Dahlya and Aaron: A 2020 Story 20 Years in the Making

Dahlya and Aaron have one of the best stories not only of 2020, but possibly of all my years working with couples. These two were college sweethearts, then lost touch for 20 years before permanently uniting their lives in… drumroll… 2020, of all years! Here is their story.

How did the two of you meet?

Dahlya: Ohhhh....over 20 years ago in undergrad at the University of Arizona. We met as freshmen in college when a group of us when up to Mt. Lemon to hang out.
Aaron: The first time: We met on Mt. Lemon in 1998 when we were freshmen. The second time: I reached out to her on social media to wish her a happy 40th birthday.
Dahlya and Aaron in 1998
Dahlya & Aaron in 1998

If you love something let it go, if it comes back to you, it’s yours forever.

Once upon a time, in 1998, upon Mt. Lemon, 2 young college kids met under the Tucson stars. To the Coronado Dorm they went where they became best friends. From Mexico and dancing on the bar to staying up till all hours of the night, their college sweetheart romance began. 2 1/2 years later they went their separate ways.

Dahlya and Aaron in college

They created wonderful lives individually. Independent of each other, they experienced life. She transformed from the enigmatic artist to a disciplined free spirit with compassion for others.

He transformed from an industrious, rowdy frat brother engineer to a selfless and skilled healthcare professional and amazing father.

Almost 2 decades later, during times of transition once again, The Universe had a plan.

Dahlya and Aaron

What started as a friendly facebook birthday message from him, turned into endless hours of phone conversations.

Aaron told Dahlya, “I always knew I would see you again.”

So when she invited him to visit, his ticket was booked within a few days. Despite her cold feet and universal help from Hurricane Dorian, a weekend vacation turned into a 5 day renewal of friendship, trust, and rekindling of love.

"We intuitively knew we had come home."

Dahlya and Aaron on the bridge

How did you know he/she was the one? 

Dahlya: When we reunited and kissed for the first time in 2020 I knew I had come home and he was my home. The man I had been searching for...

Aaron: We always had a strong friendship. I knew this was the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with when we kissed on the bridge for an hour and a half.

After rescheduling their original wedding due to the Pandemic, they decided to commission an original piece of art as a ketubah to share their very unique love story. 

They wanted their ketubah to include:

  • Tree of Life
  • Cacti
  • Mountains (green/desert), Arizona/Southwest imagery
  • Ocean
  • Healthcare -- a real human heart
  • Spirals/DNA Spiral
  • Kids Family  -- pomegranate as a symbol of fertility
  • Positivity/Radiance

After exploring and sketching, they approved their final design:

Dahlya and Aaron Ketubah Sketch by Anna Abramzon

Dahlya and Aaron gave me a lot of freedom with the color scheme, but Dahlya, who is an artist herself, made it clear that they like a lot of color in their lives. I got to work. 

Dahlya and Aaron Custom Ketubah in Progress by Anna Abramzon

 Dahlya and Aaron Custom Ketubah in Progress by Anna Abramzon

Dahlya and Aaron Custom Ketubah in Progress by Anna Abramzon


I couldn't wait to show them how their ketubah came out! I felt like I couldn't quite show all the detail I wanted in a photo, so I made them a little "reveal video":


They loved it! I did a happy dance.

What did you want your ketubah to tell about your love story?

Dahlya: Combining of 2 families, combining of 2 lives with all of our backgrounds. It has our roots in Arizona where we first dated. The life and strength from combining. It shows how colorful we are.
Dahlya and Aaron's Hand Painted Ketubah by Anna Abramzon

What is the most important value as a foundation for your marriage?

Honesty and communication. This creates our mutual respect, trust and friendship.
Dahlya and Aaron Ketubah Signing - Anna Abramzon Ketubah
Photo by Anthony Dinh, Composure Studio, Houston TX

What advice would you give to other couples just starting the wedding planning process?

Communicate with your partner about all the decisions and trust each other.
Dahlya and Aaron
Photo by Anthony Dinh, Composure Studio, Houston TX
Ketubah Signing --- Anna Abramzon Custom Ketubah
Photo by Anthony Dinh, Composure Studio, Houston TX

What was your favorite moment of the wedding day?

Aaron: I hadn't seen her all day and finally seeing Dahlya in her wedding dress made me feel in awe and surprised. On paper, there were so many challenges that would have prevented us getting married and even being together. Hurricanes, distance, even a Pandemic.
Dahlya: It is hard to choose. Even though people were masked and it was a very small and intimate ceremony (because of COVID), we felt the love. From pre-recorded videos from family that couldn't join, to the every few friends and family that attended, it was perfect and full of love. But if I had to choose, walking towards Aaron while the quartet played, knowing this is the man I get to spend the rest of my life with, seeing him tear up.
Dahlya and Aaron wedding

Photo by Anthony Dinh, Composure Studio, Houston TX

Dahlya and Aaron

Photo by Anthony Dinh, Composure Studio, Houston TX

Did anything happen at your wedding that you wouldn't want published in the New York Times? 

Dahlya: I had a full out panic attack right before it was my turn to walk with my parents. It was a panic attack different than any other- it was a joyous induced anxiety attack! I knew this was right and I think it was joyous tears, but I still needed quite a few minutes to wipe the tears, and catch my breath. My father helped by making me laugh and my mother gave me a huge hug. Then I found my composure. It was a long enough pause for people to mention it after, saying...I was wondering if you were going to go through with it!
Aaron: I was slightly concerned that at some point she would have second thoughts but knew she would not leave me hanging since she already signed the ketubah!

A matching Challah Board! 

Dahlya and Aaron also got a matching challah board, to help them build their Jewish traditions with their beautiful, new family. 

Custom Challah Board by Anna Abramzon

Custom Challah Board by Anna Abramzon

 Dahlya and Aaron with KidsPhoto by Anthony Dinh, Composure Studio, Houston TX

Dahlya and Aaron, I am so touched that my art was able to be a part of your love story.

I teared up watching your wedding on Zoom. It goes to show that some stories are just meant to be, even if they are 20 years in the making. Wishing you a life full of joy, laughter, giving, wellness, health, and inspiration! Mazel Tov!!!! 

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