Laci and Scott Peterson's Wedding Pictures

ByABC News via via logo

M O D E S T O, Calif., May 12, 2003 -- Long before the world heard the names Laci and Scott Peterson, the young couple tied the knot in the wooded hillsides of a lush coastal California resort on Aug. 9, 1997.

Laci Rocha was just 22 years old when she decided to marry Scott Peterson, who was two years her senior.

Pictures of their small and private ceremony, obtained exclusively by ABCNEWS, reveal a perfect summer day and what seemed like a very happy couple, kissing, hugging and smiling.

Their wedding was held at the Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort near San Luis Obispo, Calif., the same town where the two had met and gone to college.

They met back in 1995, when Laci first saw Scott at a local restaurant where he worked as a waiter.

After a few conversations, Laci wrote down her phone number and gave it to a friend to pass along to Scott. He thought his friend was joking around with him and tossed the number. When Scott realized his friend wasn't joking, he retrieved the number and asked Laci out on date — a fishing trip during which she became seasick.

After their engagement and marriage, the two opened a restaurant in San Luis Obispo which became a popular hamburger joint. They sold the restaurant two years later and moved to Modesto, Calif., to start a family.

Laci's mother, Sharon Rocha, reportedly said she knew Laci was in love with Scott Peterson the day she first met the man who would become her son-in-law.

Peterson presented flowers for both Rocha and her daughter — one dozen white roses for mom and one dozen red roses for Laci.

Peterson, a fertilizer salesman, said his 27-year-old pregnant wife vanished when he went fishing Christmas Eve. He helped conduct searches for his wife and pleaded for her return until her body and the remains of their unborn son washed ashore in San Francisco Bay last month near where he said he was fishing.

In the hours after Peterson pleaded not guilty, Rocha said she would do everything in her power to see the person who took Laci's life was punished.

"Soon after Laci went missing, I made a promise to her that if she's been harmed, we will seek justice for her and Conner and make sure that that person responsible for their deaths will be punished," Rocha said at a press conference last month.

Kristen and Greg Reed, friends of the Petersons, said the couple seemed happy even five years into their marriage.

Greg Reed met Scott Peterson about a year ago through the Rotary Club. The two men became friends, and would talk a few times a week and periodically meet for drinks. Kristen Reed and Laci Peterson, who were both pregnant, developed a friendship through their husbands.

Reed said he never saw anything that would indicate the Petersons were having any kind of marital trouble, and he said Scott never mentioned his affair with Amber Frey, a single mom from Fresno, Calif.

"They were fun to be around," Greg Reed said on ABCNEWS' Good Morning America on April 23.

"They both seemed extremely excited, as we were. We were both having our first babies at the same time or quite close to the same time. We were both planning on basically raising them together since we both lived here in Modesto and in the same neighborhood," Reed said.

Mark Geragos, the defense attorney for Peterson has made a public call for witnesses to come forward who could prove Peterson is innocent of murder. Geragos says he believes at least one young woman has information that Laci Peterson was abducted and murdered.

Police said they believe Scott Peterson is the only person responsible for the deaths.

Peterson has pleaded innocent to two counts of murder and facesthe death penalty if convicted. He is being held without bail.

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