Childhood sweethearts Hannah and Darren met in second grade when Darren transferred to her school. They attended every class together through eighth grade. Years later, Darren proposed in June of 2018 on the top of the Sandia Mountains in New Mexico. Six months later, they married in a meadow in Twain Harte.

The ceremony was simple and straight to the point. “We just wanted everything to be natural and subtle so that we could focus on our marriage celebration and the people who came to support us,” says Hannah, who chose slate blue as her color theme since it’s calming and traditional.

Before the wedding, Hannah had butterflies in her stomach but felt so much better when she saw her groom at the reveal. “I was so happy and relieved when we finally got to see each other,” she says. Darren says seeing Hannah was a “feeling unlike anything else. I quite literally was at a loss for words and couldn’t look at her enough.”

They held their reception in a barn that has special significance to the couple—growing up, they both often passed the barn as it was being built. “It would be Darren’s dream house and our dream to have a cabin like that when we grow old,” says Hannah. “It just fit us, we grew up by it, and it was gorgeous just like our relationship.”

The 240 guests dined on a pasta bar, tri-tip, chicken and s’mores. Their rustically decorated cake featured three tiers with buttermilk frosting. It was completed with flowers and a personalized wood burned topper.

For their first dance, Hannah and Darren danced to a combination of Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” and Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” That second song was a nod to the bride’s grandparents who often played that song in their home and at their 50th wedding anniversary. Everyone was dancing that night, especially the groom. “I am typically not a dancing fella but it sure was a good time to get out there with all of our friends and family,” says Darren.

Despite being swept up with planning before the wedding, Hannah wasn’t overwhelmed on the big day. “I was surprised about how much I did not care about the details,” she says, noting that during planning she was focused on every detail, including planning every song. “On the wedding day I did not hear a single song that played; I was too busy enjoying my wedding.”

The couple wishes the day could have lasted longer. “You have to continually stop and take mental pictures of what is happening because it only happens once in your life,” says Darren. 

— Kristen Castillo