The Prelude

Those of you who know Sarah know that she has been been praying for a husband for a long, long time. Being a wedding photographer herself, watching others get married had always been a joy and a heartache.

Last year (January, 2013), Sarah decided to enlist the prayer support of my family and friends. To that end, she mailed a very cheesy Prayer Magnet—the kind that people send out when they are about to go on missions trips.

Instead of asking for prayer while going on a big adventure overseas, Sarah simply asked for prayer that she “might meet that special someone.” She felt very vulnerable to ask for such a thing—and to know that her request was on refrigerators across the country.

And, honestly, she was skeptical that anyone was really praying—or that prayers really matter, anyway.

* * *

The final weekend of 2013, Sarah went on a date in Chicago. Her excitement for the date only made the pang of disappointment stronger, after it turned out to be the worse date ever.

While not one to make New Year’s resolutions, after this experience, Sarah decided that in 2014 she was going to “give up on dating” altogether.

It just wasn’t worth it anymore.

* * *

Blake sent a “wink” through on December 31, 2013—just one day before Sarah planned to shut down her profile and give up dating.

Our Story

On January 5, 2014, Blake and Sarah connected at Crossroads Church. After service, they went to Arthur’s—an iconic pub in Hyde Park, Cincinnati where Sarah ate a hamburger and Blake drank coffee.

It was not a date....

Sarah portrait


Born to an Air Force Academy graduate, Sarah lived in Colorado and New Hampshire before her family settled in Dayton, Ohio. In sixth grade, she painted her bedroom neon green. Her mom repainted it three days later.

Post high school, Sarah traveled east, spending her first year of college at Boston University. Trading in her dreams for God’s, Sarah returned to the Midwest to attend Olivet Nazarene University. Finally convinced that not all art majors need to dye their hair pink, Sarah studied graphic design and photography.

For the better part of her twenties, Sarah made her home in Wheaton, Illinois, where she worked as a graphic designer for Wheaton College, and then later for the Wheaton Park District. She also started her own wedding photography business and watched a lot of other people get married.

In 2010, Sarah started dating in earnest, at the stunning rate of one short-term boyfriend a year. Often discouraged by dating and always wanting to find a boy with blonde curly hair, Sarah began to lose hope.

After six years with the same roommate and the same bad luck in dating, Sarah left Wheaton in 2013 to return to her roots (aka—move in with the folks). She still finds Ohio-living an adjustment.

By day, Sarah works in front of a computer designing websites or behind a camera creating pictures. By night, Sarah finds time to investigate local farms, read a nerdy number of books, and shop

Sarah loves coffee, dogs, and Jesus.

She does not love the Bengals.
Blake portrait


A born-and-raised Cincinnatian (East-Sider, thank you very much), Blake spent his youth making mix tapes with his dad, trading baseball cards with his best friend Jonny, and surrounding himself with a crazy number of relatives (none of whom are crazy, mind you).

In third grade, Blake decided to keep a journal. One of his earliest entries listed the 100 most important characteristics of his future wife. “Must love the Bengals.” made the top of this list.

After graduating from Indian Hill H.S. in 2002 (Blake tells Sarah this fact is really important), Blake headed north to Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio where he spent the best (so they say) part of his twenties studying psychology.

After a prestigious stint as a White House intern, Blake followed a girl to San Diego where he eventually did get a tan…but not the girl.

In 2010, Blake returned to his hometown. Significantly, he started attending Crossroads Church in 2011 where he began to develop his faith and live in community. He still attends Crossroads.

By day, Blake works undercover as a saint at Redwood Rehabilitation Center training adults with severe disabilities. By night, he discovers the nuances of craft beer, explores the neighborhoods of Cincinnati, and completes assignments for his Masters of Education.

Blake loves coffee, dogs, and Jesus.

He still loves the Bengals.

After a five hour conversation, Blake told Sarah he liked her.
She didn’t know what to think.

Less than a week and a first date later, Blake and Sarah were in love.
Seven days after meeting, they kissed for the first time in front of
the Holy Cross—Immaculata on Mt. Adams.
They talked about getting married.

March 7, 2014 Blake proposed to Sarah in that same spot.
He doesn’t remember.

She said "Yes." She remembers.


The Wedding

Blake and Sarah will marry on Friday, June 20, 2014 at the Ault Park Rose Garden during an intimate ceremony surrounded by immediate family and close friends.

Sarah will wear a white dress.

Blake will wear a cardigan.

Planning to attend the Ceremony?
Click here to RSVP and for additional details.
(Password required to access page).

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The Celebration

The newlyweds will celebrate with family and friends at their new home during a summer-soiree-meets-block-party Drinks and Dessert Gathering.

Sarah’s mom will make the cake—
the same one she’s made for every special occasion in Sarah’s memory.

Planning to attend the Gathering?
Click here to RSVP and for additional details.
(Password required to access page.)

With Gratitude

Our lives are immeasurably blessed by those we share it with.

Thank you to all our friends and family who support and love us.

We are truly grateful.

A special thank you to those who will help make our day special:



Sarah’s mom

Ceremony Music


Sarah’s roommate of six years

Flower Girl


Sarah’s favorite (and only) niece



Blake’s childhood best friend



Blake’s childhood best friend

Website Development


Sarah’s good friend from Wheaton

A credit also goes to all the people and businesses that work hard all-year-long to create weddings. Aristocuts Salon(Hair/Makeup)Cincinnati Parks (Ceremony Venue); Elizabeth Diamond Company (Engagement Ring); J.Crew (Blake’s Attire); Lace Bridal Couture (Sarah’s Gown)

The Dowlins

More than anything else, Blake and Sarah are boldly honest and vulnerable—as individuals and as a couple. He studied psychology in undergrad and she has been through several years of therapy. They both know the value of knowing and being known.

Blake very much wants to spend his life “helping people” and Sarah wants to spend her life making things beautiful. Combined, their vision is to be a couple that opens their home and hearts to those we encounter along life’s journey.

Blake and Sarah will make their home in Cincinnati.

(Hint: If you’re ever in town, let us know! We’d love to open our home to you!)

You can reach them at

The couple is registered at Amazon.comand William Sonoma.