Sheridan Willoughby and R.W. Bo French began in a conventional way (the two were introduced by friends in their hometown of Fort Worth, TX) but theirs would be a true whirlwind romance. Their first date, in the fall of 2007, was a weekend jaunt to New York City to attend a gala. Back in Texas this past February, the couple were en route to a black-tie dinner in honor of pianist Van Cliburn when Bo suggested they stop for a walk in the Fort Worth Botanic Garden’s Fuller Garden, which was built in honor of his grandparents. There, Bo proposed, giving Sheridan the ring he’d started designing six weeks after they met.
The couple set their sights on a seaside destination wedding and chose The Biltmore, a Four Seasons Resort in Santa Barbara, CA. When the guests arrived at the hotel for Sheridan and Bo’s June 2008 nuptials, they were greeted with cookies and milk as well as cards that read, “Cookies and milk: our idea of a perfect match. Love, Sheridan and Bo,” along with handwritten thank-yous from the bride. They also received a schedule of the weekend’s events, which began with a welcome dinner Thursday night, followed by golf, spa treatments and the rehearsal dinner on Friday. The couple planned a late-morning ceremony and lunch reception for Saturday, and a sunset cruise later that evening, plus a Sunday brunch.
At the ceremony, guests danced to a live jazz band playing old standards, but the musical highlight was a solo by the bride: Bo had serenaded Sheridan at their engagement party, so she’d planned to do the same for him at the wedding. Overcoming her stage fright, Sheridan took the microphone and performed the ballad “Feels Like Home,” by Randy Newman. “I will never forget standing in front of everyone and singing, and Bo wiping tears away as I finished,” she says of the moment.