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We did it!

Brooklyn and James

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Budget Range: $35,000-40,000
Food: Athletic Club of Columbus and Kittie’s Cakes
Booze: Athletic Club of Columbus
Flowers: Evergreen Flower Company
Dress/ Tux: Henri’s Bridal, Polaris
Officiant: Damian King

It doesn’t get much more classic than trimmed beards to start the Big Day, and bowling balls to end it. Usually the girls get all the special attention to detail on the big day, but for Brooklyn and James, the men were just as spiffed up as the ladies. The guys got their trim on at Goodfellow’s Tonsorial Parlor in German Village. Before the ceremony, they all enjoyed some primp time as they got their hair and beards trimmed and enjoyed some cocktails in the third floor billiards lounge. The groom and groomsmen and the father of the bride and groom were all there to get freshened up.

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The ladies had their hair and makeup done in their private suite at the ACC, just upstairs from where that evening’s festivities would go down. They scooted around town in a charming private trolley for photos before heading back to the club for the beautiful ceremony. After saying their vows in front of their friends and family, it was down one floor to the pool lounge, private bar, and bowling alley of the ACC.


Did anything go comically wrong, or was there anything you wish you had skipped?  The weather on our wedding weekend was looking questionable that entire week with pop up storms being possible (typical Ohio!). We shrugged it off knowing that everything would be inside, but just in case, I ordered clear umbrellas for the wedding party to carry in case we needed them for photos. When we stepped out for group photos at the Statehouse is when the sky decided to open, and we were stuck without the umbrellas which were left at the venue! Luckily, our photographers are total pros and had a couple of their own handy, but we laughed since we had tried to prepare and still failed. Funny enough, those umbrella photos are some of my favorites now!

Was there anything you did or had that made the big day easier? As with most weddings, hair and makeup for the ladies takes up most of the time leading up to the actual wedding itself, and there’s not usually much for the guys to do. To give them their own moment, we booked hair trims and beard touch ups for all of them. They got freshened up, got ready, and even got to hang out on their awesome third floor lounge space to shoot pool and have a drink with great views of the city. It was so fun to look at photos of how they spent the day afterwards!

To go along with that, the girls were able to get ready in the large bridal suite on the 6th floor of the Athletic Club (have I mentioned best venue ever?) with plenty of room to have a fun and relaxing morning, and great views of downtown. It was so convenient to use their guest rooms that night, and to get ready at the venue to save time. Even better was ending the after party and taking the elevator up to call it a night! I’d highly recommend those getting married there to reserve the suite!


Anything else that made your day stand out? We booked our string quartet through Steven Vance musicians, and in that venue, strings took the feeling of our ceremony to the next level. They played classical music for guest arrival, and were able to do a custom arrangement of a Coldplay song as I came down the aisle, which was so special. We exited to the Beatles, and had rave reviews from our guests about the added touch of the quartet!

The Big Day, in six words:Special, fun, DANCING, unexpected, easy, perfect

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Ryan and Amanda

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Ryan and Amanda took “Don’t see the bride until she walks down the aisle,” seriously. However, Amanda, a hairdresser, wanted to make sure Ryan’s long tresses met her standards.

“Before the ceremony I had Ryan face away from me in a chair and I came in behind him and did his hair for our ceremony.”

Amanda also pulled out her crafting game and made her own hairpiece, candles, table runners, wildflower teacups, hanging eucalyptus chandeliers, and glass mushrooms as part of the wildflower and mushroom theme for the day. The mother of bride also stepped up to the plate and made all of the bouquets and decorated the primary wedding cake.

Ryan proposed to Amanda on a mountaintop in Utah, and as a remembrance, his ring is a wooden band made from a branch of a tree on that mountain. Amanda upcycled her grandfather’s ring and incorporated stones from both of their mothers’ rings.

Natural beauty shone through the day as wildflowers and mushrooms became the couple’s theme for their celebration at The Grange Audubon Center. Rather than a traditional guest book, friends and family signed ribbons on a dreamcatcher, a traditional protective charm.

  • Food: Bosc + Brie
  • Officiant: Michael DeMaria, best friend
  • Standout Vendor: Nothing Bundt Cakes
  • Budget: $20,000

The big day in six words

A party full of loved ones.

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Who was someone who made your big day run smoothly?

My bridesmaids and mother were so helpful the day of my wedding. I got out of control crafting every little thing for the wedding and they helped bring my imagination to life. I couldn’t have gotten everything set up the day of without them.

Any standout stories from that day, or something that you’d do over every time if given the chance?

My and my dad’s song is “Free Fallin’” by Tom Petty. My Dad and I decided last minute to do our father-daughter dance to “Wildflowers” by Tom Petty instead. A little later on when everyone was dancing the DJ played “Free Fallin’.” I was looking everywhere for my dad and then I heard his voice singing along on the microphone to “Free Fallin’.” When I looked up at the DJ booth, there he was singing it to me. During cocktail hour he had passed out lyrics to everyone at the wedding so he could surprise me with singing it to me later on in the evening. This was a huge deal because my dad is extremely, extremely shy.

Did anything go comically wrong, or was there anything you wish you had skipped?

