Carolina Bride

November 5, 2012

Seeking a soul mate

A friend takes initiative to bring Sarah and Collin together.

You can find a lot of things if you search hard enough. But with certain things, the harder you look, the harder it is to find. That’s the thing about love – it finds you. Some people put up their beacons at clubs, others emit subtle signals in the grocery store, and even more try to dial into the right frequency via dating sites. But no matter what we do, we eventually begin to realize we’re not the ones in charge of the transmitter.

This was the case for Collin Bell, whose friend Justin insisted on creating a profile for Collin on With Collin’s blessing – and an agreement to make Justin the ring bearer at his future wedding if he did, in fact, meet the girl of his dreams – Justin created a friendly profile for Collin with the hope to find his friend a future wife.

A few months passed when Sarah Thomas, a preschool speech therapist, was encouraged by her fellow teachers to find a mate. When she was told one of her colleagues found her husband on, she decided to give it a try. While clicking through profiles, she stumbled upon someone who caught her eye: Collin.

“The first thing I saw was a handsome young man in a suit with a cute smile on his face,” she recalls. “I read through his profile, which was obviously written by someone else. The words written about Collin were what really got me. I loved that he was such a strong, Christian man involved in his church, was an outdoorsman, loved living a full life – and it didn’t hurt that I thought he was really cute, too!”

After doing some background research via mutual friends she discovered on Facebook, the couple exchanged a few messages and met for coffee in Dilworth. Thinking it was going to be a casual get-together, Collin arrived in a backward hat and five-finger shoes to find Sarah in freshly changed clothes after finishing a 5K with her sister. “At that point, I became incredibly nervous and had no idea what to say,” Collin says.

Despite their mismatched attire, Sarah and Collin immediately hit it off, engaging in a deep but fun conversation that stretched hours into the afternoon and concluded with a stroll through Freedom Park – in high heels. “When I took my shoe off, my whole toe was bleeding from a blister!” Sarah says. “I had been pretty determined to ignore what was going on in my shoe for as long as I could. I didn’t want the afternoon to end!”

Later in their relationship, the couple would find themselves walking together again while hiking a familiar trail in Georgia where Collin had carved “Marry Me” into a tree. As they approached the spot, Collin dropped to one knee with a custom yellow-gold solitaire from Diamonds Direct and asked Sarah to marry him.

On June 23, 2012, Sarah and Collin wed under a canopy of pecan trees at Dennis Vineyards, each moment captured by Indigo Photography. Each of the 140 guests was given a bell to ring, in honor of their last name, as they kissed and departed for the reception.

“My favorite part of married life is just living life together every day,” Sarah says. “When you’re younger, you’re encouraged not to spend too much time with your boyfriend or girlfriend, so now it’s like, ‘Wow. I actually get to spend every day for the rest of my life with this person, and it’s OK?!’ I just love having my best friend with me through thick and thin and knowing he loves me for me.”

Featured vendors

Ceremony and reception location
Dennis Vineyards

Indigo Photography

Diamonds Direct SouthPark

Continue reading real wedding stories! Up next: “The perfect arrangement”

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