“If you had told me when I was a kid that I would meet my future husband at 11 years old right in front of my middle-school locker, I wouldn’t have believed you,” smiles Cassidy Palka – a real estate agent with The Oppenheim Group, from the popular Netflix show Selling Sunset – of her relationship with Paul Hiepler. “Our love story really began when I sent her a candy gram for Valentine’s Day. As a sixth grader, I expected something in return, but I got nothing,” remembers Paul. “Five whole years went by until I finally got the guts to ask Cassidy to the homecoming dance… Second time’s the charm!”
After high-school graduation, Cassidy and Paul left for college in California and Texas, respectively, but were determined to make a long-distance relationship work. “Four years of sacrifice for a lifetime with the person I love most,” Paul shares of their commitment. “Ever since I met Cassidy, even as a sixth grader, I knew she was the one I was going to spend the rest of my life with.” When he proposed just before Christmas on a ski trip with both of their families, their dreams came true. “The best Christmas gift!” exclaims the bride. “Ever since he got down on one knee and proposed, I haven’t stopped smiling.”
“On June 26, 2021, I lived in a fairy tale – a dream I’ve had since I was a little girl,” muses the bride of their wedding day. Though their plans were altered throughout the pandemic, Cassidy’s picture-perfect wedding came to life just as she always imagined. “My vision was for people to feel like they were instantly transported to a European château,” she explains. Since the nuptials were held in the backyard of the groom’s parents’ home, they had the freedom to customize dreamy florals and lavish décor.
“I remember seeing what looked like all 250 of our guests jumping on the dance floor. The energy was insane; they were all cheering for us! It was completely picture perfect.”
Loved ones took their seats for the alfresco Christian wedding ceremony, led by the couple’s pastor through middle and high school, facing a towering eucalyptus tree embellished with hundreds of elegant, muted florals as well as three crystal chandeliers suspended overhead. The bride was regal in a sleek, strapless gown and a sparkling tiara as she made her entrance down the aisle – one of the groom’s favorite moments. “Since the wedding was at my parents’ home, I’ve walked in and out of that door thousands of times,” he says of the site. “Seeing it slowly open and locking eyes with Cassidy in her long veil and beautiful dress was a moment I’ll never forget.”
The bride desired the same European feel that was introduced in the ceremony for the reception. “Timeless and classy, with a little kiss of France,” she adds. Friends and family were seated at tables on three different levels of the backyard space, all of which had a lovely view of the surrounding landscape as well as the 28-foot round white dance floor showcasing the couple’s golden crest. Tables were strewn with neutral linens and topped with romantic taper and pillar candles, lush floral centerpieces designed by The Hidden Garden, and elegant gold place settings. “It was a complete fairy tale!” affirms Cassidy.
After their initial grand entrance that led to their first dance, the newlyweds surprised their attendees with a second grand entrance before the final portion of the evening. “When I think back to our big day, this is one moment that still gets me giddy,” smiles Cassidy, who changed into a showstopping party dress embellished with crystal waterfall beading for the special moment. “As Paul and I ran out, ‘We Found Love’ by Rihanna was playing while dazzling sparklers were flying high over our heads. As we looked out, I remember seeing what looked like all 250 of our guests jumping on the dance floor. The energy was insane; they were all cheering for us! It was completely picture perfect.”
As even more sparklers went off around them, the new Mr. and Mrs. exited the reception in a stunning classic car. “It truly was the most perfect night and everything went off without a hitch!” confirms Paul. His bride agrees: “I seriously wouldn’t have changed one thing!” Her advice for other pairs is to have as much fun at your own wedding as you want your loved ones to have. “Your guests feed off your energy,” she urges. “If you and your groom are out on the dance floor having the time of your life, so will your guests!”
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