Tony works at a corporate client of ours (End Domestic Abuse WI) and he reached out to us to plan his wedding coming up. They had a change of plans when their guest count surpassed their ceremony venue (where they were originally going to have their reception). We were so happy to be picked to help plan their lovely day. After learning about the story of love between these two, we are overjoyed to make this day the most memorable ever!
Nicholas Sparks once said "Love is like the wind, you can't see it, but you can feel it". I think you'll agree after you read the words of Sarah and Tony below.
HOW THEY MET
(TONY) We met at Holy Wisdom Monastery, where we both go to church. Holy Wisdom is an ecunemical Christian monastery that hosts a Sunday Assembly gathering for community members. The gathering is based on a passion for the Benedictine values of simplicity, care for earth, social justice and hospitality (welcoming everyone like we would welcome Christ). We both went almost ever Sunday which showed that we had so much in common at heart. Sarah claims that she had been trying to get my attention for awhile...
(SARAH) --by casually walking over to shake his hand during "pass the peace" time. He had a bright blue coat and a handsome swish of dark hair, so he's hard to miss!
(TONY) I had my eye on her too. The second Sunday of Advent, after the service, I was sitting at the table in the dining room talking with some people. The person sitting next to me left, and, just then, Sarah walked in looking for a place to sit. We made eye contact and I motioned to the empty seat. We talked for a bit (I remember mostly nervously talking gibberish). After awhile, she said she had to leave but she waited just long enough for me to get my act together and ask her out.
(SARAH) I had been very focused in giving God my whole heart, asking God to make it clear whether I should join a celibate Christian community as a sister or whether I would serve god best in marriage. I told God I would move whatever way God moved (like when dancing Tango!) When Tony asked me to coffee, I felt my heart open up. It was the most joyous "yes" to a first date I've ever given. I really feel like God gave my heart to Tony as a gift. That open, save, assured sense has continued throughout our time together. I really feel like God gave my heart to Tony as a gift. Even though wedding planning has been a headache, I have never once questioned that Tony's and my relationship is worth sticking with and investing in! He asked me to coffee but we ended up going to Wintersong, the indie holiday concert at the Barrymore as our first date. When he found out I had been a backpack guide he mentioned he and some friends were going to Banff, Alberta, Canada in June and jokingly invited me. It's funny that I actually ended up going! Also, I knew he was a keeper when he lept over the back of our seats to get me a kleenex because I was having a sneezy snotty allergy attack during the concert. haha it took him way too long for the errand and later he filled me in that he had given his original Kleenex to a different woman crying in the lobby and had to go back to get me some more.
HOW THEY GOT ENGAGED
(TONY) This summer, we visited Sarah's hometown in rural Iowa for a wedding. I wasn't sure exactly when I was going to ask her that weekend. After the wedding, we had some quiet moments alone at my home. We started talking about our relationships, and I just figured then was as good a time as any.
(SARAH) My dad passed away a little over a year ago, so being together in a quiet place offered the space to celebrate and cry. I wondered if he would ask while we were at home. On the 6 hour drive from Madison to Titonka, we played the alphabet game where you take turn making a list and repeating it back. "I'm going on a trip and I'm taking an apple, a bike, a cow, a dart board....etc." I said "RING" when R came up trying to hint but he kept his cool. It was perfect that he asked me at home because we then walked over to my grandma's house to tell her. When I showed her the ring, she literally fell out of her chair but popped right back up without Tony's help! She's a spry 86!!!
WHAT THEY LOOK MOST FORWARD TO ON THEIR WEDDING DAY
(SARAH) We are looking forward to being married at the Monastery, a place that we both love, and we can't wait to celebrate our love with all of the special people in our lives who have shared their love with us. Like I said, my dad passed away a year and a half ago, and it really got me thinking about what matters and what we leave behind when our bodies die. Tony and I feel so passionate that Love is the thing that is eternal. I know how to love him and love other because my parents and my community loved me and someone loved them. Those tendrils of love supercede time and are what I believe Jesus talks about when he discusses eternal life. A huge part of Tony and I just wanted a tiny wedding in order to be conscious of the resources we're consuming and keep it simple. We are choosing to have a bigger wedding because we believe it's so important to celebrate the people, known and unknown, living and passed who have contributed to the legacy of love that Tony and I share with each other and will share with the world as a couple.
WHAT THEY MOST LOOK FORWARD TO ABOUT BEING MARRIED
(SARAH) Being "home" for each other. Tony and I admire and respect each other. I feel empowered to be my best self when we're together. Tony and I both love making people feel welcome. We look forward to welcoming people into the home we create together.
The Pre-Wedding low down:
Venues: Holy Wisdom Monastery, Monona Terrace
Photographer: Chrystal & Lukas Photography