Home Life Engagements and Weddings Crossing One Finish Line Led to a Lifelong Journey

Crossing One Finish Line Led to a Lifelong Journey

Chapel Hill native Sara Yusko chose traditional Carolina haunts to celebrate her and John Madden's wedding

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The wedding party in front of the facade of The Carolina Inn.
The wedding party in front of the facade of The Carolina Inn.

Chapel Hill native and East Chapel Hill High grad Sara Yusko first crossed paths with John Madden while studying abroad in college. The Notre Dame students began dating after graduation in 2013 and their relationship went the distance as Sara worked to obtain her nursing degree from Duke and John began his career in California. Two years later, while running a half marathon with her mom in San Luis Obispo, Sara was shocked to see John standing at the finish line with a ring.

During the wedding weekend, John and his groomsmen took a tour of the Dean Dome while the ladies enjoyed a bridal luncheon at 411 West. The couple was married at St. Thomas More Catholic Church and celebrated after at The Carolina Inn. The reception featured dancing, gelato from Sugarland and late-night Bojangles, making for an unforgettable evening. “I really loved being surrounded by our friends and family and watching them have so much fun,” Sara recalls. “Everyone was dancing until midnight and I remember feeling so happy and so content during the last dance of the night in the beautiful Old Well [Room].” The night never ended as they headed to He’s Not Here for the after party.

The Old Well Room at The Carolina Inn.
The Old Well Room at The Carolina Inn.

Sara and John reside in Santa Monica where Sara works as a pediatric oncology nurse and John works as a research analyst at an investment firm.


Photography by Perry Vaile Photography