Shana and Steve

Wedding Date: September 22, 2012

Coordinator: Erin

straka399When I met Shana about a year ago to show her the Ohio Village Church for the first time, she seemed to know exactly what she was looking for.  Shana was so relaxed and calm through the whole process, not to mention incredibly organized!  I will never forget the color-coded spreadsheet she sent me about a month before her wedding which included her day-of timeline and a list of her vendors with arrival times and contact information… a girl after my own heart!

A few weeks after her wedding, I contacted her again to see how she was doing.  When we talked she said, “I fell in love with the site the moment I saw it.  It was exactly what I was looking for.  We were in need of a place that was both affordable and would allow us to use our own pastor.  The Village Church was the only thing we fould. ”

When I brought Shana to the church for the first time, she loved it for it’s natural decor.  On her wedding day, she simply hung decore on the pews and placed planted flowers on the altar.  “It saved me a lot of money!” she said.  The stained glass of the church let in beautiful light on her wedding day which looked amazing in her photographs.  She also loved the outdoor vitage motif of the Ohio Village.  It offered a lot of variety for her photos.


Shana explains, “The staff at the Ohio Village Church had a lot of advice on different things that people did for the ceremony, photos and decorations.  Whenever I hit a roadblock, Erin always had a recommendation based off of her experience with other brides.  It was great to use her as a resouce!  Also, on the day of the wedding, and even for the rehearsal, it was great having her there to direct everyone and make sure the day went smoothly and on time… one thing that a bride should not have to worry about!  It was great knowing she was upstairs running the show just the way I had asked her to.”  That’s my Job, Shana!  I am there to handle the logistics and worry about the details for each couple so that they can focus on what is most important.  I always tell my brides: “The vows matter most.”


When I asked Shana to tell me about her favorite part of her wedding day, I just knew it would be about the pictures.  The whole bridal party seemed to have a blast taking these shots.  Jeanne Arkfeld Photography did a great job capturing that enery!  Shana said, “We had so much fun walking around the village and choosing which places we wanted a quick picture.  It was a VERY windy day… so it was great that we found a few nooks in the village to tuck into and take photos without the bridesmaid’s dresses flying up!”

DoorMy favorite moment of working with Shana and Steve (besides the color-coded timeline) came right before their ceremony.  Shana came into the church and cracked open the door to the vestibule where Steve was waiting.  They couldn’t see one another, but they held hands around the door and talked for a few beautiful moments.  “I hadn’t talked to him all day and it was so nice to hear his voice,” Shana explained.

Steve and Shana’s advice to couples planning now:

“Take caution when sending save-the-dates.  We sent a save-the-date to everyone on our innitial guest list about 7 months before the wedding.  It was amazing to find how many people we had completely lost touch with and how many new friends we made in those few months before we were mailing actual invitations.  Unfortunately, we had basically locked in our guest list so a lot of our new clost friends weren’t included due to budget restrictions.  Only send save-the-dates to family and VERY close friends!”

Processional Song: The First Day of my Life – Bright Eyes

First Dance: Wrapped in your Arms – Fireflight

Steve and Shana played music by Frank Sinatra in the church as guests arrived and again during their recessional.

Take a look at the full gallery of their wedding pictures below and tell us what you think!


Sarah and Rick

Wedding Date: June 18, 2011

Coordinator: Jim

I have to admit sometimes on the initial meetings with a bridal couple you have a sense this is going to be a fun wedding. This is how I felt when I first met Sarah and Rick.

At first, some couples can become overwhelmed by the planning.  It was so great to have Sarah and Rick with wonderful ideas from the beginning. I usually say that our job is to pull all of those ideas together and then make it work on that special day.  “I didn’t have to worry about anything.” Sarah said.  “The last thing brides should be worried about is all of the details on the day of the wedding; everyone should just relax and have fun! Jim made sure that everything was taken care of and the day could be enjoyed.”

Sarah and Rick were married on June 18, 2011 in the beautiful Ohio Village Church.  They took full advantage of the unique settings within the Village to truly make their wedding celebration their own and create a classic and romantic feel for their whole day.   Take a look at their great shots by Benajamin James Photography.


When their guests arrived they found special signs throughout the village that the couple had placed out to guide them to the Church.  Each arrow was inscribed with a quote from their engagement that was very special to the couple.  As a planner it is always fun to see those special touches appreciated by the guest. I can still remember the reactions as guests read each of the signs and looked forward to the next one they came across.


Sarah even thought about making her experience of getting ready for the ceremony special. When she first saw the Victorian room of the American House hotel she immediately wanted to use this for her changing space.  Less than 100 yards from the Ohio Village Church, this space is decorated beautifully in the Victorian style of the late 1800’s.  It provides additional privacy for the bride as the groom gets ready inside the church.  When we asked Sarah about it she just gushed that “it was so much fun.  We watched as all of the guests arrived.  We got ready together.  It was such a great space so we didn’t feel cramped and the décor made for some great getting-ready pictures!”

