Sarah Sorenson and Robert Foster met on the second day of college at Washington and Lee. “It was a Labor Day party,” says Sarah. “As it was winding down, a new friend asked if I needed a ride back to the dorms, and I did, so I followed him to the curb. There, he introduced me to his roommate, Robert, who was also waiting for a ride. When the car arrived, everyone piled in, and it looked like I wasn’t going to be able to fit. Robert quickly hopped out and said he would wait for the next one with me. His chivalry immediately caught my eye.” From that day on, their paths continued to cross as the two were both pursuing the same degree and had several mutual friends. “He then asked me to be his date to homecoming in early October,” remembers Sarah. “And the rest is history.”
After graduation, Robert accepted a job in the small city of Midland, Texas. “I decided to move to the sate and settle in Houston, which my parents had always spoken fondly of because that was were they had met, and I began working for an art gallery,” says Sarah. “Southwest Airlines truly saved us as Midland and Houston are nine hours apart by car.” After a year and a half in Midland, Robert took a new job in San Antonio, his hometown. “I will never forget that moment—we were elated,” says Sarah. “San Antonio and Houston were only three hours apart!”
On November 6th, 2015, Robert proposed at his family’s vacation home on the Guadalupe River. “He asked if I wanted to spend Friday evening there since I was driving over from Houston that weekend, and it was on the way,” explains Sarah. “Several of his cousins had gotten married there and many holidays have been spent there, so I probably should have realized something was up!” Sarah arrived to find Robert waiting for her in front of the house. “He led me down through the twinkle lit trellises to the dock where he claimed his family was having cocktails,” laughs Sarah. “As soon as the dock was in view, I saw candles lining the path to the water and knew instantly what was happening and started to cry. When we reached the end of the dock, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. He had set up a table overflowing with flowers, a book of the two of us with a beautiful letter, and a bottle of Champagne. We sat for a while teary-laughing, and looking through the photos dating back to our first date when we were 18 and then I saw both of our parents walking down the dock. My parents had flown in from Philadelphia to be there for the weekend. Robert had arranged for a delicious dinner to be cooked at the house for all of us including mini wedding cakes.” The newly engaged couple didn’t share the news with anyone else until late that night so they could savor the moment for a while with their families.
October has always been Sarah’s favorite month—it was also the month she and Robert began to fall in love so decided when to get married was pretty straightforward. “We knew I was going to move to San Antonio to be with Robert, and quickly landed upon the city as the destination for our wedding,” says Sarah. “My parents have roots in Texas and a ranch in the northern part of the state and Robert grew up there, so it really feels like home to both of us. I visited Robert in San Antonio throughout college and then almost every weekend after he moved back so the city holds some of our happiest memories together.”
Sarah was raised in Philadelphia, and she and Robert attended college in Virginia, so many of their friends are from the East Coast and had never experienced the festive city that they had now decided they would call home. “It’s literally a fiesta in itself and seemed like the perfect place to host our celebration weekend for our guests from all over,” says Sarah. “While we planned for Thursday and Friday night to be filled with the colorful Mexican flare of San Antonio, I always knew our wedding day would be classic and marrying in a church was important to both of us.”
The choice of Christ Church was an easy one for the couple as Robert grew up going there and his parents were married there as well. As for the aesthetic of the wedding, Sarah wanted to combine timeless elegance with the romance and dreaminess of a garden party lit by candlelight and the twinkling sky. After visiting several locations, they knew The Argyle was the perfect place to host their guests. “An old dinner club built in 1854, The Argyle reminded me of my colonial home in Philadelphia and Robert of all the special dinners he had shared there with his grandparents,” says Sarah. “The familiarity, columned porch, beautiful front lawn, and surrounding gardens provided the perfect setting for a black tie garden party. I envisioned lush overflowing ivory and cream florals and greenery alongside the formality of silver candelabras and simple ivory linens. We wanted it to feel very intimate and personal. It was important to me that every aspect of the evening and the décor be intentional and significant, and we worked with Wedding Planners Inc. to achieve that look and feel.”
Sarah first saw her wedding dress about a month before she became engaged when she was randomly clicking through bridal fashion week photos that had just been posted online. “The Monique Lhuillier plunging Chantilly and silk gown took my breath away and I saved the photo on my phone thinking—this is my wedding dress!” she admits. “After the engagement I tried on many dresses, but when I was finally able to try on that very ML ‘Winslet’ gown at a Joan Pillow trunk show in Houston, I immediately knew it was the one! I always dreamed of getting married in Chantilly lace and long sleeves but wanted something to make the dress feel like more of a fashion moment, and the deep plunge and honey colored skirt were perfect! I loved the delicacy of the lace for the church ceremony and the floral skirt for the garden reception.”
