While they grew up only a few miles apart in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, it wasn’t until the Beta Theta Pi fraternity’s Ugly Sweater Christmas Party on the campus of Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri, that they finally laid eyes on each other. Eight years later, the two had graduated from WashU, medical school and law school, respectively, and were back in Cleveland living together and planning for a magical summer wedding.
As they dived into wedding planning – with the aid of a wedding planner and Morgan’s mother – they were given advice to consider: the wedding is not only about the bride and groom, but also about everyone who cares about them.
“We laughed when we heard this because it was exactly what we wanted out of our day,” expresses the bride. “We leaned into this advice and sought to make our wedding the best experience possible for our guests. We wanted to showcase Cleveland to our family and friends, as most had never been!”
Certain that they wanted to marry in the Downtown Cleveland area and already set on the church in which they would wed, they easily settled on a private four-story event venue with historic charm, making loved ones’ travel time a short distance from hotel to church to reception.
Since the doctor-lawyer power couple have occupations that make it difficult to plan a wedding during normal business hours, they relied heavily on their wedding planner and the mother of the bride to make decisions on their behalf. “We spent a lot of time together at the outset to get on the same page and align on what the vision would be for the wedding,” describes Morgan. “We are so grateful they were able to represent us at meetings.”
The bride and groom did, however, have a list of goals that they wanted to keep in mind throughout the process. First, they desired quality products and services; second was availability, especially because they were competing with rescheduled Covid weddings; and the most important, utilizing as many Cleveland vendors as possible. “We believe in the city of Cleveland,” Morgan emphasizes.
“I feel like the interaction with the musicians and live interpretations of favorite songs adds energy and fun to the evening celebrations.”
Morgan’s vision entailed a formal, black-tie affair with elegant touches of French toile de jouy and a regal color palette of white, grey, and gold. A traditional Catholic mass was arranged for the big day, as Morgan was raised Catholic and Alex had made the decision to convert to Catholicism. The sanctuary was adorned with lush arrangements of greenery and white florals at the end of the aisle, as well as two oversized floral creations on either side of the altar that had been embellished with beautiful secular details.
Bridesmaids wearing long gowns in a pale shade of grey preceded the bride. Morgan was a vision as she made her way down the aisle on the arm of her father. She wore a strapless gown featuring floral lace appliqués and carried a feminine hand-tied bouquet of cascading white phalaenopsis orchids accented with miniature orchids and garden roses. Alex confides: “Seeing Morgan in her dress and veil for the first time entering the aisle of the church took my breath away. I will never forget how beautiful she looked and the feeling that took me over as she walked down the aisle.”
As the newlyweds made their way to the ballroom, they heard Alex’s favorite song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams and knew it was their cue to make their grand entrance. “It was such a memorable moment being announced as husband and wife,” admits the bride. “All our family and friends were screaming and clapping along to the song; the entire moment was electric. We went straight to cutting the cake and had almost forgot the plan because we were ready to dance!”
The groom had pushed to hire a live band for the festivities. “I feel like the interaction with the musicians and live interpretations of favorite songs adds energy and fun to the evening celebrations,” Alex says. “Morgan’s family has some traditional songs that are played at weddings through multiple generations, and I had some songs I wanted played that heralded back to college traditions, such as ‘Wagon Wheel,’ and they were able to play our requests for these and more modern songs, like ‘Happy,’ wonderfully.” A sweet memory for Morgan was her and Alex’s dance with her maternal grandparents to “Sweet Caroline.”
Tablescapes were romantically dressed in silk vanilla linens and bedecked with short floral collections by HeatherLily in shades of crème brûlée. Suspended overhead were chandeliers cloaked in garlands of fresh verdure and orchids, which presented a beautiful contrast against the dark-wood paneled walls. A custom monogram adorned the dance floor, the bar, the photo booth, and more. Cheeky taglines, such as “From WashU to I Do” and “She Went All the Way to St. Louis to Meet the Boy Next Door” were also highlighted in the details.
Since the couple had placed an emphasis on their guests’ experience, a lot of forethought had been considered with the layout of the space. “People really enjoyed the sitting area adjacent to the ballroom to connect, take a break from dancing, eat late-night food and Italian pastries, or grab a drink,” shares Morgan. “We think both spaces allowed people to feel like they could freely enjoy the night.”
It amazed the couple just how fast the day goes by. “The best advice I have is to spend time with as many guests as you can at the events prior, such as the welcome party, to allow yourself more time to enjoy the wedding day and reception,” says Alex. “Morgan and I talk all the time about how we wish we could re-live our favorite moments just as they played out.”
This real wedding was originally published in the Summer 2023 issue of Inside Weddings magazine.
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