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Sarah said, “My favorite moment of our wedding day was right before I walked down the aisle.  All of the bridesmaids had gone, my flower girls had just left, and the big church doors closed in preparation for my dad and me.  My dad asked if I wanted to hold hands or link arms; I wanted to hold hands.  We stood there OhioVillageChurchfor a moment and my dad said, ‘Enjoy this.  It only happens once.’  I closed my eyes, the music changed and the doors opened.  I locked eyes with Rick and I could not look anywhere else.  I remember thinking, ‘Remember this, remember this,’ as my dad slowly walked me down the aisle.”  Sarah explained how surreal that moment was; there were 200 eyes on her, but all she cared about was her groom.

I have to say, one of my favorite moments of the wedding was seeing the faces of the guests while Sarah and Rick walked, with big smiles, out of the church to “Ain’t that a kick in the head”.  As the guests heard Dean Martin sing, you could see the wave of realization hit them as big smiles lit up each face.  They made a traditional recessional into their own unique moment; that is always special for me to witness.

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Sarah and Rick’s advice to couples planning now:

“This whole thing, the whole planning process, the whole day, is about you two.  It isn’t about what your mother thinks is best, what tradition says is important or what the etiquette books state. Make your decisions and be done with them.  Enjoy this time with your fiancé, because you are only engaged for a short time.  Then, enjoy the wedding day with your groom.  It goes by so fast that you can’t worry about all of the small things.”

Processional Song: Cider House Rules Main Title (The Notebook’s trailer song)

Recessional Song:  “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head,” Dean Martin

First Dance:  Sarah and Rick had an eighteen piece swing band play “MoonRiver” by Andy Williams.

Take a look at their pictures and tell us what you think!

Jennifer and Justin

Wedding Date: August 18, 2012

Coordinator: Erin

Wedding - professional pictures 484I had so much fun working with Jennifer and Justin.  Jennifer was so relaxed and calm: a vision of class on her wedding day and throughout the planning process.  “Our wedding was exactly what we pictured and we enjoyed every moment of the day.  We put a lot of thought into the type of day we wanted and then we did a lot of research to find the right vendors and places that fit.  We wanted our guests to feel relaxed and we hoped they would be able to feel our love and share in our joy throughout the day,” she explained.

When I first gave Jennifer and Justin a tour through the Ohio Village, they knew that it would help them give that love and joy to their guests.  It provided the intimate setting they wanted without the restrictions they found at other churches.  “We loved having our good friend, Thomas, officiate the ceremony for us.  It was very personal.”  The size of the church was perfect for their guests.  It was intimate and comfortable.  Jennifer was also comforted that I would be there during the ceremony do direct the day and make sure everyone involved was doing their job.  “I didn’t have to worry about anything because I knew Erin would ensure people were where they were supposed to be and doing what they were supposed to be doing,” Jennifer said.

I asked Jennifer what her favorite moment of her day was.  “It was the vows,” she said.  “Up until that point, I was nervous.  I was thinking about being in front of everyone.  When Justin said his vows to me, I was completely in that moment and everything else went out of my mind.  It was like I could feel every single word he said.  It was really incredible and emotional.”

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I will always remember the music that Jennifer and Justin chose for their ceremony and the way their song choices made the church feel.  That is my favorite memory from their wedding.  Jennifer explained her choices: “Justin and I are a bit non-traditional, and I’m a child of the 80’s.  The first time I heard the Vitamin String Quartet’s version of ‘Sweet Child O’ Mind,’ I knew that was the perfect song for walking down the aisle.”  Fiddles and Faces, an amazing violin duo from Central Ohio, worked with Jennifer and Justin to create the unique and upbeat feel for their ceremony.  After the last bridesmaid began walking down the aisle, I closed the doors to the church and waited with Jennifer, her father and her step father .  Together, we heard the music change to “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and we listened as the introduction passed, the perfect moment of the song came and I opened the doors.  Hearing the church filled with that beautiful song, as everyone turned to watch Jennifer walk down the aisle was a very powerful moment.  I will never forget that.

Jennifer’s Advice to other Brides:

“Erin gave me a great piece of advice that I didn’t take!  Just before I walked down the aisle, she told me to take my time, walk slowly and take it all in.  Well, as soon as those church doors opened I basically sprinted down the aisle.  There aren’t even any good pictures of my walk because my dad and step-dad were behind me, tugging at my arms trying to slow me down.  So, I would tell any bride to really, really try to walk slowly!”


Processional: Sweet Child O’ Mine

Recessional: Just the Way You Are – Bruno Mars