Sarah moved to Honolulu, Hawaii with her family when she was one. She was born in La Grange, Illinos and they moved after the death of a family member. Sarah graduated from Punahou High School in 1995 in Honolulu. Actress Kelly Preston, director Jim Simpson (husband of Sigourney Weaver) and AOL's Steve Case all graduated from this same school as well.
Sarah left Hawaii when it was time to go to college where she went on to graduate from Dartmouth College (in Hanover, New Hampshire) with an undergraduate emphasis in Feminist Studies and a Senior Fellowship in Indigenous Theology. In 2002 she obtained her Master of Fine Arts degree at Denver's National Theater Conservatory.
Her parents are professors at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. Her father teaches law, while her mother teaches English. Her grandfather changed his last name to Wayne after watching a John Wayne movie, this is where the 'Wayne' in her own name originated from.
Sarah is married to Josh Winterhalt who is a martial arts teacher. In 2007, they had their first child together, Keala.