Sarah met Connor during her freshman year at Butte College. “I had been recruited to play volleyball there, and Connor had transferred to Chico State from the University of Reno,” says Sarah, “but not all of his courses transferred so he got ‘stuck’ in accounting with me.” The pair was placed together in a group project, and Conner was able to get her number. As Sarah says, “the rest is history.”

In 2016, the couple took an annual pilgrimage to Disneyland. Sarah is a huge Disney fan, and one of the couple’s first trips together was to the theme park. “He’s not a die-hard like me,” she notes about Connor, “so normally I have to bug him to wake up early with me to do the early entry, but he was up and about very early this particular trip.” She explains that they first usually get a FastPass to Indiana Jones, their favorite ride, but on this occasion he insisted on taking pictures by the castle before it got too busy. “As soon as we got in front of the castle, he got down on one knee,” she remembers. “It was all a blur after that, neither of us remember what we said to one another, but I obviously said ‘yes.’ The most amazing part was that a photographer captured all of it. The photographer proceeded to take us around the park to do an impromptu photo shoot and it was a blast.”

Sarah, a bridal hairstylist, had the White Ranch in Chico on her radar as a potential wedding location. “I had done weddings there in the past, and I just fell in love with the venue.” With a two-year engagement, the couple had plenty of time to prepare. “You plan all of it out, but once you’re actually there, it becomes so much more real and exciting,” Sarah says.

Flowers are the bride’s favorite part of the wedding, so she especially enjoyed picking her flowers and centerpieces. “I loved all of our arrangements—from the big pieces on the wine barrels, to my bouquet, the eucalyptus garland and the floral arrangement on the arbor where our ceremony took place,” she says.

The couple exchanged vows in front of a weeping willow and freshwater pond. “It’s still one of my favorite places, as it is just so beautiful,” shares Sarah. “The aisle was lined with shepherd’s hooks and floral arrangements as well as two huge floral pieces on wine barrels on either side; it was just so pretty and there were flowers everywhere just like I wanted.”

One of Sarah’s most memorable moments of the evening was her father-daughter dance. “We both cried and had a very real and candid conversation while we danced,” she remembers. For a bit of humor, the bride “iced” her groom with a Smirnoff Ice strapped to her leg when he went in for her garter. “He got that instead and had to throw it back before we could proceed,” she laughs. “It has been an ongoing joke with all of his friends to ice each other, so I thought it was only fitting.”

As they exited the reception, the newlyweds were given a send off in a cloud of bubbles by their guests and drove away in Sarah’s dad’s green 55 Chevy Baja race truck. “This was Connor’s dream come true.”

—Darren Elms