Sydney Cejka and Christine De Carlo met in New York City in 2016, when both were attending school to become physician’s assistants. The two met during their first semester and bonded over the challenges of a grueling school program. “We would stay up until 2 in the morning chugging energy drinks to wake up at 8 a.m. and take an exam, then sit through lectures all day,” Cejka said. “Our free time and money was slim, so getting through this I think showed us we could do anything together.”
Cejka grew up in Richland, Washington and De Carlo always thought of herself as a “PNW gal in a concrete jungle” so after graduation in January 2019, they left the city and headed west. While they settled in Washington, the couple took their wedding as an opportunity to show friends and family one of their favorite Pacific Northwest vacation destinations—Central Oregon. Growing up, Cejka took spring break trips with her family to Sunriver, skiing on Mount Bachelor and spending time with family friends, and as adults, the region became a favorite destination for her and De Carlo. “What’s not to love about Bend,” Cejka said. “Year-round activities, the food scene and Christine’s favorite, the breweries.”
The couple chose Central Oregon’s Long Hollow Ranch as the location for their destination wedding, using the wedding weekend as an opportunity to introduce guests to some of the couple’s favorite places. Pre-wedding activities included visits to Bend’s Silver Moon Brewing and Spider City Brewing, and a hike with the brides at Smith Rock State Park.
The ceremony and reception took place on the grounds surrounding the 100-year-old barn at the ranch in Sisters, offering a rustic and romantic backdrop for the evening. The couple said “I do” under towering pine trees before enjoying dinner from El Sancho and then hitting the dance floor. Many guests were shuttled to and from the party from Mount Bachelor Village Resort on Bend’s west end. “Being surrounded by our favorite people was the best thing. Our family and friends drove in from all over the country, and their love and commitment didn’t go unnoticed,” Cejka said. “Central Oregon is great. The hikes, breweries, restaurants and everything Bend has to offer is very much a part of who we are and what we value.” With the ceremony behind them, the couple started the process of changing both their last names to De Cejka. “We wanted to honor the idea of us coming together and beginning our new life together, so we settled on combining our two last names into one.”
Venue: Long Hollow Ranch | Photographer: Victoria Carlson | Florals: Floral Designs by Alicia | Dresses: a&bè | Hair + Makeup: Makeup by Mandy, Shantae Knorr | Rentals: Curated Events, Aspen & Pine Co. | Transportation: Northwest Navigator, Cascade Towncar | Officiant: Ally Crha | DJ: Hillary with Bend Event Sound | Catering: El Sancho | Cake + Dessert: Morrison Cakes