Charming Ohio Wedding at Historic Estate

One gaze at this wedding and it would be hard to imagine that Leah and Andy wanted a laid-back fête to reflect their easygoing selves because their wedding is dripping with classic elements. To say the least, Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens is an old world vision that Renee Lemaire Photography certainly captured at the Porter’s big day. Every aspect of the grounds exudes romance and the whole place looks like it was plucked out of a fairytale. Leah recalls going to Stan Hywet often as a little girl, so she knew it was THE place and after showing Andy, they were both hooked and began dreaming up their wedding. Their September wedding day consisted of a delicate cream and ivory palette with dabs of blush, expert florals by The Budding Tree, and ending the night twirling away underneath the trees and the stars.

In their own words

How did you meet?
As a boy from Illinois and a girl from Ohio, we have graduate school to thank for bringing us together. We spent two years as classmates, but didn’t start to date until school was over. We met up to prepare for boards, and quickly found ourselves laughing and joking around instead of studying. I spent the rest of the study session fending off butterflies. By the end of the day, Andy had asked me to dinner. It’s amazing and terrifying to think we were in the same classroom for two years, and we still almost missed each other.

What is your proposal story?
We were visiting friends in San Diego. On our third day, Andy planned a surprise trip to Cabrillo National Monument. We stopped at a beautiful secluded cliffside, overlooking the ocean. While I was peering out at the water, Andy surprised me by getting down on one knee and proposing. Luckily, Andy had pre-arranged for a friend to be there to take pictures of the moment because I’m pretty sure I blacked out from nerves and excitement.

What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?
We’re both unapologetic food-lovers, so the catering was important to us. Marigold Catering did an amazing job with both the appetizers and entrees. We opted to skip some of the more old-fashioned wedding traditions, such as the bouquet toss and garter.

What were your favorite parts of the day?
Can I say everything?

From getting ready with my girls to eating late night pizza in a wedding dress, the entire day was perfect. Some of the highlights included the speeches (there were props involved) and seeing our loved ones from near and far mix for the first time.

The number one piece of advice that people gave us regarding our wedding was to find a moment to pause, look around, and really remember the day. When eating our salads, I grabbed Andy’s hand and told him to look around. My timing was bad, however, because right then Andy burped. He turned to me and said with genuine emotion, “I’m sorry I burped in our moment.” I immediately burst into laughter. It was perfectly us, and I wouldn’t trade our “moment” for anything.

Two days before our outdoor ceremony and reception, the weather forecast called for rain. I ordered a white umbrella online and paid for rush shipping – I was determined to have at least one wedding photo outside. I consider it my good-luck umbrella because the whole day was dry and sunny. The umbrella now lives in our front closet with the tags still on.

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