Katie and Spencer go way back—all the way back to 1994, when they were both students at Lake Forest Country Day School, near Chicago. "I was in seventh grade, and Spencer was in ninth. I had a huge crush on him," says Katie. "One night we were at a school function, and he asked me to dance. He still remembers what I wore that night!" They went on a couple of dates during college, but things didn't get serious until Katie asked him out for drinks the Thanksgiving after graduation—just when she was about to move to Santa Barbara, California, for photography school. "We started texting and IMing, and soon he was flying out to visit every few weeks," says Katie. "That's why Santa Barbara is so special to us—it's where we fell in love as adults."
For their venue, they chose Rancho Dos Pueblos, a 3,000-acre oceanfront ranch with a wood-slatted barn and a private sandy beach just 15 minutes outside of town. Says Katie: "We planned every part of the day to take place on a different part of the property to keep everyone's excitement piqued."