It was the first Giants playoff game of 2010 and Hayley stopped in at the sports bar with her girlfriend. It was crowded and they sat at a table already occupied by two young men they didn’t know. One was Dan.
“We watched the entire game, [and] she was into it—that’s a big plus for me,” Dan says. “I’m a big sports fan.” Hayley and Dan ended up talking until closing time. He liked her laughter, sense of humor, overall personality—and her long blond hair. She liked his thoughtfulness, energy, how easy he was to talk to—and his amazing smile. In a few months, they were a couple. What struck Hayley most as time went on was the way Dan kept surprising her by exceeding her expectations.
In 2014, the two scheduled a vacation to Maui, where Dan planned to surprise Hayley with a sunset proposal on the beach—but he couldn’t wait. “What I did was create a scavenger hunt, and sent her all around our home,” Dan says. “There were roses with each clue and when she reached the final clue with the final rose, I was there with the ring.”
They didn’t start the wedding planning right away; they dreamed a little. “We thought about it in a macro sense, from 10,000 miles in the sky looking down,” Dan says. “[We looked at] what we didn’t want and ruled out a couple things.” They also took Hayley’s mom’s suggestion and selected words to symbolize what they wanted their wedding to be: romantic, enchanting, comfortable and personal, and—in the end—they feel they accomplished it all.
“We wouldn’t have met if we hadn’t been out to watch the Giants game,” Hayley says, “so in order to honor that, our ceremony began at 4:05 p.m. on the dot because that’s a travel start time for the Giants. We did little subtle things like that throughout our wedding to make it feel as personal and as ‘us’ as possible.”
The day of the wedding was perfect. Hayley and Dan had their first look a couple of miles from the wedding site with the whole wedding party there, too. According to Dan, it was fabulous and gorgeous. After the photographer captured it all, everyone left for the General’s Daughter, where the ceremony would be held—all except Dan, Hayley and her parents, who got into Hayley’s car and found that the battery was dead. The initial shock faded into a welcome quiet time, as they waited for Hayley’s cousin to arrive and drive them to the venue.
The couple says that in a relationship communication is key. “Talk to each other, get on the same page, get in touch with how you feel and don’t be ashamed to tell that person how you feel,” Dan says. “We joke all the time that we over-communicate,” Hayley says, “but I really don’t know if there is such a thing.”
Hayley & Dan's Wedding Resources
Nordstrom (earrings & bracelets)
"Simple Man (Acoustic Version)" by Shinedown
- Our cake was very simple and delicious – not to mention gorgeous! It was silver cake with a fresh berry filling and a butter cream frosting – yum!
- In addition to our cake, it was so important to me (Hayley) to pay homage to my childhood by having His & Hers cookies from my very favorite bakery that I have been going to since I was a child – Icing on the Cake in Los Gatos. I absolutely love lemon, so their lemon-doodles were a must-have. Dan is a chocolate lover so the Dee-luxe cookie was perfect for him. Having his and hers cookies were such a fun way to have a “his and hers” item, but was much more cost effective than his & hers cocktails – we are really happy we went this route.
- I (Hayley) really wanted a soft, romantic and flowing floral feel with lots of white and green with subtle touches of blush. We had plenty of beautiful garden roses and hydrangeas, lots of gorgeous green garland as well. A garden-like feel was really important to me.
- Emily at ETC designs did such a wonderful job – my absolute favorite part was our floral arch – it was straight from a dream and completely surpassed my expectations. It was the most perfect arch to become Mr. & Mrs. under.
- We also had rosemary throughout our day. The reserved tags were tied to springs of rosemary, there were sprigs on each place setting, our favors were rosemary seed packets, the boutonnieres had rosemary in them and our invitations had a rosemary theme. (We) didn’t set out on their wedding planning journey with a Rosemary theme in mind, but it has become so meaningful to them as a couple... It has been used as a symbol of love and remembrance at weddings as well as other ceremonies. For newlyweds, it’s a symbol of fidelity and promise not to forget the vows they made on their wedding day.
- The first was our first look – We were both so incredibly nervous and excited with all of the build-up of the morning and being separated. When we were finally able to see each other, all of our nerves calmed and we felt at ease. It was so nice to have a moment that was all ours before taking our vows.
- The second was right after the ceremony – per the recommendation of our fabulous photographer, Robin Jolin – we looped around the building so we could get to family photos without getting stuck in a crowd of our most favorite people. Our planner, Lindsey with Ooh La La, was so thoughtful to make sure that we had champagne and hors d’oeuvres waiting for us. So while our photographer was rounding up our family for photos, we had a moment for just the two of us to take in what just happened – becoming Mr.& Mrs.! It was so nice and something we will always remember.
- The third was right after our grand entrance. After the applause and cheers, we sat at our sweetheart table, (which was draped with the most beautiful floral garland) and for a moment, we got to just watch all of our very favorite people in the world enjoying themselves. We were really aware of how special and rare a day like this is - with everyone we love so dearly together in one place laughing and celebrating. We made a point to take it in and appreciate how amazingly special this moment was and will always be for the rest of our lives.
- The most important tip we can give engaged couples is to enjoy every single minute of it! There is nothing like being engaged and being in this incredibly special time in your lives. It is a time filled with so much excitement, anticipation and love. Yes, the planning can be stressful at times, but we made every effort to be grateful that we were in this time and really made a point to soak in every moment, document everything with pictures and remain grateful throughout every step of the process. Other than our wedding day, it was just the most wonderful time of our lives!
- We also think it is so important to DO WHAT IS RIGHT FOR THE TWO OF YOU! Weddings have a tendency to bring out the woodwork with outside opinions and criticisms. But this is your one chance to do it, it is no one else’s wedding but yours. Stick to your guns and make your wedding what YOU want.
- Lastly, make it personal. We made every effort to make the little details personal. From the reserved seating tags, to our favors, to the quotes on the mirrors, the music, to having our dog Jackson be our ring bearer, to our ceremony and vows – every part of our wedding was so US. Because of that, we have no regrets about anything. It was perfectly personal and “us” and I am so glad we approached our big day this way.
- The one thing I wish we would have done is have our rehearsal dinner captured by our photographer and videographer. We had an “open mic” sort of set-up where anyone could stand and say something. Our family and friends had the most wonderful speeches, poems and toasts. The night was just bursting with love and laughter. We have them on iPhone video, but I would have loved to have this amazing night captured professionally.
- Other than that, the only thing we would do differently is make our wedding weekend last longer. There is so much build up to the day and so much work goes into it. We wanted it to go by as slow as possible to enjoy every minute of it. We know everyone says this, but we both agree it truly was the best day of our lives, just the most perfect day and we wouldn’t change a single thing.