EVERYTHING went wrong!! The caterers were understaffed so my bridesmaids, myself and my mom had to help set up most of our wedding set-up. The DJ lost our music and cut our first dance song (we had a dance routine) short. My veil ripped out of my hair coming back down the aisle. The bar ran out of ice and our cake was never served. There was more and I was very caught up in everything that went wrong that day for a while, but now looking back we were so lucky to have the people we love with us in one room. I might have noticed every detail that went wrong, but my guests certainly didn’t. Everyone had a great time. Looking back I laugh about those things that I was so caught up on.

Was there anything you did or had that made the big day easier?

Yes! Hire a wedding planner! Just spend the money on it. It’s worth it! We had a wedding coordinator and that was nice, but a wedding planner is there to make sure you think and feel like your day is perfect.

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Abbey and Michael

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When Abbey met Michael as a high-school football player, became friends with him, and fell in love with him, she also fell in love with his dog Elliot, who came along with Michael to Brewdog to help propose with a festive balloon that read “Marry My Daddy.”

“He was a hit and got a lot of love and attention from our guests,” Abbey said. “He was there just long enough to greet our guests before the ceremony and to pass out treats from ‘Elliott’s Biscuit Bar’ and of course snap a couple of pictures with us, which turned out to be our favorite photos.”

Elliot might have been outdone only by Addison, the less-than-celebratory ring bearer, or Michael’s cousin Chloe, who performed the ceremony. From the DC area, Chloe communicated with the couple via FaceTime to write the ceremony herself, filled with stories of the couple’s eight-year relationship and remembrances of family no longer present. “People to this day still tell me how great Chloe was and how they can’t believe we were her first wedding! Chloe gave us memories that we will cherish as we look back on our wedding day and we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect officiant,” said Abbey.

  • Food: Strongwater catering and late night Adriatico’s Pizza
  • Apparel: Blovedbridal.com and tuxes from Macy’s
  • Booze: Strongwater
  • Officiant: Michael’s cousin Chloe
  • Standout Vendor: LovelyGrainStudio
  • Budget: $20,000

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The big day in six words:

Beautiful easygoing day filled with love.

Who was someone who made your big day run smoothly?

I cannot say enough about the staff at Strongwater. Our day-of coordinator, Ben, made the day run flawlessly. He made sure all of our wishes came true and even let us bring our pup in for pictures! They also let us decorate the day before which helped us out tremendously. Marianne also helped us plan the delicious food and arrange our dessert table.

Any standout stories from that day, or something that you’d do over every time if given the chance?

My dad gave the best, most thoughtful speech ever. I am so glad we got to celebrate our love surrounded by our friends and family.

Did anything go comically wrong, or was there anything you wish you had skipped?

I wish I would have skipped going out the night before! We had too much fun at Hofbrauhaus after our rehearsal dinner. Too many shotskis!

Was there anything you did or had that made the big day easier?

We got ready at the bride bar Gilded Social. The owner of Gilded Social truly helped us out in a pinch and we are forever grateful to her for opening up her stunning space for us. Our getting ready photos turned out beautifully and now you can rent out the space to get ready in! The girls at the bride bar did an amazing job with our large bridal party’s updos and helped us stay on schedule.

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Devin and Kelley

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Imagine being able to forgo the shopping, measuring, and altering and instead creating your dream dress beginning with your imagination. For Kelley, a wedding dress designer, the big day was an opportunity to do just that. Starting with a piece of lace fabric she sourced, Kelley spent an estimated 200 hours constructing her part-floral, part-geometric gown from silk crepe, inspired by elements of various dresses she liked.

“I will say I also played with the total opposite idea of what my gown looked like—something full and poofy. This idea was recycled and ended up being what the flower girl wore,” said Kelley, who (of course) made her flower girl’s adorable dress as well.

Devin and Kelly met in their middle school science class and eventually became high school sweethearts. When Devin decided to propose, he arranged for a whirlwind couple photoshoot starting at the Franklin Park Conservatory, telling Kelley that his friend (later to serve as best man) needed some sample photos to build a website. The session ended at the Main Street Bridge where the ring came out for a true photo finish.

  • Food: Condado Tacos
  • Apparel: Bridesmaids: Show Me Your Mumu
  • Booze: Kroger
  • Officiant: Tyler Plas, brother of the bride
  • Standout Vendors: Flowerman/Pluma Jewelry
  • Budget: $22,000

Who was someone who made your big day run smoothly?

  • Cathy Tuthill of Buckeye Entertainment/Zinnia, Events, Event Coordinator
  • Amber Preston Makeup Artistry, Makeup
  • Michelle Kissel, Hair

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Any standout stories from that day, or something that you’d do over every time if given the chance?

Our ceremony was intimate, personalized, and very emotional. We would highly recommend asking a close friend or family member to officiate to make your ceremony that much more special.

Did anything go comically wrong, or was there anything you wish you had skipped?

We had planned for an outdoor ceremony and it rained the three days leading up to the wedding. The field we planned to get married in was wet and muddy so we made the decision the night before to move everything inside. Always have a back up plan!

Was there anything you did or had that made the big day easier?

Having a day-of wedding coordinator and being able to set up the entire ceremony/reception space the night before eased a lot of stress of the day. We were able to enjoy ourselves and not worry about small details.
Also when budgeting, figure out what are the most important parts of the day to you and your fiancé. Plan your day and budget around what is or is not important.

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