Jackie + Aaron Wedding | June 24th
How They Met
Living in the city of Pittsburgh was an adventure for Jackie and home again for Aaron. After living away in NYC and Philadelphia after college at Rutgers, Aaron returned back to Pittsburgh his hometown and within a few months met Jackie online - Aaron had posted his profile to include that he valued diversity, the arts, and was hoping to meet someone who valued the same. Our first date was to meet for drinks and then go see a movie (Aaron still has the ticket stub), after we wanted to spend more time together and went to a cafe and talked for hours. Two dates later it was it, we knew we were in for the long haul. It was in March of 2016 that Aaron proposed in Niagara Falls, Canada - a romantic getaway. The proposal was a complete surprise to Jackie, at a wonderful restaurant overlooking the waterfalls. Back in 2015 for Christmas, Aaron and Jackie were visiting Aaron's mom and her husband in New York City. Little did Jackie know that Aaron, while they were both in NYC, had talked with his mom and was given a ring from his grandmother that she wanted Jackie to wear - a special, gorgeous, and sentimental ring that can light up the room.
The Groom // It was an easy process to know who our wedding vendors would be for the most part - Jackie's mom within a week had brochures and emails/phone calls to most of the locations and companies to check on prices. We were torn between choosing Pittsburgh or Toledo for our special day, but what was the factor that put it over the top was the church. Collingwood Presbyterian Church has been the site for family weddings on the Jones and Garret side of Jackie's family. From her parents, brother and sister-in-law, grandparents, great aunt and uncle, and others. A gorgeous location and close to the reception which made it easy for guests to get from one location to another. The entire weekend was spent downtown with our friends and family - for Jackie it was a must, she wanted to be downtown because of how much the city has changed and grown over the years, there's so much to do downtown, it's an easy win for guests to find places to eat, things to do, when they're in town for the wedding weekend.
The reception venue was an easy decision as well, with Dan Heberling in charge at The Valentine we knew we would be in good hands. Jackie grew up in South Toledo and was next door neighbors to Dan and the Heberling family - it was a family friend making sure the night was special and perfect, and it was. The florist, Emery's Flowers, was chosen as a friend to Jackie's mom, Judy, and the greenery and special touches were amazing. The palms and green centerpieces were stunning and with the Toledo Chivari chairs and black linens, the Valentine was gorgeous - Jackie remembered saying that the reception was more beautiful than she envisioned. Wixey's Bakery was a no brainer for us, growing up in South Toledo it was the only bakery - one Jackie had known as a school girl growing up and going to Harvard Elementary. The flavors were champagne and raspberry filling, with some gardenias and a special personalized cake topper. In addition to having Wixey's Cakes, our friend Amanda a pastry chef, and other friends made cookies for the Pittsburgh cookie table - a tradition that is in Pittsburgh, but something we wanted to bring to our wedding in Toledo. Our photographers were found through a referral of another company that was booked - and probably one of the luckiest finds in the process. Adore Wedding Photography team met with us every step of the way, in person and on the phone as we were planning this from a distance in Pittsburgh. Our photographers thought of every detail and were able to capture the special day and scenes that we didn't get to see first hand which is important because they say it goes so fast, and it does. You blink and then the DJ is saying it's the last song! Our DJ was a co-worker of Jackie's mom, Judy, and with some suggested songs and a vision of genres, he was able to get all of the guests up and moving around the entire night (literally, when it was over, no one wanted to leave - people would have stayed until the wee hours of the morning if we let them!). Catering was an important decision with Aaron being a vegetarian - most companies have a typical portabella mushroom or pasta dish, and both of those were not up to snuff for us. We put together a vegetarian meal that even our meat eating friends decided to have for their sit-down dinner from Judy Lodes and Premier Catering. Their wait staff was spot-on - they were so attentive, courteous, and professional, and the food was amazing; no one went hungry that night! Other friends were involved in the wedding process, the videographer John Bujak from Mongoose Productions was able to document the day and another college friend Heather Ely of Leave it to Us wedding planning in Michigan was hired to execute every detail of the day. The wedding dress Jackie chose was from Toledo, Belle Amour, downtown Toledo - a dress that Jackie tried on in Pittsburgh several times, but finally made the purchase in Toledo surrounded by friends and family. Another referral came in for the make-up for the wedding day, and Beauty by Billie Jo was amazing - Jackie never felt more beautiful with the magic that Billie Jo was able to do, and she helped Jackie relax and enjoy the time in the chair (and lots of laughs too!). A trial run was made when Jackie was back in Toledo visiting and wrapping up some wedding details. Make-up and hair were done at the same place, Michael Robert's Salon - the mother of a bridesmaid Carrie, was the hairdresser for Jackie and most of the bridal party.
Ceremony Venue // Collingwood Presbyterian Church
Reception Venue // The Valentine Theater
Caterer // Premier Catering
Wedding Planner + Coordination // Heather Ely + Leave it to Us
Photographer // Adore Wedding Photography
Videographer // Mongoose Productions
Jeweler // Barrow's
Florist + Decor // Emery's Flowers
DJ | Band // Cocktail hour Millenius Strings | Dinner + Dancing Travis Grant
Bridal Attire // Belle Amour
Invitations + Stationery // GoGoSnap
Cake + Desserts // Wixey's Bakery
Hair // Michael Robert's Salon
Make-Up // Beauty by Billie Jo
Transportation // Tecumseh Trolley
Hotel Accommodations // Park Inn
Rehearsal Dinner // The Toledo Club