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Two's Company: Local Couples We Love

We love “love” here at Style, which is why this Valentine’s Day, we’re showcasing four local couples who are madly in love with life and each other. Cheers to a love-filled February!

Tamara & Q Bennett


Tamara & Q Bennett; Photo by Taylor Gillespie © and wholly owned by Style Media Group


Tamara was leisurely riding her bike on the river in Sacramento when an incredible aroma lured her into the Rio City Café where Q worked as a sous chef. “The meal was so impressive that I returned to have dinner there three weeks later,” she recalls. She returned many times thereafter, always remaining cordial toward Q until once day, he came to her table and blurted out that she was going to be his wife. Stunned, she retorted, “If you believe I’m your wife, you’ll need to go to God and ask Him what it will take for you to get me.” Needless to say, Q fulfilled her request and won her over.
How and when did you know the other person was "the one?”
Tamara: Prior to meeting Q, I was a widow and coming out of a very uncertain season. His persona always provided me with comfort, safety, and the assurance that I was going to be OK.
Q: She was what I wanted and needed for growth and maturity.

What's your favorite thing about your partner?  
Tamara: Our private time of having conversations—and it really doesn’t matter what we’re discussing. I love his perspective.
Q: Her brilliance and her faith.

What's your least favorite thing about your partner?
Tamara: I think I’m spoiled, and he loves to remind me of it!
Q: I really have none. If I were to be picky it would be “her brilliance.” She thinks she knows everything!

What challenges have you faced together and how have you overcome them?
Tamara: The greatest challenge was the opening of Q1227 Restaurant three months prior to the pandemic. Q prepared an awesome business plan that we were challenged to fulfill. But when it was time to fully reopen, Q developed a culture that brought comfort and unity [amid] racial riots and divisions. This entire process brought us closer.
Q: In years past, just the everyday challenge of balancing work and home. We combined the two and now we work together.

How do you keep your relationship strong?
Tamara: Quality time together—whether it’s the end of the night, sitting in bed discussing our day, or daycations to Dana Point or Napa. It’s important for us to have [each other’s] undivided attention.
Q: Prayer and my faith!

What advice would you give to other couples?
Tamara: Pray together and God will help keep you together.
Q: Pray, pray, pray. Marriage is like a large pot of stew—the longer we stay in the pot the more tender we become. Things will be thrown in the pot throughout the relationship (kids, bills, etc.) but as long as we stay in the pot and communicate our way through, we will end up with a nice tender marriage full of flavor (love, peace, blessings, joy, etc.).

Jared & Jennifer Sattler

El Dorado Hills

It was love at first sight—or at least first grade—for Jennifer and Jared. They met at school in Placerville and started dating at 16, having graduated president and vice president of their class in 1998. “Jared was my first boyfriend and is the only man I’ve ever kissed!” confesses Jennifer. Two boys and businesses later, they’ve now been married half their lives and are still madly in love.
How and when did you know the other person was "the one?”
Jennifer: I knew Jared was a good guy, but when I saw the way he treated his mom I knew he was who I wanted to be with forever.
Jared: While preparing to go off to college, the only thing I cared about was being with her. It didn’t matter what school I went to or how many other fish were in the [sea]. All that mattered was continuing to grow our relationship.

What's your favorite thing about your partner?
Jennifer: His ability to put others first and understanding of my talent for shopping.
Jared: She knows what she’s passionate about and does what she loves.

Jared & Jennifer Sattler


What's your least favorite thing about your partner?
Jennifer: How loud he chews crunchy foods and the fact that he doesn’t think we need a monthly budget for designer clothes.
Jared: Her disdain for country music. I mean, come on, we grew up in El Dorado County, and she seemed to love it when we were dating. I feel duped!

What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
Jennifer: The loss of Jared’s mom shortly after we were married. Our faith in God [got us through].
Jared: Recently, high-waisted jeans. I know fashion isn’t my expertise but who thought those were a good idea? She’s convinced they’re fashion worthy, and I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut!

How do you keep your relationship strong?
Jennifer: We talk a lot. Well, I do. Jared does a lot of listening!
Jared: By putting energy into things I can add value to or do something about and not dwelling on the things I can’t.

What advice would you give to other couples?
Jennifer: Even the closest couples need time apart to recalibrate and recharge.
Jared: Humility is not a weakness. Practice humility and lifting your partner up.

John & Tahni Voelz


Together for 38 years and married for 34, Tahni and John met in high school at a church snow camp. “I thought he was a show-off and he thought I was ‘loud,’” says Tahni. John, for his part, also admits he found her “super cute.” Despite the attention Tahni was getting from other boys, John was sure he had a chance. “She had a boyfriend she was dating at the time I met her, but I knew his paisley golf shorts were no match for my wit and charm!” he says.
How and when did you know the other person was "the one?”
Tahni: We were high school sweethearts. I knew he was the one halfway through senior year.
John: Way earlier than her. I saw her walking with her then boyfriend and said to my friend, “I’m going to marry her.”

