27 January, 2021 LGBTQ+ WEDDING // PALMER, TX
Hey! We’re Sarah & Carlea. We’ve been together 3 and a half years and live in an apartment with our two puppies in the Dallas area. Sarah spends her time slaying hair and Carlea is a full time Speech Language Pathology student at University of Texas at Dallas. In between school days Carlea also works at Baylor Rehab as a Patient Service Specialist. When we aren’t working you will see us either buying decor for the apartment or vegging out and decompressing together.
What is the first thing you remember about the other when you first met?
Sarah: laughs Who is this girl… and why did they bring her? (we were introduced by a mutual ex) I noticed your height and your smile and that laugh! Always.
Carlea: The first thing I remember thinking was “danggg… I’ve never seen a more beautiful human. But when I introduced myself– I was not ready for the sass (again, she thought our ex was going to try to use me to make her feel jealous). When you made a comment about my short stature I wasn’t sure how to feel. However, when we walked out of your place of work- -I knew that I was going to do everything in my will to see you again.
How did the proposal go down?
Carlea was the first to propose… Little did I know she already had a date set. When I went over to her mom’s house to get her blessing I wasn’t ready for the hesitation in her response. Sarah’s moms first words were, “uh.. well, have you two talked about marriage before?” I remember my blood running cold and panic set in quickly. She quickly gave me a huge hug and said, “I ask because I think Sarah is planning a date soon!”
Once I knew her mom was okay– I got all our close friends and family involved. I recreated our first date on The Fourth of July; only this time I invited my dad and my brother. When I told her I wanted to take pictures on the flag wall in Deep Ellum she started to pose, and I got down on one knee. What she also didn’t know was that I had the rest of our family and friends back at home for a surprise engagement party as well. It went better than planned. 🙂
Now onto Sarah’s proposal… I had a whole freaking plan! I was trying to play it cool and not really bring up marriage. When something about marriage popped up casually in conversation one day I remember Carlea saying “IF we get married” lol I was taken back for a hot minute. Little did I know, she was playing it cool too. Fast forward to a month after I said yes to her! We went ahead and picked out her engagement ring – we’re already engaged and we might as well get hers. I told the person at the jewelry store that there was no absolute rush to get the ring back to us..but I called them up when I was alone and told them I definitely needed it fast as we were about to go on a trip to California. I told Carlea we’d pick up her ring after we got back home but I had that ring in my carry on backpack the ENTIRE TRIP. Never let her touch or look at the carry on. That should’ve given me away lol. We chose a place to go hiking one day at a very beautiful look-out in the mountains… I said we should take some pics there. My hand is sweating as I’m trying to get the ring out of the backpack while she’s looking away but she says okay I think we got the shot and tries to get off the rock we’re on..so I quickly say, “wait..! how about one more picture” as I get down on one knee, ring in my hand and have my turn at asking her to be my wife. It may have not been my original plan but honestly I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Was there a memory from your wedding that sticks out more than others?
Carlea: My favorite memory was watching my mom face her fears of public speaking and saying the most beautiful things about Sarah and I. My mom lived in Idaho and did not get to see Sarah often. But, my mom was the first to learn about Sarah and was even the one to encourage me to reach out to her. My mom helped kindle the relationship and made sure our guests saw just how she thought of us through her loving and beautiful perspective.
Carlea: The funniest memory was… while I was in mid dropping it real low on my wife, me looking over and seeing my dad sigh, wipe his hand over his face, and walk away!
Sarah: My favorite memory that I will forever treasure was having my mom be the one to walk me down the aisle; and stepping in for the traditional “father, daughter” dance and dancing with me as she’s the most supportive and loving parent I have. It meant the world to me.
What is one piece of advice that you would give to other couples planning their wedding?
Don’t feel pressured to do what others expect you to do because at the end of the day it’s your wedding. Do what you and your partner dream of doing. Make sure you and your partner are always communicating through this as it’s easy to get lost in the details.
If you could change one thing about your wedding what would it be?
If we would’ve known everyone would have loved the House Wine Pride cans so much we would’ve purchased less beer!
Why did you choose the wedding venue/location you did?
It was the closest thing to the outdoorsy vibe we were planning to have before our original Oregon wedding was cancelled due to Covid.
Did you run into any issues with vendors who were not gay friendly?
Unfortunately yes. We were told no by a couple of venues just north of Dallas. The venue we ended up choosing appeared gay friendly, they had showed us pictures of previous gay marriages at their venue so we booked them. At the decor meeting, the owner seemed a little standoff-ish. I didn’t think much of it. Come the day of our wedding, they are no where to be found on the property. We felt as though they didn’t care, that they just wanted us for a paycheck and content. Don’t get me wrong, we still had a great day but I couldn’t help but feel a pit in my stomach from this situation. We thought the venue was beautiful but will not be recommending them or mentioning them.
*If anyone in the Dallas area is searching I would be happy to let them know the name of this venue.
What do you think makes it hard about planning a wedding without the support of your family?
Everyone that we have contact with, family & chosen family, are all very supportive of our love. However, my father is not supportive. It was emotionally hard to plan our wedding in secret to maintain our safety & privacy. It was feeling like I had the greatest freaking news to shout to the world and I just couldn’t. Just stay surrounded by the ones that do actually love and support you because those are the ones that matter, especially surrounding your love, marriage and wedding day.
Why’d you choose Steph to document your wedding day?
Sarah: I was settttt on booking Steph from the moment I started following her so many years ago. I don’t think I was even out to my family yet but I knew one day i’d have Steph photograph my future wedding. These moments she beautifully captured will now last forever and that’s completely worth the investment!
Carlea: One of the first people Sarah ever showed me was Steph’s instagram name. She told me all about her work and how she JUST moved from California to Texas. In the same breath she mentioned that Steph would be her dream photographer for her wedding. Fast forward 3.5 years later… And we were able to book with our friend and best photographer around. <3
Also… can we just mention the incredible POST MALONE CAKE that Sarah’s mom made? Incredible.
hairstylists: @emily.alders , @anthonybarnhillhair & @cjdabarber_on sarah’s fade
makeup artist: @brushed_byirene on carlea
carlea’s dress: @davidsbridal
sarah’s dress: @asos
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