AnnMarie and Steve got married on the rainiest weekend I can recall. The kind of rain that you cannot even see through because it appears to be a waterfall dropping down from an unseen sky. Except…for about 2-1/2 hours in Dennison, Ohio at a place aptly named The Barn on Enchanted Acres, the rain stopped. I can clearly recall driving to the venue wondering if the rain would delay guests arriving, it was that awful. But as I got within about 15 minutes the rain was no longer a downpour, then a few miles out it was a drizzle, then a mist. And as I pulled up, already clad in my raincoat, I stepped outside and not a drop was falling. I zipped around getting location photos and outdoor details assuming this was a brief respite. But as AnnMarie donned her gown, it held off. As Steve and the guys raised a glass of whiskey to the day, it held off. As the staff dried off the chairs at the outdoor ceremony site, no new rain fell. So AnnMarie and Steve, who had such hopes and dreams were married in front of family and friends on a mild November day under a gray but non-threatening sky. And after they became Mr. & Mrs. we wandered around the gorgeous grounds; they swung on the floral swing a bit, cuddled as the air grew cooler, laughed with joy at their luck as we fit in our last few photos before entering their reception. And within moments of their grand entrance I once again heard the sound of rain falling. They say that rain on your wedding day is good luck. AnnMarie and Steve had that and more in finding each other and if volume of rain counts, even with the break in the weather they still earned enough for several lifetimes on their wedding day.
A special thanks from the Bride and Groom to David Stewart who was an amazing wedding planner and florist.
Venue: The Barn on Enchanted Acres – Dennison, OH
Cake: Litty’s Cakes & Cookies – New Philadelphia, OH
Caterer: Benson’s Market & Catering – Dover, OH
When your heart is shared so completely with another person that your home is wherever the two of you are together you have the ultimate in freedom. Katie & Jimmy are travelers, wanderers, explorers and part of me wants to be a mouse tucked into their wheeled home to go along with them. I know they will make amazing friends, have wonderful adventures and always end their days talking about what the future holds. But, I am a homebody who cannot rest unless it is in her own bed so I will be grateful to continue our friendship online and share in their adventures that way.
When I first spoke with Katie about her wedding, she was clear that the ceremony was important, but the people that were coming to share in the celebration were just as much so. Everything was planned in such a guest friendly way, from blankets and hot cocoa in case the evening got chilly, to the magical comfort food of a Swenson’s Food Truck to Katie personally cooking up veggie burgers to ensure vegan guests did not go hungry, it was just a party where a couple happened to get married as well. The setting was the country backyard we all wish we had that they found on AirBNB that really isn’t a wedding venue, but might sometimes be and really and truly should be because Lisa & Rich were amazing hosts! McHale Barns & Grounds was the perfect setting for every part of Katie & Jimmy’s day!
This wedding came off beautifully! And you know why? Because planning, detailed, beautifully executed planning by an amazing group of people. Chrystal, Josh and a phenomenal group of family and friends who love them came together and took Chrystal’s dream and made it real! I love getting inside details on wedding planning from my couples, and with Chrystal I gladly exchanged texts and Facebook messages for hours and was simply giddy with excitement as I saw her vision coming together bit by bit. From the longtime family friends who re-opened the amazing Valley Lake Campground to my own family’s adopted Aunt Kim (who holds the same position of honor to Chrystal as well because she is that awesome) custom mixed drink menu and plethora of Jello-o shots (yeah, I now know there is a such a thing as Jell-o shot racing) to the many, many hands who prepared food, help decorate and so many other touches.
The reason why everyone came together to celebrate is the simple, but clear love that Josh and Chrystal share for each other and the daughters that Josh has taken into his heart as his own. Josh was prepared to be a bachelor for at least another 14 years, but was powerless to resist the charms of three lovely ladies!
We began our day at Chrystal’s salon, His & Hers Salon and Barbershop, where everyone was beautified from hair to nails to make-up in a sweet, rustic setting. We met up with the Groom in Garretsville, where these two grew up and where we had held their engagement session. Their First Look moved everyone to tears and Josh’s…ahem..dance moves on the gaudy yellow pole someone I am cross with installed in the past month made everyone fall about laughing (yep, you’re about to see that photo). And finally we headed to Valley Lake Campground for photos under the willow trees that dot the shoreline and which were the inspiration for Chrystal’s entire dream wedding. To me this is not at all by chance; the willow’s deep strength and stubbornness allow it to grow and thrive in the strange and challenging area where the land meets water and yet it remains so flexible, sheltering and also beautiful. To me this is just a natural reflection of both Chrystal and Josh.