Fairy tales do exist—at least in Disneyland, and especially for Ashley and Cameron. “We were there for my daughter’s cheer competition with Cameron’s whole family and my best friend,” narrates Ashley. “We went on the ‘Tower of Terror’ and when we got to the bottom, he told me I had to go look at my daughter’s face [in the photograph]. I looked at the picture and Cameron’s dad, brother-in-law, niece and sister were holding up signs that said: ‘Ashley, will you marry me?’ I turned around and he was on one knee; I cried like a baby!”

A year and a half later, Cameron and Ashley were married on his parents’ sprawling Auburn property by a private lake, in front of family and friends who had gathered to witness a wedding that was a long time coming. “We met through mutual friends, but she refused to date me for over a year; then my persistence paid off and we dated for almost six years before getting married,” says Cameron. “We went out on a date [initially] but sparks did not fly on my end,” laughs Ashley. But things changed. “I knew he was the one the day we finally decided to take our relationship to the next level and he kissed me for the first time. It was like a movie—sparks flew!” she reminisces. Ashley was won over by Cameron’s unconditional love for not only her, but her daughter, too.

Vintage and a little rustic, their wedding had undertones of blush, nude, gold and silver, alluding to a romantic vibe. “I was my own wedding planner!” says Ashley proudly. From finding the caterer and photographer, to picking out the flowers and chandeliers in the tent, she did it all, with a little help from family and friends along with wedding stylist, Ramona Arnold from Simple Country Weddings and Vintage Decor Rentals. Special touches included custom-made benches as a “thank you” to both sets of parents, and lace on Ashley’s bouquet from the wedding gown of her maid of honor’s mother, who had passed away from breast cancer.

Before their “I dos,” Cameron and Bella (Ashley’s daughter) were united in a special ceremony that left the whole crowd teary-eyed. After the nuptials, the celebrations spilled out onto the shores of the lake and the outdoor gazebo. “It was my perfect ‘dream wedding’ come true; a few bumps here and there, but they worked themselves out—just like our relationship,” says Ashley contentedly.

“I knew she was the one when I first met her. Our officiant, who is also a longtime friend of ours, even told [Ashley] during his speech at our wedding that the night I met her, I told him, ‘Mark, that’s the girl I’m going to marry,’” says Cameron. The two are now basking in wedded bliss. “It’s weird but he actually tries harder now. He wants to cuddle more and he holds my hand when we are just sitting on the couch,” says Ashley, further proving that “happily ever after” exists.

—Tara Mendanha