When Sarah Wade met Andrew Baehr, she knew he was going to be someone special. On their first date, the pair discovered they had more in common than they initially thought.

Sarah’s father had been Andrew’s grandparents’ accountant for 20 years and their grandparents lived in the same retirement community on Hilton Head Island – where Sarah and Andrew would say “I do” just over three years later. “When you meet online, you never think you’re going to have so many personal connections,” says Sarah. “It was a nice reminder of how small the world can be.”

When Sarah’s father was unexpectedly diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, Andrew knew he needed to receive his blessing before it was too late. Her brother helped arrange a private moment so Andrew could have the opportunity to express his love and ask for her hand in marriage.

Sadly, he passed a few months before the pair became engaged, but Andrew felt his presence as he presented his beloved with an engagement ring from a jeweler that her father visited to purchase gifts for her mother. “It would have meant a lot to him that I followed in his footsteps,” shares the groom.

Though they reside in Brooklyn, Sarah and Andrew chose to exchange vows in Palmetto Bluff as the locale is dear to the bride’s heart. “As a family we had visited several times and shared a lot of happy memories there. My father had even spoken about how he could see me getting married there one day!” remembers Sarah. “It was important for me to feel like he was a part of our wedding as he continues to be such a big part of my life,” she affirms. Nearly 160 loved ones traveled to the Southern destination for the spring soirée.

Since she had a difficult time defining a color palette, Sarah and her wedding planner selected a seasonal theme of “bright spring with gold accents” for the fête. The alfresco ceremony took place in a natural setting overlooking the water.

Blooms in muted shades of blush, cream, peach, and yellow decorated the space and lined the custom vanilla aisle runner created by The Original Runner Company. “We wanted the feel [of the celebration] to be soft and romantic,” the bride confirms. Guests took their seats in wooden chairs with sage cushions as romantic melodies were performed by a harpist, pianist, and strings duo.

The bride was gorgeous in an elegant gown from Mark Ingram Atelier as she made her way down the aisle on the arm of her mother. To feel as though her father was with them, her bouquet of peonies, garden roses, ranunculuses, sweet peas, and anemones was wrapped with part of her mother’s bridal veil and tied to her dad’s wedding ring; her “something blue” was a heart made from one of his work shirts sewn into the skirt. When Andrew saw Sarah during their “first look,” he was stunned. “I was standing in front of the most beautiful bride in the entire world. Everything about her was perfect,” he reminisces.

“We wanted the feel [of the celebration] to be soft and romantic.”

Loved ones found their table assignments for the reception etched into acrylic drink stirrers in gilt-rimmed Champagne flutes. The reception space featured springtime décor in shades of coral, peach, mauve, and fuchsia. Tablescapes showcased both elevated and low arrangements of peonies, garden roses, ranunculuses, sweet peas, allium, and astilbe accented with Italian ruscus and green ivy.

Since the palette also highlighted gold as the metallic of choice, the hue graced chairs, candle votives, flatware, and charger plates, as well as hand-painted oyster-shell place cards that doubled as favors. Napkins featured a vibrant watercolor floral pattern, which complemented a similar motif introduced in the pair’s invitation suite and incorporated in the ceremony programs as well as the bottom tiers of the charming wedding confection.

In addition to slices of the colorful cake, friends and family indulged in a variety of late-night snacks, had s’mores at the outdoor fire pits, and chose a flavor of their choice from the elaborate doughnut wall. “It’s the one feature you never knew you needed until you have it,” smiles Andrew.

The bride and groom were overcome with emotion during their sparkler exit as they witnessed everyone they love cheering them on, though Sarah’s most memorable moment of the day came after it was all over. “Andrew and I sat in our honeymoon suite together and reflected on how much fun we had and this major thing we just did,” she shares. “I knew Andrew would now forever be my partner to reflect on life’s events and couldn’t believe how lucky I was.”