They met at Espresso Metro, a coffee shop they both frequented since it was right next to their community college. “During midterms, the place was packed, and I noticed William was studying for the same class as I was. Since there were no other seats, I asked if I could sit down with him and if we could study together. After a couple hours of talking (which seemed like only a few minutes), I realized I was late for my statistics class and ran off—but not without leaving my phone number on a napkin! The rest is history,” says Haley. “It was love at first sight…or something,” she muses.

Haley and William, both anthropology students, were inseparable from then on. Many coffee dates and study hours later, the two were ready to graduate to the next level in their relationship. “I actually proposed to William first,” shares Haley. “We were at Disneyland during Valentine’s weekend. We got onto the Indiana Jones ride (I’m an archaeologist so this is an important detail), and when it became dark at the very beginning, I slipped a ring on his finger and whispered my proposal. Obviously, he said yes!” William however, not wanting to be outdone, carried out his own proposal—one that was staged in front of the train station at the park (they wanted to do it in front of the castle but it was under construction). “He was too nervous though, so he didn’t get down on one knee or even say anything!” she says.

Their 1930s-inspired wedding took place at Dodasa Ranch—a venue rich in gold mining history. Haley says that although they wanted a wedding inspired by the era, they weren’t too strict with the details, and only themed the bridal party’s attire and decorations accordingly. They went with dark blue and pink “because we felt like it.” Haley’s bouquet consisted of succulents, while blush and cream-colored flowers, and vintage lace complemented the wooden furniture. The barn atmosphere was apparent in the décor pieces that included an old wheel, distressed wooden gate, stray leather boot, idle bicycle and a beat-up Chevy—a motley mix of elements that made their wedding memorable and unique.

If the couple hadn’t “fallen” in love with each other before their wedding, they definitely did so during it. “When William and I were having our first dance, at the very end, we had a dip. We’d practiced it so many times, but were nervous and a little tipsy, so he dropped me!” says Haley. “We don’t take ourselves seriously though, so we laughed, and he got down with me and kissed me. I think it sums up our personalities pretty well.” 

—Tara Mendanha