Sacramento Weddings

When Erin’s girlfriend “forced” her onto an online dating site, Erin “liked” Aaron’s picture, but cautiously ignored him when he responded. He persisted, and eventually they started talking online. After going back and forth for a while, Erin told him: “This may sound kind of stupid, but I don’t think you’ve told me your name yet.” Aaron was concerned—there was no way she would want to talk to someone named Aaron. But she did.

They talked so much that when they met in person it felt perfectly natural. When Erin took Aaron to meet her family, Erin’s nephew handled the name difficulty. “I know,” he said, “we’ll call him Mister Aaron,” which became further reduced to Mister. Sometimes Erin herself calls Aaron Mister; the nephew calls him Uncle Mister.

They bought a house together, and one of their tricks for keeping things going smoothly was to have a check-in time every few weeks, and ask each other, “What am I doing that drives you nuts?” Then they would work on changing those things or meeting halfway. “Now it’s super easy,” Erin says, “which is nice.”

Fishing and four-wheeling are some of the couple’s favorite activities, and they both love the ocean, especially the Monterey area, which is where Aaron proposed—three years and a few days after they met. “It didn’t go down exactly the way I wanted it to,” Aaron says. They would drive down to Monterey, he thought, unpack at the hotel, go to dinner and then at the beach—in the romantic glow of the sunset—he would get down on his knee and ask her to marry him.

The sun, however, went down while they were stuck in heavy traffic. Aaron knew he had to propose that night—he couldn’t wait. They had dinner, and he suggested going for a walk on the beach. It was a bit difficult making their way down the cliff in the dark to Lover’s Point, but they reached the beach and settled on the sand. When Aaron dropped the cap to the bottle he opened and turned on the flashlight to look for it, he pulled Erin up with a shout. The beach was crawling with insects.

After a difficult climb back up the cliff they sat on a bench and Erin leaned her head against his chest. “I could feel his heart and he was breathing heavy,” Erin says. They really needed to work out more. She continues: “Little did I know, the climb wasn’t the reason he was freaking out.” Finally Aaron got down on one knee in front of her, shined his flashlight on the ring so she could see it, and proposed.

“I felt like it was a dream,” Erin says. It was too late to call family and friends, but the two were up all night, giggling and talking and planning.

“She makes me a better person,” Aaron says. “He is my quiet, and I am the storm,” Erin says. “He balances me out, and he’s one of the best men from the heart that I’ve ever known.”

—Margaret Snider