Not even a hurricane could stop a couple’s destination wedding | Lifestyle

Sarah and Sam Bennett on the boardwalk.jpg

The Bennets pause for a kiss on the Bethany Beach boardwalk.

Sam and Sara Bennett were married last Saturday, October 1st, at a destination wedding organized by Addy’s Sea, in reality, against the forces of nature. The couple, from Baltimore County, Md., have long-standing ties to the Bethany Beach area, as Sam’s parents moved to the area more than five years ago when they retired. Sara has cousins ​​in the area and spent most of her summers on vacation at Bethany Beach or Rehoboth Beach. She always dreamed of a beach wedding during the fall season.

Sam, 30, and Sara, 34, wouldn’t let a storm moving north from Hurricane Ian stop them from getting married last week, and neither would Kate Galloway, general manager of the Addy Sea Historic Inn.

“We made a plan early on, before the storm hit,” Galloway said, “and the Addy Sea team pulled it off for this couple.”

The couple and the Addy Sea team, including Galloway, Chef Rosario Pensa and Guest Relations Specialist Donna Minton, called an audible and moved the entire operation inside Harvest Tide Steakhouse, the only nearby restaurant and lounge. social events large enough to host the more than 70 expected guests. Manager Julie Mills said she was happy to accommodate up to 75 people at Harvest Tide.

“I always dreamed of getting married on the beach,” said Sara Carr Bennett. “We grew up coming to Bethany Beach. I love the fall season here, so we decided to get married in Addy Sea. We used to come to Bethany and Rehoboth all the time when we were kids, and I have fond family memories, with my cousins ​​who live nearby and relatives in Delaware.”

The storm was not the first obstacle to marriage that the couple faced.

“First we ran into a once-in-a-century global pandemic and had to postpone our wedding, and then a once-in-a-century hurricane hit the coast,” Sara added.

The couple met in 2019, on the “OKCupid” dating app, and it was an instant kiss. The app’s algorithm told both Sara and Sam that they were 99 percent compatible. They had already tried the first dates recommended by the dating app, and those encounters didn’t pan out, the couple said.

“Sara majors in English and is an English teacher, so she wrote me an entire thesis on why she thought this time was a coincidence,” Sam said. “We both knew instantly, ‘This is my person.'”

Sam said the couple had been together and dating for just eight months when he popped the question on Nov. 2, 2019, and the newly engaged couple have agreed to a beach wedding in the spring of 2020.

Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and for the safety of guests and older family members, the duo of Carr and Bennett decided to postpone those original plans. That was three years ago, from the date of the engagement to the day of the wedding last weekend.

“The wedding date of October 1 was our ‘COVID reduction,’” Sam said. “We had booked for a wedding in the spring of 2020, but then realized we had to reschedule to protect our guests and keep them safe.”

“I planned the whole wedding,” Sam added. “Sara was in graduate school at the time and she was finishing her master’s degree in education.”

Sarah and Sam plus the Carr parents at Harvest Tide.jpg

Newlyweds Sara and Sam Bennett, front row left and right, pose for a photo with Sara’s parents, back, at Harvest Tide.

Sara agreed, saying, “Sam did 90 percent of the planning,” with the Addy Sea team and both sets of parents also involved in the process.

So, days before the big weekend and wedding day of October 1, family members from as far away as California, Chicago, Boston and points around the Baltimore-Washington, DC region, already they were at Addy Sea, or on their way. to the destination wedding. There was no going back.

Galloway, as general manager, had to make the decision that Thursday that the outdoor wedding tent they had ordered for 70 guests would not withstand the expected wind, storm surge and other Hurricane Ian-related weather conditions forecast for Saturday. . The couple would have to move the wedding indoors.

Galloway called her friend Mills and the best location in Bethany Beach that could host the event. Harvest Tide Steakhouse had a big event that Friday night, but could turn over the facilities and be ready for Saturday October 1st.

“The weather forecast kept getting worse,” Sam said. He even bought 72 umbrellas for each guest to take cover from the rain. “Harvest Tide could accommodate us at the last minute.”

The couple was already headed to Bethany Beach from their home in Baltimore County (Sam is from Bel Air and Sara is a teacher in Baltimore County), and it was time to make a decision.

“We had Grandma traveling with us, so we called our parents and said, ‘We have to drop Grandma off at your house’ and go plan our wedding,” joked Sam.

The Addy Sea still hosted a rehearsal dinner for the couple’s parents and for the bridal party. They also rehearsed the vows in the inn’s lobby as Ian’s winds whipped just outside the shaker-like structure.

“Kate and Rosario, the chef, were very ready for us and prepared to create this wonderful food and atmosphere and give it all to Harvest Tide,” said Sara. “They used the entire Addy Sea staff to create our celebration. I was so relieved on Thursday as Kate and Addy Sea put this together.”

The historic property and very hip staff created an Oktoberfest/Fall theme, with pumpkins, cornstalks, spooky Halloween decor, and even Halloween-themed apple pie and mocktails.

“They made the place magical with all the fall decorations,” Sara said, noting again that fall is her favorite season. It really was a harvest festival at Harvest Tide, according to Addy Sea’s Donna Minton.

Sara and Sam were still able to take their wedding photos on the beach, as the wind finally died down on Saturday.

“We have our boardwalk photos in my wedding dress and our portraits in that harvest space with our family and friends,” she said.

“Addy Sea came to the rescue,” said Sara. “It’s an even more memorable and special day because of her kindness.”

Sam Bennett added: “We have learned from each other on our three-year journey. We never got mad or upset with each other” during these pivots.

“We chose Addy Sea and they made it work,” said Sara Carr Bennett. “We were surrounded by the love and care of our family and the Addy Sea staff who really went out of their way to help us. I am so grateful to Addy Sea and Harvest Tide, and to all of our family and friends who came to Bethany Beach.”

“It really was amazing to have our special day after all this time,” he concluded.

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