Aranda and Joe are the very first couple to be married at the AK Diamond J Ranch in Homer, Alaska—in fact, they booked the spot sight unseen, before it even officially was a wedding venue.
“When we booked the venue, only my parents had seen it, and it was still a dream the owners’ had,” says Aranda, who met her groom at California’s Azusa Pacific University. “My mom knew right away that it was perfect, and I trusted her to make the right call. The first picture I saw of the ranch was of a hay barn, and that hay barn turned into the very dreamy place Joe and I said our vows. We wanted to get married somewhere unique that felt like Alaska, that felt like home, and that is exactly what we got.”
The setting, with views of glaciers, the Kenai Mountains, and Kachemak Bay, was the stunning backdrop for a day full of love and laughter. Photography was provided by Joshua Veldstra Photography.
“We loved the speeches given at our wedding,” says Aranda. “Joe’s siblings created a hilarious rap and performed it, and the maid of honor sang the Alaska State Song during the reception. My dad gave a beautiful speech based on my favorite childhood movie, ‘Pocahontas.’ We also loved our final dance of the night, to George Ezra’s ‘Hold My Girl.’ We will play that song on our anniversary for years to come.”
For Aranda and Joe, the day was the exciting next step in a relationship that they knew was something special from the start.
“”My feelings for Aranda were real from day one,” says Joe. “We have fun every time it’s just us. She makes me laugh. I’m attracted to her whether she’s dressing up for a date night or has camped for three nights in a row without a shower.”
Adds Aranda: “I knew Joe was the one when never wavered in his pursuit of me and our relationship. He has consistently been the kind of man that puts my needs before his own, and he makes me want to be more selfless like that every single day. He is honest and caring, and I always knew I wanted that in my future spouse.”
Aranda and Joe, thank you so much for sharing your gorgeous wedding day with us!
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