On Saturday, May 29, 2010, DJ Justin, MC Squared, and I (DJ AJ9) had the pleasure of providing wedding ceremony music and sound support, as well as wedding reception disc jockey and master of ceremonies services for the wedding and wedding reception of Heather and Mark held at Happy Days Lodge located at 500 West Streetsboro Road (Rt 303), in Peninsula, Ohio, a beautiful rustic venue that is part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The event was photographed by Callie Mercury and Travis Bukach from 831 Photography.
The bride wore a gorgeous sleeveless V-neck sheath gown with an embellished lace overlay by Emerald Coutouriers (style number 8118), as well as — fulfilling what seems to be becoming a Something New Bride theme — fabulous footwear that very much fit her individual spirit (see photo). The bridesmaids wore J. Crew’s “Gracen“, a short, strapless silk taffeta dress, in the color “spiced wine.” The wedding ceremony was held on the Lodge’s lovely screened-in porch area and was officiated by Pastor Joe Cameneti of Believers Christian Fellowship. Also true to a Something New Bride’s style, Heather had some very specific and innovative ideas about music for the ceremony. Preludes included A River Flows In You by Yiruma, the song originally rumored to be the first choice for “Bella’s Lullaby” in twilight, as well as The Rain by Shane Walsh, and instrumental versions of Franz Schubert’s Ave Maria as played by the O’Neill Brothers, and I Will be Here by Steven Curtis Chapman. The parents were seated to an instrumental version of The Wedding Song by Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul, and Mary. Many of these songs were chosen by the bride from a compilation CD called A Day to Remember by the O’Neill Brothers. It seemed like this CD was a particularly great resource for Heather as we discussed a play list that would bring in some more “traditional” music in to the very eclectic mix for the wedding ceremony and seating.
The couple chose Enya’s Silver Inches for the processional of the bridal party and Enya’s A Day Without Rain for the procession of the bride escorted by her father. The ceremony included a unity candle lighting ceremony using a unity candle decorated by the bride, herself. Heather had hand crafted so many special little accents; it was very obvious that she had put quite a lot of effort into these beautiful homespun decorations over an extended period of time. They looked great – like stuff you see in Magazines like Martha Stewart Weddings or Today’s Bride. Heather’s the sort of kind and modest person who would never toot her own horn, so to speak, so it’s very important to me that I brag on her. You worked hard, Heather, and I want to make sure everyone knows what a great job you did!!! Heather paid attention to little details from the very beginning of her guest’s experience to make them feel truly at home at Happy Day’s Lodge. On their way driving in, guests were encouraged along the long driveway with chalk signs declaring “Almost there” and “You made it!” before being greeted in the foyer with a cheerful arrangement of family photos. Click below to enlarge for more detail!
The more “traditional” guest book was paired with a “Wish Tree” (shown at left) hung with blank tags that guests could write a special wish for the couple upon before returning it to a branch on the tree. In addition to the previously-shown Unity Candle setup above, Heather’s works for the ceremony also included the calico pomanders that decorated the aisle as well as the ceremony programs (shown at right).
A very “welcoming” clothes-pinned escort card rack made out of old shutters (shown below) directed guests to their seats in style, to tables where Heather had designed the centerpieces of galvanized steel buckets filled with seasonal wildflowers, herself, as well as chalkboard table names (in lieu of table numbers) of places and things close to the couple’s hearts — including “Ford,” “Candy Apple,” “Country Living,” “Cowboy,” “Ft. Lauderdale,” and (of course!) “Happy Days Lodge” — and more than a hundred little copper bells tied with twine for guests who wished to inspire the bride and groom to kiss.
The look of the wedding reception was equally warm and unassuming. Decor included Mason jars, a big round slab of tree trunk (shown above) where a gilded silver cake plateau just didn’t fit in, simple, natural browns, wines, and greens, instead of jeweltones or pastels. Hand-tied bouquets and other bridal party flowers were provided by Art N Flowers Florist in Garrettsville. Butter for the bread was even served on fresh little green leaves by Robert J. Catering.
The parents and bridal party made a VERY grand entrance to a custom mix of several songs, before the bride and groom returned in style to Electric Feel by MGMT. Both the best man and maid of honor made very moving toasts before we heard a few words from the father of the groom and a blessing for the meal was given by the father of the bride.
Robert J. Catering staged a country bar-be-que fit for a king (and queen — or maybe just a sweet Northeast Ohio couple who wanted a simple country feel for their wedding!). The buffet included fire-grilled bar-be-que chicken, salad, green beans amandine, yams, and more. The food was prepared fresh and with a flair right on-site; Robert J. brought in a HUGE bar-be-que grill and cooked just outside the screened-in porch. After dinner, Heather and Mark cut their cake, a towering raspberry-filled confection by Michael Angelo’s Bakery, before feeding it to each other very sweetly without even a hint of smash. It was “Aww” inspiring. 😉
The bride and groom shared their traditional first dance as husband and wife to Green Eyes by Coldplay, (a song that became special to the couple because of Heather’s green eyes) followed by the Father-Daughter Dance to Have I Told You Lately? by Rod Stewart (Heather chose this song because her father always says this to her “have I told you lately that I love you?”), and then the Mother-Son dance to The Man You’ve Become by Molly Pastutti chosen by Mark’s mother.
Check out some of the other fun times we had later in the evening in the photos below!