For Sarah Morrison and Andy Lepe, the question isn’t how did they find each other — it’s what took them so long?
The perfectly matched pair were born the same year in the same hospital, went to the same preschool and intermediate school, even graduated from the same high school in 2001. As a teen, Morrison had a huge crush on Lepe, but she wasn’t on his radar.
Six years later, they finally connected on MySpace and soon went on their first date. Morrison was as excited as a teenager.
“When I realized I was actually going out with him I couldn’t believe it was happening,” she said. That first date led to many more. “She just put a spell on me,” Lepe said.
Lepe, 27, is the owner of TLC Event Rentals in Ventura. Morrison, 27, is an intervention teacher for at-risk students at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School in Oxnard. She moonlights as a restaurant supervisor and bartender at the Four Points by Sheraton Ventura Harbor Resort — where the couple wed on May 14.
What Morrison and Lepe loved best about their wedding was that so many friends and family helped create the event, which lent a profound sense of connection and continuity.
The ceremony was officiated by the bride’s 93-year-old grandfather, the Rev. Ernest Morrison Sr., who also married her parents, Lillian and Ernie Morrison Jr., back in 1979. The vows her mom and dad had written back then were the same vows given by Morrison and Lepe.
The bride’s Sheraton co-workers supervised the reception, and the deejay was high school buddy Heisler Euan, a.k.a. Kidd Spin, who has a show on Q104.7 FM. Close friend Gayle Suva baked the wedding cake.
Morrison’s parents made centerpieces of manzanitas with orchids and candles, and her mother designed exquisite flower arrangements.
The groom created the guest book — a tree with 240 leaves decorated with the green thumbprints of each of their guests — and, together with his sister, Irene Lepe, sculpted the cake topper, a clay caricature of the couple.
Even Morrison’s wedding dress is a link in a chain of friendship. The beaded ivory gown with organza overlay was given to a close friend who recently became engaged.
“This couple is so incredibly gracious,” said their wedding photographer Jeanne Tanner. “You could just feel how much they were cherished by every person there.”
– Maxine Nunez, Custom Publishing Writer