Tiffany and Kevin
Saturday, July 7, 2018
Groom | Kevin Koger, 28
Occupation: Football Coach.
Three words to describe your partner: Humble, loving, and caring.
What was it like seeing your wife walk down the aisle? It was pretty surreal to say the least…many emotions rushing through your body at once. Nothing can properly prepare you for that special moment.
What was your first impression of your partner? She was very attractive, so I had to shoot my shot!
What made your wedding special? The people that were able to come celebrate our special day with us. The energy in the room was electric.
Bride | Tiffany Koger, 30
Occupation: Elementary special education teacher.
Three words to describe your partner: Hardworking, outgoing, and positive.
Tell us about your dress! My dress was very simple with a high neckline and cutouts on the side. Originally there were fabric buttons, but my mom wanted to see a little extra “bling” incorporated somewhere, so my 93-year-old grandmother sewed Swarovski crystal buttons on my dress. A lady working at The Gown Shop in Ann Arbor referred to my dress as “the yoga pants of wedding dresses,” and I was sold. It was so comfortable, and being able to move and dance was really important to me.
How did you two meet? We met at a middle school where I was teaching. Kevin worked there the year before I started and came back on a Friday to visit old colleagues. We met in the hallway while I was working with one of my students.
Your first impression of him? I definitely thought Kevin was very attractive, but I was trying to remain cool since I was in front of a student!
Who popped the question and how? Kevin proposed at Bar Louie in downtown Ann Arbor, where we had our first date. Kevin wanted to propose where we sat on our first date, but there was another couple in our spot. He went outside and acted like he had to take a phone call. He asked me to come out there and proposed right at the entrance. Our friends all came running out behind us and took pictures.
How long was your engagement? 13 months
Three words to describe your expectations for the wedding: Simple, elegant, light-hearted.
Three words to describe the wedding itself: Exciting, romantic, euphoric.
Was your wedding big or small? How did you decide?
We invited around 260 people and had about 200 attend. Our venue could hold up to 250, so it gave us the opportunity to invite all of our closest friends and family.
Rehearsal dinner: We wanted our wedding to have a more formal feel, so we opted for a very informal rehearsal dinner at Pizza Papalis. Both our families are really relaxed, so it felt like a great option. Tiffany also loves pizza. It was such a great time and a perfect opportunity for our families and wedding party to mingle.
Vows: We did not write our vows and they also weren’t traditional. Our friend married us, and he gave us a template to work from that he had used in previous weddings. Kevin is a way better writer than I am, and I was so worried that mine would not sound as well written as his! We opted for writing each other letters the day of the wedding. Fun fact: I went through 6 rough drafts before I gave him mine!
Wedding venue/reception: Hensville. I really wanted something with a modern/industrial feel, and Kevin just wanted me to be happy. I went and looked at the venue by myself while Kevin was out of town for work, and I immediately loved the high ceilings and exposed brick at Hensville. We also loved the idea of getting married on a rooftop deck and having our ceremony and reception all in one location.
Decor: We both like very simple decor. Kevin came up with the concept of doing candles as centerpieces and I loved the idea. We did varying lengths of white votive candles with greenery spread between. I showed my mom a few pictures of our vision and she did all the shopping.
Cake/sweets: I love sweets! Kevin and I knew we wanted to do cupcakes, which was perfect for me because I didn’t have to choose one flavor–I got to have all 6! We went with Eston’s Bakery after seeing great reviews online.
Photographer: Finding a photographer was challenging. We both wanted to find someone who didn’t capture overly posed pictures. When I stumbled onto Mary Wyar’s website I knew
immediately I wanted her to photograph our wedding. Her pictures are AMAZING and we both loved her artistic feel. Her pictures are modern and exactly what we were looking for.
Mary Wyar adds, “Tiffany and Kevin’s wedding was a good time from beginning to end. Their bridal party had me laughing the entire day and the couple enjoyed every minute of the wedding day together, which I always love to see. Kevin’s dance moves with his guys and Tiffany dancing on a table with her 90-year-old Grandma were the highlights!”
Music/entertainment: Touch the Sky DJ. Kevin and I agree that hiring Rick Clark as our DJ was one of the best decisions we made for our big day. He was phenomenal. Everything flowed well, and he even took the time to check in with us to see if we needed drinks, and if it weren’t for him telling us to eat, we probably would have forgotten! Dancing and having a great time were really important to us, and they exceeded our expectations.
Sarah-Jo and Sam
July 14, 2018
Bride | Sarah-Jo Turner, 29
Occupation: Sales Manager.
Three words to describe your partner: Well-spoken, thoughtful, and hard-working.
How did you two meet? We met in Denver, Colorado at a sales job! We were both new to Colorado. We have since moved 8 times together and lived in Colorado, Texas and Chicago.
Your first impression of him? Sam was such a great public speaker and super cute guy. We became the best of friends first, and everyone knew we liked each other before we did.
