Sara never planned on looking in Ann Arbor for her gown because she lives on the west side of Michigan. None of the gowns she tried on in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo gave her the feeling of being "The One". After a friend suggested the Ann Arbor area it took an internet search to find Mimi's. From the beginning of the appointment at Mimi's, Sara knew that if she had gone with one of the previous dresses that she would have been "settling". She found herself loving the gowns by Augusta Jones which matched Sara's original vision. Her supportive friends told her to focus on her face when she looked at herself in the gowns. It came down to one gown that made her face light up more than the rest and she knew this was it. She wanted her future mother-in-law to share in the moment so Sara returned at a later date to show her and some other friends.
"[I was] somewhat worried that they might have a different opinion, but they basically melted when I came out in the gown, like a real, live, "Say Yes to the Dress" episode. It was messy and embarrassing and wonderful all at the same time."
When you meet another individual that shares your beliefs, mindset or opinions you hold onto them because this is a rare thing to find. As is love. Love is more than an emotion, more than a feeling, more than a virtue. Love transcends us as physical creatures and goes deeper on a spiritual level. Regardless of what you believe in, I think we can all agree that marriage is a sacred expression of love, commitment and unity of two kindred spirits.
Sara grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan where she graduated from Western Michigan University with a major in comparative religion and a minor in social psychology. Eight hundred miles away Will was attending Auburn University in Alabama. With three states between them, the chances of meeting were slim. However, their paths crossed in Decatur, Georgia. Sara and Will both had the desire to attend seminary and earn a Master in Divinity, which ultimately brought them together. The two of them serve as pastors at different churches in the southwest Michigan area.
Will proposed to Sara while they were attending a General Assembly in Detroit. The months before the Assembly were very busy for the couple and Will's decision to propose when he did was based on the fact that it was a week he knew they would be together. The first day at the assembly was spent setting up their booth at the convention center and later that night Will popped the question.
"Then we sat in the booth for the next week as people came by and congratulated us and gawked over the ring."
Sara's father was also a pastor and he officiated many weddings at Stetson Chapel at Kalamazoo College where he taught and was the Dean of the chapel. When Sara was young she was allowed to attend the weddings he presided over.
"I had the whole service memorized by the time I was 5 years old."
Stetson Chapel holds personal significance for Sara because of these memories and this is why she and Will chose to be married there. The reception was held at Rose Street Market because it was a space Sara was familiar with and knew it had the intimate feel she wanted.
Sara's advice to future brides: Give yourself a budget, stick to it, and go with your instinct.
"It's not any other day; it's your wedding. If you can't wear something a little "extra" on that day, when can you?"