Their First Date Was 14 Years in the Making

Adam Dalva said he fell in love with Alana Salguero the first day he met her during freshman year at Swarthmore College in 2004. He would later write his wedding vows the night after their first date.

But that date didn’t take place until more than a decade later.

“I fell very strongly in love with Alana right away,” Mr. Dalva said. He signed up for a Russian literature course at Swarthmore because Ms. Salguero mentioned she was interested in it, then joined the Tango club because she was a member.

Although Ms. Salguero, 35, considered Mr. Dalva, 35, a close friend that first semester, there were no romantic feelings on her end. “I immediately found a kindred spirit in him and I truly loved him as a friend,” she said.

That winter, she turned Mr. Dalva down when he declared his love for her. The pair didn’t speak again until their junior year, when they both coincidentally signed up to study abroad in Italy.

There, a tentative friendship was rekindled. It only grew deeper and steadier when each moved to New York City after graduating in 2008.

The pair often met up as friends over the next 10 years. Though both dated others during this time, Mr. Dalva was unable to shake his unrequited feelings for Ms. Salguero.

His steadfastness ultimately changed things around for her. Reeling from a breakup, the death of a beloved pet and the stress of moving into a new apartment, Mr. Dalva’s genuine concern and care for her, Ms. Salguero said, led to “an emotional shift.” In April 2018, she agreed to a romantic date.

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A New York City native, Mr. Dalva has a degree in English literature and went on to receive an M.F.A. in 2013 from N.Y.U. He is currently the books editor for the magazine “Words Without Borders,” as well as a creative writing professor at Rutgers University and a freelance writer.

Originally from Yorba Linda, Calif., Ms. Salguero graduated with a degree in art history and is now a women’s fashion designer and the associate director of copy at Eileen Fisher in New York. The couple also share an art studio at the Invisible Dog Art Center in Brooklyn, where Ms. Salguero creates visual art and Mr. Dalva writes.

Ms. Salguero realized she was in love with Mr. Dalva while they were on a trip to Scotland in September 2018.

“The second I told him I loved him, I knew we’d be getting married,” she said.

The next month, the two moved in together, and by the following year, they were engaged. Mr. Dalva proposed to Ms. Salguero on May 20, 2019 at their shared home in Brooklyn.

The couple were married Oct. 31 in an outdoor ceremony at the Franciscan Gardens in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., in front of 85 guests. Victoria Gottlieb, a friend of Mr. Dalva from graduate school, officiated after becoming ordained by the American Marriage Ministries for the event. Afterward, attendees enjoyed a Venetian masquerade-themed cocktail party.

The ceremony and cocktail party were part of a three-day wedding celebration. The day before, there was a dinner followed by a bonfire at Corona del Mar State Beach. And the day after, an English tea party was held at the Tea House On Los Rios. Those in attendance were vaccinated and staff wore masks.

After a three-day honeymoon in Palm Springs, Calif., the couple returned to New York.

“I feel like moving forward it’ll be more of what we’ve done before,” Ms. Salguero said. “We play around, we have fun, and that’s what we’re going to be doing in the future.”