Everyone always asks me why I choose weddings and my answer is always a very vague, but distinct: it has to give me a feeling; the photography has to be strong. And I think that Sarah and Stephen’s wedding in the hill country of Austin, Texas and photographed by Amelia Tarbet, does just that.
Oddly enough, I was speaking with an employee yesterday and we got to talking about a different kind of love, a special kind of love, where you can just see the way the couple looks at each other (sometimes without even knowing it). I think every woman and man wants to be loved that way. While Sarah and Stephen might win the kissing award, every look, every stolen smooch, evokes that feeling. I hope you enjoy this wedding as much as I did.
Sarah Kirchhofer and Stephen Dearnley Schoeffel
Married in Austin, Texas on July 17, 2010
Sarah Kirchhofer is from Dallas, Texas and Steve Schoeffel is from Charlottesville, Virginia. They met while attending Duke University where they both played lacrosse. “We had quite a few mutual friends,” says Sarah. “We both went to the same Christian ministry for athletes, and toward the end of college, found ourselves spending more and more time together.” But it wasn’t until Sarah’s last semester—Stephen was a year behind her—that the two started dating.
From then on, much of the relationship was spent long distance with Sarah was working in Washington, D.C., and Stephen finishing school. Weekend visits, summer weddings and family vacations were some of the only times that they were able to see each other in person. Come the fall of Stephen’s last year at Duke, he and Sarah, along with a number of their friends, were planning to be in Charlottesville for a long weekend. “It seemed the perfect time to propose,” says Stephen.
Earlier in the year, “my grandparents had given me a gorgeous engagement ring that had been in the family for multiple generations,” describes Stephen. “I had gotten it sized up and had been able to sit down with Sarah’s dad about a month before.” So, right before dusk that Friday in October, Stephen and Sarah hiked to a spot up on the Blue Ridge Mountains, close to Sarah’s parent’s home. Once at the top, “we sat enjoying some wine and food and took in the view of the entire valley. Although there wasn’t a perfect—or even visible—sunset,” smiles Stephen, “the proposal couldn’t have gone better.”
In planning the wedding, Sarah and Stephen wanted something that had elegance without being overly formal, so they decided on Austin as opposed to Dallas because “Austin seemed to offer more personality and a unique feel. Austin has such a fun atmosphere and vibe, and we were drawn to some of the hill country venues slightly outside of the city. We loved the idea of an outdoor wedding and despite the extreme summer heat, we went for it!” says Sarah. And, right on cue, it was incredibly hot, but things cooled off a bit for the reception and “we had an incredible time dancing with friends and enjoying the night,” says Sarah and Stephen. Afterwards they honeymooned in Costa Rica and also spent a week driving up the Pacific Coast Highway in California, staying in little bed and breakfasts along the way.
Location: Flat Creek Estate Winery & Vineyard, Marble Falls, TX; Event Planner: BZ Events, Austin, TX; Band: Ice House Band, Austin, TX; Bridesmaids Dresses and Groomsmen Attire: J. Crew; Wedding Gown: Elizabeth Fillmore; Photography: Amelia Tarbet Photography, Austin, TX
We wish you countless years of happiness Sarah and Stephen. A special thank you to Amelia Tarbet of Amelia Tarbet Photography for letting us share these images with our viewers!