Olivia and Cameron celebrated their winter beach wedding both at St. Martha’s Catholic Church and State of the Arts Gallery. The team at Wedding Venue Map connected with them and their photographer, Haleigh Nicole Photography, to find out all the details to make up their special day!
How did you meet?
Like any good Millennial couple, we met using an online dating app. I had only moved to town two weeks before our first date. We met for drinks downtown, which led to dinner and hours of conversation. We both knew right away that we had a connection. Our connection continued to grow over the next several months.
Tell us about the proposal.
Family is so important to both of us and Cameron knew that I wanted my family to be near so they could celebrate with us post-proposal. While we were visiting my family in Chicago for Christmas, he asked my parents’ permission (less than 5 hours after we got off the plane!).
The next morning, he asked if we could take a walk. We went down to a path on the Fox River and found a bench to rest. Cameron pulled out a wrapped package that contained a handmade book of our recent dates and his feelings on each date (I made him a book of all of our dates and how I felt on each one when I told him I loved him). The last page talked about our future and the next chapter. Cameron got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I will never forget his words, “from our first kiss to my last…”
Haleigh Nicole Photography – 2020 changed many couples’ wedding plans throughout the year. I prayed every day that Olivia and Cameron’s wedding would be safe. When I first met them at their Oscar Scherer State Park engagement session in February, they were both so excited for their wedding day. They had the perfect plans of a Catholic mass with their closest friends and family and a reception at State of the Arts, a local art gallery.
Tell us the story and inspiration behind your wedding theme.
From the beginning we wanted our wedding to be a reflection of us and showcase our love. We were more focused on the wedding being the beginning of our marriage rather than a raging party. To that end, we planned an intimate wedding with just a few close friends and family. Our top priority was the wedding ceremony at our church. We decided on a warm color palette of navy, wine, and gold and loosely settled on an art deco theme to play off of the art gallery and the wedding gown.
Haleigh Nicole Photography – An important element in this intimate wedding day that truly stood out to me was the love that Olivia and Cameron shared. This is one of many relationships that started online that truly blossomed into something beautiful. Throughout their Lido Beach wedding day, they each showed little ways that they loved one another.
Haleigh Nicole Photography – Cameron sent Olivia a surprise bouquet of roses to their house while she was getting ready. They also each exchanged handwritten vows and gifts before the ceremony which brought out the emotion of the day. They even had the same last line of their vows, which neither knew was happening!
Haleigh Nicole Photography – Cameron gifted Olivia a gorgeous set of pearls, which she always wanted. Olivia gave Cameron the gift a leather watch. Their wedding date and “The time is due” was engraved on the back. Olivia and Cameron shared a sweet moment before the ceremony. They spoke to each other through Olivia’s getting ready room door at the church. The couple wanted to be traditional and have their first look at the ceremony, but that didn’t mean they couldn’t chat!!
How did you both choose your wedding day look?
As is true for every bride, the dress was so important to me. Unfortunately, COVID struck just as I was supposed to go dress shopping with my mom. Since she lives across the country, I was forced to dress shop on my own.
We were able to FaceTime throughout the appointment though and are so grateful for technology. For me, the pressure was on to find the gown. At that time it was unclear if all the salons would close down and for how long. I tried on every gown in the salon I thought I would like, but wasn’t sold.
I took one last pass around the salon with mom virtually in tow and selected one more dress to try on. As luck would have it, that was the gown for me and it was completely opposite from what I thought I wanted. I went in looking for a simple dress with pockets and no embellishment. I chose an A-line gown with a fully beaded bodice and no pockets. To complement the gown, mom and I chose a simple cathedral-length veil.
The groom was much easier – he knew what he wanted from the beginning a three-piece navy suit. He selected his suit with his dad and brother (and bride) in tow. Including measurements, they were in and out in less than an hour.
Haleigh Nicole Photography – Their plan was always to keep it fairly intimate with under 50 people. Unfortunately, the year had different plans. The couple had to change their list to just family members to be as safe as possible. Olivia told us at the wedding that January 2nd was going to be their day no matter what. The couple made that promise to each other in March. Whether it was just the two of them or an intimate wedding day, they were not going to change the date. And boy, what an amazing wedding day it was.
Why did you choose St. Martha’s Catholic Church & State of the Arts Gallery for your wedding venues?
We were so fortunate to have such beautiful venues. They really didn’t need much in terms of decorations. We chose locations that were beautiful in themselves and really felt that adding anything of our own would take away from the existing beauty.
How did you decorate your spaces?
Since we were married in the Christmas season, our church was already decked out – trees, a nativity, wreaths, and poinsettias were already in place. We elected to not add anything to the existing decor there. Our reception venue was similar in the sense that we really didn’t need any decorations. The walls were already flanked with dozens of stunning pieces of artwork.
We chose navy table linens and wine colors napkins to play off of our wedding colors – these really popped against the white walls of the gallery. We placed photos of our loved ones on the tables since we were only able to host our immediate family due to the ongoing pandemic. They were a great way to pay tribute to and remember those who have supported our relationship from across the country.
