Hi! I am so excited about sharing my I Guess I Do moments with the world! My name is Holly (Mittelmeier) Weakland and I am originally from Cleveland, Ohio and work in higher education. I have recently moved to Raleigh, North Carolina where my husband, Randy Weakland, accepted a new job in the Research Triangle (he is an engineer). I enjoy yoga, running, dancing, working with students, red wine, Netflix, Target, coffee, and NPR.
Randy and I actually met on Match.com while I was still living and working in Indiana. I had been on and off Match for a long time, and out of a moment of sheer vulnerability after breaking off yet another tumultuous entanglement with a friend from grad school, Randy emailed me. I knew I was heading back to Cleveland so I had changed my zip code to hopefully attract a lovely gent that would be waiting for me once I moved back. We took it slow and as Gwyneth would call it, entered into a “conscious coupling” and fell in love. He proposed in October of 2013 in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park at sunset.
Randy and I really enjoy the outdoors, so it was important to us to have some element of our wedding outside. In Ohio, that is slightly difficult no matter what time of year one chooses for the wedding. It can be blazing hot, raining, or really cool at any point from May-October. It was going to be a gamble no matter what! Luckily, we found a gorgeous barn venue in the middle of Mohican State Park where we were able to have elements both inside and outside, and would be able to have our ceremony inside if it rained (which of course, I put that thought out of my mind from the very get-go of planning, no matter what the ceremony was going to be outside). Planning was mainly enjoyable and fun, with a touch of stress and anxiety, but a lot of learning along the way. In order to keep myself sane, I promised myself that I would not get caught up in the stresses of planning this event, as it was the marriage that was so much more important.
Anyone that knows me well can tell you that I have a major sweet tooth. I especially love cake. I get excited for cake at any occasion, and will internally squeal with delight upon having cake that has my favorite kind of frosting. So obviously, I was extremely excited to taste and pick out MY own wedding cake. I scoured Pinterest for the designs I liked and based on a recommendation from a colleague on a bakery she used, we booked our first tasting appointment. I had previously given the owner designs I liked so she was going to have a quote for us. Little did I realize all the designs I liked had used fondant. Little did I also realize fondant is highly labor intensive and most people don’t even like the taste of fondant so they usually didn’t eat it with their slice of cake. She gave me the quote of $1300. $1300!!!! I was a bit taken back and then when I called my mom and informed her of the quote, her response validated that we needed to keep looking.
This had been my first planning roadblock so I was feeling sad and discouraged…were all cakes this expensive? Being pretty ignorant of the world of wedding cakes, I had no idea how much they usually went for. A few days later, my mom called me and told me she just watched a wedding-themed episode of The Chew that morning and Michael Symon said that “no-one should ever pay over $600 for a wedding cake.” Well, if you like food and are from Cleveland, Michael Symon truly knows best so I was going to use Michael’s advice. We ended up going with the bakery associated with our caterer, and they had great reviews on theKnot. Our tasting went well and she was able to create a texturized look with the icing that resembled fondant and EVERYONE LOVED THE CAKE and said it was some of the best cake they had ever tasted. Mission accomplished!
My adventures in wedding colors, now that I look back on it, make me laugh because they seemingly took a journey all on their own and changed from the beginning to the finished product. Like many brides, I scoured Pinterest for hours in the initial planning stages, created color palettes, etc. The difficulty is, there are SO many beautiful color combinations out there and with the help of a little creativity and imagination, anything can be made to look fantastic and accomplish the overall vision the bride is wanting. The options were overwhelming and I had to set an hour limit to my Pinterest research or else a panic-induced anxiety attack would set in (okay, maybe not, but you all know what I mean). In my eyes, the colors set the whole tone for the wedding-they decided everything-the décor, flowers, dresses, cake, it all came back to the colors- so picking the wrong ones would be bad.
We had chosen Labor Day weekend, those days of passage signaling the end of summer to beginning of Fall….so to choose summery shades or autumn shades? Or maybe neglect both and do what I want? Maybe others would interpret summery shades for fall shades or vice versa? Criminy, this is awful. I went with my gut and chose the color palette I first really loved. Poppy tones of a peachy pink and dark eggplant/plum with a contrast of ivory and a sage green (Visit designseeds.com and you will see how specific one can get). I really love the dark, dreamy, victorian shades of purple and wear them often, but I was a little nervous because I wanted to stay away with brighter, royal shades of purple and hoped the two wouldn’t end up meeting somewhere in the middle.
