Shawn and Sarah were both working as linguists for the military and bonded through the rigors of learning Persian Farsi at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey, California. After a year of intensive language courses, Shawn and Sarah were assigned to stations across the country, and eventually the world. Sarah, a member of the navy, was stationed at Fort Gordon, Georgia, and Shawn went to San Diego, California, to prepare for a deployment to Afghanistan. They continued their relationship long distance.
Sarah was in Baltimore, Maryland for a business trip when she got a huge surprise. “While I was walking back to my hotel room after having lunch, I saw Shawn standing by the door of my room,” Sarah says. “I stared for a few moments before realizing it was him. I had absolutely no idea he was coming!”
Sarah was so excited to see Shawn that it didn’t cross her mind that he came with a plan.
That weekend they strolled around Washington, D.C., looking at the historical monuments. When they arrived at the Lincoln Memorial, the sun was beginning to go down. Shawn found it to be the perfect opportunity.
“He pulled out the ring and asked me to marry him,” Sarah says. “I was so speechless that I just stuck out my hand for him to put the ring on, until he said, ‘Aren’t you going to answer the question?’ To which I replied, ‘Of course!’ We went on the rest of the evening elated and dreaming of our future wedding.”
And plan they did. To make sure everything was in place well before the wedding, they started early—about a year and a half before the wedding date. It paid off.
“Several guests told me that it didn’t feel like a wedding because no one was running around like a headless chicken,” Sarah says. “It was very stress free.”
The wedding was held at Ski Esta Lodge in Newry, which was perfect for accommodating the immediate family members. The cake, which was made in Kennebunk at Let Them Eat Cake, was too far away to be delivered, but after tasting the chocolate, raspberry Chambord torte, they picked it up themselves on the day of the wedding.
“I hear a lot of brides say they regret not having been able to taste their wedding cake because they were so busy with everything else, and I made sure that didn’t happen to me. I’m so glad I did,” Sarah says. “Not only did it taste great, it looked absolutely beautiful. Every detail I wanted on the cake was done to perfection. Shawn and I want to order the same flavor for a future anniversary,” says Sarah, still planning well in advance.
But the careful planning was necessary—from the caterer who drove an hour and a half to tend the ceremony and reception to the multitalented entertainer who sang, played guitar and piano, disk jockeyed, and announced. When it came to the wedding day, everyone could simply enjoy.
“We just tried to make it comfortable and fun for all of our guests. That was our main goal.”
In Her Words
We asked Sarah more about her big day. Here’s what she had to say…
…weddings weren’t so expensive!
I didn’t realize
…how beautiful the Maine countryside really is. It was breathtaking, and we hope to stay at Ski Estia again for a future family gathering.
One of my favorite moments was
…getting to see my husband look so handsome in his tux.
I’m glad that
…everything went smoothly and everyone, including family, friends, and the vendors, were willing to help out to make it a wonderful day for us.
I really liked
…seeing our two families coming together and having a great time.
My advice to other brides is
…start planning as far in advance as you can!
Photography by Carol Savage Photography
Ceremony & Reception venue: Ski Esta Vacation Lodge, Newry
Catering: Sarah’s Café, Wiscasset
Groom’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse
Wedding ring: Jared
Florist: Pooh Corner Farm, Bethel
Cake: Let Them Eat Cake, Kennebunk
Entertainment: Joe Farren