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A 500-Person Wedding Where Festival-Style Meets Garden Party Grace

You would think a 500-person guest list would deter a Bride and Groom from any DIY projects, but that wasn’t the case for Rebecca and Steve, who DIYed multiple elements of their boho garden party meets music festival-inspired wedding. And with Studio Elle Photography on hand to capture it all, The Vault is full of pretty inspiration — from loose, romantic florals to the pharmacist-inspired table names!

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Styles
Classic

From Studio Elle PhotographyRebecca & Steve are two of the most fun-loving, free-spirited couples that I’ve ever had the opportunity to work with. I was absolutely thrilled to be a part of their celebration! The weather was perfect for their tented outdoor garden party at Patterson’s Fruit Farm. There wasn’t a detail overlooked and so many personal touches were done by hand from the bride & groom.

After an afternoon church ceremony, we stopped at various spots around Cleveland for views of the skyline. Rebecca & Steve had so much fun with their wedding party while we made our way to Patterson’s to finish off the day. While the couple and their 500+ guests danced and enjoyed the evening, the sun set behind the rolling hills and orchard. It was the perfect end to the most beautiful day!

From The Bride…With a guest list towering over five hundred, finding a wedding venue in Northeast Ohio was no easy task. When looking for a venue, we knew we wanted it to be unique. My husband Steven proposed to me at our third Bonnaroo together (a four-day-long, outdoor, hippie rave, music festival for those that aren’t familiar), so having our wedding reception outdoors seemed like a natural extension of that free bird attitude, but finding the place to host us and dealing with what seemed like nearly every other opinion on how we needed a back up plan for weather (an August wedding in Cleveland? It could be snowing! It could be over 100 degrees!) was an additional feat. When I originally spoke with Patterson Fruit Farm, I was blessed to get ahold of a woman named Livia, who told me that they have never really tried anything like I was explaining before, but she was willing to pitch it to her boss and would get back to me. She was phenomenal throughout the planning process, and really alleviated a lot of potential bridezilla moments. Patterson’s is a beautiful fruit market and farm located in Cuyahoga Country surrounded by Metroparks. On our wedding day, it was 72 degrees without a cloud in the sky, so we never needed that back up plan! We stuck with a color of ivory, blush, gold, and forest green. Our overall style vision was garden-themed/ festival/ bohemian.

Our ceremony was held at Saint James Catholic Church in Lakewood, Ohio. Our uncles concelebrated the ceremony, which was very special for both of our families (although two Catholic priests marrying their niece and nephew means a very long mass for a our guests!!). When we left the church, our guests were given pill vials that were filled with capsules to throw at us! These were all hand-filled at what we liked to call “wedding work nights,” where we would work for a few hours a night on wedding crafts. The capsules were filled with sugar that was dyed gold and pale pink. Other items that we worked on during wedding work nights were custom water bottles, where we removed all labels from water bottles and added new labels in our wedding colors, and sparkler packages. The sparklers were pretty tedious. It included adorning a four-foot-long sparkler with a mini lighter and hand-stamped label that was also hand “antiqued” with paint. All lighting was done by family, which included bistro lighting throughout the 100 x 80 foot twin peak tent and chandeliers throughout the farm. A sprig of lavender was hand tied with twine to every seating placement. Guests were seated at tables that were named after drug names, since both my husband and I are pharmacists. Since our reception was at an apple farm, fresh apple cider was served throughout the night, both with and without bourbon! For the kids, flavored soda pop was available as well as glow sticks, which the kids ended up taping to themselves and running around the farm — we got some really good photos from that. My something old was a handkerchief that my grandmother carried on her wedding day, my something blue was a hand-stitched cross from my grandmother, and my something borrowed was Steve’s grandmother’s engagement ring. The bridal party went to the Cleveland Browns stadium to play a little pick up game of football which was a good time, too.

There were so many perfect moments. Steve, my husband, surprised me with our first dance by having our band learn our song (Home- Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros) and he serenaded me during a part of the song which was really special and unexpected. I thought it was very special to have both of our uncles marry us. Our wedding day, August 22, is also his parents anniversary, which I think is very special.

