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Rustic romance: A candlelight, country-styled wedding

When looking back on our wedding day, the first thoughts that come to mind are: 1) Marrying my husband, Chris, was the best decision I’ve ever made; 2) Our dessert table was especially delicious; 3) How so much planning and thought goes into one evening…and how I would do it all over again, in a heartbeat!

Planning a wedding involves so many decisions: what style of dress, what type of venue, what music to play; the list of choices to make is endless. But planning a wedding is really not that different from decorating your home – you choose your theme, your ambiance, and all of the little decisions help to bring your vision, and your dream, to life. In celebration of our 3-year anniversary, here’s a sneak peek into our rustic, romantic wedding day.

What sets the tone for an entire wedding? The dress! I am definitely very traditional, but I do like to put my own spin on traditions – evidenced by my choosing a pink dress to wear on our wedding. I first saw it in a magazine, and absolutely fell in love. Once I tried it on, I couldn’t consider anything else, and just knew it was the one (and the same could be said about my husband!)

The dress inspired my veil, shoes, jewelry and accessories: a collection of soft, pastel hues, silver, and diamonds. Even my veil had tiny crystals that would catch the sunlight.

Who doesn’t love a little sparkle?

Finding a wedding venue means searching for that place that feels perfectly “you.” It’s similar to decorating your home, in that you are creating a space that is uniquely yours. It draws you in, speaks to you, and makes you feel like you are right where you belong. For us, that meant finding a big white barn in the country with horses grazing on the property (Columbia Ballroom - keep reading to see a photo!). Growing up as an equestrian, I loved having the fond reminders of childhood days spent riding on our special day. One of our photographer’s photos of the horses even ended up as artwork in our master bathroom remodel.

We decorated the entire venue ourselves. Other than the giant, prominent lanterns and gorgeous ivory fabric draped across the rafters, it was my husband, sister, cousin, and our parents who helped us arrange every detail.

That was also part of why the evening felt so special – we could not have done it all without the love and support of our families.

My bridal bouquet was a mix of pastel roses with hints of lavender (a sign of devotion and good luck for weddings).

We choose to create our own centerpieces. Tables alternated with candlelit lanterns and homemade arrangements of hydrangeas and roses with flowers purchased from Trader Joe’s. The Trader Joe’s florist was incredibly helpful, and gave us plenty of tips to ensure our flowers looked their best on the big day (although that may not have stopped me from losing a bit of sleep wondering how they were holding up overnight in the garage! Turns out, those cool Cleveland nights are the perfect temperature for preserving fresh flowers). They complimented our tablescape of ivory linens, burlap runners, pastel pink satin chair sashes, pewter place settings, and an abundance of tealight candles.

We created our table assignments display with a wooden pallet and chalk paint, and secured the seating cards with tiny clothespins on twine. Because I just had to add diamonds at any opportunity, each seating card was adorned with a few crystals.

Our romantic, rustic theme even carried into our dessert table. An incredibly delicious mix of cupcakes from Topped with Buttercream, donuts from Brewnuts, and homemade cookies and chocolate-covered pretzels from a family friend, the table was decorated with wooden crates, vintage serving trays (including one that was reminiscent of a tree), vases of flowers, and rose petals. Even the faux flowers on our wedding cake topper were selected to coordinate with our color scheme and theme.

It’s those memories, and looking back over our photo albums, that make me smile. It reminds me how all of the planning and decisions were absolutely worthwhile. It was truly a magical evening that we created for our guests, and an incredible start to our life together. And that’s what we hope to achieve with our home - a charming place for others, and for us.