Sarah cannot help but talk about fate when describing her relationship with Patrick. They grew up in the same neighborhood and attended the same high school, but were none the wiser to the connection they would grow to have. It was not until years later, after Sarah mustered up the courage to send Patrick a message on Facebook, did sparks fly. At the time, they were living in different parts of the country, relying on all day texting and late night Skype dates to keep in touch. After months of visiting one another, Patrick asked her to move to North Carolina with him. While scared to leave her mom and her home, Sarah was ready to start a new chapter of their love story.
Patrick proposed while they were on their way back from a trip to Knoxville, Tenn. They stopped at Courthouse Falls in Asheville, N.C., where Patrick asked Sarah to be with him forever. She accepted the ring and then his proposal with tears in her eyes in front of crisp views of foliage and river water.
On March 17th, 2018, Sarah and Patrick tied the knot at The Barn at Valhalla in Chapel Hill, N.C. They loved he exclusivity of the woodsy venue. They were able to rent out the entire venue for the weekend, which included multiple sights and accommodations.
Sarah wanted a unique wedding, full of woodland charm with a bohemian feel. “I am the queen of eclectic decor, so throwing many things together did not phase me,” she explained. She did not want to rely on florals or tradition. She wanted it to be theirs. Each sentimental detail that represented them as a couple was important.
Walking down the aisle, Sarah carried dried lavender from a farm in Montana, encircled with her late father’s blue oxford shirt cuff. She wore a carefully chosen Oleg Cassini gown. Her bridesmaids wore mismatched dresses from Forever21 and carried copper lanterns and pussy-willow bouquets. Their vow exchange was the couple’s favorite moment. During their ceremony, they performed a hand-fasting and used an oathing stone, which kept their 50 guests captivated with each original part of their ceremony.
Each table at the reception was lined with runners handmade with vintage book pages that the bridesmaids helped assemble. The table settings were natural black meditation stone that had each name written in rose gold ink on the center of the napkin. They scattered quartz and driftwood that Patrick handpicked, as well as lanterns and framed quotes that spoke to the beauty of their relationship. Their decor was eclectic but glamorous and eloquently matched their own blend of interests.
It was important that Sarah and Patrick made space to memorialize both of their fathers, who passed before being able to attend their wedding. They set up a special table for all their lost loved ones, which was the only table with linens. Allowing themselves to honor and lift up the people who they hold dearly set the tone for peaceful nuptials, full of family and love.
The thing Sarah struggled with the most was accommodating what other people wanted. “It’s really hard when you have a wedding that you want to be small, intimate, and personal, but you have many other people who have ideas, requests, or judge your decisions,” she said. Her and Patrick decided to stick to a $30,000 budget, which did give them some structure, but still allowed them keep to their true vision. Sarah recommends that other brides keep focused on what they want. “Don’t invite people you don’t want there, don’t participate in traditions that don’t mean anything to you because you think you are ‘supposed’ to. Just do what you like and what works for you.”
Sticking to their bohemian, earthy theme helped them celebrate their love in the best way they could, showcasing pieces of both of Sarah and Patrick’s personalities. From their personalized wedding vows, unique ceremony, and a reception that honored their families, their wedding was exactly them. Sarah took a leap of faith when she messaged Patrick and again when she accepted his invitation to move to North Carolina to be with him. Their wedding was a beautiful example of giving yourself up to fate and allowing love to pour in.