Sara & Rick | Chapel of our Lady of Hope Orchard Lake | Detroit, Michigan
Sometimes love is wild. It’s wonderful and sweet, and sometimes just really wild. Scroll through and look through gorgeous photos of Rick and Sara’s wedding day. I won’t bore you with too many of my own words–I want you to read their love story.
Our story begins in early 2011 during my final year of undergrad at Grand Valley State University. I noticed in two of my political science classes there was this really attractive guy, always dressed in his GV track clothes, that I dubbed Cute Track Boy. In our early evening International Law class, he sat right behind me, sometimes asking to borrow notes if he missed a class for a track meet or just making small talk. When he realized I was actually fairly intelligent and getting better grades than him, he asked to study together. To let you all in on a little secret, I hate studying with people. I much prefer to study alone and am way more effective that way. But when a cute boy asks to study with you, you don’t say no. So we met up in the library a couple times that semester to study for various exams and papers and afterward I would go home and gush to my roommates about Cute Track Boy. Summer came, I graduated and moved away while he still had another year left until he graduated. That was seemingly the end of our story……or was it.
Over the next few years, his name would randomly show up on my phone with a text about the Red Wings, to which I would fire back something about my Pittsburgh Penguins. Months would go by before I would hear from him again and then we’d continue our hockey banter. Then in 2014, the texts came more frequently from him, with the conversation straying more towards real conversation, not just hockey talk. The texts turned to Skype calls and phone calls and Facebook messages. I knew at this point he was in Florida with the Navy, soon to be moving to Texas so I had no idea where he was going with those texts/phone calls/Skype calls, until he asked me out on a date. He knew I had family in Michigan and asked if I would be there for the holidays. He gave me two choices: dinner and wine or a Red Wings game. Of course, I chose the Red Wings game since it was our little hockey rivalry that kept us in touch over the last 3 years.
December 21, 2014, we had our first date at the Red Wings v. Avalanche game in Detroit and it was that very night I knew he was something special. I hadn’t seen him since I left GVSU in 2011 and was so nervous for this date that I made my Aunt answer the door when he came to pick me up. He was just as cute as ever and such a gentleman. After that date, I still wasn’t sure what he intended since he lived in Texas and I lived in Pittsburgh and I knew long distance relationships rarely work out. But one fateful New Years night I got a phone call in the early hours from him and with a bit of liquid courage and a wing-man by his side for encouragement, he asked for a shot. We both knew it would be difficult, but we also both knew it would be worth it. So I said yes.
Over the next 3 years, we would fly back and forth to visit each other every few months. He would call me every night without fail and we would talk on the phone for an hour before we both fell asleep. The distance became much easier when he moved back to Michigan and we could drive to see each other instead of fly and we began to see each other more frequently. I will say, the distance was tough and I hated having to say goodbye to him every time we’d leave each other after a visit. But his persistence and stubbornness held us together and on October 28, 2017, over six years after meeting at GVSU and almost 3 years of dating, he got down unexpectedly on one knee on the blue bridge in Grand Rapids, MI after the GV Homecoming game and pledged to love me from sunrise to sunset and all the time in between. Of course, I said yes!
I had always wanted a fall wedding so we were planning for October 2019, giving us a year to figure out our situation and lock down details. A week after we got engaged, however, Rick got the news that he would be deploying with the Navy for 9 months, leaving in May 2018. While he was upset about it, I just had to laugh and say well, looks like we’re moving the wedding up! So our 12 month planning period got shortened to a whirlwind 6 months and with the help of family and friends, we pulled it off and had the most magical day ever.
And you know, the wedding day surely was magical….as you would expect with any princess.