News From Terre Haute, Indiana


August 1, 2009

Stephanie Salter: Something old, something new, something borrowed and Earth-friendly, too



Andrew plans to wear khakis and a buttoned-up dress shirt. Sarah has still not decided whether to go barefoot or wear white flip-flops with her dress.

“I really wanted a wedding where everybody came in T-shirts and jeans,” she said. “But nobody else picked up on that idea.”

What everyone did pick up on was Andrew and Sarah’s request to direct gift-giving to the Namitembo mission or to Mother Earth. The women of the Distelrath family responded with a bridal shower in which gifts were hand-written pledges of “something eco-friendly” they would do for Sarah in the coming year.

All five bridesmaids will be wearing dresses from second-hand stores, garage sales or family closets. Almost every item used in the wedding and at the reception dinner also will be pre-used.

“Reusing, when possible, is Sarah and Andrew’s effort to conserve our precious resources,” their ceremony program says, under “Andrew and Sarah’s fun wedding info.”

All of the flowers are coming from the yard of Sarah’s parents, Julie and Joe Oblon. When Andrew places Sarah’s Great-Grandma Lillie’s wedding band on Sarah’s finger, it will join his own great-grandmother’s engagement ring, with which he proposed in July 2008.

For that important occasion, Andrew took Sarah back to the place they met and first kissed in 2002 — a summer camp for troubled kids in southern Indiana where both were counselors.

“I knew what was happening so I blew-dry my hair and put on some makeup,” Sarah said. “He was really nervous. He didn’t get down on one knee — that’s not him — but he handed over his great-grandma’s engagement ring. It was perfect.”

Anyone who might doubt the meant-for-each-other factor of the couple’s love need only recall that they split up for the entire time Sarah was in Malawi; neither wanted a long-distance relationship. It didn’t matter. As soon as Andrew learned she was back in Indiana, they reunited.

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    March 12, 2010