As sunset arrives on a chilly winter’s eve, snow unexpectedly begins to fall more and more heavily, as a joy-filled couple begins to dance together while being covered with the snowflakes. This was the setting of Sarah & Derek’s January 2020 wedding.
A New Albany, Ohio Wedding Story
We were connected to Sarah & Derek through our past clients Hilary & Drew. We first met Sarah & Derek through a video call and, at the time, Sarah was living in Lexington, SC while Derek was living in South Florida. We knew right away that they were the perfect couple for us due to their mutual love of God and their adoration and care for each other. We are so glad they trusted us to capture their wedding.
Their love story is a lovely one but here is how they met:
“Our love story only started getting interesting over the past year or so, but it all began way back in elementary school. We grew up together in Upper Arlington, Ohio, our houses less than a mile away from each other. We were always close friends, passing notes and journals back and forth throughout middle and high school. We even went to senior prom together. Despite popular opinion and less than subtle suggestions from friends and family, we never dated.”
They came to Columbus, Ohio to meet us for breakfast at a cute bagel shop Bruegger’s Bagels in Upper Arlington, and they were incredibly understanding of my (Grace’s) pregnancy sickness. They were one of the first to know that we were pregnant because we wanted to make sure they were not taken by surprise too close to their wedding day.
After much planning, the wedding day came and was an absolute dream.
We expected a windy day without any snowfall. The bridal party opted to get ready at their venue Jorgensen Farms at the Oak Grove location.
During this time Sarah and Derek exchanged gifts and notes. Sarah purchased specialty, customized cufflinks for Derek to mark their wedding date from this Etsy store. Derek purchased Sarah a super sweet keepsake box from this Etsy store and gave her an embroidered handkerchief from this Etsy store as well.
Sarah gifted her father a set of cufflinks as well as a special tie from Amazon with a patch from this Etsy store to wear on her wedding day, and she gifted her mother the sweetest personalized picture frame from this Etsy shop with the song from the story “I’ll Love You Forever”.
During Sarah’s first look with her father, he gifted her a surprise pin for her bouquet so she could carry it with her. This first look was so special and included many happy tears from her mother and father.
Fashion and Details
Sarah’s gown was from Wendy’s Bridal and by designer Essence of Australia. The low cut back and the beautiful framing on the front of her gown was absolutely stunning. Her veil was attached to her classic bun and was from another incredible Etsy shop. Her shoes were absolutely stunning and if you love them, grab them here from Macys because they’re being clearanced at the time of writing this. The beautiful hair pin was her “something borrowed” from her lovely bridesmaid Heidi and was the perfect accent for her simply stunning bun. Her wedding rings were from wholesaler CM Jewelers and her rose gold earrings were from Francesca’s. To finish off her look and to help brave the cold January day, she wore a fluffy shawl from Amazon. The other details you may have missed were her “something old” which was a handkerchief from her grandmother that was pinned to the inside of her wedding dress, and her “something blue” which were her painted nails.
Derek donned a suit from Generation Tux and a tie from Amazon. His cufflinks were gifted from Sarah as mentioned above and were from this Etsy store. His stunning dress shoes of choice were from DSW and are currently clearanced for an incredible price. His ring has an incredibly sweet story, however.
“Cool story about my ring. My dad has not been able to wear his ring for years and it was just laying in a jewelry box. I asked if I could use it as mine and he was so excited. Now the ring has been inscribed with my parents’ wedding day 1-21-78, and our wedding date, 1-4-2020.” – Derek
The bride’s side wore different styles of dresses from the two Etsy shops RenzRags and RenzBridal and in the color of DB#641 (Charcoal grey). They all wore neutral shoes from various shops. Their matching, fluffy shawls matched Sarah’s and kept them a little warmer during the outdoor portraits.
The groom’s side and the father’s of the couple all wore matching suits and shoes from Generation Tux. Their ties were also from Amazon.
One of the groomsmen, Jacob Horst, tragically passed away in a car crash before Sarah & Derek’s wedding day. Derek had been the best man at Jacob’s wedding the year before this tragedy. Jacob’s family and child were able to attend Derek & Sarah’s wedding. Derek opted to memorialize and include Jacob by incorporating a pair of Jacob’s cowboy boots in the portraits and in the ceremony line-up alongside his groomsmen.
A pink, knee-length dress from David’s Bridal was worn by the flower girl. The dress perfectly matched her pink flower basket. The ring bearer wore a navy suit. He also sported a superhero cape bearing the title “Ring Man” from this Etsy shop.
The gorgeous floral arrangements and boutonnieres were handcrafted and designed by XOXO Florals and Wine. The company hand crafted the design on their wedding arch, a wall piece, and all other floral arrangements.
Derek surprised Sarah with a hand-made lit up sign for portraits as well. Read his story here and Check it out below!
“This was my surprise to Sarah on our Wedding day. From the start of our relationship we never referred to one another as boyfriend or girlfriend, we were love interests (More details about this in the story of us from the knot). So when I proposed to Sarah I asked her to be my wife and “love interest for life” and that is what the sign reads. Top row “Love Interests” bottom row “XO for life 💗” . Not sure where the idea came from but I thought it would be cool. So I ordered the trellis from Amazon, picked up 40 Ft of 1 inch rope lighting from a home improvement store and a bag of zip ties. However, I had to work on it in secret over the holidays while we were in Ohio. Definitely more difficult than I thought and a labor of love. It turned out great and lit up behind our head table and now hangs in our garage.” – Derek
Their invitations were from a template on Etsy here, and all paper craft items found throughout their wedding decor were created by her bridesmaid Heidi. Check out her instagram here.
Derek and Sarah shared a private first look together before the ceremony inside of the beautiful glass greenhouse at Jorgensen’s Oak Grove. They were lit by warm string lights and took portraits together in front of their beautiful wedding arch blanketed in floral arrangements.
After exiting the first look, they walked into an unexpected field of snow and joyfully began to dance together as the flurries grew stronger just in time for their guests to begin arriving.
The ceremony began with lovely music by harpist Lydia Weaver Haywood, and guests kept warm with cozy blankets provided by Jorgensen Farms.
They said their vows of love to each other as the sun set behind them. The sun faded by the end of the ceremony and the room was lit by the warm glow of the string lights as they took their first kiss as husband and wife.
After exiting the ceremony, they noticed that the snow was still falling and wanted to dance some more under the warm glow of string lights on the patio. We’ve never seen a groom dip his bride as many times as we witnessed Derek dipping Sarah on their wedding day. Eventually we’ll post a compilation video of all of Derek’s dips, but until then, you’ll have to take our word for it. It was amazing.
Guests enjoyed cocktail hour and mingled in the spacious lobby while awaiting the main dining hall to open.
To say their reception was gorgeous would be an understatement. Every detail from their cake by Giant Eagle, to their table decorations, to the ambiance within Oak Grove made their day all the more warm and special on the snowy winter evening.
The speeches by her sister Andrea Hulls and his brother Torrey Bley were great, too! However one of the most memorable wedding moments from the father of the bride, Brad Hulls. He came prepared with an entire skit and video for his speech that included a Delorean, time travel, and ensuing adventures while he and a cousin of Sarah searched for his long lost speech. We were so honored to be able to capture the fun and love that both families share together.
From the start of their first dance to the send off with hand made light-up arches, the party did not stop and kept growing. We’d like to give a huge shout out to DJ Justin Markle for keeping the party exciting. It is a night we will never forget. We’re thankful for this evening, and we’re thankful to have had Nursah from Exact Moments Photography as a second photographer for the wedding day.
To relive all these moments, see Sam’s video below: