We’re of the opinion that every proposal story is a beautiful one. Simple, elaborate, spontaneous…every single one brings on the “I do” feels. But, friends, Sarah and Chad’s is going to give you straight-up butterflies.
As you dive into their engagement tale, know that Sarah and Chad’s celebration reflects every bit of that moment’s beautiful, thoughtful, and romantic vibe. Held at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens, gazing at the pictures of their estate wedding will transport you to a time and place in which beauty, love, and joy reign. Or at least it did for us, because, goodness…what an altogether gorgeous day!
How did Chad propose?
“The proposal was BEYOND what I could have ever imagined! It was in March while I was on a spring break trip in Florida, visiting some friends where I had previously attended college. Towards the end of my trip, my friends and I decided to get dressed up and go somewhere fun for dinner since we wouldn’t be seeing each other for a while. My one friend and I went to go get the car for everyone. As we were walking towards the car, my friend turned around and said that she forgot something. I didn’t think anything of it, so we started walking back. As we were walking, she pulled out an envelope from her purse. I was so confused! I had no idea why she would be handing me a letter…before I could even process anything and open the envelope, there was a limo right next to me, and a man asking if I was Sarah. I was so confused how this random man knew my name. My friend told me to get in and everything will be fine. I had so many different emotions running through my head at this time!!
As soon as I sat down in the limo, I opened the envelope and read the letter. The letter said, “Sarah, right now you are probably wondering why you are in the back of a limo and where you are going. I promise tonight will be a night that you’ll never forget. Your ride will be around 45 minutes, and I can’t wait for you to be here! You mean the world to me, and I love you so much! I’m so incredibly excited for an amazing night with the girl of my dreams! –Chad.” So, at this point I knew something was going on since Chad was somehow in Florida, too (he kept telling me how busy he was with work that week – now I know that was not quite the case!) I had no clue how to even contain all of my different emotions!
After the limo ride that seemed like forever, I arrived in Boca Raton at a gorgeous oceanfront resort. I got out of the limo and had no idea where to go! Thankfully, a woman at the hotel approached me and asked if I was Sarah. She told me to not worry and follow her (she could probably tell how nervous and confused I was!). She led me to the steps that led to the beach. From a distance, I could see Chad standing there as the sun was beginning to set. It was the most unreal feeling! I walked down and instantly began crying and was so happy to see him! Chad proceeded to get down on one knee and asked me to marry him! I obviously said YES!! He had a blanket laying in the sand with rose petals scattered around and champagne. We sat on the beach and watched the sunset in awe that we were now engaged! As if this night could not have been better, there was still more! Chad led me to a balcony at the resort that overlooked the ocean. There were pictures of us together, candles lit, our favorite songs playing, and an amazing private dinner! Our proposal story is one that I will never forget!”
How did you choose your gown?
“I searched for hours in magazines and on Pinterest trying to decide what my dream dress would look like! I didn’t truly know until I went to different bridal shops and tried on the different styles. I knew pretty quickly that I wanted an elegant dress that portrayed a romantic feeling with a sweetheart neckline, natural waist, some sort of incorporated lace, and small embellishment. After looking at a few different shops, I ended up going back to the first place I visited! I couldn’t stop thinking about the Lea-Ann Belter gowns I tried on there. The owner of the bridal shop was so helpful in helping me grasp my vision. I determined that I wanted lace on the bodice of the gown with a natural waistline. I loved Lea-Ann Belter’s organza on many of her gowns and the crystal belt on the Eloise gown. When I was explaining what I loved about each dress, she told me that Lea-Ann Belter accepts custom orders. She drew out a sketch of what I was envisioning, and I instantly fell in LOVE! I knew it was perfect, from the elegance, to the beautiful crystal belt, intricate lace, back buttons, and flowing organza skirt! It was everything I wanted in my wedding dress!”
Tell us a little about your day!
“We got married on June 25 at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens in Akron, Ohio. Stan Hywet is a historic estate built in 1915. The historic mansion is surrounded by several beautiful gardens. My favorite spots there are the English Gardens and Birch Tree Alley. We had both our ceremony and reception here, which was so nice being able to stay at one place for everything! I wanted the wedding to have an elegant and romantic feel to it. The ceremony was outdoors behind the house. Thankfully, we had perfect weather! There was a fountain in the center of the location, so there was not a true aisle. I walked out of the house and descended down steps to the pathway that led across the fountain.
Chad and I decided against doing a first look because I had always envisioned the traditional way, seeing him for the first time as I walk down the aisle. The moment I first saw Chad standing there looking at me will forever be engraved in my memory. The reception was in a large tent with open sides and views of the house. We had a photo booth with props, which was so fun and kept guests entertained along with the dancing! Everything about the day was perfect and felt like our own fairy tale!”
What’s your funniest wedding day memory?
“We were a little crunched on time for the pictures of just Chad and I. Thankfully our photographers were so fun and made everything stress-free! We were literally running around, sweating, and jumping in bushes to get the perfect photos. Looking back, we laugh about how crazy fast it all went, but all of those little moments just added to memories that made our day extra special!”
Five words that best describe Chad:
Chad is so intelligent, hardworking, selfless, loving, and genuine!
Any advice for future brides/grooms?
“Enjoy the planning process! At times, it seems overwhelming, but just take it one step at a time. It all comes together in the end! It was helpful to focus on one task at a time, get it done, and then be able to check it off my list! Before our wedding, someone also told us the advice to take a moment during the reception to just step back away from everyone and soak everything in together. During our reception we took that advice and just stepped away from everyone for just five minutes and had a moment to ourselves – I’m so happy we did that! We stood right outside of the tent and observed all of our family and friends having so much fun! We were amazed that this amazing celebration was for the two of us and we were finally married!”
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
“We went to Maui, Hawaii – it was the most amazing trip!! There were so many fun things to do there and it was absolutely beautiful! A few of my favorite activities included a snorkeling excursion with a boat that took us out to two awesome spots with lunch and drinks included, watching the sunset on the top of Haleakala volcano (the views were unreal!), and just relaxing at the resort with my husband!”
Sarah + Chad’s Estate Wedding Vendors
wedding dress: custom Lea-Ann Belter via Brides by the Falls | photographer: Seth and Beth Photography | florals: The Greenhouse | venue: Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens | videographers: Z MEDIA | cake: West Side Bakery | caterer: A Taste of Excellence | invitations: Paper Allure | hair + makeup: Georgie Salon & Spa