Laurens Gifts Dream Wedding to Contest-Winning Couple

Local business owners in Laurens are abuzz with excitement as they prepare for the upcoming wedding
of Sarah Sutherland and Marcus Burlison. The City of Laurens is joining with several of its local businesses to offer a
dream wedding to the lucky couple, and it all began with a unique contest designed to let the world know that Laurens
is an outstanding wedding destination.

The wedding is scheduled for Friday, September 29, 2023, at 6:00 p.m. in the heart of downtown Laurens. Organizers
hope this special event will be the start of a long and happy marriage, and that it will showcase the heartwarming sense
of community that defines the City of Laurens.

Mayor Nathan Senn, who will officiate the ceremony, said “Our city is honored to host this wedding and to help
create a truly special day for this lovely couple. I was delighted to be asked to take part, and I can’t wait to see how
the contributions of so many people will come together to celebrate love the love of Sarah and Marcus and Laurens!”
It all began on February 14, 2023 – Valentine’s Day – when a contest was launched offering hopeful lovebirds a
chance to win a free wedding in Laurens. Contestants were asked to submit an essay, sharing their love story, and
explaining why they should win. A panel of judges reviewed all the entries, and on June 12, Sarah and Marcus were
selected as the winners.

At the heart of this extraordinary event is Designs by D and its owner, Diane Smith, who has been working tirelessly
alongside several of Laurens’ other merchants, to transform Marcus and Sarah’s dreams into reality.
According to Smith: “Creating this dream wedding has been a labor of love, literally. We are working together to
celebrate the love of these two special people, but also because we love our city. It’s been an incredible journey
collaborating with our other businesses to showcase all that Laurens has to offer as a wedding destination.”
Organizers point to the beauty of Laurens and the wide variety of resources available to brides and grooms to-be as
they tout the city’s potential to host weddings. With its recently renovated venues like the “Palmetto Room” of the
Bailey Building, Laurens offers picturesque backdrops for any wedding. These venues are within walking distance of
several beautiful churches, all of which are stunning options for those wishing to be married in a church setting. From
brick-lined alleys to the serene trail along the Little River, couples are certain to find a spot that is perfect for that
dream wedding photoshoot.

In addition to Laurens’ abundance of beautiful wedding locations, a myriad of local vendors, merchants, and artisans
offer services and products that will make any wedding special. Many of these are taking part in the celebration of
Marcus and Sarah’s wedding. Everything from the bride’s makeup, hair, and nails to the catering and music at the
reception will be provided by Laurens businesses.
Sarah and Marcus’ ceremony will take place on the new downtown Plaza – a hub for the community and live music
each Friday. A grand reception will follow the ceremony in the “Magnolia Room” of the Laurens County Museum.
Laurens City Hall

While much of the wedding package the couple won was planned before they won the contest, organizers want to
make sure that Sarah and Marcus to have a wedding which reflects their own tastes and desires. The couple has
chosen to use traditional vows, and a cross belonging to the bride’s family will be featured in the decorations.
The City of Laurens congratulates this special couple on their upcoming wedding and extends its warmest wishes for
a lifetime filled with love and happiness.
“We are eager to extend our community’s love to Sarah and Marcus,” said Mayor Senn. “And we hope their story
inspires more couples to consider Laurens as their wedding backdrop, or even better, as their home.”