It was the epitome of spring that Saturday in May. The sun’s rays shone radiantly through the church’s stained glass windows. Annette and John were preparing to start their new life as one. The beautiful bride, originally from Georgia, agreed to wed her groom in his native state of Ohio. The elegant and historic Bluestone building served as their stunning ceremony and reception space. The grand building was resurrected in 1898 by the First Baptist congregation, keeping the integrity of the century-old church. Six-foot-tall floral arrangements lined the aisle while rows of silver chiavari chairs invited guests to sit.
Coterie member and wedding planner Lucretia Williams of Distinct Event Planning describes their wedding as classically elegant. Purple, silver, and ivory was the beautiful palette for their celebration. Amethyst lighting bounced off the sparkling silver table coverings in the reception space. Guests danced the night away to sounds by live band Fewxion atop the gorgeous hardwood flooring. Annette and John enjoyed a grand send off as their guests held heart-shaped sparklers to wish them well. Karla Banks of Banks Photography captured all the details of this vibrant wedding in Ohio.
Favorite item on the wedding menu: Signature Cocktail and Chicken Marsala
Bridesmaids/groomsmen gifts: Necklace and earrings for the bridesmaids and personalized money clips.
First dance song: “The Closer I Get To You” by Luther Vandross and Beyonce
Bride: Annette Ortiz
Groom: John Early
Wedding Location: The Bluestone – Columbus, Ohio
Tell us how you met and all about the proposal!
We met on blackpeoplemeet.com on June 30th 2008. Our first face to face meeting was October 10th, 2008. On the evening of June 30th, 2012, a day that began at 5am in Atlanta, GA, stopped in San Francisco, and ended in Monterey, CA with the calendar threatening to turn to July 1, John wanted to propose before midnight, but could not convince me to go for one last walk on the pier after such a long day. He was on one knee beside the bed in the hotel room, I was lying across the bed. He told me he loved me and thanked me for the experience. I said “I love you too, I’m your lady” and he said “I’m glad you’re my lady, but I want you to be my wife” After the initial shock, the sparkle of the ring, my too quick response “YES”!
What’s your favorite memory of your wedding day?
Walking down the aisle felt so right, looking into the smiling face of my husband-to-be and sharing the moment with the family and friends we love. The thought crossed my mind as I held his hand, it’s never too late to start the best part of your life.
How did you incorporate culture in your wedding?
We did “jump the broom” and we also had a sand unity ceremony that included our immediate family. We wanted to make the ceremony longer than most so we also had three soloist each sing a song.
What advice would you give to our brides-to-be?
Hire Lucretia Williams as your wedding planner. You never know what will happen in the months to come prior to your wedding. For us, we were involved in everything and stayed on top of things with Lucretia’s help of course. But there are a million plus details that need to be handled; not only the wedding, the honeymoon, the travel, the cake serving utensils, etc. With all of this going on and regular day-to-day stuff there’s no way to keep up with it all without someone like Lucretia to help you. My husband and I are both creatives so we struggled with hiring a wedding planner because a lot of things we could produce ourselves, but I tell you what we were thrown a curve ball about 40 days before the wedding, I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. Once that happened the wedding didn’t necessarily take a back burner but my health became the main focus of the families, we started missing deadlines, etc., but Lucretia was always there to keep us on track. I’m doing much better now and thanks to Lucretia and team we had the best wedding we could have possibly imagined.
Event Planner & Designer – Distinct Event Planning
Wedding Dress Designer – Mori Lee
Wedding Dress Salon – Henri’s Cloud 9
Bridesmaids Dresses – The Dessy Group
Hair – Altered Images II, Marietta, GA
Make-Up – Make-up by Apryl
Shoes – Manolo Blahnik
Groom/Groomsmen Attire – Jean Yves
Photographer – Banks Photography
Videographer – David Maurice Bailey
Ceremony and Reception – The Bluestone
Florist – Griffin’s Floral & Event Design
Cake – T.G. Patty Cakes
Ceremony Musicians – OSU String Quartet, Solo’s by Arnold L Brown Jr., Ray Simpson, Chris Baxter
Band – Fewxion
Stationary – Gold E Productions