After sharing awkward glances at the gym for several months, Andrew approached Ciara and asked for a date. It took some time for it to actually happen, but patience is a virtue, and a few months later they had their first date. As their relationship grew, they experienced many firsts. “We’ve hiked volcanoes, snow camped in storms, driven the French countryside, climbed Half Dome and zip lined through the jungle in Costa Rica. Through our adventures, a friendship grew into a deep, soul-satisfying love, and our hearts were filled with the contentment of finding each other,” explains Ciara. “He brings me outside of my comfort zone, and I remind him that the heart is the best part of ourselves.”

In true form, their proposal story begins with one another adventuring, exploring and experiencing life together. They drove to Donner to showshoe, and after exploring for several hours, Ciara needed a snack. Andrew went to get one for her, but instead grabbed the ring he’d been waiting to give her for months. He was on one knee when he went to hand her what she thought was a Clif Bar. “There was a brief moment where I’m almost certain she was not happy because there was not a Clif bar in my hand, but when she realized what I had asked her, tears welled up in her eyes, and she immediately said ‘yes!’” remembers Andrew.

The couple knew they wanted to get married at Ciara’s parents’ property in Newcastle, so they began sprucing it up almost immediately. Andrew built the entire ceremony site. It was an undeveloped portion of the property that he converted into an open, smooth, grassy site complete with rock walls, stairs and pathways. Turns out that after this area of land was cleared out, Ciara’s parents realized it had a beautiful view, and they now have an incredible and sentimental space to enjoy dinners, drinks and sunsets for years to come.

When the big day finally arrived, it was the first look that Ciara says was most memorable. “Being able to see him and have a few moments together before the ceremony helped calm my nerves, and I was able to enjoy the day more.” For Andrew, it was the vows that struck him as most memorable. “We wrote our vows separately, completely isolated from each other. After she read hers, I realized that our theme was almost exactly the same. Our promises and our silly jokes were spot-on connected. It was a magical moment.”  

—Kelley Saia