Sarah and Haley planned a truly gorgeous South Carolina wedding with apothecary vibes that we fell for HARD. Here's more from the couple about how it all came to be…
Sarah proposed in front of one of our favorite places, the Renaissance Festival. They always have this giant castle-like entrance set up, with jugglers and people in costume singing and dancing. It was a complete surprise. Sarah is a total romantic, so I expected something cheesy and cliché (in the best way possible, of course). You know, like going to a fancy restaurant and having the ring delivered with dessert or something. So when she suggested that we get dressed up and go to the Renaissance Festival, I didn’t think much of it. I didn’t even question why her hands started getting sweaty as we got closer to the entrance.
When we got there, she took my purse and set it down next to us. Poor thing — she tried twice to start speaking, but I was so confused as to why she just set my bag down on the wet ground and tried to pick it back up. She set it down again, only for an equally concerned bystander to interrupt her and point out that the ground was wet. At this point, I saw the ring box in her pocket and I realized what was going on. Everything went silent as I dropped the bag and listened while she stammered through the most adorable proposal.
I thought the silence was all in my own head, until I said yes and the entire crowd erupted into applause and congratulations. Living in the Deep South, LGBTQ acceptance is always iffy. We come from the generation where, when we were coming out, gay marriage still wasn’t legal. We’ve watched the course of history turn in a way that empowered us, and gave us this opportunity to even get married. So to feel the support and joy of all those total strangers is still one of the best moments of my life.
Haley: I wore the Kali ballroom gown by Morilee, an intricate, beaded and embroidered high halter bodice with flounced organza skirt and keyhole back with traditional buttons. I had a very specific vision in mind while shopping for my dress: lots of lace and a long train. After trying on countless gowns that fit what I was looking for, I didn’t find anything that felt like the one. On my way out of the last boutique, I came across the fluffiest, biggest ball gown I had ever seen on display. I joked with my bridesmaids earlier that day that I wanted to try on a big princess dress just for giggles. When I saw myself in it, I knew I had found my dress. It was nothing like what I was looking for, but somehow, it was absolutely perfect. Shopping for the dress wasn’t as difficult as the suit simply because we needed to find a suit in a very specific color that would fit a woman’s body well. We ended up going with a department store brand suit, and had it custom tailored.
Sarah: I wore a wine red suit and vest with a white and navy patterned collared undershirt, wine red floral bow tie, and custom floral Oxford shoes.
Haley: My favorite memory was the first look. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t think of any moment during the ceremony or reception that wasn’t amazing. It was a hot, crazy, but simply phenomenal day. Everything is still a bit of a blur, but the one thing that stands out so vividly is the first time I saw my soon-to-be wife all dressed up in her suit with the biggest smile on her face. I’ve always said that Sarah is the most gorgeous woman I’ve ever met, and I didn’t think she could be any more beautiful. But on that day, I was wrong — she didn’t just take my breath away. She made me forget that I needed to breathe at all. Those few minutes we got afterwards were also the much needed calm before the storm.
An unexpected but great memory from the wedding was the father/daughter dance. My parents had decided not to attend the wedding due to religious reasons, and made that very clear from the beginning. A little over a month out from the big day, they started to express interest in coming. Thankfully, they did attend, and my father agreed (on the day-of) to walk me down the aisle with my man of honor, and to participate in a father/daughter dance with me. While they still may not agree with the matter, seeing them there and showing their support meant the world to us.