Tequila-inspired décor. Day of the Dead cake toppers. And a wild late-night pool party featuring cannonballs and a midnight taco bar. See what happened when two Californians took their love story on the road—to a south-of-the-border style wedding.

Photographer Chris McPherson had a rule: He didn't date models. And he definitely didn't date younger models. Then Katie Malia Knoernschild, a dancer-actress-model 11 years his junior, walked into his Los Angeles studio. "It was a taxing shoot, and she was with a lot of other dancers," he says. "Katie was the only one going, 'Let's do this!'" Little did he know she had ulterior motives: "It was love at first sight," she says. "I wanted to impress him—I could have danced for days!"

Photo: Thayer Allyson Gowdy