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Tar Heel Born, Bred and Wed

Chapel Hill High School sweethearts Katie Stanford and Kent Torell tie the knot at their Carolina-themed wedding


Katie Stanford and Kent Torell met at Chapel Hill High, after Kent brought Katie her homework everyday while she was out of class due to a horseback-riding accident. Eight years later, Kent popped the question over a casual sushi lunch, where the waitress interrupted the proposal – accidentally – to refill their drinks. They laugh about it now, and the rest is history for these UNC grads.

The couple was wed on a 70-degree day in April at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, with a reception following at Chapel Hill Carriage House. The couple’s first dance was to their song since high school – “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds – an artist they’ve seen three times together. Guests, including Katie’s parents, Lyda and James Stanford, and Kent’s mother and father, Patty Sprigg and Curt Torell, enjoyed the cake made by Katie’s relatives, Bobbie Stanford and Barbara Rubish. The evening was in no shortage of UNC spirit – bridesmaids wore Carolina blue dresses and groomsmen sported ties of the same shade. After an amusing dance routine from Kent and his mother and some heartfelt toasts, the newlyweds were sent off to UNC alma mater song, “Hark The Sound,” while wedding guests shook Carolina blue pom-poms.

After the wedding, the couple honeymooned in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, where they visited Portland and Seattle, while also hitting up the mountains and national parks.

Katie works for WakeMed and Kent is a math tutor. The newlyweds currently reside in Raleigh.

Photography by Carolyn Stotts

Do you have a dream Chapel Hill wedding to share? Email jessica@chapelhillmagazine.com.