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SOUTHERN ENGAGEMENT SESSION | Palmetto Bluff SC | SC Wedding Photographer

I met Sarah and Luke at Luke's sister's wedding in 2019. Come to find out that they now live in the town I grew up in, in South Carolina. I mean how small is the world to find a couple from Bluffton, SC in Pennsylvania! Now I got to be their SC wedding photographer. I was so excited to go home and stay with my bestie from high school, but terribly nervous, because I haven't flown in 20 years! It was actually a very pleasant plane ride, even during COVID, and a very relaxing, albeit short, jaunt to the Hilton Head area.


Tell me about the two of you... How did you meet? How did you fall in love? How did you know he/she was the ONE?

So this is actually a funny story… Our moms were neighbors in PA. Luke’s mom’s house was 1812 and my mom’s was 1804. I always saw Luke out in the driveway working on his cars. Luke says he remembers always seeing me around the neighborhood walking my dog. My mom was single, and so, Luke’s step dad offered to mow her grass to help her out. This is how our moms became friends.


They eventually introduced us one night (Luke actually had a girlfriend at the time!). Time went on and we hadn’t seen each other for a while. Then one day our moms decided to hang out and invited us. Luke did not have a girlfriend anymore and that night we really got to know each other… At this time I was a senior in high school and Luke was in college at Penn State Lehigh Valley. To make things even better, that year I was dual enrolled in high school and Penn State Lehigh Valley to earn college credits (nerd, i know). I spent the first half of my day at Penn State and the other half of my day at my high school (Salisbury). We would both leave for an 8AM class at the same time every weekday and would be literally driving next to each other on the highway. One day Luke finally came over to my car in the Penn State parking lot and opened my car door for me. The rest is history.


But really it is… two months after that we officially started dating. I ended up asking Luke to Salisbury’s Prom too. Crazy fact, not only were our moms neighbors but both of our dads had moved down to SC for work (and do not even work together). Luke moved down south a year later and then I followed him a year after that. I went to the University of South Carolina and we lived 2 ½ hours apart. We would take turns visiting each other on the weekends and would sometimes even go a couple weeks without seeing each other. But absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? I eventually convinced Luke to finish his engineering degree at USC, so he moved to Columbia.


That is the first official time that we began living with each other in an apartment. A year later, we bought a house together and then three years later he proposed! By our wedding, we will have known each other for 11 years! Time flies when you're having fun and are in love!


The big proposal! Tell me how he did it, who was involved, did you have any idea, give me all the juicy details!!

The proposal happened on April 11, 2020. Initially the proposal was supposed to happen when my cousins and their kids came down to visit, however due to COVID they were unable to make it down. Knowing that I wanted to have a proposal in front of family and not with random people at a restaurant or something of that sort. Luke knew he had to come up with something special. COVID really made it difficult because we rarely had seen any family.


The next time any family was going to be together was Easter Sunday, at his dad’s house in Bluffton, SC. So, that is when he decided to plan it. He knew that this would be the last time for a while that any family would be around. He chose to propose the day before Easter so it would be our own special day. He brought his dad, sister Kayla, cousin Victor and my mom, Donna, in on the secret. Everyone was excited for the day.


Saturday finally came, for some reason everyone had dressed up including me so Luke's proposal plan was working out perfectly. He decided that they would all take the dogs for a walk around one of the lakes in his dad’s neighborhood at sunset and stop to take pictures and that is when he would propose.


The time finally came everyone was getting ready to leave and the whole plan was coming together perfectly. Until a minute before we were about to leave, I decided to go upstairs and change into comfortable clothes which consisted of a random t-shirt and gym shorts. I walked down and Luke stared at me in disbelief, then looks directly at my mom wondering if maybe he should just hold off with the proposal. After regaining his composure he decided to continue as planned.


He slipped the ring to his sister to safeguard, so he didn't have anything showing in his pockets. We got the dogs and all began to go on a walk. Luke began to get more and more nervous and repeat what he wanted to say in his head as we walked. He chose to stop everyone at a spot that would overlook the lake and the sunset. As we approached the perfect picture spot, Luke’s Dad, Dave, stopped everyone and said he wanted to get a picture of everyone. He is always wanting to get a picture of “the kids” and no one ever sees the pictures again (and when we do they are half blurry or with our heads cut off haha). We all get ready Kayla stands next to Luke and slyly hands him the ring as they are all taking group pictures.


Then all of the sudden, Dave says he wants to take a picture of just Sarah and Luke. As we began posing for a picture we had the dogs, Dave stops and says no just you two and begins to grab the dogs out of the shot. I think this is when I begin to catch on. The second the dogs are taken out of the picture. Luke looks at me, grabs my hand and looks at me talking about how happy he would be to spend the rest of his life with such an amazing beautiful woman. He got down on one knee, looked at me and immediately forgot the speech he had prepared. I began to immediately cry and he knew he had to make it short and sweet. He mentioned how he couldn't believe I changed my outfit and proceeds to tell me don’t worry he still loves me, we share a laugh. He tells me how much he loves me and then asks me if I would like to spend the rest of my life with him and marry him. I proudly and ecstatically says YES! Everyone cheered and came in to congratulate the newly engaged couple. We all take pictures in that spot and proceed to walk home with the dogs to celebrate!



Tell me about your best/worst date!! (Literally my favorite question!!)

One Saturday night back when we lived in PA (with each of our moms still), I was working until 8PM. I came home to Luke inviting me two doors down to his mom’s house for dinner. He had cooked a 3 course meal. The best part is that he made his mom and stepdad stay in their room so that we could enjoy the night together. LOL


What are your favorite things to do together?

Cooking, binge watching Netflix, traveling, going to the movies, trying new things (whether its food, an experience, or hobby), hiking, working out and going on adventures with our dogs, tailgating and going to USC Gamecock football games (Go Cocks!). We recently got stand up paddle boards and cannot wait to take those out with the dogs too!


Share any fun or interesting facts about your relationship…

Luke has his own language that he uses quite often around the house and I am literally the only one who can understand it. This is also how we came up with our youngest dog’s nicknames of Moogie and Boogie. Cannot tell you too much because then others would understand his secret language haha.


What is your ideal date night?

Honestly, staying in (either cooking or ordering take out) and binge watching our current TV show. We started this tradition 3 years ago for Valentine’s day. We stay in and use a fondue pot to recreate a 3 course meal from The Melting Pot instead of going out. It has unintentionally become one of our favorite traditions and date nights. Pre-COVID we always did love going to the movies several times a month!


What is the one thing (besides each other) that each of you could not live without?

Family. Our families are our lives and we are both very close to them. This also includes our fur babies of course. We have two dogs, Zeek and Marlow, and a cat named Rory. We spoil them so much and love taking them on our adventures as much as we can.


These two are tying the knot in September this year at Hewitt Oaks. Stay tuned for their South Carolina wedding this fall and for now, enjoy these dreamy images. I would love for you to consider me as your SC wedding photographer.

About the Photographer


Kristy Hoadley Co is based out of Easton PA and specializes in organic, moody, outdoor weddings. My photography style can be described as classic, authentic, candid artistry. Are you planning a wedding? I serve NJ, NY, PA, and SC.



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