It has been shown that most couples get engaged between December 24 and February 14. What that tells us is that this time of year is likely the most frantic season you'll experience as fiancé and fiancé. The planning process can be overwhelming, particularly if you're doing it on a budget... or even just taking-on the event as more of a DIY venture. That's why we're hosting Local Union: a wedding planning party + market. Meet your locally-made match who will help you craft your day your way. In the meantime, prepare for the big day by learning from others... and no, we aren't talking about taking weird unsolicited advice from Great Aunt Miriam. Instead, enjoy our short series of love stories and glean some insight from those who recently tied the knot locally.
If you've been to the Flea recently, you probably already know Bobby and Danielle. The couple, who run The Circle Craft–a jewelry business focusing on hand-carved and cast brass wearables–can be found at Tyler Village selling their products when they're not working their day jobs in the medical device industry (Bobby) and education(Danielle). It's hard to not love a family business. The crafty couple's September 2016 wedding in Newbury was reflective of the pair's handmade talents, with nearly every facet of their best day ever featuring a DIY element. Hosting a handmade wedding of your own some time soon? Get inspired by Bobby and Danielle's carefully crafted day in our interview below!
All photos by Caleb Young of GoodFolk Photography.
CF: Where did you first meet? How did that happen?
B + D: Bobby was a sculpture student and Danielle was a painting student at Cleveland State University. Danielle came to the sculpture studio to see some rings that Bobby was working on. She liked what she saw - she bought herself a ring, and Bobby got her phone number. Within a week, he asked her out on a "romantic date" and they each had their best first date *ever* at L'albatros in University Circle.
CF: What is your favorite memory that you've made together?
B + D: Bobby’s brother had a wedding in Seattle. We had only been dating for 6 months, but we knew. Dancing at that wedding is one of our favorite memories.
CF: Talk to us a little bit about your wedding. What was your theme? Was there anything that you based your day around that was special to you?
B + D: We knew that we wanted to have our wedding in a unique venue. After months of searching for an unconventional space, we decided to make our own. Bobby’s childhood home out in Newbury, Ohio offered a rustic outdoor wedding with whimsical details. Danielle hand painted all the invites, signage, and cast concrete candle holders for the table décor and guest gifts. Bobby constructed the arbor and helped with the landscaping and home restoration. There wasn’t any specific theme, aside from dreamy outdoor September wedding. The catering was based on a classic clam bake menu, with vegetarian options, and some amazing cocktails. The plan was for the ceremony to take place in the old apple orchard, followed by cocktail hour with our photos happening during the “golden hour” before sunset. Then, right as we exchanged rings, the skies opened up and the rain came pounding down, and everyone fled into the house for the dramatic conclusion. We exchanged vows and rings in front of the fireplace, skipped the pictures, and then ate dinner under tents, and danced in the rain all night. We loved every minute of our epic monsoon wedding.
CF: How long did it take you to plan your wedding? Did anyone else help you?
B + D: We started saving and planning about a year and a half before the wedding but the planning didn’t reach full intensity until about 9 months before. We had a lot of help from our family and friends, especially with preparing the wedding venue in Newbury. Our close friend Susan graciously stepped up to be our day-of coordinator. Without her help, we wouldn’t have been able to focus on each other and just enjoy our own wedding. Having a trusted friend handle all the details was amazing.
CF: During the wedding planning process what was/is the most stressful decision?
B + D: We had to make some hard choices in order to keep the budget under control. We both have huge families with lots of lovable kids. Making the “no kids” call was the hardest decision of the whole process.
CF: What was the most enjoyable part of planning your wedding?
B + D: We enjoyed working together and restoring Bobby’s family home in Newbury. It truly is a magical place- a Norwegian cottage in the woods with an apple orchard, pond, and old tennis court. We had a lot of help from family and close friends working on the house, and it was amazing to have all these people who loved us come out to the country side and help us realize our vision.
CF: Was there a particular vendor you worked with who made your planning experience or wedding day a really enjoyable experience?
B + D: Susan Hazel Rich of Hazel Made helped with all our paper goods, and even stepped into the role of day-of wedding coordinator. She's a rockstar. Caleb Young, of Good Folk Photography was our dream photographer.
CF: Were there any traditions or practices that you incorporated into your wedding?
B + D: Our ceremony was fairly simple and traditional, but we decided to walk up the aisle together. It just felt like how we wanted to start our married future together: on equal terms. Because of the epic thunderstorm that interrupted our vows, causing the guests to flee the ceremony site, we didn’t get a chance to walk down the aisle afterwards. We are glad we had that moment together. Bobby’s family has a tradition of marking the height of all family members on the fireplace in their living room. After the ceremony and singing of the marriage document, Danielle finally had her measurement added to the wall.
CF: Did you do anything special for each other on the day of your wedding?
B + D: Hah! We do special things for each other every day! It was actually really nice to just sleep in on a Saturday morning for the first time in 3 months.
CF: Be honest... how much of your wedding day do you remember?
B + D: All of it! Besides a few blurry memories towards the end of a wild night. The stress of wedding planning reached its peak those last few days, especially because we had an outdoor weeding and there was a 100% chance of rain. Still had the best day ever and think our guests did too. Sometimes everyone just gets soaked and dances in the rain.
CF: Best date night idea for other Cleveland-based couples?
B + D: The best date night is a Mix event at the Cleveland Musuem of Art, followed up by L’albatros or Trentina. Then, a night cap at Coquette- if you’re lucky, Robert will be making your drinks.
CF: Tough question: What does love mean to you?
B + D: It means being partners and supporting each other in all things.
Find Bobby and Danielle selling as The Circle Craft at Local Union:
a wedding planning party + market, a project by The Cleveland Flea.
Shop 50 handmade, wedding, and food vendors in our upstairs marketplace, then slip downstairs
to the retro lounge and throwback alleys for free all-day bowling and DIY wedding planning panels.
Take 20% off of all tickets* using the code "WeDo" at checkout
*excluding Party Packs