Planning moved forward. I learned overtime that many have differing views on what eggplant is and had more wine-colored options or their version of eggplant was burgundy. No people-are you color blind? Burgandy and eggplant are two completely different colors. I was also really excited about my flowers. I had given my florist a couple different photos of bouquets I loved and we used her services for my sister’s wedding and my mom had referred her out to many family friends. She was extremely receptive to my vision of a elegant, yet rustic theme for my barn wedding and she set my nerves at ease. I kept encountering the same issue though-vendors never had the EXACT shade of dark purple I wanted to I had to make do with the options they had that were the closest. Invitations were designed, bridesmaid dresses were bought, tablecloths ordered-slowly, I knew the colors were changing a bit but I was also proud of all the crafting I was doing and slowly let go of my tight-fisted grasp of the color I wanted.
The wedding day finally comes and after I have on my dress and it is time for our first look photos, I go downstairs to get my bouquet since my florist had arrived. I walk down the stairs with anticipation to see all my gorgeous flowers and low and behold (incite Psycho theme music) PURPLE. All I see is purple. The color purple I did NOT want. BUT the flowers looked gorgeous in the wooden box centerpieces and looked perfect with everything else I had put together. I knew at that point there was absolutely nothing I could do about it so I smiled, hugged my amazing lady of a florist, smelled the sweet scents of my bouquet, and went to see my future husband so he could finally see me in my dress. Everything came together and all my trips to Michael’s and Pat Catans had paid off-my elegant, rustic vision blended wonderfully in the wooden barn, tucked deep in the Ohio forest. Second mission accomplished!
Or as I call it, $#@&. They had been calling for a brief period of rain all morning of the wedding. I was internally panicking that my outside ceremony would not happen. I was hoping that it would be one of those normal Ohio days where the weather people call for thunderstorms all day but it ends up being sunny and bright instead. It was warm, but that nice warm between hot and cool. The previous day was HOT, around the low 90’s and the venue owners (Laura & Kevin) had said the wedding that took place the previous day was misery because of the heat, so I was grateful for the cooler temperature. Laura looks at the Doppler radar and says there is a little rain that will move through between 11-1, but we should be in the all clear afterwards.
Our first look is supposed to be at 1:15 and photos will be until 3:30, so we should be in the clear. Our first look session was under grey skies and just as we were walking into the woods for some more photos, it starts to drizzle. Kevin offers to drive me through the woods on his very muddy looking John Deere cart, and lays a towel down for me so I wouldn’t get dirty. Paul (our photog) and Randy follow, and by the time we get to the area we want, it starts to nearly pour. Paul & Randy keep a towel over my head as I hold my lace train so it doesn’t get muddy. I internally scream bloody murder. This is NOT what I had in mind for our photos! One of the main reasons Randy and I chose this venue was because of its natural beauty and all the amazing opportunities for photos. We elected to not do engagement photos to save money, so this was our one shot! I want to cry and throw a brick at something, but I collect myself and we go back to the barn to do some photos there and wait it out. It stops after about 20 minutes and we are able to go back out and do the rest of the photos we wanted.
Cue Cheesy Music.
So all in all, it was a wonderful experience. And here comes my Danny Tanner moment-when I look at Randy, all I feel is gratitude and happiness for finding “my person” and being with the love of my life. We never would have imagined we would find ourselves in NC a mere year after him proposing, and here we are-living our first life adventure together. The wedding happened just the way it was supposed to, and just as many brides told me post-wedding, the small stresses and worries just DO NOT MATTER at the end of the day. You found the person you are supposed to grow old with! Can’t get much better than that! <3
Venue: The Grand Barn Wedding Center Wedding Planner: Heart 2 Heart Occasions Florist: Countryside Florist Caterer: Taste of Excellence Cake: Patisserie 42 Dress: Allure Bridals via Catans Headpiece: Nordstrom Bridesmaids: Weddington Way & Alfred Sung Ceremony Quartet: Alliance String Quartet DJ: RaisetheRoof Entertainment Invites, Save The Date's, Programs: TheMoxieStudio Photography: Ferrerfoto Decorations: Michaels, Pat Catans & Etsy (all décor--ask Holly)