Wedding Bells are Ringing in Cleveland!

The other weekend Eric and I took a road trip to Cleveland, Ohio (hence the lack of posts last week as we regrouped after the trip) to see one of my best friends marry, well her best friend! It was so fun, not only because it was just an absolutely gorgeous wedding, but it was almost like a college reunion where I got to see a lot of good friends from college. That can’t happen enough! We were fortunate we were able to get some time off of work (yahoo!) so we started are mini-vacation on Thursday afternoon. We started our winding journey through the mountains of Virginia and West Virginia to reach our half-way point at Charleston, West Virginia. It was definitely a fun stop over. We stayed in a sweet suite and got to explore the beautiful downtown a little bit. It is right on a river and has a nice mall…that is mainly what I can tell you about Charleston. Sigh. Eric and I do love to shop.
Friday took us the rest of the way to our destination of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, childhood home of Hillary and the spot of Hillary and Tom’s wedding. Our first stop was to check into our “hotel” if you can call it that. The place we got was called The Alcazar and it full of quirky charm. It was the “it” place in the early-ish 1900s (Bob Hope even had a suite there!) but now is more a residential rental place for mainly older folks. You can read a bit more about it here as it does have a pretty cool history and it seems it used to host some pretty great parties there. The architecture and design is unique though and I totally loved it!

After we checked in we were then on to the wedding rehearsal and rehearsal picnic (absolutely perfect as it mimicked the couple’s favorite date), had a little time for exploration of the cute walking area around the Alcazar (which I always say quite dramatically in my head), and then an amazing girls night with the bride herself and all her close friends. Many desserts and funny You Tube videos were shared, including some incredibly hilarious wedding proposals (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and a showing of Marcel the Shell.

Saturday morning (wedding day!) we were free to be touristy, so we saw the early morning to head downtown Cleveland. I was all excited to see Lake Erie, as I had never been to any states around the lakes. Our destination was the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (aka Eric’s Mecca), since Cleveland was the home of rock n’ roll.

(It was just a little bit sunny!)

It was beautiful on the water with lots of neat things around it, like a science museum and a football stadium.

Inside was pretty neat too, although they didn’t allow pictures in most places. They did allow them in the lobby and we were able to snap these beauties.

Yup, that’s a hot dog car!!
I was all excited to stand by Michael Jackson’s giant hand replica and his inspired giant guitar because I got stupidly silly excited over seeing Michael’s Jackson’s authentic glittery glove. I also got into Elvis’s bedazzled suit and all the handwritten notes and lyrics (written all over napkins, scrap paper, whatever could be found). I loved seeing the process that the songwriters went through on their way to huge hits. Overall it was definitely a cool stop and a must-see in Cleveland!

Then it was back to wedding preparations! Man, was I excited for the couple. The amount of time and love they poured into wedding preparations was so evident in every detail of the wedding. I could just feel the love between the couple, their families, and friends permeating the air. Here is the sweet couple.

I was honored to be a part of their ceremony and was able to share some pretty amazing readings on love and grace along with one of Tom’s friends. In this picture we are either smiling over the beauty of the day or the deafening helicopter that flew directly overhead during my readings. I’ll let you pick.

Their ceremony was beautifully thought out with inspiring poems, readings, music and singing, and wonderfully written vows. This also may be weird, but they had one of my favorite wedding kisses. Hillary was adorable when she just pulled Tom in for the kiss! Can’t you just tell from the pic?

Then we were on to party it up at the reception. It was hard to get action shots of the couple, so I thought I would share some of the individual flare they put on their reception. First of all, the guest book was the best idea I have ever seen at a wedding! They had this sweet little Polaroid camera. Everyone was able to take pictures and then basically help create a scrapbook guest book. There were all these different color pieces of paper and stickers and glue to go wild and put in your picture, decorate it and write a note.

Their decorations were beautiful too with these sweet little handmade rocks with notes on them. Apparently each table had a theme, although we couldn’t really figure our table’s theme out. It tied in well with the centerpiece and beautiful paper (I am thinking that it was to represent the flower, the ground and the rocks…bringing it all together?)

You could also bring home the rocks in the cute little bags as your favors. Love it! One is now nesting in my miniature collection.

Their cake was also fabulously chocolate! Don’t you just want to reach into the picture and eat it? I also love how they celebrated their parent’s marriages by framing their wedding pictures by the cake.

They also had a cute little sweetheart table that was in the center of the room.

All-in-all the wedding and reception was perfect and perfectly represented the couple! It was full of good food, good memories, good friends, good music, and so much love.

Thanks so much to this couple…

…for allowing this couple…

…to share in your big day! So let’s end this post with a toast to the beautiful couple! Cheers!