Sarah + Elliot from The Pioneer Issue

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“The theme of our wedding was joy,” says bride Sarah. Without even knowing their story, it was easy to see from the photographs that Sarah and Elliot were a special couple. Every bride and groom smiles on their wedding day, but these smiles look like fireworks derived from overflowing hearts. And once we learned more about their story, those contagious smiles made their way to our faces.

Their meeting was not one setup by friends, as they did not even have mutual friends. They met at a concert, and despite Sarah’s lack of interest Elliot parlayed the conversation into meeting up for a cup of coffee later. She describes the way he pursued her as chivalrous like you would find in a film, but we think the proposal - only five months after they met - most like an iconic moment you would find in a sweet romantic film.

“Elliot is an extravagant man. He is full of passion and romance. On a Monday evening he called me, asking to meet him at our little coffee shop, a token favorite, the place of our first date. As I walked down the block approaching the building, I heard a crowd of people singing. The closer I got, I began to make out familiar faces of friends and family from all seasons of my life standing outside. They were singing the chorus of Bloom by The Paper Kites which is our song!”

“I looked through the sea of people, smiling from ear to ear, and saw him - guitar in hand, suspenders and the most darling bow tie, hair slicked back, and those eyes that melt me! There he was standing on the porch. Everyone made an aisle for me to walk down. They all had brought bouquets of white flowers. As I walked towards him, they placed the flowers on the ground. He then proclaimed his sweet love to me, got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife!”

Of course, she said yes. And of course, because she loves him. And we especially love how she describes why she loves him.

“I love Elliot not because of what he looks like, the things he can do, or has done or even because of how he feels about me. I love Elliot because I prayed for him. I love Elliot because of the identity he carries and the man of character, integrity and faith he stands with, in full confidence. He is my hero. When I ‘grow up’ he is who I want to be!”

Knowing her BHLDN by Anthropologie gown was ‘the one,’ came as a surprise to Sarah not thinking it would be like the television shows. But the beautiful lace details on the back and timeless elegance was exactly what she had dreamed. Nothing else could compare.

The details of their ceremony were full of whimsical and meaningful elements. “It was rustic, but intentional with fun personal elements. Everyone was given a ‘Yay’ flag as they arrived which were used whenever there was a celebratory moments. Our ceremony had heaps of laughter.”

Continuing their focus for fun yet intentional, they decided to not use traditional vows or write their own vows. Instead, they shared from the heart on the spot - no pre-written or pre-conceived vows! Following the vows, they gave thanks to their parents individually and shared their new family mission statement, asking family and friends in attendance to hold them accountable.

Perhaps the most romantic part of their wedding was the kiss - it was their first! “The most precious moment of my entire life was when I kissed Elliot for the first time. There was so much joy. To share that moment of absolute purity and honor with everyone was quite an indescribable experience. Elliot then carried me down the aisle in his arms and out to a meadow where we couldn't help but let tears flow and flow as we were so overwhelmed with joy.”

Focus on their faith was also important to them.  “What I loved most dearly about our wedding was that it was all about Jesus. We are such imperfect people who have made so many mistakes in our lives, walked through so much pain, and are everything but deserving. Yet, the plan of Jesus is that of grace and redemption. It is because of His love that we walk blameless and unashamed, full of peace and love. Nothing would have been possible without our invitation of His presence in our lives.”

With all the beautiful details and sweet moments, what matters most is the life and actions after ‘I do.’ Sarah and Elliot planned for marriage by seeking counsel from those they love and respect. Also, recognizing that marriage will require work to grow, but oh the rewards!

“We have been on quite the journey. Before we were introduced, our lives had been full of challenge and opportunities for growth. I think the greatest asset to our marriage is we don't shy away from facing the hardships that transformation and growth demand. You can't produce any fruit if you aren't willing to get your hands dirty by planting a seed. Most importantly though, Elliot and I are so blessed to have a village of wise friends and family who's council we openly welcome and seek. If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Story from The Pioneer Issue now on news stands!

Author, Katie O. Selvidge :: Photography by Maria Lamb Photography :: Florist, Forest & Field :: Venue, Champoeg State Park :: Wedding Gown from BHLDN :: DJ, Emily Otteson Music

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