After a romantic surprise proposal in Washington, DC, Kaitlyn Kedzior and Joseph Garman planned for a New Year’s Eve wedding in Cleveland, Ohio, the city where they met and fell in love. “When we first got engaged, I wanted to do a spring 2020 wedding in Naples, Florida, where my family has a home,” describes the bride. “Now, looking back, I think my grandmas were watching over me from heaven knowing what was to come this year.” 

The traditional wedding mass took place in a church with sentimental ties to the bride. “It is my childhood church and also where my parents and both of my brothers were married,” she shares. “It felt very full circle to have our ceremony there.” After an exhaustive search for the perfect reception site, the bride discovered a stunning cathedral thanks to the help of her wedding planners: “Thank goodness for A Charming Fête when it came to finding my reception venue!” she exclaims of the task she found most difficult. “The cathedral was so beautiful, completely fit my aesthetic, and everyone there was extremely accommodating.” 

Kaitlyn says her parents knew she had a vision for the event, so they allowed her the freedom to plan as she wished, though her mother was lovingly by her side as needed, as was her groom-to-be. “Joe definitely trusted my choices when it came to planning and designing,” she says. “Certain production aspects, such as selecting our videographer and photographer, were important to him since that is what he does for a living.” The fare was also carefully selected with the guidance of the bride’s parents. “My dad is Polish and my mama is Sicilian. It was really important to them that we created a menu to appease all palates and make sure no one went hungry all event long,” tells Kaitlyn of the sit-down dinner service arranged for over 200 loved ones. 

Still beautifully decorated from Christmas Day, the sanctuary was filled with Christmas trees adorned with white and gold décor and lovely white poinsettias for the New Year’s Eve ceremony. Kaitlyn’s cousin, Hope Spinner, sang “Ave Maria.” “Hope is an incredible vocalist, and her voice brought many people to tears,” describes the bride of the special memory. For Joseph, seeing Kaitlyn walk down the aisle was an incredible moment. “I felt like I got the wind knocked out of me,” he confides. “It was an overwhelming feeling and there were some tears.” The bride looked exquisite wearing a gown featuring an embellished deep V-neck bodice and frothy skirt; her long raven-hued locks loosely curled and framed by a snowy veil. At the conclusion of the service, the crowd cheered in joy as the new Mr. and Mrs. made their way out of the church. 

Upon seeing the reception space for the first time, Joseph was floored with Kaitlyn’s creativity. “It was incredible!” he remembers. “The red roses my wife had selected were stunning, and our venue was covered in them. They are her favorite flower and everywhere I looked made me think of her.” When initially planning, Kaitlyn knew she wanted their wedding to look and feel different and was further inspired to think outside of the box when they decided on a New Year’s Eve date. “I not only wanted it to be a wedding celebration, but also a showstopping New Year’s party,” she illustrates. “My vision was the Met Gala meets an award show after-party meets The Phantom of the Opera.” 

The entry of the space was heavenly, showcasing “clouds” of suspended baby’s breath, a white runway, and a glorious arch crafted from baby’s breath lined with glasses of Champagne. Singers belted gospel music as guests entered to add to the dreamy ambience. “My jaw was on the floor walking into the venue. It was the absolute most incredible feeling to see everything I have imagined come to fruition thanks to my immeasurable wedding team and vendors,” emphasizes the bride. 

Dinner tables were a lovely contrast, covered in black linens, candles, and lush rose centerpieces. An extra-long head table for the bridal party and their guests was bedecked in an oversized runner of red roses. “My florist is brilliant at her craft!” notes Kaitlyn. 

After supper, family and friends enjoyed delicious slices of the wedding cake made of three tiers that included a black base with gold embellishments, a layer made of red wafer paper roses, and wafer paper angel wings all the way down the confection. Additionally, partygoers savored homemade cookies baked by the mother of the bride: “My mama’s love language is cooking and baking for others. She baked 2,500 cookies of all varieties for our special day.” 

The phrase “See You at Midnight” had been incorporated throughout the décor details, beginning with the ebony wedding invitation suite. To carry this theme over and include a “live-action” component, Kaitlyn arranged for her closest friends to dress in golden attire with angel wings and pass out Champagne for a midnight toast. “It seemed like a crazy plan, and it probably was, but we pulled it off!” she smiles. 

The couple’s best suggestion for other brides and grooms is to have fun designing your big day and incorporate details that showcase the two of you. “Everyone will tell you this, but it is true, the day goes by in the blink of an eye. Make sure to savor every moment and take some time to connect with your partner and show gratitude,” muses the bride of the advice they made sure to follow.