Okay, get your tissues ready; this sweet story is going to pull at your heartstrings!
This lovely couple may look like the average pair of newlyweds, but they have gone through more than most couples do before saying their I do’s. They married each other THREE TIMES in two years! Now if that isn’t a sign of commitment, I don’t know what is. The couple met in Georgia when their paths crossed at Georgia Southern University. Sarah is a Georgia girl and Michael is from Derbyshire, so it was only fate that the two met.
“There was a big party being thrown on campus. I couldn’t go, but I encouraged my roommate to go along and enjoy the night enough for the two of us. We were Snapchatting throughout the night, so I could almost feel like I was there too,” says Sarah.
“I somehow caught a glimpse of Sarah on her roommate’s Snapchat, and just had to know who she was! I was instantly attracted to her, and insisted that we were introduced,” added Michael.
It was soon after, with little convincing, that the couple met in real life and everything seemed to be going wonderfully.
But it wasn’t long into their relationship that their world was turned upside down. Sarah was diagnosed with Pseudotumor Cerebri.
“I essentially experienced symptoms of a large brain tumour and went blind for 3 months; I was really very ill. We were less than a year into our relationship, and my health issues were so intense. Michael could have easily walked away from it all, but he didn’t; he stayed right by my side and supported me every step of the way. It was then I realised this was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. He supported me at my most vulnerable, so I was certain we could take on anything together,” explained Sarah.
After going through such a trying time together, things began to turn to the bright side. Two years after her diagnosis, Sarah was finally out of the worst.
“Things started settling down with my condition; I was over the worst of it, and Michael and I were back to building our lives up together again. Michael had decided to organise a day out for the two of us and a few friends. Ice skating! We’ve been a few times before, and I’ve never really been a big fan. He had put so much into planning this lovely day out for us that I tried to make the most of it.
“I tried really hard to enjoy the day but was having a really hard time on the ice, so I became progressively annoyed at myself and with Michael. Finally, we ended up leaving the ice and headed to lunch as I was starting to get hangry! I was walking ahead, Michael following me and my friends following him. Suddenly, we were in the city of Savannah’s stunning river street, and the scenery was gorgeous, with a beautiful gleaming river flowing right by us. Michael pulled me around in one swift motion. I then saw this diamond ring glistening up at me. I was so overwhelmed, I cried!”
But it wasn’t long before life threw the happy couple another hurdle. Michael’s Visa was set to expire soon…
Michael explains: “We were put in a position where we had to decide between facing separation or essentially fast-tracking our nuptials. At this point, we knew we loved each other, and wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, so it was a no-brainer. We had very little time to plan, but we managed to pull together a really intimate ceremony on 14 February 2016, with only 14 people in attendance; in true St Valentine’s style. Fortunately, my family was also able to be a part of the big day too, from over 4,000 miles away, thanks to an iPad screen.”
“We were so pressed for time, I didn’t even get to buy myself a wedding dress! Luckily, my mother surprised me with one the day before, and things just fell into place from there,” added Sarah.
Due to the extremely short time frame in which they said their I do’s, many of the couple’s loved ones missed the happy occasion. So four months later, Sarah and Michael decided to hold a celebration to enjoy with their family and close friends at Sarah’s local country club.
But, the two still wanted desperately to enjoy this special occasion with Michael’s family in Derby. So another reception was in the works. The couple would celebrate their new marriage in the groom’s hometown with an even more grand celebration. Brave and trusting, Sarah left a majority of the party planning to her new in-laws.
She said: “I had no idea how my UK wedding was going to unfold, until the actual day. The planning was left to Michael’s family, and we trusted they’d organise a day to remember. I spent most of the flight over worrying about how it would all pan out. As soon as we visited the reception venue, Breadsall Priory Marriot Hotel and Country Club in Derby, a few days before the big day, I knew I needn’t worry. The venue was stunning, and the wedding team were so friendly and helpful. I knew from then that my 3rd big day was in safe hands.”
So again, the pair said their I do’s this time at Derby Cathedral with Sarah’s parents and sister and much more support on Michael’s side this time around. Following the ceremony, the party was moved to the stunningly romantic Breadsall Priory.
Michael said: “Sarah looked so incredibly beautiful. It wasn’t until the car ride between the Cathedral and Breadsall Priory that I was finally able to catch a minute with her. I told her how beautiful she looked, and we talked for the entire car ride.”
It turned out to be the perfect ending to their very unique wedding story.
Sarah said: “Everything was perfect. I ended up breaking my heel at one point in the day, but it didn’t matter because I was loving every minute of forming this magical union with my best friend. I tear up a little everytime I think about the big day in Breadsall. I just remember the look on Michael’s face when he saw me step out of the car for the first time. He had his usual cheeky grin on his face and I fell in love with him all over again. Every day, I fall in love with him a little bit more. He truly is my knight in shining armour; my soulmate.”