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Sarah & Juan

August 4, 2018

Photography by: Matt Priestman Photography

Written by: Logan Portteus


Juan proposed to Sarah at the “Before I Die” wall in Mount Vernon, the public chalkboard where people write their goals, intentions, or feelings. “Before I die,” wrote Juan, “I want to ask Sarah to marry me.” Several years earlier, the wall was where they first wrote “I love you” to each other.


The proposal happened on the Fourth of July 2017, and was followed by a celebration with both of their families as they watched the local fireworks show. One year and one month later, they were married.


“It’s a tradition to go to that wall and write something down. We were on opposite ends of the chalkboard,” Sarah said. “He had me walk over with my eyes closed to his side, and had me turn around and look at what he wrote down. When I turned around, he was down on one knee with a ring in his hand.”


Sarah and Juan met in high school through a mutual friend in Mount Vernon, where they grew up as acquaintances living only a few blocks from each other. Juan said it took several dates and attempts at making things serious before Sarah agreed to make it official.


At 22 years old, the newlyweds now live in Seattle and are beginning their careers. Juan works as a case manager at Ingraham High School, where he works with students of color on assignments and understanding course materials. Sarah is studying to get her master’s degree in public administration at the University of Washington, and intends to go into social policy to advocate for underprivileged communities.



The couple enjoys following Seattle sports, specifically the Mariners and Seahawks. In the warmer months, they spend their time hiking the Pacific Northwest. They didn’t get as many trips in this year, though, because of their August wedding at Lairmont Manor in Bellingham.

Sarah and Juan wanted a traditional, classic wedding that still exuded romance. The wedding was initially intended to host 75 to 100 people, but after widening the circle to include invitations to their parents’ guests, the group swelled to roughly 200 people.

The Lairmont Manor is an Italian Renaissance building, and Sarah and Juan stuck to the Italian theme. The catering company worked with the venue, and the couple chose to serve chicken parmigiana, ravioli, and Italian sausage pasta.

The biggest surprise of the night was when Juan sang “Everything” by Michael Buble to Sarah in front of their loved ones. “Sarah loves that I sing to her, so I sing to her every year for our anniversary,” he said. “I had never sung in front of a big crowd to her, and so I thought what [more] perfect time to sing to her than our wedding.” 

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