May 1, 2021 was the best day ever…literally! Cory & I tied the knot at Irongate Equestrian Center in Croton, Ohio. There was so much planning that went into every detail, and I wanted to share all of those details with all of you. Enjoy browsing through our wedding day favorites, and reading a little bit about how Cory & I personalized our wedding day. (Don’t miss a preview of our wedding video at the very end!)
Before we get too far in, I have to stop and say a huge THANK YOU to all of our incredible vendors:
Venue: Irongate Equestrian Center
Photographer: Amanda Allen Photography
Videographer: ALC Productions
Florist: Blooms by Amanda
Hair & makeup: Le Reve Makeup
DJ: Josh Staley Productions
Caterer & Cake: Catering by Scott
I always told my brides that they would spend more time than they thought they would on their wedding details… and that was absolutely true for me haha! One of my favorite details of the wedding day was our flowers. They were the perfect pop of color for our spring day and I incorporated them wherever I possibly could. When my florist, Amanda, suggested that I do a floral hairpiece, I had to say yes!
Cory is a graphic designer, so we obviously had to design all of the paper goods ourselves, including the invitation suite, favor, seating chart, memory table signage, wedding program, etc.
My something borrowed was my pearl bracelet (from my sister) and my beaded clutch (from my grandma). My something blue was my garter & my something old was the krenolin in my dress, which was from my mom’s wedding dress that we sewed into my dress to poof out the bottom a little bit more.
We both changed into Nike sneakers for our reception, and our friend Ashley customized mine with glitter and ribbon laces.
For Cory’s wedding gift, I gave him a personalized watch. Cory’s parents gave him personalized cuff links and a money clip with his grandmother’s fingerprint. My mom & mother-in-law both gave me a handkerchief as a keepsake.
Cory’s suit was custom made for him & I love how it has our wedding date on the inside pocket. One of the things that Cory wanted to do with his groomsmen & ushers was a Malort shot… he calls it the “friendship shot” & always does one with his friends to create a fun memory. It’s this disgusting tasting liquor and I can’t believe he wanted to taste it on his wedding day! As part of their wedding gift, Cory gave his groomsmen all personalized shot glasses to commemorate the memory.
We did 3 first looks on our wedding day: one with my bridesmaids, one with my dad, and a first touch with Cory. We chose not to see each other before the ceremony, but we wrote letters to each other and read them to each other around a corner. I cried the whole time haha (aka the start of a LOT of happy tears for the day!)
I also gave my dad a personalized tie clip, and both my mom & mother-in-law a personalized handkerchief.
My sweet friend Hanna did my hair & makeup. Thank goodness she was there because she had to fix my makeup at least twice since I cried it all off! I picked out a perfume (Giorgio Armani’s My Way) & wore it to all of my wedding-related events, like bridal showers, my bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, and of course, the wedding. It was a fun way to incorporate a scent into the memories and now I’m brought back to this sweet day every time I wear it.
Another special moment from the day was when all of the ladies in my life prayed with me before the ceremony.
May 1st was a VERY windy day…. and a very sunny one, too! There were zero clouds in the sky and my veil barely stayed in it was so windy!
With our wedding being at the beginning of spring, we honestly didn’t know if there would be any leaves on the trees. Because of that, we opted to do an indoor ceremony so that we didn’t have to worry about the weather. I’ve always known that I wanted to be married in front of a cross, so my dad handmade one for our ceremony.
Because we didn’t do a traditional, first look, I still wanted Cory to have a “reaction” after seeing me walk down the aisle. Usually, when couples don’t do a first look, the groom doesn’t get to talk to his bride-to-be & tell her how beautiful she looks until 30 minutes later after the ceremony is over. So instead, we did our own little “first look” right there at the end of the aisle, Cory spun me around so he could see my whole dress, and then we started our ceremony.
Another thing that I knew I wanted during our ceremony was worship. Cory’s talented college friends led worship for us, and we sang Hallelujah Here Below and Here is in Heaven. What a powerful few moments during our ceremony!
