Real Wedding: Sarah and Chad

Even a downpour couldn’t stop the romance on this couple’s special day.

Sarah and Chad on their rainy wedding day on May 18, 2013. All photographs by Sam Stroud Photography.

Though they both characterize their first impressions of one another using phrases such as “love at first sight” and “dream girl,” Sarah Friar and Chad Torbin were initially hesitant to begin a relationship. The two met while working for Hill & Knowlton, a public relations firm located right next to the White House, and both were unsure about the idea of a workplace romance. But after lots of unofficial dates—office happy hours, coffee breaks, lunches, and walks through Lafayette Square park—the couple couldn’t deny their obvious chemistry and ultimately decided on a “real first date” at Dupont Circle’s Bistrot Du Coin.“We thought we were keeping our romance a secret, but it was pretty obvious to everyone in the office we were dating,” says Sarah, a business development manager.

Two years later, Chad, now an entrepreneur who just started his own communications firm, began planning the perfect proposal. The couple was on vacation in the West Indies when he got down on one knee on a scenic dock at the peak of sunset and asked Sarah to be his wife. “It was the most magical moment of my entire life. . . . I couldn’t stop crying,” says Sarah.

On their wedding day at Chevy Chase Club, a year later, unexpected rain showers forced a change in the ceremony plans, moving the festivities from an outdoor balcony to an indoor setting, but the couple took it in stride. “The ballroom was transformed into a magical oasis dimly lit with tons of candles and beautiful flowers, and the aisle was covered in rose petals,” says the bride. “It was so romantic and intimate, and more beautiful than we could have ever imagined.”


Photographer/Videographer: Sam Stroud Photography

Wedding Venue/Caterer/Cake: Chevy Chase Club

Event Coordinator: Leanne Hartzell, Chevy Chase Club, and Caroline Schuette

Bride’s Gown: Liancarlo from Saks Jandel for ceremony and reception, Monique Lhuillier dress from Saks Fifth Avenue for the send-off

Groom’s Tux: Valentino, Saks Fifth Avenue

Hair: Hair by Giselle

Makeup: Leah McKay

Wedding Cake Flavors: White chocolate mousse

Wedding Cocktail: Blushing Bride champagne cocktail and Groom’s Punch

Florist: Sue Morris

Wedding Flowers: Peonies, hydrangeas, and ranunculuses

Music/Entertainment: Deja Blu Band

First Dance Song: “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King

Invitations: Write For You 

Lighting: Yours Truly Lighting and Decor

Getaway Car: Regal Limousine

Bride’s Favorite Wedding Detail: “We had a tower of vintage Champagne glasses that we poured Champagne over with help from my bridesmaids. Luckily it didn’t crash!”

Groom’s Favorite Wedding Detail: “The red velvet Boston Red Sox groom’s cake Sarah surprised me with.”

Biggest Surprise of the Wedding: “Rain. But they say rain on your wedding day is good luck. Luckily the weather cleared up, so we were able to have cocktail hour outside on the balcony.”

Wedding Theme: Traditional Southern elegance

Four Words That Describe the Wedding: “We have five—best day of our lives.”

Honeymoon Spot: Maui and Kauai

Where They Currently Live: “Just moved to San Francisco and missing DC already.”