What were the florals like at your wedding?
Florals played a very minimal role in our wedding. We really did just the basics – bouquets for the bride and bridesmaid, corsages for the moms and grandmas, and boutonnieres for the men. Aside from the bridal bouquet, the real showpiece was the basket of flowers that the flower grams carried.
What were the personal details of the wedding that are a great reflection of you as a couple?
We chose to honor those who couldn’t be with us in a few different ways. I had a piece of my grandpa’s jacket sewn into my bridal clutch and I carried a prayer book given to my grandmother by her mother-in-law on her wedding day.
As mentioned in another response, we also printed photos of those who weren’t able to attend the wedding and used them as decoration on the reception tables. We asked for a photo on their wedding day and a recent photo. It was a super fun way to pay tribute to all the examples of successful marriages we have in our lives.
We also exchanged gifts with one another before the ceremony. I gifted the groom a personalized watch with the phrase “The time is due” etched on the back. After we’d discussed getting engaged I kept asking, “When are you going to propose?” and the groom always replied, “In due time”. My immediate retort was “But, the time IS due!”. He gifted me a beautiful pearl necklace.
Tell us some special moments from the day.
There were so many! Not to sound cliche, but seeing my groom at the altar was THE best moment. We chose not to do a first look with one another (instead we did a first look with our parents) so the anticipation of seeing one another had built all day. I was so ready to see him and to be married.
Seeing the look on his face when he first saw me is a moment neither of us will forget. Aside from the moment at the altar, we had a blast taking photos after the ceremony. It was so much fun galavanting around town with our awesome photographers. We felt like we could really be ourselves and unwind after all the stress of wedding planning.
Haleigh Nicole Photography – Cameron couldn’t contain himself as Olivia walked down the aisle with her dad. The tears were just flowing and mine were too. He was just in awe of his beautiful wife-to-be. Throughout our portrait time, the pair were so loving and affectionate towards one another. Cameron didn’t let Olivia’s lipstick stop him and always tried to sneak a kiss here and there! He even helped her put her shoes back on after beach portraits. A true gentleman!
Olivia and Cameron’s wedding had so many special moments. It is truly hard to pick a favorite! Obviously, one of my absolute favorites has to be Olivia’s relationship with her father. As we waited for her first look with her dad, he told me the story of her birth. He was the first to hold her when she was born and she opened one eye at her dad and shed a single tear.
Joe fell in love with her right then and there, and she was forever his little girl. Joe couldn’t help but get choked up as he told me that story. It reminded me so much of my own dad on my wedding day that it took everything in me not to cry with him. His reactions during their first look and father/daughter dance had me an emotional wreck. I’m so thankful I had my mask on!!
Speaking of dances, this was one moment where Jack and I exchanged that special look! Olivia and her dad danced to a very sweet slow dance song, which was obviously a real tear-jerker. Cameron and his mom danced to a fun, upbeat song, which brought all of the laughs and smiles! This is exactly what happened with Jack and I at our wedding. Seriously felt twin vibes the entire day!!
Olivia and Cameron’s wedding day produced another favorite moment of mine while Olivia was getting ready. The important women in Olivia’s life each wrote a letter to her to open on her wedding day. Olivia mentioned to me that it was left up to their discretion of what they would write about.
Only the ladies who wrote the letters and Olivia know what they said, but I could tell from watching her read them that they all truly impacted her. After reading the letters, Olivia shared a first look with those special ladies in her life. It was the perfect way for Olivia to start her marriage.
What are some helpful tips and advice for other engaged couples?
Our biggest piece of advice to offer those planning their wedding is to remember the purpose of the wedding. It’s not about the cake, the dress, or the music. What matters most is the commitment the two of you make in front of your friends and family to fully share the rest of your lives together, to stand beside each other in sickness and in health.
In the chaos of wedding planning, make time to have fun together and remember why you’re getting married in the first place. And finally, no matter what goes wrong or what detail is overlooked on your wedding day it won’t matter – you’re marrying your best friend!
A special thank you to the Wedding Vendor Team who helped bring this wedding at St. Martha’s Catholic Church and State of the Arts Gallery to life:
Photographer: Haleigh Nicole Photography; @haleighnicolephotography
Ceremony Venue: St. Martha’s Catholic Church; @stmarthacatholicchurch
Reception Venue: State of the Arts Gallery
Invitations: Paper Culture; @paperculture
Tux: Men’s Wearhouse; @menswearhouse
Bridesmaid Dress: Lulus; @lulus
Bridal Gown Designer: Justin Alexander; @justinalexander
Hair & Makeup: Destiny and Light; @destinyandlightsalonandspa
Catering: State Street Eating House; @statestreetsrq
Florist: Flowers by Fudgie; @flowersbyfudgie
Bridal Salon: The Dressing Room; @thedressingroom_stpete