It's no secret that we're a fan of weddings. Big weddings, small weddings, themed weddings, classic weddings, tropical weddings winter weddings -- it doesn't matter. We're here for ALL of them. But when we came across the whimsical elopement of Jessica and Ashley, it was truly love at first sight. Married on the Ledges Overlook at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, surrounded by nature, gorgeous views, and the magic of their love, it was truly the stuff of fairy tales.
"We chose to have a small and intimate wedding because we wanted to keep the focus on us as we celebrated this milestone. So many times, I have seen the bride get consumed with all of the little details and making sure the guests were having fun, that it took away from the couple truly enjoying that special moment. Because I struggle with showing feelings in front of others, I wanted to be my true authentic self and share my raw emotions. I wanted to make sure that it was just about us and our love for each other." -Jessica, Bride
"It is so hard to pinpoint my favorite part of the wedding, because the day that we had been waiting for could not have been more perfect. The location, the weather, and most importantly, Jess were more beautiful than words can even begin to express. As I stood anxiously waiting for Jess to arrive, I was blown away at my first glimpse of her as she made her way down the path. Each step she took closer to me, my emotions slipped further and further away. As we hugged each other and joined hands she had to keep wiping my tears of joy as they streamed down my face throughout the whole ceremony. The whole day was like a dream come true." -Ashley, Bride
Skylar Skirt: Antique Grey Tulle
"As I walked down the aisle, I was definitely worried about tripping. The snow was melting, it was a little muddy, and I am known to be clumsy. On top of that, I wanted to soak in the moment of us seeing each other for the first time. I knew when I saw Ashley that this was who I wanted to enter this new journey with. It was magical."
"I have always wanted a tulle wedding dress. There is something about the whimsical romantic flow of it that makes my heart go pitter-patter. I liked the idea of having separates so I could customize the look. When I picked out the cape, I knew my skirt had to compliment the design. I found the Skylar Skirt and knew it was a perfect match. At first I was a little worried about going with Antique Grey instead of the traditional white, but I couldn’t take my eyes off the color swatch. I remember even calling my sister and asking her if it would be weird if I wore grey instead of white. We both agreed that it went with my personality."
"I can truly say I had a one of a kind wedding dress, it was unique, and I love that. It is funny because before the wedding Ashley knew I was wearing some sort of cape, but she thought I was wearing “Jon Snow fur” (from Game of Thrones) since it was a winter wedding. I adored her reaction when it was quite the opposite of what she was envisioning."
"My favorite part of our day was our first and second dances. Since we chose to elope at a unique venue, I was concerned about us having a traditional first dance. I told the photographer that I wanted to have it at the overlook. She told me that her husband could play and sing our first song for us. The dance was so dreamy. And again, we were able to just focus on us and our love."
"I also told the photographer that after the first dance, I wanted to share a second dance with her and her husband, as well as the officiant and his fiancé. I wanted to have a special moment to celebrate all of our relationships. I remember looking around and being in awe. It was like a scene from a movie. There were tears, there were laughs, it was perfect."
"When friends look at pictures from the wedding, most comment that they can truly see the love between Ashley and I. Many teared up as they looked through them and pointed out that there was not one picture where we were not smiling, and you could just see the love between us as the photographer captured every detail of that special day. That is the best reaction!"
"I wish I could take ownership in choosing the location, but it was actually my photographer! Before we decided on the spot, I was so indecisive. A lot of the places Ashley and I looked at were gorgeous, but they were not the right fit for what we envisioned. We were lucky in the fact that our photographer was a close friend, and she knew we were struggling with picking a venue. One day, she sent me a message and said she thought she found our perfect location. She sent me images of the scenic overlook, and I knew right away, that was the spot we had to get married!"
"After the ceremony, we had an intimate dinner with close friends and family. I treasured seeing everyone for the first time as a married couple. The dinner was more of a relaxed atmosphere and you could see/hear the guests having fun."
"For our guestbook, we used a Polaroid camera, and had everyone snap a picture and write us a little message. Once all of our guests pictures had been taken, my oldest nephew stole the camera and spent the rest of the evening snapping pictures of everyone until we ran out of film. It was hilarious to look at the book the following day and see what he had captured."
"We wouldn't change a thing if we could -- it was very fitting of our love story. The wedding day was a dream come true."
Bridal Cape: BHLDN | Venue Cuyahoga Valley Nation Park Ledges Overlook | Reception Venue: BJ's Brewhouse | Cake: Cupcakes by Anna | Hair and Makeup: Love Beautiful Skin | Photographer: Jeri Stein Photo