Getting ready with old friends was one of the highlights of the day for Sarah. During the process, she wore a MarieClaire St John Dresshirt embroidered with her new last name on the back, a gift from my bridesmaids. For hair and makeup, Sarah turned to Lisa Weller’s salon, Twirl. “Lisa has worked fashion weeks in Paris, Milan, and New York, and she is as equally talented and as she is cool,” says Sarah. “She immediately understood my desire for a classic yet fresh wedding look. At our hair and makeup run through, I requested a low bun, but at the end of the day, I felt most like myself in a half up-half down hairstyle and so we ended up going with that. The romantic, feminine, and dreamy aesthetic of Luisa Beccaria was my overall inspiration. I wanted my makeup to be natural and dewy, and funnily, after trying on about a hundred different colors, I ended up wearing the exact same lipstick shade my mom wore at her and my dad’s wedding.” Sarah kept her jewelry simple with a pair of diamond studs and a light blue sapphire ring that belonged to her great grandmother. She accented the dress with low-heeled Valentino cream “Tango” pumps and a navy velvet clutch by House of Harlow that she found on Vestaire Collective. Angelina Mata Atelier made her cathedral length veil using the same Chantilly lace as her dress. And just before walking down the aisle, Sarah dabbed her wrists with Marc Jacobs’ Daisy perfume—the scent she wore when she and Robert first started dating.
Sarah worked with each bridesmaid to find an ivory dress that they liked. “I didn’t want them all to look the same,” she says. “I also wanted their bouquets of roses to look as if they were simply gathered from the garden that morning.” For their hair and makeup, Sarah envisioned the ethereal waves and braids of Valentino, and Lisa worked with her talented team to create a few styles for the bridesmaids to choose from that were different but also felt consistent. “Lisa had actually worked on the very show from which I took my inspiration, so she knew what she was doing,” says Sarah. “Someone told me after the wedding that seeing them walk down the aisle looked like a runway of angels—they were stunning!”
Sarah and Robert opted to adhere to tradition and chose not to see each other before the ceremony. “I am so glad for that decision,” says Sarah. “I was bursting with excitement. Watching Julie Andrews walk down the aisle in The Sound of Music as a child forever defined what I envisioned for myself in that moment. The timelessness of the ivory bridesmaid and attendant dresses, the delicate florals, the simple grandeur of the church, the organ and trumpet sounding—it always gives me chills! In those moments, I truly felt as though I was watching my life unfold from above. It was the most magical and surreal feeling I’ve ever experienced!”
Right before the ceremony began, the string quartet played “Oh Shenandoah,” Sarah and Robert’s favorite ballad about the part of the country where they went to college and fell in love. “Our little cousin attendants definitely stole the show,” says Sarah. “They were too adorable! They were tossing around the ring pillow that had been needle-pointed by Robert’s godmother and completely cracking us up.”
The organ and trumpet then played Hubert Perry’s “I Was Glad” as Sarah’s dad escorted her down the aisle. “Robert and I couldn’t stop silly-smiling during the entire ceremony,” admits Sarah. Both of their fathers and their dear friend, Tilden Bowditch, read scripture, and Reverend Patrick Gahan, who had counseled the couple leading up to the wedding, officiated the traditional ceremony. “Robert went in for the big kiss early which made both of us and the whole church laugh,” remembers Sarah. After the ceremony, the newlyweds had a moment in the garden before posing for photos and celebrating with their wedding party.
The reception began with a cocktail hour on the front lawn and main floor of the Argyle as the sun set. Hundreds of candles led up to the entrance so that the house, walkways, and tent were all bathed in light. Upon arrival, guests were offered wine from the region in Argentina that Sarah and Robert were planning on traveling to for their honeymoon. Mini tomato pies, roast duckling and brie, and the famed Argyle “panchos” were passed. During this time, the bride and groom had a few minutes alone to take everything in and eat a quick bite before joining the reception as they opted not to have a seated dinner so their guests could mingle and dance to the band. “We love to dance and so do our friends, so a major dance party was a priority for us,” says Sarah. For dinner, guests dined on butter lettuce salad with Champagne poached pears and white goat cheese and spiced Pecans, chicken fried Texas quail and green peppercorn gravy, peppered roast beef tenderloin, duchess potatoes, spinach and cheese soufflés, and mesquite grilled vegetables.
As the meal came to a close, the couple had their first dance to Pat Green’s “Three Days.” “My father then gave a particularly moving toast,” says Sarah. “I was not the only one tearing up! They then danced to ‘You Are my Sunshine,’ which my parents have sung to me since I can remember.” Next, Sarah and Robert then cut into their Bird Bakery cake, which had alternating tiers of chocolate and vanilla cake with fresh strawberry icing. “Promptly after the cake was cut the band started up and had everyone dancing for hours. It is hysterical to look at the photos as the evening went on and to see all our closest friends and family quite literally fall apart as they danced.”
After a flower petal send-off, the new Mr. and Mrs. Foster took their getaway car downtown for a photo in front of the Alamo. “The antique car’s engine had been replaced with that of a Corvette, so we were literally flying around blocked off city streets for the shot in front of Alamo,” says Sarah. “We couldn’t stop laughing the entire way down and back to The Hotel Emma where we were staying—we were so giddy!”