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!
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.
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 | Vendor: The Bride's Aunt & Grandmother