Sarah + Kris

My mother walked me down the aisle with the mariachi band playing in the background.

When people ask how I met Kris, I say “Have you ever been to Corner Bistro in New York? We met there. We met at a bar.” I was living in NYC, working at The Huffington Post. I noticed Kris immediately because he and his friend ordered martinis. No one drinks martinis at Corner Bistro — beers are around $2.50. I guess he noticed us too because he sent over a plate of french fries. We flirted innocently and I thought that was the last I’d see of him.


Some time passes, and friends-of-friends join us at Corner Bistro. They’re handsome Puerto Rican models who just walked Marc Jacobs. After saying our hellos, drunk Kris approaches these guys and tells them to “lay off” because “these girls don’t want to talk to you.” It was funny, until I saw blood. Someone threw a fist straight at Kris’ face, causing blood to gush out of his nose. I was so freaked out, I got in a cab. My girlfriend cleaned him up in the bathroom. He asked her for my number, and she gave it to him. He texted me the next day and I felt so awful that I agreed to have coffee with him. We met outside my office in Manhattan, and he suggested we grab a bite to eat instead. Three hours later, we’re wrapping up our meal at Cafe Mogador.

 

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Kris is the first guy I ever dated who had tattoos. The first time he met my parents, I knew my mom loved him. The two of them talked during the entire dinner — I could barely get a word in! But, my dad was pretty quiet the whole time. I asked him after dinner, “Dad, what do you think?” and all he said was “well, he has a lot of ink.”

 

There were so many moments when I thought to myself “this is it”. I can’t pinpoint the very first time, probably because I knew during that fateful weekend. But, after nine months of long-distance dating (I was living in NYC, he was in Los Angeles) I moved west. He flew to NYC and took the drive with me. This car ride — seven days straight — was the most amount of time we had ever spent together. Sure, up until that road trip we had texted and called every day, but we had never been in the same space for more than three nights. I was nervous. But, within a few hours of driving, he turns to me and says: “do you mind if I turn on Howard?” and we listened to Howard Stern for an entire week. Do I adore Howard Stern? Not particularly, but the interviews and pop-culture topics sparked conversation between us two, and it eased any sort of awkwardness. We got to know one another during that ride.

 

The first time we said ‘I love you’ was in Union Pool, Brooklyn. We were drinking with a few of his friends, and he turns to one of his best friend and says “I totally love her!” I overheard him, and blushed. His best friend saw my reaction and told Kris to tell me immediately. He did, and I told him I loved him too. We run Night + Market in West Hollywood and Night + Market Song in Silver Lake together. If a couple really wants to test their strength, they should open restaurants together. Each day, the restaurant throws some sort of curveball at you. We were engaged for over two years because we just never got around to planning a wedding.

 

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For my vows, I wrote something down on the back of a menu five minutes before I went out and started bawling after the second or third word got out of my mouth. Kris, meanwhile, told everyone the story of how he knew I was “the one.” It was at this fancy event we worked at together with lots of chefs. Each chef got a giant, six-foot poster above their booth. Kris wanted to take his home, but security wouldn’t let him. So, a few hours after the event, I made him drive up to the entrance. No one was there, except the late-night guard. I told the guard that my boss left something at his booth, and sent me to get it. The guard let me into the venue, I snagged the poster, walked out and tossed the poster in the trunk. I took one look at Kris and said “drive now” very calmly. Everyone was cracking up!

 

April is a heavy month for me — my father passed in April, and his birthday was in April. His anniversary with my mother is in April too. I told Kris I wanted to get married in April because I wanted something happy to look forward to. We settled on April 2nd, my dad’s birthday. It was truly the happiest day of my life. My mother walked me down the aisle with the mariachi band playing in the background, and she looked so beautiful in her dress. She’s the only person who cries easier than me.

 

I didn’t have a wedding party, but my sisters were my unofficial bridesmaids and wedding planners. I told Rachel (the sister who is an event producer) that Kris wanted a mariachi band, and she had five options within the hour. I hit the jackpot when it comes to siblings. The craziest moment of my wedding was when I realized the employees were pouring the wrong wine. I still haven’t told Kris about that. He would be so furious if he knew! He spent so long picking out the right wines, and the servers poured our house wine instead.

 

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Kris is a chef, so we knew the food had to be tasty! Tacos from Guisados, fried chicken from Night + Market and a huge BBQ spread from Bludso’s in Compton. Ribs, brisket, mac-n-cheese, pickles… It was delicious! Dessert was a tres leches cake from our dear friend Jordan Kahn. He’s a Thomas Keller alum, and part-Cuban.


We hired our good friend Mathieu Schreyer to DJ. He has a radio show on KCRW and incredible taste in music. The Stones, Lee Moses, James brown, sly and the family stone… Our first dance was Kanye West & Paul McCartney’s “Only One”. We still haven’t taken a honeymoon! Kris was awarded Best New Chef by Food & Wine Magazine and we had to fly to NYC the day after our wedding. Instead of packing for endless surf and sun in Hawaii, we packed for muggy NYC. 

 

Pics by Hailley Howard