Silver, black, and white outshone Justin and Nicole’s outdoor wedding. These two were so hands on with the elements in their big day, considering all the DIY’s they made by themselves! The invites, programme, escort cards, and table numbers were all made by Nicole. While the altar which is now a console in the couple’s dining room was made by Justin. Ahh, two creative souls united. My hats off to their reception venue choice, it need not much lighting as natural light glistened through its large window panes. Their photos appeared natural because of this. By the way, Nicole was on a feminine ivory wedding gown with a touch of sophistication and flirt. Wink-wink! And if you’ve got Adele, John Mayer, and Eric Clapton singing in your wedding then the whole event must be sublime. To Justin and Nicole, enjoy the ride together, to infinity and beyond!
Justin and I actually only lived about a mile apart growing up, but attended separate elementary schools so did not really know each other until later in high school. Both of us had mutual friends and played sports so we started to become acquaintances our junior year.
In the lunch line at school one day we were talking about prom and out of the blue Justin asked if I wanted to go with him and our first date was Junior prom. After high school, we both chose the University of Cincinnati for different reasons but traveled south together for college. He and I had separate internships where we traveled and gained experience in our chosen professions and spent a lot of time long distance, which made us closer in the end.
After college our jobs allowed us to stay in Cincinnati and on April Fools day of 2013 Justin proposed after some elaborate lying leading me to believe he hurt and wrapped his finger. After revealing the bandage was only hiding an engagement I knew the real reason he proposed on April first was to pay homage to his late grandfathers birthday. We wed on May 31st of 2014, one day shy of our 8 year anniversary!
We Are A Perfect Match
We have some very similar interests but at the same time have some things that we can enjoy on our own and bring back into our relationship. I am the oldest and very extroverted and Justin is the youngest and much more quiet, so we not only balance each other out. I push him to be more adventurous and outspoken and he keeps me calm and grounded. We challenge each other to be better in every aspect of our lives, but are there for one another one hundred percent of the time!
I knew he was planning on proposing soon, and said that it would not be very nice to propose on April first, because that was technically a day I could say no and be joking (although I would never really do that). He works in construction and decided to text me and tell me he cut his finger and needed to get stitches, even sent me a photo of his wrapped finger while sitting at home on the couch in the middle of the afternoon. After I got home that evening he said he needed some help changing the bandage so at the end of the wrap he revealed no hurt hand, but an engagement ring on the top of his ring finger and I immediately started crying.
He got down on one knee and asked if I would spend the rest of my life with him. I knew the real reason he proposed on April first was to pay homage to his late grandfather, as it was his birthday and his way of making him a part of the celebration.
The Planning Process
We took 14 months, it was a good amount of time for us to enjoy being engaged for a little while and find the right place and vendors. We also and plenty of time to figure out what details we really wanted but by the end of it we were very ready to be married! I would say it was a good amount of time for an engagement without feeling rushed.
The Best Advice We Received
If there are details that do not get accomplished no one will even notice so don’t stress the details. Also, take some time to enjoy being engaged, you will never get that time back!
Tips & Tricks For Future Brides
I tried to find things like vases, frames, ribbon, paper straws, etc. at thrift stores, garage sales and store sales which helped save a lot of money and in the end were great details I was really proud of. I also decided to do a little research and order flowers online from Costco , which are shipped directly from the flower companies. Most all of these lasted through and after the wedding with some food and refills on water and looked just as beautiful in the end.
The Challenges We Faced
How many people and who to invite was a point of discussion that was a little stressful but in the end we were very happy how it all turned out. Money I think is always a big discussion with couples, but we talked through everything and were very selective on how we accomplished tasks so it all worked out in the end.
We were going for a really classic look that we could always look back on and love so we went with Black, White, and Silver. The venue was a gorgeous neutral location that fit the classic look and feel and offered natural light and elements that made both the outdoor ceremony and reception intimate and beautiful. Simple white flowers were really pure and silver accents added a touch of sparkle. The venue allowed for us to not have to decorate as much because of its natural beauty which allowed us to focus on other personal details.
Wedding Decor Inspiration
We were going for a really classic look that we could always look back on and love so we went with Black, White, and Silver. The venue was a gorgeous neutral location that fit the classic look and feel and offered natural light and elements that made both the outdoor ceremony and reception intimate and beautiful.
Simple white flowers were really pure and silver accents added a touch of sparkle. The venue allowed for us to not have to decorate as much because of its natural beauty which allowed us to focus on other personal details.
