Woven in the depths of this beautiful day is a love story that spans across the world and back. From a college anthropology class to a sabbatical in South Africa, these two loveies planned their long-awaited wedding with no shortage of heart, soul, and homage to their adventures along the way. Heather Waraksa snapped up every can’t-miss moment, and there’s more sitting pretty right here.
And don’t you dare miss Nathan Pickett Films amazing capture of the day!
From the Bride…We met in college, where we both studied anthropology (with the same advisor!) – but didn’t know each other much at all. After graduation, we both moved to South Africa (Steve a year before me), where we worked for an NGO called mothers2mothers (which tries to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV) and started dating.
From Heather Waraksa…In Ohio, the couple was married in Amy’s parents’ backyard. The wedding took take place on June 30, the day following her grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary and two days prior to her parents’ 35th anniversary. In lieu of a rehearsal dinner, the ceremony was preceded by an ‘80s-themed Pre-Party, complete with an “’80s Prom Chic” dress code. The party featured a live show by Rubix Kube, a Manhattan-based ‘80s cover band, on the Main Stage of Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A Jewish ceremony was officiated by Rabbi Richard Block, Amy’s family’s rabbi. Prior to the ceremony, the couple’s close friend and mentor, Katherine Halsey, a French and English teacher at the Thatcher School in Ojai, California, who met the couple while on sabbatical at mothers2mothers in 2006, officiated a “Reflections” ceremony inspired by Quaker wedding ceremonies the couple have attended. Andre Biehl, the son of Professor João Biehl, their shared advisor at Princeton, served as ring bearer. Andre was actually born during that fateful first medical anthropology course in 2001.
“The two celebrations evoke all the things that are important to us,” says Steve, “friends, family, silliness, devotion to a social cause, good food, good wine, and adventures that bring together our disparate communities.” For a couple whose lives have been so similar for so long, the moment for finally uniting them and their communities has been a very long time coming indeed.
Photography: Heather Waraksa | Planning + Coordination + Decor: Heidzillas | Production (Fri and Sat): Rock the House Entertainment | Cinematography: Nathan Pickett Films | Venue: Private Residence | Band: Erik Marshall Band | Floral Design: Blooms by Plantscaping | Dinner Set-Up Design: Katy Oursler | Catering: Spice of Life Catering | Ceremony Music: Arion String Ensembles | Tent: Aable Rents | Rentals: Event Source | Linens: L’nique | Transportation: Lolly the Trolley | Bridal Party Limo: A1 Mr. Limo |Valet: All Star Valet | Bar Services: Libations | Saturday Cake: Flour Girl at Luna Bakery | Food trucks: Driftwood Restaurants and Catering + Dim and Den Sum + Hodge Podge | Fireworks: American Fireworks | Invitations + Tote Bag Images: Mr. Boddington’s Studio | Make-up: Kelly Miron, The Powder Room | Ketubah: Melanie Dankowicz | Chuppah: Paul Malone (brother-in-law of the groom) | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Groom + Groomsmen Suits: Bonobos | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid | Engagement Ring + Bride + Groom’s Bands: Michael W. Hayes | Sapphire Ring: Greenwald Antiques | Shoes: Kate Spade | Groom’s Shoes: Allen Edmonds at Kilgore Trout