A MODERN-DAY FAIRY TALE
There was no singing candelabra or teapot in Belfair on the evening of their wedding, but Sabrina Sandoval and Corey Pennington aimed to make their “Beauty and the Beast”-inspired, fairy tale-themed wedding a magical affair.
The two met by chance after Sabrina had called the police and Corey responded. However, their lives were so busy they couldn’t find time for a traditional courtship.
“It just seemed like everything was pinned down like this by God,” said Sabrina, a teacher at St. Francis Catholic School. “It seemed like God had put us together and I just always thought that it was out of this world — like it wasn’t realistic. So I thought our story was always like a fairy tale.”
With Corey’s schedule and Sabrina’s three-job workload, the two would meet for 20-minute coffee dates or have five minutes to chat before they were off to another obligation.
“It was never enough,” Corey said.
“But it was enough to be happy,” Sabrina added.
Corey proposed to Sabrina on March 24 by serenading her under the stars beneath her balcony. He took her to a spot by the water surrounded with candles, flowers and rose petals.
“He was like, ‘Will you make me the happiest man in the world and be my wife?’ And I was like, ‘Of course!’” Sabrina said. “It was definitely a nice proposal.”
Eight months later, the couple was married Nov. 17 at St. Peter’s Catholic Church on Lady’s Island in Beaufort, and then celebrated beneath the oak trees in Belfair in Bluffton. Sabrina donned a white princess gown from Gown Boutique of Charleston, completing the look with a tiara.
Belfair’s ballroom was a perfect fit for the 125-guest reception. Blush, navy and gold were accented with spurts of burgundy, giving the space a royal feel. The cake was a three-tiered masterpiece from D’Flavors Bakery, presented on a stand with crystals hanging between each layer and decorated to match the feel of the party. To match the theme, Sabrina and Corey entered the reception to John Legend’s rendition of “Beauty and the Beast,” and then DJ Flow Hernandez got the party going.
The couple also made sure the fairy tale wedding reflected the Lowcountry setting.
“We definitely focused on making it, not necessarily primarily a Lowcountry theme, but we wanted everyone to experience a little bit of the Lowcountry,” said Corey, who is now a teacher at May River High School.
Belfair added gorgeous Lowcountry ambiance to the event. The oak-lined streets and the garden area of the venue lent natural beauty to the wedding photography captured by Corey Gibson.
Belfair catering manager Jennifer Burns helped coordinate the event.
“The availability of space was amazing. They basically gave us the whole venue,” Sabrina said. “They gave us the garden. They gave us the smaller rooms to get ready. They told us that basically anything we wanted, they could make it happen. She [Burns] did a really good job at that. I wanted to plan my own wedding, but she was there to help. I think that gave me control, but also gave me help. That’s one thing I really liked.”
The couple arranged for a private horse-and-carriage ride from Sea Island Carriage Company through the plantation during the cocktail hour.
“It gave us some time to be alone,” Sabrina said. “It was right after the ceremony, so it gave us some time to realize what just happened and to be prepared to celebrate it. I think the horse and carriage was a beautiful, beautiful moment.”
Sabrina also was sure to add some of her family’s cultural heritage to the big day as well. With family coming from across the United States and Mexico, she wanted to be sure their traditional values were represented alongside the couple’s modern style. Rev. Anthony Nachef led a bilingual service, much to the couple’s surprise, and the band Mariachi Espuelas de America played for Corey and Sabrina as they left St. Peter’s.
The reception also featured a “La Vibora de la Mer,” a traditional Mexican wedding dance. But their first dance as a married couple, though, was to “Dusk Till Dawn” by Zayn, featuring Sia. Sabrina and Corey created a routine for the song that mixed hip-hop and waltz dance moves.
“I think that’s who we are, though,” Sabrina said. “I think he and I are very traditional in a modern version. I wanted a church, I wanted a ballroom … but I wanted to dance.”
Venue Belfair Club House | Wedding Planner Jennifer Burns, Belfair
Caterer Belfair Club House
Wedding Officiant Father Anthony Nachef | Photographer Gibson Photography
Videographer Arial Lifestyle Productions | Band/DJ Party DJ Flow Hernandez
Church David Kimball & Guillermo Nellymar Brazon
Entertainment Elvis Jeff Vandenverg
Hair Stylez by Natalie Moreno | Makeup Curl Me Lash-Dulce Huerta
Baker D’ Flavors Bakery, Daniel Mendoza | Florist Elizabeth Barrientos
Sabrina and Corey’s reception
— Cocktail hour —
— Transition: guests seated in reception hall —
— Wedding party entrance —
— Song —
“I Gotta Feeling” by The Black Eyed Peas
— Bride and groom entrance —
— Song —
“Beauty and the Beast” by John Legend and Ariana Grande
— Prayer —
— Dinner —
— Elvis show —
— Cake cutting by the bride and groom —
— Toast —
— Surprise dance —
“Y Como Es El (Salsa Remix)”
by Marc Anthony and “Dusk Till Dawn”
by Zayn featuring Sia
— Dancing —
9:15: “Vibora de La Mar”
— Bride and groom outdoor photoshoot —
— Last dance —
“You Are the Reason” by Calum Scott