As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been lucky enough to have the very talented – Mrs. Stephanie Snyder write a guest blog for me! She had her wedding reception at Camp Caesar in 2006. (Camp Caesar is the venue in my hometown, for the reception there.) I thought it would be wonderful to have her share her story with you.
Stephanie is very talented (not just at writing, but mostly everything she tries!), and I absolutely love her blog. You can check it out at: http://www.aprofessorswife.com/
So, without anymore rambling from me — here is her wedding story!
A Back-Home Wedding
My husband and I were caught in a whirlwind of craziness and life changes in June 2006. We had both just graduated from Marshall University, were leaving our Huntington apartment for a new home in Athens, Ohio, where the hubs would begin work on his Ph.D. at Ohio University, and we sort of had the whole wedding thing to deal with.
I toss it off like it’s nothing… the whole wedding thing… but in the end, it went off without a single hitch due to my year+ of careful planning and preparation.
My husband and I fell in love on Marshall’s Campus. We lived and breathed the Thundering Herd, and grew so much during the 4 years we spent together in the city of Huntington. Marshall University meant the world to us, and at one point in the preliminary stages of wedding planning a ceremony on campus crossed my mind. In the end, I knew what was right; I began planning a simple but sweet “back home wedding”, complete with a “back home” DJ, photographer, church, friends, and family.
Hubs and I grew up in Webster County, West Virginia. Living in the small mountain town of Cowen, we were very close with our family members and friends. We would much rather spend the weekends visiting with our loved ones at home, and when we attended Marshall, kept the same “weekends in Webster County” tradition the same. When planning our wedding, I kept the “close to home” concept alive and incorporated as many local vendors into the event as possible. Living in Huntington, moving to Athens, and planning a West Virginia wedding was only slightly challenging – dealing with my hometown florist, church, and others was super simple. My husband and I had personal relationships with just about every person involved in the wedding, so the thoughtfulness and care that each vendor put in to our special day was extremely sincere. All of the details, big and small, fell right into place.
1. Location, Location, Location. Our ceremony was held in the First Baptist Church of Cowen; at the time, we attended the church when we came home from college on various weekends. As for the reception, we had a few different choices, but ultimately chose a large event hall at Camp Ceasar. Camp Ceasar is the primary location for just about every single event that occurs in Webster County, whether it be a wedding, a class reunion, an end-of-year school trip, or the county fair. My husband and I had many memories of Camp Ceaser growing up, thus the choice of our reception location was simple. We reserved Burton Hall one year prior to our wedding date – just 5 minutes away from the church, it would be super convenient for our guests to travel to following the ceremony.
2. The Wedding Party. Each of us chose close friends from different parts of our lives; two great friends from grade school and high school, my brother’s fiancé, and my husband’s younger sister made up the bridesmaids. My step sister’s two young daughters and my husband’s two young cousins served as flower girls and ring bearers. I asked one of my very best friends who was an English major to read a few lines of Shakespeare, and my older brother walked me up the aisle (my father had passed four years prior.)
3. Entertainment/Food – My grade school band teacher played the piano during the ceremony, our junior high history teacher/local DJ provided music at the reception, my father-in-law’s friend who happened to have a catering business on the side provided the light yet gorgeous finger food, and our friend from grade and high school who’d recently taken Wilton cake baking classes created our monstrous five-tier cake. I also asked our close friend and talented musician to play/sing John Mayer’s “daughters” during a special dance I shared with my father in law. My husband’s cousin captured every single moment of our day with her amazing camera.
4. Décor, etc. – Mom and I spent months with our heads in bridal magazines and surfing the net for ideas. I switched my color scheme several times, but eventually chose white and black with light pink as the accent color. I went with white and pink roses for floral arrangements. Mom & Daughter trips to Wal-mart and Michael’s resulted in hundreds of glass candle holders, glass bowls, and white, black, and pink pillar candles, which were used as table décor. Black and White striped old fashioned candy sticks were placed at each table as favors. I worked with Adam’s Hallmark in Huntington to create simple yet classy black and white invitations, which were sealed in a glossy black lined envelope. I designed our own ceremony programs which had a lot of personal touches.
We spent the week before our wedding with our families in WV and wrapped up the final details. Some old friends took me out a couple of nights before the wedding, which is when my kitty, Diego, came about – talk about a wedding gift! Two of my closest girlfriends bought him for me – he’s my favorite wedding gift to this day.
On the big day, the beautician that styled my hair for every prom and other special occasion had the job of her life – to style my crazy thick and heavy hair one final time, for my wedding, in an up-do that wouldn’t budge for 12+ hours. The back was weaved like a basket, up into a spikey, curly, wild burst of hair topped off with a gorgeous tiara.
Our wedding was attended by lots of hometown friends and family; it felt like a reunion of sorts, before we retreated back to begin our lives in Ohio. Every single thing worked out perfectly, and I have my home town to thank for that.