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.
Nowadays you mostly hear of strangers meeting and falling in love over the internet, but not Dabney and Joshua. The two strangers first got acquainted when Dabney (from Pittsburgh) was visiting downtown Cleveland and met Josh (local to Cleveland) on a girls weekend trip. Josh drove to visit Dabney in her home city the following weekend... and the two married on April 30, 2016. Does it get more romantic than that? The answer is no, it does not get any more romantic than that. Read on for a bit more insight into their wedding planning process in our Flea blog interview below!
Photos by Suzuran Photography
Cleveland Flea: What is your favorite memory that you've made together?
Joshua + Dabney: A week after we met, we realized we had the same birthday. We both thought the other was joking so we had to pull out our ID's to prove it! We already knew we had a lot in common, but finding that out was such a special moment.
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?
J + D: When it came to making decisions, we didn't always choose what was traditional. Instead, we customized the day to who we are as a couple. Neither of us prefer formal or stuffy events, so we wanted a fun atmosphere where friends and family could truly relax and celebrate. Our decor was modern and simple. Instead of a color scheme, we utilized metallic and industrial touches. The centerpieces were handmade by Josh using Edison bulbs and reclaimed barn-wood. Our venue was 78th Street Studios which is full of raw character, art and creative design. Our guests enjoyed Pad Thai for dinner, and mini bundt cakes from Salt + Honey Baking Co. for dessert. To reflect the bride's hometown, we had a Popcorn Bar from Pittsburgh Popcorn Company. The highlight of the reception was a piñata filled with liquor bottles, chocolate, and props for dancing!
CF: How long did it take you to plan your wedding? Did anyone else help you?
J + D: Our engagement was 11 months, and we got started soon after getting engaged. We did most of the planning ourselves, with help from the Mother of the Bride. Dabney is the event planner at her job, and worked alongside a wedding planner in college, so she really enjoyed the planning process. The couple is thankful for Hilary D. Gent, the owner of HEDGE Gallery (ceremony venue) who was also their Day-Of Coordinator and Florist.
CF: During the wedding planning process what was/is the most stressful decision?
J + D: Narrowing down the guest list.
CF: What was the most enjoyable part of planning your wedding?
J + D: We met on a dance floor, so we decided to choreograph a routine for our first dance. This was a surprise to all of our guests, and it was so fun creating the choreography together when we needed to take a break from making planning decisions. We also had a "craft night" and created our own large marquee letters spelling L-O-V-E. It was really fun to create things for our wedding together.
CF: Was there a particular vendor you worked with who made your planning experience or wedding day a really enjoyable experience?
J + D: We were so impressed by Suzuran Photography and Hilary D. Gent [Coordinator, Florist]. In addition to their artistic talent, they were incredibly kind and easy to work with.
CF: Were there any traditions or practices that you incorporated into your wedding?
J + D: Dabney's dad is a minister, so he was able to walk her down the aisle and also perform the wedding ceremony. Also, our families are both very musical, so our combined 10 siblings sang an acoustic medley at the ceremony of "Going to the Chapel" and "L-O-V-E" that was created by the groom's mother.
CF: Did you do anything special for each other on the day of your wedding?
J + D: We decided to keep our vows traditional, but we wrote each other a letter with custom vows that we each opened the morning of the wedding.
CF: Be honest... how much of your wedding day do you remember?
J + D: All of it!
CF: Best date night idea for other Cleveland-based couples?
J + D: Dinner and margaritas at Momocho, or drinks at Society Lounge.
CF: Tough question: What does love mean to you?
J + D: Love means kindness, selflessness and commitment. We view our marriage as a team- we're best friends and try to treat each other with love and respect every day.
Plan your best day ever 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