Tell us about your dress! My dress was custom-made by Jane White, the owner of Palazzo Bridal Couture in Chicago. My dress was a lace A-line gown. Palazzo Bridal was the second dress shop I went to and Jane greeted me at the door. She took one look at me, said I have the perfect dress for you, and ran to the back of her store. I tried it on and my mom, my mother-in-law, my sisters, and my sister-in-law all cried. I cried. The dress was gorgeous and had the most beautiful train. I had dreamed of having an open back dress, [which the original dress did not,] so Jane whipped up a quick sketch and said she could open up the back of this dress. Jane felt like family, especially after all of the fittings. She was an absolute dream to work with.
Groom | Sam Turner, 27
Occupation: Logistics Account Manager.
Three words to describe your partner: Selfless, caring and determined.
Your first impression of her: We met at our job in Colorado, and I was impressed by the way she carried herself. She is very strong and independent, and there was something about her that instantly drew me in.
Who popped the question and how? I popped the question in Boulder, CO. It was the location of our first hike together and we credit hiking the Rockies as a reason we fell so deeply in love!
What was it like seeing your wife walk down the aisle? It was the most beautiful, memorable moment of my life. I will never be able to describe the flood of emotions that hit me when seeing her in her dress walking down the aisle.
How long was your engagement? One year.
What made your wedding special?
Sam: It was the epitome of us. We chose all the vendors, decor and details. This made the planning process much more difficult, but the end result was magical.
Sarah-Jo: What was most special was sharing it with everyone we love. Our family and friends live all over the country–we had people travel from 14 different states–and we were just so grateful to have them all there.
Three words to describe your expectations for the wedding: Elegant, rustic-chic, and fun.
Three words to describe the wedding itself: Perfect, emotional, and intimate.
Was your wedding big or small? How did you decide? Medium, about 135 guests.
Rehearsal dinner: Maumee Bay Brewing Company.
Wedding ceremony: Historic Church of St. Patrick.
Wedding reception venue: The Stables in Whitehouse, Ohio at Wheeler Farms
Vows: A combination of traditional and our own.
Dinner/catering: The Pinnacle. Our menu was based on the places we have lived, so we had a Midwest Station, a Tex-Mex Station, a Colorado Station and our wedding favor was Garrett Popcorn from Chicago.
Decor: Sarah-Jo selected and designed the decor— with Sam’s assistance! Our seating chart was old wooden doors with glass frames on one side with guest names, and on the other side our parents’ and grandparents’ wedding photos. Our guestbook was a book of postcards where our guests could write their well wishes and attach a Polaroid photos since we like to travel!
Calligrapher: Betsy Moore.
Wedding day coordinator: Bee for the Day.
Photographer: Mary Wyar Photography
Video: Fordham Footage.
Music/entertainment: Decorative Sound.
Gown: Palazzo Bridal.
Makeup Artist: Beauty by Billie Jo.
Hair: The French Twist Salon.
Tips and advice from both parties
Anything you’d do differently?
Sarah-Jo: Honestly, I wouldn’t change anything; it was seriously a dream. If I had to choose one thing, we may have chosen to get married in Colorado, but we are Toledo proud.
Sam: I’d try to find a way to enjoy the planning stages more and not stress!
Kevin: Not a damn thing. It could not have gone better.
Tiffany: My oldest brother Jason built a really pretty arch for the ceremony, but it was too windy to use. My veil was blowing in Kevin’s father’s face for most of the ceremony, but he didn’t seem to mind. I also left the marriage certificate at the hotel, but my oldest nephew was able to run back and get it before the ceremony began.
How to Stick to the Budget?
Mary Wyar: Within 24 hours of the wedding, all you’ll have left to remember the day are the photos. It is a blur of a day and every moment feels special. It is probably the only day where you will have ALL of your closet friends and family together. An established photographer will be waiting for those moments that unfold without direction–anticipating moments is the biggest part of the job–so it’s worth it to find someone experienced you trust.
Words of Wisdom?
Mary Wyar: Biggest piece of advice: hire an experienced coordinator. The catering coordinator from the venue doesn’t count, nor does the contact at your church. Hire a coordinator who starts his/her day the moment the bride gets in her dress. Being able to truly enjoy the day you’ve spent months–or even years–planning can become a stressful nightmare when you have a mom attempting to run things or if you’re running it yourself.
Sarah-Jo: Try to be as in the moment as possible, and once you lock arms, don’t leave each other’s side. I loved the details and planning our wedding, but the day of the wedding I didn’t worry about anything. My only focus was marrying the love of my life. I am very Type-A and received that advice a few times, and I honestly just had the time of my life.
Sam: The day is about celebrating the two of you, so never lose sight of that. Make sure to take a few moments to yourselves throughout the night to soak in everything that’s going on around you. The day flies by incredibly quickly, so hang on to every last second!
Tiffany: Get ready as early as possible. The day flies by, and it’s nice to have some downtime to just relax with your bridesmaids.
Kevin: Give yourself plenty of time to get ready. It was great being able to hang out with just the groomsmen for an extended period of time before the day got started. Also, eat early, eat often. That is one thing you may forget to do if you are not careful.