Proof that love can strike when you least expect it, Sarah and Tyler Atkins met at a toga party, a milestone in any student’s college career. The University of Arkansas students danced the night away and have been in love ever since.
“I saw his dance moves and was hooked,” says Sarah of the fateful night. “The rest is history.”
Fast-forward nearly a decade and life looks a little bit different. Toga parties a thing of the past, Sarah and Tyler live in Dallas, working as a registered nurse and operations manager, respectively.
On March 11, 2017, the couple tied the knot, but it was a slow journey to the altar.
After dating for eight years (“Though who’s counting?” quips Sarah.), marriage was on the radar. And though Sarah had her suspicions — a beach proposal, perhaps, or an engagement during a University of Arkansas football game — Tyler caught her off guard, popping the question in November 2016 on a walk down Katy Trail.
“He arranged for my best friend to hide in the bushes and take pictures, and organized a party with our family and friends at Katy Trail Ice House,” says Sarah. “It was perfect.”
To bring the “classic and traditional” wedding they envisioned to life, the couple hired event coordinator Laura Druck with The Social Gather and a band of top-rated vendors.
St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church provided a stately location for the marriage service, and The Carlisle Room, housed in a historic Art Deco building downtown, was prime real estate for the festivities to follow.
“We were very excited to walk into the reception and see our vision executed,” says Sarah. “Many people had never heard of or been to The Carlisle Room, which made it even more special.”
It's a space that makes a statement on its own, towering arrangements and ambient lighting simply adding to the wow factor.
But the biggest draw was the dance floor. Tyler showed off his signature dance moves, making Sarah fall in love all over again. And guests paid homage to the couple's alma mater by calling the hogs. For the uninitiated, this is a University of Arkansas tradition that involves shouting, "Woo Pig Sooie!" three times.
“We loved dancing all night with our awesome band,” says Sarah. But the highlight of the night for all was the bride and groom's performance of a 1980s classic. “Our best memory was serenading our guests with Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ on stage."
Ceremony Location: St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church
Reception Venue: The Carlisle Room
Event Coordinator: The Social Gather, Laura Druck
Catering: Beyond the Box Catering and Market
Band: Inversion Band
Cake: Panini Bakery & Cakes
Bridal Gown: Neiman Marcus
Groom’s Attire: JoS. A. Bank
Florist: The Garden Gate
Vintage Car: Blue Diamond Limousines
Hair & Makeup: ERA Salon
Rentals: BBJ Linens
Photography: Lightly Photography