As one of our first acts as husband & wife, we choose to share communion together. The plate & cup that were used were the same ones that Cory’s parents used at their wedding. After communion, Cory & I shared our personal vows with each other. After we finished, Cory laid them at the foot of the cross. Ethan & Melanie sang “When I Say I Do” by Matthew West during this part of the ceremony.
Another fun tidbit is that I got to pick out Cory’s ring all by myself. He had no idea what it looked like until a put it on his finger during the ceremony! I think he likes it haha
Finally, after we were pronounced husband and wife, our guests blew bubbles as we walked back down the aisle. This photo at the end of the section here is one of my favorites from the entire day!
After our ceremony, our guests got to mingle throughout the property for cocktail hour. Cory’s favorite part was that we designated the stall hallway just for this! haha Anyway, we went outside to take some bridal party pictures and then bride and groom pictures after family formals.
For the reception, we opened up all of the curtains so that you could see the entire arena from the front to the back. It was absolutely beautiful with all of the twinkle lights!
We borrowed my brother’s hedge wall & our friend made a life-size version of our logo for a photo backdrop that was set up in the cocktail hour area. We also had instax cameras out at the cocktail tables with picture placemats for people to take a picture themselves and then leave one for us. We now have quite the collection of polaroids to cherish!
Our guests had quite a few guest “books” to sign. We had a small guest book with our engagement photos for guests to sign at the entrance & a big picture frame as well. One of our favorites was the whiskey barrels! Cory loves a good whiskey, so as a wedding gift, his brother gave him 2 whiskey barrels to have our guests sign at the wedding, then they were taken back to the distillery in Michigan where they distilled his favorite whiskey in the barrels. Six months later, we got the whiskey from the barrels and the barrels back as a keepsake!
May 1st was actually the same day as the Kentucky Derby & we got married at a horse arena, so our signature cocktail was a bourbon mint julep (the official Kentucky Derby drink!).
Growing up, my grandma always had her wedding dress on display in her bathroom. I knew that my mom also had her dress and we actually took it out of the box a few years ago to try it on. I had this fun idea to display family dresses at the wedding & both of Cory’s mom & grandma also had their dresses. That in & of itself is RARE, but we also had my great-grandmother’s wedding dress AND my great-great grandmother’s wedding dresses. Our family has a long legacy of strong marriages (over 550+ years between our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents), and it was such an honor to display some of those memories at our reception.
Both Cory and I love photography, so we wanted our favor to be something that reminded our guests of us. We decided to do a gold picture frame at everyone’s seat.
If you’ve ever met me or someone in my family, you know how much we love our sweets. Our guests had 3 cupcake flavors to choose from and wayyyyy too many (I think like 20+) cookie options to choose from. Our friends and family all made some cookies so that was a fun treat!
My favorite surprise of the reception was that I got to wear a different, shorter veil. You only get to wear a veil for one day in your life, so I wanted to take full advantage of that!
Our good friend Josh DJ’d the evening and to this day, we’re still getting compliments on how much fun they had at our reception and ALLL the props goes 100% to Josh. He knocked it out of the park and is hands down the best DJ in the area!
Cory is a huge fan of the office (and he’s the reason why I watched the whole show!), so our entrance song to the reception was Forver by Chris Brown. Matt & Katy even danced in with tissue boxes on their feet!
My Great Uncle Bruce said the blessing, which was so special because he also did the blessing at my sister’s wedding. My dad gave a toast, as well as my sister (Maid of Honor) and Cory’s brother (the Best Man).
Something else that we did was had a photo taken with each of our tables as we greeted them after dinner. I actually love so many of these! People always say that the day goes by so fast, so I love that I have these photos to remember who all was there, where they sat, etc.
Of course, we had to sneak away for some sunset portraits! We had the most beautiful glow!
We danced our way back into the reception in our reception sneakers. We had a Chick-Fil-A late night snack, and I even got to guest DJ the dancefloor for a little bit. It was an incredible night!
We can’t thank our amazing vendor team enough for such an amazing day.
Here’s a link to our wedding trailer as well. I’ve watched this over and over and over. It’s a beautiful snapshot of our day! Don’t miss the bald eagle in the beginning that flew over the venue!
I hope you all enjoyed this look into our wedding day. It really was the best day & I’m so glad that I have all of these memories now in one place.