Play Ball

(Photography by Brea, LLC)
(Photography by Brea, LLC)

Sandy & Brett Sanders
First Date: July 4, 2005 at Panera Bread in Pikesville
Wedding Date: Aug. 1, 2015
Venue: Celebrations at the Bay,  Pasadena, Md.
Residence: Brewers Hill/Canton
Favorite Activity: Dining Out

Sandy Stutman met Brett Sanders on the Franklin High School varsity baseball team bus. Sandy was the team’s manager. Brett, the catcher, recalls a teammate telling him great with amusement that if they married, her name would be Sandy Sanders.

The next year, they were in math class together, and Brett spent several afternoons at the Stutmans getting help with his homework.

“I let him copy my homework because Brett’s parents have a really nice swimming pool,” said Sandy, now 28, an events producer for Feats, Inc. “We became best friends.”

That summer, they began dating, although not when Brett first asked. At 17, she wasn’t interested in ruining their friendship. He had to ask a  second time before she agreed.

In high school, she was the  most beautiful person I could imagine, and she liked me too. Since college, I still think the same things, but she’s also  someone I can go through  life with and support me and push me to go further.” — Brett Sanders


“It was one of the best years of my life,” said Brett, 27. “Life was all about Sandy, baseball and having fun. It laid a good foundation for us.”

Their college careers began apart, with Brett playing baseball close to home and Sandy venturing to Penn State University. Brett made the four-hour trek on alternating weekends. He then transferred to Penn State, in large part because of Sandy. They were no longer high school crushes but adults in a relationship.

“In high school, she was the most beautiful person I could imagine, and she liked me too,” said Brett, a CPA with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Baltimore. “Since college, I still think the same things, but she’s also someone I can go through life with and support me and push me to go further.”

A “hopeless romantic,” Brett remembers telling Sandy he would marry her when they were just 16. The first time they talked marriage as adults, they were 23. Brett saw the “fear in Sandy’s eyes” and retreated.

It wasn’t until Sandy realized their true partnership that she contemplated their  future together.

Brett invited Sandy to take a walk along the docks one day in July 2014. They headed down Boston Street and walked to the corner by the water. Brett distracted Sandy, pointing out a distant landmark.

When she turned around, Brett had knelt down. Sandy inadvertently knocked the ring box from his hand, nearly sending it into the water.  Their families surprised them at Amiccis in Little Italy to  celebrate, and then they grabbed dessert at Vaccaro’s.

With their careers in full swing, they set the date for Aug. 1, 2015. Rabbi Geoff Basik performed the traditional ceremony outdoors at Celebrations at the Bay in Pasadena. Approximately 180 guests witnessed the exchange of vows, the seven blessings and the breaking of the glass. The bride and groom nestled under the chuppah, as their parents, Emily and Allan Sanders, Glori and Gary Shapiro and Michael Stutman looked on.

“The foundation of us was that we were best friends,” said Sandy. “It definitely helped our relationship be strong and get stronger throughout the years.”

Linda L. Esterson is an Owings  Mills-based freelance writer. For  “Beshert,” call 410-902-2305 or  email

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