Below Deck’s Captain Sandy Yawn Marries Leah Shafer on Superyacht

Captain Sandy Yawn has tied the knot — this time, in the romantic sense of the word!

The boat captain and Below Deck Mediterranean star, 58, married longtime love Leah Shafer on May 11, Yawn confirmed on Instagram. Fittingly, the couple said their “I dos” on a superyacht owned by their friend, It’s a 10 Haircare founder Carolyn Aronson.

“I had no idea how amazing marriage could be! It feels incredible and I feel like the luckiest woman in the world,” Yawn wrote on Tuesday, May 14. “I love you, Leah Rae Yawn!! Thank you for taking my name! Thank you to our entire family and friends for coming out to show your love and support to our relationship.”

Yawn also shared videos from the wedding, which she said was filmed for a special Below Deck Mediterranean episode that will air on June 3. Yawn thanked Below Deck executive producer Nadine Rajabi for officiating their wedding.

Sandy Yawn and Leah Shafer.

Leah Rae Shafer/ Instagram

Yawn and Shafer got engaged in September 2023 after five years of dating. At the time, the reality star — who popped the question — said she had already been thinking about marrying Shafer for years.

“I knew from the minute I met her, but the timing had to be right. I wanted to make sure we could truly do life together first,” she told E! News, adding that when it came to her beachside proposal, Shafer wanted a true “fairytale” experience — which Yawn happily delivered.

“I planned a boat ride to a beautiful cove. I had it decorated with flowers with a path to a small table accompanied by three violinists where we could sit and have a small date,” she told E! News of the romantic setup.

Yawn continued, “I shared my vision list of love I had written and wanted, then got on one knee. Then she said ‘yes!’ ”

She said it was an unforgettable moment for both of them. “The look on her face was priceless, and my heart exploded! It was filled beyond capacity of anything I could ever imagine. Somehow I feel closer than I did before, and I can’t explain it. There is an energy that I have never experienced in my life.”

Yawn shared photos from the proposal on Instagram, including a shot of the couple embracing and visibly overcome with emotion.

“It’s official! I asked Leah to marry me, and she said YESSSSS,” she captioned the post. “We are engaged! Stay tuned for wedding 💍.”

While attending BravoCon 2023 in November, Yawn told PEOPLE that the process of planning their wedding only strengthened the pair’s bond. “Leah and I couldn’t be happier or closer,” she said. “It took us to the next level. I love it.”

Yawn also shared that Shafer had taken charge of the wedding details, from the location to the flowers. Due to space constraints on the yacht, they had to limit their guest list to about 55 people.

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Captain Sandy Yawn (left) and Leah Shafer.

Captain Sandy Yawn/Instagram

Yawn has her Bravo reality series to thank for meeting her wife. Shafer, a Below Deck fan, reached out to Yawn on Facebook in 2018. After exchanging messages back and forth for a while, the two decided to meet in person in Los Angeles and sparked an immediate connection.

In her 2023 book, Be the Calm or Be the Storm, Yawn wrote about the importance of timing and how Shafer came into her life at just the right moment.

“I believe God has a way of preparing you for ‘the one.’ He knew I wasn’t ready for her all those years ago. And she wasn’t ready for me. God waited for us,” she wrote. “He gave me opportunities to make different choices and be more conscious, so that when that sweet little Facebook message came across my page, I was open.”

Shafer was previously married for 20 years to Ross Shafer, with whom she shares a teenage daughter.

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