What's your favorite thing about your partner?
Tahni: How he truly loves people and wants the best for everyone. He’s the hardest working person I know and never gives up.
John: She’s creative in a thousand ways, and I know she will always have a good way of fixing a problem or making a change. She can design a home and organize a closet, plan a garden layout, and lay a drip system. She cooks better than your mom or grandma. And she makes me laugh!

John & Tahni Voelz; Photo by Taylor Gillespie © and wholly owned by Style Media Group


What's your least favorite thing about your partner?
Tahni: He eats meals hovering and standing at the kitchen counter.
John: I do things that bug her even though they are things she does all the time like eating chips loudly, getting “in her way,” leaving things on the counter, etc. Oh, and she asks me every night if I’ve taken the dogs potty. The answer is “yes.” Always.

What challenges have you faced together and how have you overcome them?
Tahni: Opening a restaurant (Reset: Café by Day) nine days before a worldwide pandemic. We’ve pivoted and gotten as creative as we can to keep revenue flowing, including selling our home in 2021 and moving into an Airstream full-time. We’ve also secretly faced some extreme medical challenges with a couple of our children. We’re not strangers to hospitals and wondering if your child is going to live.
John: The biggest has been health issues with children. The second biggest has been trying to save a business we started at the beginning of the pandemic after investing everything. We’ve survived on love for each other, creative revenue streams, a supportive community, and the generosity of others.

How do you keep your relationship strong?
Tahni: We both love nature and camping and make sure we recharge doing that as much as possible. Visiting all the U.S. National Parks is on our bucket list. We’ve checked off 19 so far and plan to check off eight more in 2022.
John: We get away as often as we can to camp, hike, and chase waterfalls. We call this “marriage insurance” and we save up for it like we would any other insurance.

What advice would you give to other couples?
Tahni: Make sure you take time at least weekly to communicate. Our Friday morning breakfast date is also our planning and calendar meeting time. This way we have a clear expectation of each other. We also enjoy the challenge of trying to make the other one laugh.
John: Talk all the time. Plan together. Problem-solve together. Go over your calendars together. Eat meals together. Say you’re sorry. Rest as often as you can.

Candice & Justine Cabanilla

Rancho Cordova

Candice and Justine were both in separate relationships when they met at a mutual friend’s birthday party back in 2013. Despite the circumstances, there was an instant connection they just couldn’t shake. Later, they found themselves single at yet another gathering and this time, sparks flew. “It didn’t take long for us to start spending lots of time together and develop a relationship,” says Justine.
How and when did you know the other person was "the one?”
Candice: [When we met the second time] there was an instant connection, and I knew she was special. I fell hard and said the “L” word very early in our relationship.
Justine: I knew she was the one when I was visiting my mom in Texas for Thanksgiving, and she sent us flowers and wine. My mom, unfortunately, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer the very next month (passing in February 2014) and Candice was amazing to me, my mother, and my family despite having only [been dating] for six months.

What's your favorite thing about your partner?
Candice: I love that Justine gets me and allows me to be 100% myself. She encourages my passions and supports any endeavor.
Justine: She’s always been so supportive of my ideas and projects—including starting our own bakery. She’s the perfect half—the calm to my crazy.

Candice & Justine Cabanilla


What's your least favorite thing about your partner?
Candice: She is very hard on herself and often overthinks things. I wish she could see how great and talented she is.
Justine: She’s extra stubborn about how to do things—but then again, so am I. We joke that we usually want the same outcome but each have our own plan of how to get there.

What challenges have you faced together and how have you overcome them?
Candice: Does two years in a pandemic, Zoom-schooling our son, and running a small business (Sugar Sweetery) count? We overcome our challenges by being a team and not giving up.
Justine: We’ve gone through a lot but both of us going full-time in our business six months before the pandemic started has been the most challenging. We had to completely change our business on the fly, but it all worked out.

How do you keep your relationship strong?
Candice: We try to have balance in our lives and do things that bring us joy. We travel, slow down, and eat great food, which helps us enjoy moments together.
Justine: The biggest thing is that we really enjoy being around each other.
What advice would you give to other couples?
Candice: Learn everything you can about your partner. That way you know the cues to look for in different situations. Learn their love language and support them unconditionally.
Justine: Cheer each other on, go on adventures, make lots of memories, and love each other unconditionally.

by Tara Mendanha

Photo courtesy of Jennifer and Jared Sattler. Photo courtesy of Candice and Justine Cabanilla. Other photos by Taylor Gillespie.

Photos by Taylor Gillespie © and wholly owned by Style Media Group—please don’t steal our copyrighted photos. For more information about our editorial photos, please click here to contact us