Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my! Real Essense of Australia Bride Kelly’s wedding to MJ featured a reception at the Toledo Zoo, where the high school sweethearts had previously attended prom. From feeding the giraffes during cocktail hour to sitting in front of an aquarium in the reception hall, Kelly and MJ incorporated the exotic setting into their special day. With the romance and movement of Essense of Australia Style D2587, Kelly was able to feel her best and dance the night away alongside her family and friends.
How did you know that Essense of Australia Style D2587 was the one?
I knew that I wanted a dress that had lace, a little sparkle, and some straps because I knew we would be dancing and moving around all day. The overall feel I was going for was romantic. I wanted something that was timeless and had great flow and a fuller skirt. When I tried on the dress for the first time, I knew it was the one. What really sealed the deal was when I looked at my mom’s face once I came out. I was so impressed because this dress literally checked off every one of my boxes of what I had envisioned for myself.
What made your reception location so special??
We had our reception at the Toledo Zoo! The Toledo Zoo is especially important to my husband and I because we are high school sweethearts and attended prom there seven years prior. It was so meaningful for us to gather again in a place that already held so many fond memories and come full circle as best friends in high school and now husband and wife.
How did you personalize your wedding experience?
The inside of the reception hall had a gorgeous aquarium wall that reflected all of the gold accents on the table setting nicely. Because of social distancing, the tables could not be very close together. We wanted to be able to see all of our guests so we designed a “sweetheart stage” with a small chaise on one side and table on the other with candles surrounding us. It felt intimate despite the space between everyone. One of my favorite areas in the reception hall was the table with the guest book. We had photos of our parents and grandparents from their wedding days. Family is important to both of us and we were so happy to be able to give them special recognition in the hall.
What was your overall wedding color palette?
My bridesmaid dresses were in the color “Fog” which was a grayish/purple color that beautifully complimented the flowers we chose. I knew I wanted a color palette that was bright and warm, because the wedding was originally scheduled for the end of June (until we had to postpone). For flowers, we went with natural, organic shapes with lots of greenery and blushes, pale yellows, and warm oranges. It was perfect for the warm day we had.
What is your most special memory from the day?
During cocktail hour we were able to feed the giraffes, take photos on the carousel, and ride the train around the entire property. One of my favorite memories is when we fed the giraffe named Charlotte, and she tried to eat my husband’s boutonnière!
Photography by Jeana McConaha Photography.
Did you wear a Essense of Australia dress on your wedding day? Share your photos with us for a chance to be featured.