seeing everyone you love from different parts of life come together in one space is truly hard to explain,” Kris said.
To honor their family and their traditions, Michael and Kris included a few blessings — one during the ceremony and one before dinner. Their pastor gave a traditional Irish blessing during the ceremony to honor the O’Brien family’s Irish heritage. Then Kris’ father Mike blessed the dinner with a prayer both the bride and groom had recited with each of their families growing up.
“Our families had a slightly different version, but it was really neat to hear a moment when both families said a familiar prayer in unison,” Kris said. “That day we really saw the unity and love amongst our families.”
The one wedding memory that stands out for the new Mr. and Mrs. O’Brien is being announced as husband and wife.
“That is literally the happiest moment of your life,” Kris said. “We felt such ease walking back down the aisle and we had never been happier. The rest of the night you just float, at the best party you’ve ever been to, with everyone you love.”
Other wedding vendors:
Caterer: Paradise Catering
Photographer: One Love Photography
DJ/Band/Musicians: DNA Entertainment, DJ Darion
Bakery: Patisserie Bechler
Hair: Brooke Burdett
Makeup: Janelle Walker
Flowers: Whitney Rose Events