Two weeks ago, I worked my first wedding (ahh!!). The wedding venue was the 20thCentury Theater, which is an Art Modern style theater in Oakley Square of Cincinnati. It has a stage with an exposed brick wall, a dance floor, and an upper level balcony with seating. Above the seating area, twinkle lights and paper lanterns add a romantic atmosphere. It was the perfect venue for Joy and Ryan’s vintage-inspired wedding.
We arrived at the theater at 10:00 am to begin setting up. Joy and Ryan gave us several boxes of books, vases, chalkboards, paper flowers, and other various knick knacks for us to use at our creative desire to decorate — so fun! The decor was unique, beautiful, and well thought out. The guest book was unconventional — an old-fashioned typewriter where guests were encouraged to type up a note for the newlyweds, accompanied by some fun stamps to adorn their note. The vintage typewriter was rented from One Fine Day which is a custom event rental company. Lindsay is amazing to work with and we absolutely love her entire custom rental collection! The table assignments were attached to a window with panes and the bridal party was written on a rustic door (revamped with chalkboard paint) with chalk. Most of the decor was purchased by the bride and groom at the Ohio Valley Antique Mall. Lead coordinators, Catie and Laura, accompanied Joy & Ryan on this shopping trip to assist with the design of the wedding. The delicious cake was from Mariebelle Cakery!
The flowers - a variety of pink and white roses, tulips, peonies, anemones, and eucalyptus, among some others - were arranged in clear, light blue, and brown vases of various styles and sizes. These flowers were used throughout the theater (we had a few more arrangements than we really needed, but we were determined to use them all somewhere!!) and for the centerpieces at each table. At each table, we arranged three vases with a stack of books— some old, some new, some painted— and a few small candles. Joy and her best gal-pals chose to do the DIY program at The Flowerman in Centerville, Ohio. I must say, for non-floral experts, they did an amazing job!
There was a tattoo station (fake tattoos, of course) set up in the corner of the theater with an antique sofa, chairs, and trunk where guests could put on fun and quirky tattoos for the celebration. The pink vintage chair and coffee table trunk were also rented from One Fine Day. A photo booth was also set up with crazy costumes and charming signs; the pictures were printed on the spot so the guests could walk away with memorabilia from the event. Probably my favorite part of the decorations was a backdrop with beautiful lyrics from ’Not With Haste’ by Mumford and Sons written on it. The backdrop was used during the ceremony and then was moved to the photo booth for the dinner and reception.
I have been to a few weddings in my life, but I have never really experienced all of the behind the scene details. It really is an all day production! I felt so official with my walkie-talkie headset, even though I don’t think I actually figured out how to effectively use it until the end of the night. After their hair and makeup appointments, the bridal party arrived around 3:30 pm (a little late, but that’s why we left some wiggle room in the timeline!) and pictures started soon after our first mini emergency. There was an issue with the dress so Kelly, another intern, and I ran down a couple blocks to CVS to get a sewing kit and double sided tape, I was stressed to say the least. But the dress was fixed and the day went on. The super awesome photographers from Fyrefly Photography (Sarah & Carly) began with shooting Joy getting ready and then “the first look” between Joy and Ryan. Then they took off with the rest of the bridal party, including the flower girl, Ryan’s adorable and perky daughter Aubrey, to take pictures in the photo studio. Soon after they all returned, guests began to arrive and it was time to start the ceremony.
Joy and Ryan have one of the most beautiful love stories I have ever heard. I was assigned to send Joy down from the balcony when it was time for her to walk down the aisle. So, I was able to witness her last moments before she became Mrs. Joy Heitkamp. The ceremony began with a ten-minute video explaining Joy and Ryan’s story. Ryan was previously married to a woman named Amanda. She got very sick, and Joy was there to help take care of her as she passed. After her death, Joy and Ryan got to know each other better, and eventually grew closer, and then fell in love. After the video, Ryan's Best Man (his brother) and few other good friends beautifully sang The Avett Brothers’ song, I and Love and You.
I cry… a lot. I cry when I’m happy, sad, mad, overwhelmed, I cry when I’m laughing, when I’m feeling sentimental— the point is, my tear ducts are a little bit overactive. Needless to say, the touching video and ceremony definitely got the waterworks going. Thankfully I had a moment to pull myself together as the ceremony proceeded. After the ceremony, we flipped the room as the guests had a cocktail hour. We moved a few of the tables from the back and rearranged the chairs for the reception. At this point, I began to really regret my shoe choice. My black flats were cute, but they were nowhere near broken in, and by hour nine on my feet, they were not feeling great. But hey, you live and you learn. The rest of the night flew by. Guests went through the dinner buffet, and after we sorted out some seating chart issues, we got to get a plate too (perks!!) and take a break as everyone ate and the reception unfolded.
The reception began to die down around 11:00 pm. As the last guests thinned out, we packed everything back up— extremely efficiently, I might add. WE DID IT!! The day was long and tiring, but it was even more fun and rewarding. During the reception, guests and members of the bridal party continually thanked and congratulated us on a job well done. I came home planning to immediately pass out, but ended up looking through pictures and excitedly telling my parents every detail before I finally got to sleep. I can’t wait to do it all again soon!