Middle school sweethearts chose to get married on Leap Day, and their wedding photos are stunning

  • Angelia Nuce and Austin Ardalan first met when they were just 12 years old, and got married on February 29, 2020, in Los Angeles, California.
  • Ardalan suggested the couple get married on Leap Day because he always felt like the date that only comes around every four years was special.
  • The couple plans to have big parties for their Leap Day anniversaries, and they hope to go on 29 honeymoons before their four-year celebration.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Angelia Nuce and Austin Ardalan met in 2003 while they were both in middle school.

"We went to the same middle school. We were kind of like young puppy love when we were 12," Nuce told Insider.

"We ended up going to different high schools, so we had what we called our 'dark years,'" she joked.

The couple reconnected when they were 16, and they've been together ever since.

Ardalan proposed to Nuce when they returned to California after going to graduate school together on the East Coast.

Nuce is a pediatric physician's assistant, while Ardalan is in medical school.

When they moved back to California, Ardalan arranged for all of the couple's family and friends to be at his home for a party.

Nuce actually thought the event was a surprise party for Ardalan, but that was a ruse to surprise her.

When the couple began planning their wedding, Ardalan suggested Leap Day for the event.

"He's always been such a numbers guy," Nuce told Insider.

Ardalan asked Nuce to be his girlfriend on Veterans Day because it makes 11-11, and he asked her to marry him on August 18. The date creates 8-1-8, which is the couple's area code.

He liked Leap Day because it only came about every four years.

"He's always felt like it should be like a national holiday," Nuce said of her husband's attitude toward Leap Day.

"So he was like, 'We're going to make it a national holiday for ourselves to get married on February 29.'"

Nuce said she was "all for" having a Leap Day wedding.

"So many people are like, 'You're not getting a gift every year?'" Nuce said of people's responses to their wedding date.

But the lack of presents doesn't bother her.

"It's getting expensive," she said of anniversary presents, as she and Ardalan have already been together for 12 years.

The couple used The Knot to help plan their event.

The Leap Day wedding was held at The Vibiana in Los Angeles.

The classic and elegant wedding had around 400 guests, as Nuce and Ardaland had made many meaningful connections over their time together. 

"We've gathered a lot of people over our 12 years. All these people from different walks of life were there, which was really nice," Nuce said.

Erica Streelman Photography documented the event.

Nuce said the ceremony was her favorite part of the wedding.

"We tried to make it our own as much as possible," she said.

"We had my sister sing me down the aisle," Nuce said. "My sister sang and my brother-in-law played the guitar."

Ardalan's college roommate married the couple, as he'd seen them evolve throughout the years. They call him their marriage third wheel.

The couple also worked to bring their cultures together in the ceremony.

Nuce is Latino and German, while Ardalan is Iranian. 

The ceremony was influenced by Persian culture to honor Ardalan's heritage, and Nuce printed information about the traditions for her family so they could understand what was going on.

The venue was also a former church, so Nuce's family would feel at ease.

"We wanted both sides to feel represented and comfortable," Nuce said.

"It really is two different cultures coming together," Nuce said of their marriage.

"We were just so excited to party with all of our friends and family," Nuce added.

Ardalan tied his love of numbers into the wedding by having "bachelor boys."

Ardalan's groomsmen were family members, so he asked his friends to be "bachelor boys" who celebrated the marriage with him leading up to the wedding.

The bachelor boys acted as hype men at the wedding as well, getting the crowd excited for the ceremony before the bridal party walked out. 

Ardalan, his groomsmen, and his bachelor boys made 29 people in total, nodding to the wedding date. 

The groom also used $2 bills to celebrate his marriage.

Ardalan had 20 bachelor parties over the course of his engagement to Nuce, and at each event, he gave everyone in attendance $2 bills to represent two becoming one in his marriage.

He then gave Nuce a $2 bill on their wedding day to seal the deal.

"He's very thoughtful," Nuce said of her husband. "Nothing is done halfway."

"It's going to make it so special when four years comes around and it's our actual anniversary," Nuce said of their Leap Day nuptials.

"We want to include everybody," Nuce said of the couple's anniversary plans.

"We want to kind of have a celebration with friends and family on the 29th and then do a little honeymoon after. We want to keep our wedding going."

"We'll say we've only been married for one year," she joked.

The couple also hopes to go on 29 honeymoons before their four-year anniversary.

They've already been to Mexico for their first honeymoon.

"He's a really sweet, romantic guy," Nuce said of her husband.

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