Tying the Knot
For these local couples, making memories was the key to their wedding-day bliss.
Anna-Bridgette & Peter Shorten
“I Dos”: July 7, 2012. Both the wedding ceremony and the reception took place Peter’s parents’ backyard in Hudson.
Favorite part: It’s difficult to identify a single moment from a days’ worth of excitement, but nothing will ever top the moment we met eyes for the first time down the aisle.
Tough call: Since the wedding was in a backyard (albeit a big backyard), we had to put a cap on the number of guests. The most challenging part was making a guest list and deciding who could come. We had around 150 guests, and for us, that was the perfect size! We mingled and spoke with everyone, and there was a good balance of friends and family.
Biggest hit: It was never our intention to plan a wedding that could be defined by a single moment. Instead, we envisioned an evening full of talking points, laughter, dancing and fun. Our friends aren’t talking about just a single point; they’re still talking about the whole wedding!
Dress love: My dress was perfect! It was primarily made of tulle with a rhinestone belt. The structure underneath was fitted, had a sweetheart neckline and flowed from the waist down. The tulle was draped overtop, which made it light, airy, fun and beautiful. When trying on dresses, I was out of the room when my mom, maid-of-honor and sister-in-law saw the dress. They all thought it was beautiful, but thought I would hate it (I swore I would only wear a strapless gown). To their surprise, and mine, I loved it!
If the shoe fits: As a runner, I considered wearing my running shoes down the aisle; however, my bridal party kindly explained that I didn’t want to suggest that I was a “runaway bride.” So I opted for a comfortable pair of flats that came off directly after the ceremony. I was in my bare feet for the rest of the night, which was perfect.
The vows: We didn’t write our own vows but opted for a spin on the traditional. We found it romantic to say the same vows thousand of others have said over the years. We did include a beautiful poem that brought everyone to tears, including us.
First dance: “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers. We chose this song for its sweet message and charm.
Kids at the wedding (Cute or chaos?): This was an easy decision for us. We value family so naturally we welcomed children of any age. The wedding was in a backyard so they had plenty of room to play! I have two little sisters, both under the age of five, who were walking down the aisle as my flower girls. They were a hit! They danced all night and soaked up all of the attention.
Piece of cake: We strayed from the traditional large cake and opted for several smaller cakes that were some of the centerpieces. Our cake was white with fresh flowers placed on top. It was vanilla with lemon filling and buttercream frosting. All the guests walked from table to table, trying all of the different flavors of cake; it was a great way to get people to mingle!
Doing a favor: We handmade our save-the-dates, invitations, programs and arranged all of the flowers so, naturally, we made our favors. Keeping with the backyard theme, we made s’mores. Each person received graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate with the message, “Sending you s’more love.” Later on in the night, we roasted our s’mores over a fire as a late-night snack.
Wedding wisdom: The most important advice we can give is simple: Remember what you are celebrating. You’re celebrating your relationship, your love and future together. Try not to get wrapped up in the details; you won’t remember what the program said or the color of the napkins (and neither will your guests!). You will remember the happiness, love and pure bliss you felt and will continue to feel from that day on.
Erin Fitzgerald Carlton & Sean Christopher Kearney
“I Dos”: Dec. 17, 2011. The wedding ceremony was at St. Sebastian Catholic Parish, and the reception was at the Akron Art Museum.
Favorite part: Both the ceremony and reception were special in their own way. At the altar, the culmination of emotions and realization that we made such an important commitment to one another was especially memorable. By the time the reception began, all of the day’s pressure had subsided, and we were able to celebrate the occasion with each other and all of those closest in our lives.
Tough call: [The hardest part was] choosing a venue that we felt to be unique yet would be able to comfortably accommodate our guests. We ultimately decided on the Akron Art Museum and couldn’t be happier with our choice.
Biggest hit: Everyone was thrilled with the reception venue and enjoyed viewing the galleries during cocktail hour. We were also able to celebrate in merry fashion with the local favorite, Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Christmas Ale; it’s a tradition with friends and family throughout the holidays.
Dress love: I wore a gown designed by Vera Wang from Matina’s in Beachwood. The dress was a sleek, floor-length silk charmeuse gown with a chapel-length train. For the ceremony, I wore a cathedral-length veil. Matina’s provided a wonderful experience in all aspects, including alterations.
It’s also worth mentioning the groom’s attire. He wore a black shawl-collar tuxedo by Hugo Boss, with a subtle check pattern, paired with a tailored tuxedo shirt and black silk bowtie. Nina, of Alterations by Nina in Columbus, was fantastic with handling the tailoring and finishing adjustments.
First dance: “The Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne. We’re fans of the artist and thought the song’s chorus simplified our thoughts for each other.
Kids at the wedding (Cute or chaos?): Our godchildren were a wonderful addition to the wedding and beginning of the reception. We’re very close and were delighted to have them as flower girls and ring bearers.
Piece of cake: A favorite of ours, carrot cake, was selected for the bride and groom. The cake and cupcake arrangement were selected from Bittersweet’s in Stow.
Doing a favor: We selected white chocolate-dipped biscotti decorated with silver candy beads. They were simple but provided an extra treat for late-night snacking after the celebration.
Wedding wisdom: Don’t get caught up in what you think you should do. It’s your day! Do what’s important and meaningful to you. Also, a close friend gave us invaluable advice: Be sure to pause for a moment, look around and absorb all that you can of the occasion.