Sunday, June 16, 2024

Wedding Guide – Spring 2022

Our Destination Weddings

Four intriguing locales to consider for your big day

The local couples listed below all opted for a ceremony and/or reception away from Toledo. To follow in their footsteps, check out the Instagram pages included in each listing!

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

PHOTO CREDIT: Picture This by Ginny

Duffee Maddox and her husband Joe Barton were originally scheduled to get married in May 2020, but the pandemic caused them to change plans. Their solution? To have a destination wedding in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the perfect location for history lovers.

“We were living in Brooklyn at the time and moved to Toledo for a job with the Toledo Museum of Art in the beginning of 2021,” says Maddox. “My husband, originally from Virginia, is a history podcaster [of Apple podcast, “Excuse Me History”], which is one of the reasons we selected the location.”  The couple tied the knot on May 22, 2021 Learn more about traveling to Gettysburg for your wedding or honeymoon at

@alicelouisepress (Perrysburg invitation printer)

Las Vegas, Nevada

PHOTO CREDIT: Light and Fade

The quintessential location for elopements, Las Vegas proved to be the answer to one Toledo couple’s anxieties about their big day. “Originally, we were planning on getting married here in Toledo, but there was stress about planning the perfect wedding, a venue’s limited capacity for our guests due to Covid-19, anxiety about being the center of attention as the bride…nothing about planning this was fun,” explains Worada Lehman-Elchert, who married Jason on July 7, 2021. “One day we joked about just taking off to Las Vegas to get married, just the two of us. We both looked at each other as if that could be a real possibility, then decided to just do it. It was everything we hoped for.”

Worada and Jason Elchert got married in the Valley of Fire State Park, a striking location for photos and romance. 

@lightandfade (photographer)

@emberandstoneevents (wedding planner)

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

PHOTO CREDIT: Swatch Studios

Emily and Andy Vascik had been planning to take a family vacation to Hawaii for the longest time, so they thought, “Why not get married there?” In November of 2016, they took the plunge with a small, intimate wedding in Kailua-Kona. “To be surrounded by the waves, the flowers, and the wonderful spirit of the island was something we will always remember,” remembers Emily. “We were truly blessed on that day.”

The Toledo couple decided to have their reception back home at Registry Bistro, where Chef Erika Rapp included references to Hawaiian cuisine in their menu. 

@registrybistro (Toledo reception and catering)

@swatchstudios (Toledo photographer)

@ellafloraweddings (Rossford florist)

@wixey_bakery (Toledo desserts)

@vintageandlaceweddings (Wedding planner)

Rincón, Puerto Rico

PHOTO CREDIT: Reki Wedding Films

Local couple Christina and Joe Henry wanted a stress-free ceremony with their closest family and friends, so they began planning their Puerto Rico destination wedding in 2021. “We booked our stay with an airbnb near the venue and a few nights at the hotel venue for convenience,” says Christina. “The best part about arriving was that everything was a surprise for both of us and our 28 guests!  In total, our wedding costs (including: my dress, men’s suits, venue, food, hair, makeup for all girls and moms, photographer, decorations, flowers, DJ, planner, Airbnb, hotel, and flights) were under $12,500!”

@soniagregorycoordinadora (wedding planner)

@rincon_of_the_seas (venue)

@rekiweddingfilms (photography)

Couple Q&As

Kayla Russell & Shane Russell Jr.

Photo Credit: Viewsbyri

The significance of the cord ceremony comes from a passage in the Bible, Ecclesiastes 4:12, which reads, “though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Braiding the three strands represents the union of God and the two partners in the marriage.

How did you meet?
Toledo School for the Arts.

Who popped the question, and how?
Shane popped the question at our favorite park where we would often take walks.

How long was the engagement?
One year.

What made your wedding day special?
Our son was the ring bearer.

During the wedding planning process, did you ever want to elope and just get it over with?
Yes, that idea seemed less costly and less stressful.

Was there anything in the wedding that didn’t go according to plan?
Organization, communication between individual parties and music malfunctions.

Three words to describe your wedding expectations:
Peaceful, beautiful, simple.

Three words to describe your wedding reality:
A bit stressful…

Wedding coordinator:
Family members helped with the planning.

Eston’s Bakery in Toledo.

We made our own playlist with our favorite Christian artists.

Where did you spend your honeymoon?
Berlin, Ohio – an Amish town.

Tips and tricks for other couples:
When planning a wedding, remember the more people who are involved, the more chaotic it can get. Keep in mind that it’s your wedding. Be respectful of others’ opinions, but don’t miss out on what you want just to please picky, opinionated people.

Did you have a shower and/or bachelor/bachelorette parties? If so, what did you do?
I didn’t have a bridal shower, but my husband had a bachelor get-together.

Gabriel and Shannon Lands Jones

Photo Credit: Hudson Photography

How did you meet?
We met at work. Gabe works for the City of Toledo, and I work for Lucas County. Our paths crossed when the city and county had to collaborate on a large-scale project.

Who popped the question, and how?
Gabriel asked me one October evening when I was least expecting it. We’d had a disagreement earlier in the day, and really, this was the last thing I had expected. The two of us were at home, enjoying a nice fire, when I decided to add wood to the hearth. When I turned around,Gabriel was down on one knee, asking for my hand in marriage.

How long was the engagement?
About three years.

What made your wedding day special?
We had all of our family and closest friends there with us. It was small, intimate and perfect.

During the wedding planning process, did you ever want to elope and just get it over with? 
We had several setbacks due to COVID-19 that forced us to delay the wedding a few times.

Was there anything in the wedding that didn’t go according to plan?
No, everything went as planned. No surprises.

Did you do anything during the wedding that would be considered non-traditional?
Instead of a best man speech, we asked our brother-in-law to do the toast. He has known Gabe since he was a child and really provided a beautiful, heart-felt speech. Additionally, we had our children be a part of our wedding ceremony. The five of us did a sand unification ceremony and the kids were in our wedding party as well!

Chris Shutters Band.

Describe your wedding venue:
Accommodating, practical, and budget friendly. The venue coordinator was helpful in planning the necessities for the ceremony and reception. She was very accommodating when it came to visiting the location, figuring out chair cover color choices, dinner options and decorating for the reception.

Other wedding vendors you’d like to mention:
Jan Hudson of Hudson Photography and Jennifer Pello of Pello Salon & Spa were both very helpful and professional.

Where did you spend your honeymoon?
New England. We flew into Boston, then drove up the Atlan tic coastline, stopping in several cities along the way and spending a few days in Bar Harbor, Maine. We ended up getting matching tattoos in a little town outside of Bar Harbor. The tattoos are remembrances of the day we were married, Gabe’s late father and our honeymoon.

Tips and tricks for other couples:
Be open minded to what is available for your wedding needs. Set a budget and try to stick with it. Make sure you try the food and cake before choosing your vendor.

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