Kerry + Matt's Cooper Creek Event Center Wedding with Aglamesis
Tell us about you and Matt.
Matt and I met our freshmen year of college on a spring break trip with Habitat for Humanity to Charleston, South Carolina. We were friends for two years before he finally asked me out. Matt accepted an accounting job outside of D.C. during our senior year and I got a teaching position in the same area. One weekend in 2017, we took a trip back to our alma mater Elon University where we recreated our first date.
On campus, Matt asked me to marry him. Of course, I said yes! Matt loves sports and I love arts, crafts, and Irish dancing. Together, we love going out for ice cream, having movie nights-in, exploring new towns, and being outdoors. We share a lot of the same values and just love being together.
Our campus minister from our time at Elon presided over the Mass. Family is important to us and including our families in the ceremony and reception made everything more personal. As for the actual style choices in dress, florals, and decorations - I was on the hunt to find a lace long sleeve dress, similar to Kate Middleton's wedding gown. I found a very classic ball gown with beautiful lace on the skirt, like Kate's.
How did you decide on your venue? Why was it the perfect choice?
We visited multiple different venues before deciding on Cooper Creek. The things that made Cooper Creek stand apart from the others were the size, building, dance floor, and bar. We needed a space that could hold all of our guests. We also knew we wanted lots of dancing so we needed a big dance floor. Cooper Creek is large enough and has a beautiful, spacious dance floor. My dad was very impressed by the bar in the reception ballroom at Cooper Creek. The building itself feels newer, clean, and bright.
Even though our reception was at night, the gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows created perfect picture opportunities as we got ready in the morning. The bathrooms are on the same level as the ballroom (grandparents are always thankful for this!) and are spacious and clean. The cocktail hour could take place in a room separate from the reception room so that there could be a big reveal once the reception began.
The colors in Cooper Creek are more neutral so it was easier to make the space our own versus coordinating our wedding to match our venue's colors. Jamie at Cooper Creek is amazing. I think my mom visited every Saturday in February and March leading up to our wedding and Jamie was always there to help answer questions, problem-solve, and bounce ideas around.
Describe your wedding day. Is there a particular moment that remains in your memory most vividly?
It's amazing how much planning goes into a day that ends before you can even blink! Somehow I was able to remain relatively present throughout the day and evening. Matt and I both said that our favorite part of the day was the Mass. Sitting and looking out at all our family and friends gathered in one place was something else.
You feel so much love on your wedding day. I remember practicing my father daughter dance with my dad in the reception room while everyone was getting ready. That was a sweet moment to share before things got a little more hectic. At one point in the night, I was dancing with all three of my sisters and friends to Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody," just like I would do around the kitchen at home or at college. Surprising everyone, including my old dance teacher, with our Irish dancing was really fun.
My dad's speech was pretty touching. He really wanted to personally recognize all 186 guests. He had typed out 6 pages of single-spaced notes that my mom helped him cut down. He kept all the notes, though, and walked around the room pointing out people's names in his speech to let them know that he really did want to give them a shoutout. At another point in the evening, my high school friends and I gathered for a picture, but of course, we broke out into our school song before we snapped a shot.
At the end of my dad's speech, have gave us a gift: our very own family gavel. My family has had a gavel for years with our family motto "Kurkjians STX (stick) 2gether" engraved on it. My dad is really big on family meetings and he just liked having the gavel. I wrote my dad a letter about the family motto and said that I thought it was the best one and that Matt and I should use the same motto as we begin our family together. My dad was surprised reading my letter because he had secretly ordered Matt and I our own gavel with the motto "Zimpelmans STX 2gether." That's why he is holding the gavel in the speech pictures.
A beautiful late winter wedding in Cincinnati complete with little pink Aglamesis Ice Cream cart and a bowl of late night ice cream. Kerry + Matt exchanged vows at the historic St. Francis de Sales church followed by an evening reception at Copper Creek Event Center. Kerry was stunning in her Kate Middleton-esque gown surrounded by her bridesmaids in soft blue dresses. The florals were a gorgeous pairing of greens and white. Silvery green eucalyptus and layers of white rose and hydrangea were the perfect compliment to the pastel and navy blue accents. The day was captured by the talented Amanda Donaho Photography.
How were your personal styles reflected in your wedding day?
Matt and I have a very classic style. We wanted a beautiful wedding and reception, but we wanted to make sure there with things that made the day personal and memorable. We chose to have late night ice cream from Aglamesis (my favorite Cincinnati ice cream shop) since we both love ice cream. The adorable pink ice cream cart sold us immediately! I was always planning on Irish dancing with my dance friends at the reception, but Matt decided he wanted to dance too. I taught him a two-hand Irish jig and we performed it as a surprise with my dance friends. We wanted to include our family and all their talents.