AND I CANT FORGET ABOUT THE VENDORS!! So many of our vendors played a huge role in making our day a success. The bridal bouquet was hand tied with roses, dahlias, white stock, snow on the mountain, white veronica, and lisianthus with herbs, seeded eucalyptus, ruscus, and jasmine vine trailing. The bridesmaid bouquets were mismatched to complement the bridal bouquet. Fresh floral crowns were worn by the bride, bridesmaids, and mother of the groom! Long tables with ivory tablecloths and gold-rimmed china were accented with garland centerpieces. Seasonal locally grown flowers and foliages were also scattered throughout the guest tables, cookie table, and candy bar. Gold candelabras were also adorned with floral arrangements throughout the tables. Our cake, by Hummingbird Bake Shop, was a 4-tier “naked” white cake with buttercream frosting, fresh fruit (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries) between layers, each tier with 3 layers. It was the most delicious cake we have ever had! Our invitations were hand drawn by a friend who perfectly captured our personalities onto paper. I wore two of the most GORGEOUS gowns on the day of my wedding — for the ceremony, Something White provided with me “Rosemary” by Amy Kuschel and for the reception I wore “Kensington” by Carol Hannah. The Grammy-nominated musician Alex Meixner Band was the entertainment for the reception with DJ Earl carrying guests into the early hours of the morning at the after party. This meant that guests of all ages danced the night away — with a variation of polka throughout dinner BUT probably the most unique polka band you would ever hear considering they played “Enter Sandman” on the accordion. Guests were able to take home travel CDs, flower crowns, flip flops, light up drink cubes (activated when placed in a cold drink), candy bag, and cookie bag. The cookie table is a tradition from my Youngstown family. At our wedding, we had over 5,000 cookies. My grandmother’s friends helped her over a two-month period to make sure we had enough cookies — and they all went! Immediately following the traditional reception was a sparkler sendoff directly to the after party which went to 3:30 in the morning. At the after party, we served my husband’s and my favorite foods — pizza, green grapes, blueberries, wheat thins, chocolate almond milk, cheez-its, and kettle cooked potato chips and dip!

Honestly, after having an outdoor reception, there is so much more that I know now that I didn’t know then! What do we do with garbage, are we recycling, what about glassware, how many bottles of water do we need, what about bathrooms, what about security, what about noise, what about ice, what about power, and on and on! I would change nothing, but I really did not realize the work that needed to be put in. We created every single detail of this wedding from the ground up. It was a ton of work, and with the exception of Livia at Patterson’s (who doesn’t consider herself a wedding planner although I would beg to differ!) we did it all ourselves. It was so nice to hear so many of our friends and family tell us that our wedding was the best party they have ever been to when it was by far the best day of my life!

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Photography: Studio Elle Photography | Floral Design: Molly Taylor Designs | Wedding Dress: Carol Hannah | Wedding Dress: Amy Kuschel | Wedding Dress: Something White | Cake: Hummingbird Bake Shop | Invitations: Paper Trails | Invitations: Light and Lavender | Ceremony Venue: Saint James Catholic Church | Reception Venue: Patterson's Fruit Farm | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Catan Fashions | Catering: Catered Elegance | Hair + Makeup: Fringe & Foundation Studio | Rentals: Aable Rents

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Bridal Shower Inspiration Worth Stealing!

In my perfect world, every day would include an arrangement of blooms like these, but since that’s not always the case I’ll be pinning these pretties for safe keeping. They’re what set the scene for this bridal shower shoot designed by A Charming Fete and photographed by Lauren Gabrielle. Bridesmaids, consider this your visual guide to planning the ultimate pre-wedding celebration.

From A Charming Fete… We wanted to create an elegant feminine vibe within this rustic stone and reclaimed wood tavern. The patio enclosed with steel frame windows showcased a massive stone hearth, creating the perfect focal point when we draped twelve foot long southern smilax vines over its mantle.

We dressed the tables in organic charcoal and white ticking linens with beautiful blush tone napkins. Menu cards were placed over scalloped plates and mini clear boxes filled with champagne bubbles (gummies) were set at each place setting and topped with custom monogram sticker.

The dessert table was a feast of beautiful treats with a variety of French macarons and two pink meringue towers. The chocolate salted caramel cake topped with blush buttercream and intricate sugar flower anemone detail was as pretty as it was delicious. What a gorgeous and perfect day for our lovely bride and groom!

