Andrew and Sara’s journey down the aisle began in Northwest Ohio and led to an unbelievable surprise in Hawaii.
Their story began before they met. It started with the decision to attend the University of Toledo for grad school. An unexpected beginning to their story unfolding. Sara and Andrew met during their time in the Doctors of Physical Therapy program. That initial meeting evolved into dating. Eventually leading Sara to invite Andrew along on her family’s vacation to Hawaii.
What seemed like an easy question was quickly met with disappointment. Andrew adamantly declined Sara’s invite several times stating “he didn’t have vacation time”. Sara finally dropped it and headed to Hawaii with her family, leaving Andrew behind. Or so she thought…
Unbeknownst to Sara, Andrew was busy planning a proposal in Hawaii with the help of Sara’s father! They worked on the specific location, day and arranging flight times…keeping it all a huge surprise for Sara. Sara was completely in the dark. She was convinced Andrew was at work while she and her family enjoyed Hawaii.
The morning of the proposal arrived. On the edge of a cliff, Andrew took a seat on a bench over looking the ocean. Sara and her family had also arrived at the same cliff. Sara continued to walk closer toward the cliff’s edge and unknowingly toward Andrew. It was wasn’t until Sara reached Andrew’s shoulder she realized her boyfriend, who she thought was in the Midwest working, was sitting right next to her! With Sara’s mom recording, Andrew dropped to one knee!
Sara and Andrew brought a slice of Hawaii to their Columbus, Ohio wedding. A hand painted “Aloha” sign greeted guests at their ceremony. Ahola – one word with deep meaning. Ahola is said to be: “an essence of being; peace, love, compassion, and a mutual understanding of respect”. This one word perfectly sums up Sara and Andrew’s wedding day.
As Sara and Andrew’s wedding day began, the weather forecast looked bleak. A forecast of 80% to 90% chance of rain all day was less than ideal for a planned outdoor ceremony in the evening at Brookshire. Just as the radar predicted, the rain began in the morning. It continued as I arrived at the hotel to photograph wedding details. The weather wasn’t as planned but the hotel rooms were filled with calmness, peace and positivity. Sara and Andrew were getting married and that was what mattered.
As we finished at the hotel, we caught the glimmer of hope we had all prayed for – the rain stopped.
With the ceremony still two and half hours away and an unpredictable radar, we took advantage of the break in rain for portrait time outside. The rain continued to hold off….Sara and Andrew made the call 10 minutes before the ceremony. The outdoor ceremony they had planned was a go!
Just in time to start, the guests were quickly escorted to the outdoor ceremony space. Kala Lu, Sara and Andrew’s sweet pup, cleared the way for Sara to see her groom for the first time. Their ceremony was an outpour of love from their family and closest friends. Andrew’s father officiated the ceremony, imparting on them wisdom for a successful marriage. The torch was passed to Andrew’s brother and sister in law as they sang a beautiful deut while Sara and Andrew lit their unity candle. Finally, it was time. Time to announce the newest Mr. and Mrs. Hartje!
During the wedding toasts, it was clear the respect and compassion Sara and Andrew possess for others and others have for them. Their friends and family gave us a closer look at Sara and Andrew’s character…as well as a few funny stories too! The rest of the night was spent capturing special dances (which I might have cried during) and a packed dance floor!
What an honor it was to have the opportunity to spend the day celebrating alongside Sara and Andrew and documenting their day with family and friends!
This day would not have been possible without the amazing vendor team –
Venue: Brookshire Event Venue
Wedding Coordinator: Molly McKechney at Brookshire Event Venue
Catering & Florals: Brookshire Event Venue
Hair & Make Up: The Blow Out Bar in Dublin, Ohio
Cake: Enticing Icings
DJ: David Kuntz
Wedding Dress: Gina’s Bridal Boutique
Ring Box: The Mrs Box