Samantha + David’s Gatsby Inspired Wedding Celebration
Every detail of Samantha’s wedding reflected her lively and elegant style. Taking cues from the glamour and spirit of the 1920's, the Hilton Netherland’s Hall of Mirrors wedding was threaded with dazzle and brilliance Gatsby style. From the shapely cream roses so thickly layered you only need see them to imagine their intoxicating scent to the opulence of the ballroom where guests were invited to enjoy an evening of cozy splendor. We asked Samantha to take us on a walk back through her wedding day and share her thoughts on planning a day resplendent with charm. Wedding day photography by tm photography.
What’s your style?
Our wedding was black tie and the mood was a vintage/contemporary Gatsby. I am a sparkle girl at heart so there were definitely elements of that throughout our whole wedding, including the invitations. I chose to have our wedding black tie because it was such a special occasion and to fit the Gatsby mood. Nothing is more fun then getting dressed up for a night of celebrating! I have a classic, edgy style but with our wedding I just wanted a sophisticated, romantic and beautiful evening with stunning flowers, chandeliers, candles and a good deal of sparkle. I think the pictures speak for themselves.
How did you and David meet?
David and I met in 7th grade Spanish class and immediately became best friends. However, we didn't end up actually dating until senior year of high school and we've been together ever since!
How did David propose?
It was perfect. David proposed in our apartment with just the two of us, it was so special and intimate. He then surprised me by taking me to my parents where everyone who has been in our lives and supported us throughout the past 11 years was there to help us celebrate.
Tell us about finding your dress.
My older sister actually found it. She got married six months before I did and was out looking for her wedding dress with my mom. She found her dress and facetimed me to show me. During our chat she mentioned that she tried on a dress and immediately thought of me and said it my style. At the time I didn't think too much into it because I still had so much time before my wedding and I figured this was her time and I wasn't going to take that away from her. So the next day she made us go back to European Bridal to see her dress. It was the one and she looked so beautiful. After she was finished she told me to go and look for the dress that she told me about the day before. It took me two minutes to find it and it was the second dress I tried on and that was it. That day we both left with our wedding dresses purchased.
What aspect of wedding planning surprised you?
I would say that everything surprised me. You go through months and months of planning and having an idea of what everything will look like and how everything will turn out, but you never really know what the outcome will be until the day you see it and I can't tell you how surprised I was to have all that planning exceed my expectations. The way everything came together: the invitations, the living wall, the chandelier (which was next to impossible to get in due to being the first bride to bring a chandelier into the Renaissance- I actually searched the whole venue myself to find an entry access big enough that the chandelier would fit through, and yes, I found it), flowers, table decorations, the Greek bar and bourbon bar, everything complimented each other and made the evening magical.
Describe your wedding day.
My wedding day was everything I wanted it to be and more. Relaxing, nerve racking, exciting, fun, stunning, memorable, comfortable and not long enough. Our wedding day was hands down the best day of our lives. We still have guests telling us how much fun they had even today!
How did you use social media to announce/keep guests informed and plan your wedding?
We obviously posted we were engaged on Facebook and Instagram. Pinterest was extremely helpful when it came to the decorations and the details of our wedding. I was on that site for hours every day. We used a wedding website to inform guests where the wedding was taking place, where to stay and things to do while they were in town. Like everyone does now, we also came up with a hashtag so our friends and family could capture special moments of our engagement and wedding. I love looking at our hashtag and seeing those moments. It's definitely a fun way to share a special occasion with so many people.
Did your wedding match your personal style or was it influenced by family members?
My wedding definitely matched my personal style but was enhanced by my mom's help. She made my vision come to life and what she did was more beautiful than what I had pictured in my mind. She took what David and I wanted the most and made it all happen.
Tell us about your venues and the bourbon bar.
The reception venue was the most important decision I made. I had always imagined getting married outside under a big tent at my parents, but they did not imagine that. After coming to terms with the fact that I was not having an outside wedding at the beginning of September, I started looking at every venue available in Cincinnati that would hold up to 400 guests and that was still available Labor Day Weekend. I knew I wanted something different- cozy yet stunning and with natural light. There are not many venues out there that fit those qualities- this being the hardest decision. I was actually sitting down to sign a contract for another venue when my Dad called and said he could get us a hardhat tour of the new Renaissance Hotel Cincinnati. I took one step into the grand ballroom and I was done. Having our reception at the Renaissance was the easiest and best decision I made. It was everything I wanted and more- new venue, stunning and cozy, historical, floor to ceiling windows. It. Was. Perfect.
The bourbon bar was something that David came up with. He is a big bourbon fan and collector and he really wanted to share that with our friends and family and my mom and I thought it would be fun. My mom did a great job of making it more than just a bar that served only bourbon. She had this vision of the bar having a speakeasy mood. So she went to Japps and had two extremely creative mixologists man the bar and serve some pretty amazing bourbon concoctions. In addition to the bar tenders, I had the idea of having bourbon ice balls with 'K' etched in the middle. The bar was a hit all night long. I don't remember not seeing a line throughout the night.
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
David is Greek so we thought it would be pretty amazing to go to Greece. We started our honeymoon in Santorini then visited Naxos and Mykonos and ended in Barcelona. Hands down the best two weeks of our lives.