My sister is a talented baker and baked all the cookie favors. My other sister is an incredible artist. She created most of the signs at the reception. My cousin is pursuing her Master's Degree in vocal performance. She was the canter at our Mass. My other cousins are talented musicians and played during our cocktail hour.
Matt and I love navy so he decided on navy suits for the guys. I wanted a very specific light, pale blue for the girls' dresses. I love eucalyptus and big flowers like peonies, garden roses, and hydrangeas. We incorporated lots of whites, greens, and blues in our florals and decor. We used amber votives and candles to give the room a soft glow.
I loved the idea of having little touches here and there - so we added greenery and candles on the staircase and wreaths and lanterns by the front doors to our venue. We didn't do much with florals or decor at St. Francis de Sales. We chose to get married at St. Francis because the church itself is so beautiful!
What were your favorite details?
My mom surprised me on the day of with lace and charms on my bridal bouquet. She got a horseshoe, acorn, and Miraculous Medal charms. The horseshoe is an Irish tradition. In Ireland, they used to, and sometimes still, hang a real horseshoe on the bride's bouquet to wish good luck. The acorn is symbolic of Elon University, our alma mater. Elon means "oak" in Hebrew. At convocation during your first year, Elon students are given an acorn. At commencement, students are given an oak tree sapling to symbolize the growth.
We were really excited about the late night ice cream from Aglamesis because we are such ice cream fanatics. Aglamesis even let us borrow some of their silver dishes for our bride and groom ice cream. Susan Foy is an amazing florist to work with. She constantly used her creativity to come up with new ideas and offer alternatives. Matt and I were really excited about our little space by the fireplace. We placed our sweetheart table in front of it with a big wreath hung above it.
St. Catherine Laboure is to credit with the Miraculous Medal. My family went to Paris and visited the Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal after I graduated college. Since then, St. Catherine and her Miraculous Medal have been an important part of my family. The lace handkerchief wrapped around my bouquet was from a handkerchief my mom received on her wedding day from my great-grandmother. I also created boards with wedding pictures dating back to our great-great-grandparents on both sides of our families. It was fun looking back at the old photos, the fashion, and even some of the names.
What helped you in the planning process? What resources did you find helpful?
My mom was my "wedding planner." Having her support throughout the process was essential to the success of our day. She kept me on track with what to do and when. Pinterest is great for inspiration. The Knot is a great resource and offers a lot of different tools. My mom gifted me the "Anti Bride Wedding Planner: Hip Tools and Tips for Getting Hitched" book and a friend bought me a blank notebook. I carried both around with me everywhere! The blank notebook was seriously so helpful to bring to meetings and have notes to look back on.
Since I was planning my wedding from out of town, I used Google Drive to help share documents and communicate everything with my mom in Cincinnati (along with many long phone chats!). Our wedding vendors were especially helpful. Amanda Donaho (our photographer) helped create a wedding timeline and offered multiple suggestions for various vendors. Little Brown Dog Productions (our videographers) also provided advice on timelines and other wedding vendors.
Where did you honeymoon?
We really wanted to go to Greece for our honeymoon, but Greece is not very warm in mid-March. So, we decided to delay our honeymoon until June. We'll be going to Athens, Santorini, and Crete! We did take a "mini-moon" to Savannah, Georgia for a few days right after the wedding to relax and spend time together. It was the perfect fit for us. We met on a spring break trip in college in Charleston, SC and Savannah has some of the same southern charm as Charleston.
Thank you so much Kerry + Matt for sharing your beautiful wedding day with us. We wish you all the best in the years to come!
Best thing about being married?
As cheesy as it sounds, the best part about being married is getting do everything with your best friend. From trips to the grocery store to travels around the world and everything in between!
Kerry's Gown: Bridal and Formal | Veil and hair pieces: Bellisima | Bridesmaid Dresses: Weddington Way | Makeup: Simply Makeup & Hair | Attire: Men's Warehouse (suits) | Flowers: The Wedding Designer - Susan Foy | Cake and other Sweets: Spoon Fulla Sugar and Aglamesis Bro's ice cream | Catering: Vonderhaar Catering | Music: Ken Holdt (ceremony pianist), Rose Trio (ceremony musicians) and The Sly Band (reception musicians) | Venues: St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church and Cooper Creek Event Center | Linens: All Occassions | Photography: Amanda Donaho Photography | Videographer: Little Brown Dog Productions | Stationery: Poeme