Wedding Outfit Inspiration
For the whole look I wanted simple but sophisticated. For my dress I really wanted a flirty feminine dress that had classic feel to it. I am curvy and proud of it so to feel comfortable in my dress was wonderful. I added the black ribbon to my ivory dress as a nod to the black and white scheme with silver jewelry accents.
The bridesmaids had classic little black dresses with their own shoes, gifted jewelry from the bride, and pure white flowers.
The groomsmen more black suites with a light pinstripe with silver vests and ties and white roses.
The junior bridesmaid (Justin’s niece) wore a silver dress while the ring bearer (Justin’s nephew) matched the groomsmen, both however adorned by baby’s breath.
Our Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Projects
The bride designed all stationary including the save the dates, invitations, programs, escort cards and table numbers. The Invitations, rsvp, map and accommodations were wrapped in a black and white ribbon and the envelope sealed with a silver seal. The program was made to fold out and be used as a fan in the outdoor ceremony, a point accentuated by the Pastor in his sermon.
Golf Tees adorned with the bride and grooms’ name and wedding date used as escort cards. We printed everyones name on one side and table on the other and tied them around the top of the tee with black and white ribbon.
The altar was made by the groom and now used in their home as a console table in the dining room.
The vases were all bought from thrift stores, garage sales and and store painted to replicate mercury glass by the bride, then given as gifts to close family members afterward.
The flowers were ordered from Costco, delivered the Thursday before the wedding and designed by the bride and her family
We saved money on all the small details by doing it ourselves with help from family and friends. I designed all the stationary and painted the vases. Justin made the altar, pedestals, and escort tee holder. Friends and family helped with flowers, escort cards, and day of set up.
We spent the most on the venue, which included the ceremony and reception location, dinner and drinks. Having it all at one location saved on time and stress of managing two separate places, which made the day so much more enjoyable.
The Guest List
We invited between 180-190 but in the end had about 145 or so, which was a really manageable size. It was mostly family, some extended family that were closer to us and our parents and our closest friends. It made for a really intimate night, which was great.
Pre Ceremony there were contemporary songs that were created into instrumental ballads.
Processional: Four Seasons – Vivaldi
Bride’s Entrance: Bridal March
Recessional: Viva La Vida – Coldplay
First Dance: Make you Feel my Love – Adele
Father Daughter Dance: Fathers and Daughters – John Mayer
Mother Son Dance: One Hot Mama – Trace Adkins & Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton
The Royalton in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, a beautiful all-inclusive resort right on the beach that was relaxing and enjoyable. We left two weeks after the wedding so we could have some time to decompress from the wedding and really enjoy each others company.
The Next Step
We bought a house and are fixing it up a bit but are really excited to start a family in the upcoming years.
Planning Advice For Couples
For us we really tired to make decisions together and think what we really wanted. As hard as it may be try not to stress over things, in the end most likely everything will work out. Little things you might not get to in the end will not matter and no one will notice, you will be married and happy by the end of the day! Also, take some time to rally enjoy the engagement, it will fly by!
The Album Story
High school sweethearts who have grown to love and respect one another over 8 years wed in a ceremony with details that reflect their personalities surrounded by those who mean the most to them.
Highlights from the Ceremony and the Reception
The bride and groom wrote letters to one another and read them before their first look, a very emotional moment before seeing each other for the first time.
The Pastor performing the ceremony was the Uncle of the Groom, who also wed the grooms’ parents and both of his sisters!
The Groom secretly had his uncle add to his vows “I will love you more than the Cleveland Browns” which made the whole place light up with laughter.
Justin surprised his mom with an intro to their dance when he had the DJ play ‘One Hot Mama’ by Trace Adkins and had all the groomsman come around and fan her, which made her laugh, but is typical of her son.
Favorite Part of the Day
The First Look was really special, but also the speeches were really heartwarming. My sisters who acted as co maids of honor each spoke, as well as the best man and my father. We still watch the home videos of the speeches every now and then.
A Memorable Moment
On top of remembering that it was just a gorgeous day all around, the most memorable for us were the letters to one another right before our first look and seeing each other in that moment. I think the guests will remember the speeches, especially my fathers who had some great words for my husband on what he has learned about me over 25 years. Justin and I were also really touched by the maids of honor and best man speeches.
Photographer: Luckybird Photography
Dress Store: Bridal & Formal Inc.
Bakery: Cherry Lane Custom Cakes
Tuxedo and Mens Attire: President Tuxedo
Hair Stylist: Shamas Salon & Spa
Event Venue: Toledo Country Club
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