Photography: Lauren Gabrielle Photography | Dessert Table Linen + Plates: Event Source | Desserts: Kelsey Elizabeth Cakes | Floral Design + Event Design: A Charming Fete | Linen Rentals + Napkins: La Tavola Fine Linens | Stationery + Stickers: Minted

P.S. 15 Perfectly Girly Bridal Shower Details

Bridal Shower Details
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Bridal Shower Details
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Timeless + Elegant Cleveland City Hall Wedding

When you hear the phrase “city hall wedding,” you probably think of a simple ceremony with only the Bride and Groom present. This is not that kind of city hall wedding. From the Bride’s glamorous backless, ivory lace dress to Molly Taylor Designs‘ gorgeous flowers, this day is truly something special. See it all from Lauren Gabrielle Photography in The Vault!

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Styles
Classic

From The Bride…Joe and I met September 25th in Akron, Ohio at a wedding. My childhood best friend and his cousin were tying the knot and an introduction was inevitable since we were both single and living in New York City. At the end of the evening we exchanged numbers and we had our first date the following week. Fast-forward five years to our wedding date, September 26th. Since we are both from Cleveland, our hometown was the best way to ensure our family and friends would be there to celebrate with us.

For our ceremony, we decided on the breathtaking Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. We looked at four venues downtown before deciding on the City of Cleveland’s Grand Hall Rotunda. It was the perfect compliment to the Cathedral as both had a timeless and elegant feel. Each possessed arched ceilings and marble columns and we knew the sophisticated space would speak for itself. Cocktail hour would be held on the open-air second floor overlooking the reception.

From there, the rest fell into place. In keeping with our timeless and elegant theme, I chose a backless, ivory lace dress with a glamorous vintage feel. I knew it was the one the moment I put it on and I could envision myself holding a hand-tied, flowing, bridal bouquet. To compliment my dress, I chose midnight blue, one-shoulder bridesmaid dresses accessorized with custom jewels from designer and friend, Sarah Johnson.

There were other elements of the day that were incredibly special to me. My mother wrote by hand the place cards for our guests. My father helped by painting various items for our “keys to happiness” display so they were a beautiful gold metallic finish. The diamonds in my wedding band were from pieces of my mother’s own collection and our wedding bands were made by hand by my sister-in-law’s father.

While all of the personalized touches made our reception unique, our flowers really brought the space to life. Our original florist fell through less than a week before our wedding and it was a blessing in disguise. I immediately called Molly Taylor and she was incredible. We had three different designs for our tables with various elements of dahlias, ranunculus and willow eucalyptus to name a few. Her floral creations truly transformed the Rotunda. She brought the three-tier cake decorated with a herringbone pattern to life by tying in complimentary florals on each tier.

It is difficult for me to choose my favorite moment of the day so I settled on two. Taking pictures after the ceremony was so much fun! Joe was incredible and knew how important it was for me to capture this moment in time. He did everything that was asked of him (which required some heavy lifting!) and we had a great time posing for the different shots and going with the flow. Lauren from Lauren Gabrielle Photography was an incredible guide and fun to work with. She truly captured the emotions of our day and we are thrilled with the photos. We are incredibly lucky to have found her and believe our investment in a quality photographer was one of our best decisions during the planning process.

I also loved dancing with my dad. He chose our song himself, Blue Skies by Willie Nelson, and it was perfect. Growing up we loved listening to music together and it was so special to share that moment with him.

To me, our wedding day was flawless and I would not change one thing. I felt as though the day and design truly reflected Joe and I as a couple and was a wonderful way to start our new life together. My advice for brides-to-be is to take your planner hat off several days before your wedding day. I made sure everything was ready to go and taken care of the week before and the few days leading up to the wedding were relatively stress-free. This really allowed me to take in the experience and to be present. I treated the morning of our wedding like any other day. I went to the gym, had a latte and enjoyed the company of my friends. I made up my mind our wedding would be perfect long before the day arrived and in the company of our closest family and friends, I was so excited to see Joe at the end of the aisle that afternoon.

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Photography: Lauren Gabrielle Photography | Cinematography: Langer Imagery | Floral Design: Molly Taylor Designs | Wedding Dress: Kenneth Winston Private Label | Cake: Wild Flour Bakery | Invitations: Invite Designs | Ceremony Venue: St. John The Evangelist | Reception Venue: Cleveland City Hall Rotunda | Bride's Shoes: J.Crew | Jewelry: Sisoo | Rings: Q2 Jewelry And Services | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Lela Rose | Catering: A Taste Of Excellence | Makeup: Tiffini Morton Esthetically Pleasing | Hair: Lather A Salon | Lighting: Soleus Lighting | Band: Ashley Wilcox And The Cosmos | Bridal Boutique: Bridal And Formal

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here