One of the first things that Liz told me when I met with her and her Mom for the first time was that she HATES traditional weddings. She thinks they are boring, she dislikes all the traditional events and there would be NONE of that at her wedding – no dances, no introductions, no bouquet and garter toss, no boredom allowed! She summed up the wedding she wanted as simple, pretty, rustic and completely unexpected with sunflowers everywhere! I would have to say, we nailed it!
Liz and John met while Liz was in high school but as often happens with young love, the relationship ended and they went their separate ways. 5 years later, they got back in touch and picked up right where they left off.
Their wedding took place on a Sunday afternoon at Highbanks Metro Park exactly a week after the Columbus area got hit by a Hurricane Ike related wind storm – we all were quite thankful that the wedding wasn’t scheduled for the weekend before! Guests were directed to the wedding by a wooden sign that was handmade by the groom. We later used it as a signing board in lieu of a guestbook.
Liz wanted a simple wedding ceremony in a pretty setting so we set up rows of white chairs in a clearing under a huge old tree with lots of sunflowers on the aisle. Liz carried a bouquet of big yellow sunflowers while her girls carried bouquets of smaller, reddish sunflowers with the stems wrapped in burlap. Liz was walked down the aisle by her brother to the music of a bluegrass band led by her cousin’s husband. After a very sweet and a very short ceremony, Liz and John walked back down the aisle and rather than bubbles or petals or birdseed, they were ‘showered’ with Silly String. Trust me when I say, it fit their personalities to a T and it made for some great pictures!
The guests enjoyed lemonade, tea, pastries and bluegrass music while the bridal party took pictures. After the non-alcoholic cocktail hour (no alcohol allowed in the Metro Parks, after all), the guests were lead over a small footbridge through a gathering of trees to the Northern Shelter for dinner.
We set up the pavilion by pushing together the loooooong picnic tables to make six 20′ tables. The tables were covered with brown and terracotta linens with burlap runners. Mason jars filled with sunflowers and candles lined the center of each table. We hung 80 lanterns in white, chocolate and mango from the rafters and lined the outside pillars with huge cornstalk arrangements. Liz’s father passed away very unexpectedly 6 years ago so we put pictures of him with Liz and Liz and John with lots of candles on the mantel of the fireplace. It was a lovely tribute to someone who was greatly missed and probably the most commented on part of the wedding.
After dinner, the guests enjoyed a cornhole tournament (for those of you not from Ohio, it is a beanbag toss game) and rounds of horseshoes. It was the perfect end to a wedding that was exactly what the bride and groom ordered – pretty, rustic, simple and unexpected. Liz and John wanted a party that happened to include a wedding and that was exactly what they got.
Liz and her family have faced some tough situations in the time they have been with me including mom’s battle with cancer – this wedding was exactly what they needed to forget all that for a little while and just celebrate life, love and family. Since those are what any wedding should include, I guess there was something traditional in there after all.
Planner: Emilie Duncan Event Planning
Florist: DIY with flowers from Anderson Orchard
Photographer: Grogan Studios
Wedding Cake and Groom’s Cake: Our Cupcakery
Ceremony and Reception Site: Highbanks Metro Park
Catering: Hoggy’s Catering
Linens and Rentals: Lasting Impressions
More coming soon from Alison and Brian at Grogan Studios!