RHS teacher says “I Do”

Zoe Sawdon, Feature Editor

It’s a relaxing Sunday afternoon, and social studies teacher Mrs. Sarah Thomas is busy transferring photos from her phone to her computer. She glances up and notices that her boyfriend of six and a half years, Matt, is silently kneeling next to the couch. Somewhat confused, Mrs. Thomas brushes him off and returns to her task; however, Matt refuses to move. As Mrs. Thomas looks up from her computer for the second time, she suddenly realizes that he is positioned on one knee pointing to a ring box propped on top. She is immediately overwhelmed with shock and excitement at the long-awaited proposal.

This past August, Mrs. Thomas, formerly known as Miss Monroe, got to have the wedding she’d been dreaming of for years. 

“I’ve been a guest at over fifty [weddings], and I’ve been a bridesmaid I think eight times,” said Mrs. Thomas. “For me to finally be able to plan our own, it was awesome.”

The proposal initially left Mrs. Thomas in disbelief, but she realized that she shouldn’t have expected anything different from her husband, considering his spontaneous nature.

“Matt is a very laid-back, chill person,” said Mrs. Thomas. “He kind of is the calm to my crazy, because I can be wound up and stressed out a lot sometimes. [The proposal] was the most random thing. It was very Matt-like because Matt also doesn’t plan anything.”

Social studies teacher Mrs. Christina Bettes was hired at RHS with Mrs. Thomas seven years ago, and the two have since become close friends.

“I was absolutely ecstatic when I found out Matt proposed,” said Mrs. Bettes. “My husband and I have gotten to know them over the years. They are so compatible and amazing together. I couldn’t be happier for them.”

One of the first decisions Mrs. Thomas made regarding the wedding was to plan it for the summer when she wouldn’t be teaching. From there, she was able to go dress shopping, put together a guest list, and choose a venue, photographer, florist and DJ.

“I loved wedding planning,” said Mrs. Thomas. “I loved the whole process. I’m a planner [and] I’m organized. I have Google Docs and spreadsheets; it’s amazing.”

However, when it came down to the last two weeks before the wedding, Mrs. Thomas began to feel stressed.

“There were so many little things, and I started to get irritated,” said Mrs. Thomas. “At the very end, ‘Someone just figure it out for me,’ was what I wanted to say.”

The wedding was held at Crystal Gardens in Howell, Mich. and featured a coral and teal color scheme.

“They had a beautiful open air chapel outside that was all covered, and then the inside was your basic reception hall type of thing,” said Mrs. Thomas. “I’m not very creative at all, so it was very Pinterest-y.”

Although Mrs. Thomas anticipated that she wouldn’t enjoy her ceremony, it turned out to be one of her favorite parts of the day. One of her best friends conducted the ceremony, and Mrs. Thomas felt that this made it much more personalized. The couple also enjoyed celebrating their special day alongside friends and family.

“Just having all of my family and all of my friends in the same spot, that was really special,” said Mrs. Thomas. “Matt’s side and my side and having them all together like that was really awesome, so I loved that.”

Mrs. Bettes was a guest at Mrs. Thomas’ wedding and enjoyed all the special touches that were incorporated throughout the ceremony and reception.

“Mrs. Thomas put so much thought into every detail of her wedding from her programs, to the favors and music, to the special moments she shared with her family, such as the dances with her dad,” said Mrs. Bettes. “We had such a fun night celebrating the happy couple.”

She also admired her friend’s dress while she watched her walk down the aisle.

“Mrs Thomas looked stunning,” said Mrs. Bettes. “Her dress was gorgeous, with intricate lace detail, and it had a beautiful train.”

One feature that carried a lot of sentiment and emotion for Mrs. Thomas and Matt was a ladder shelf covered in photos of family and friends that had passed away; Mrs. Thomas felt that this was a great way to remember them and have them be present at the wedding. Her grandma, who passed away three years ago, was also part of the wedding in an unexpected  way.

“I had my bouquet, and I was looking at it, and my mom had given the florist my grandma’s crucifix that she always wore around her neck,” said Mrs. Thomas. “It was on my bouquet of flowers. I don’t cry; I didn’t cry the whole wedding, but I started tearing up when I saw that. That meant a lot to me.”

Many RHS students were excited to find out that their teacher had gotten engaged. Junior Laura Kucera recognized that it had been a long time coming.

“I was so happy for her,” said Kucera. “I remember in class she always told us about her friends’ weddings and how much she enjoyed them. That’s why I was so excited for her to finally have her own.”

Junior Emily Conley also picked up on Mrs. Thomas’ casual hints at a future proposal.

“I was super happy for her,” said Conley. “She had been dating her husband for many years and she always joked about hoping to get engaged soon.”

Both students admire Mrs. Thomas for her enthusiasm and optimistic outlook.

“She is energetic and very passionate about what she does,” Conley said. “Her positive energy is so contagious.”

Kucera was able to take some of Mrs. Thomas’ inspiring words and apply them to her own life.

“Miss Monroe taught me that we should always treat everyone like human beings,” said Kucera. “She said that everyone may be different, but they all still deserve respect.”

Mrs. Bettes also expressed how valuable her friendship with Mrs. Thomas is to her.

“She is a thoughtful, supportive and incredible person,” said Mrs. Bettes. “I am so lucky our paths crossed and am beyond grateful to have her as a friend.”

After the wedding, Mrs. Thomas and Matt were able to take a short trip to Traverse City, Mich. before Mrs. Thomas had to be back at work. However, looking forward, the couple plans to honeymoon in Jamaica over Thanksgiving break.

“I’ve never been to the Caribbean, [and] neither has Matt, so we’re just excited,” said Mrs. Thomas. “We’re at an all-inclusive resort. . . and we want to swim with dolphins. That’s like our one excursion that we want to do, and check it off the bucket list.”