Suzette and Brad were married at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Columbus, Ohio where they live. The reception was held a few miles away near at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center; located near downtown Columbus, the center is a nature sanctuary with a mix of industrial and organic surroundings. Their first dance was to “Swept Away” by the Avett Brothers, inspiring the couple to literally incorporate movement into their decor as part of the lyrics talk about “whirling and twirling.” They used streamers everywhere – from the reception to the church to the bouquets and even on the backs of chairs for a breezy, casual and colorful wedding.
All photos are courtesy of Amy Ann Photography.
Q: Why did you choose these locations?
“I actually discovered this church while looking at wedding photographers online. Once we saw it in person, we knew we wanted to get married there. The architectural details are just amazing. Plus we liked that it’s fairly small and intimate. The [reception] building is so modern and clean, it was a great contrast to the very traditional church that we got married in. Bonus feature: the Audubon Center is partially painted orange, which is my favorite color and was one of the wedding colors.”
Q: Is there a story behind the color theme and why you chose it?
“Absolutely! Orange is my (Suzette) favorite color and turquoise is my husband’s (Brad) favorite color. (We even designed my engagement ring to have orange and turquoise sapphires included.) Therefore, those colors were our main inspiration. I also LOVE bright colors and wanted to make our wedding modern, bold and unique.”
Q: What was the best/most memorable part of the day?
“Brad and I agree that one of the most memorable moments of the day was when we walked into the reception space together. We were there before most of the guests. When we walked in, our wedding “team” of helpers (friends, family, co-workers) were standing there to greet us. I took a look around and immediately started crying because I was so overwhelmed with happiness and gratitude. I had worked so hard on getting the pieces together, but these people went above and beyond my expectations to bring my vision to life. The space was perfect and it was totally ‘us.’ Brad says he loved seeing how happy I was with the finished product.”
Q: Why did you choose Azazie for your wedding dress?
“I chose Azazie for a few reasons. Number one was your custom size option. Being plus-sized (and apple-shaped, at that) I learned very quickly that finding a flattering, mostly simple wedding dress would be difficult – especially an affordable one. I had tried on more elaborate and poufy ball gown dresses, but they just weren’t for me. When I found the Azazie website, I was so excited! There were so many options and I could have any of them created to my exact measurements. I thought about some of the bridal options, but in the end I actually chose a bridesmaid dress, and just ordered it in Ivory. This also helped the cost. I believe the dress ended up being less than $130! Incredible. I did end up having the dress tailored slightly (due to incorrect measurements on my part), but it was not a big deal and my dress was everything I had hoped for. It made me feel beautiful, it was modern, and comfortable! And, the light breeze that day made the dress fit our ‘Swept Away’ theme perfectly.”
Q: Why did you pick this wedding dress?
“It was the shape/silhouette I was looking for, but what really got me was the pleats! I loved that detail from the moment I saw it on your site. Then when I put the dress on, it was so comfortable and moved so beautifully – I knew it was the one. Everyone who has seen it has said it was so ‘me,’ which I love to hear because that’s how I felt in it.”
Q: Any advice for brides-to-be?
“I would say start planning as soon as possible. We procrastinated on some things, which all worked out in the end, but it added unnecessary pressure to an already stressful time. Also, decide what you and your partner’s priorities are for the day. Splurge on what is really important to you and scale back on elements that are not.”
Q: Did you enjoy the wedding planning process? Why or why not?
“At first, like most brides, I was overwhelmed. Early on I realized that I was not the typical bride. I didn’t like looking at the popular magazines or what celebrity weddings looked like. I also was not concerned with what was “trending” for weddings that season.
I wanted our day to truly reflect us, which to me meant having it look and feel unique – not like every other wedding our guests had attended. In that regard, I actually enjoyed wedding planning. I liked finding new ways to do things and finding personal touches that we could include. There were definitely times of frustration, as well. There is so much to do and so many decisions to make, but in the end, it was all worth it.”