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erin & frank
Star Wars Inspired
Veil Magazine vendors
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES Bella Bridesmaids
LIGHTING & RECEPTION DJ Sound By Design
OVERNIGHT GUEST ACCOMMODATIONS The Pfister Hotel
PHOTOGRAPHY The Paper Elephant
RECEPTION LOCATION Bartolotta Catering Company & Events at The Grain Exchange
WEDDING CAKE Simma's Bakery
WEDDING GOWN White Dress Bridal Boutique
CEREMONY LOCATION Old St. Mary Catholic Parish • FLOWERS Alfa Flowers • GUEST FAVORS Confectioner's Candy • HAIR & MAKEUP Beauty • MEN'S FORMALWEAR Squire Fine Men’s Apparel • OFFICIANT Father John Gibson
Love of a Lifetime
by Laura Vietmeyer
A love story decades in the making, Frank and Erin were wed before 189 guests. With memories of growing up together as friends and becoming something more, the couple can look back at how far they’ve come with gratitude. “As we look back on the amazing day, we loved that so many people could be a part of our ‘happily ever after’!”
Frank loves Star Wars. Erin doesn't get it, so she teases him about that. Erin loves knitting. Frank doesn't get it, so he teases her about that. The couple is both quirky in their own ways, which connected them from the very beginning.
It all started in kindergarten. Frank and Erin met in class, played on their first soccer team, attended third grade and middle school together and officially started dating in 2005, just before their senior year of high school. They stayed together through college, attending separate schools, and five years later they were both back in their hometown.
On July 4, 2015, Frank proposed to Erin on the beach of Lake Erie in North East, Penn., where they spent time during the summers since they had started dating. At Frank’s parents’ cottage over the years, they had searched for beach glass up and down the shoreline and played late night penny poker with friends on "the lane."
When it came to proposing, Frank says, “I can’t explain it. I just loved Erin right away. I trusted Erin and thought she was beautiful. We always had fun together and we were goofball buddies!”
For the proposal at the lake, Frank wanted to secretly get the ring down the lane to the beach. At one point, the ring ended up in a rubber rain boot so no one would find it. The boot was used for a flowerpot the following summer at Erin’s bridal shower on the lane.
After the proposal, they called Erin’s mom and dad first. “After our overwhelmingly happy phone call to my parents to share the news, we ran back down the beach where we were met by Frank’s parents, Frank’s sister and her now-fiancé, along with the rest of our friends from the lane!“ Erin says.
When it came time to plan the wedding, the couple received help and support from their parents. Erin’s grandpa also designed, hand carved and constructed all of the table numbers.
Regarding planning process, Frank notes, “There are a lot of details to work out! Be decisive and trust your first instinct.”
On the big day, the couple incorporated traditions, but still celebrated each other. “It was really important to us that we didn’t see each other before the ceremony,” Erin says. “However, we wanted to exchange gifts so we enlisted the help of our bridal party and our photographers to make sure we remained ‘hidden’ from one another. We exchanged the gifts around the corner of a wall in the church so that we couldn’t see each other.”
Erin did do a “first look” with her dad. “The photographs captured during this amazing moment are priceless! When I came around the corner, my dad had the biggest smile and tears in his eyes!” Erin reminisces.
The couple agrees that everything in the wedding was perfect, but they were able to narrow it down to a few favorites. They praise the Grain Exchange as their venue, stating, “The care and attention to detail we received, as well as the excellent food (which was catered by Bartolotta’s) was fantastic!”
They also noted their DJ, Sound by Design, had the crowd on the dance floor until the end of the evening. “The dance floor was packed all night! Our DJ also installed our up-lighting and entryway lightning, which highlighted the amazing architecture within the Grain Exchange,” Erin says.
Finally, their photographer, The Paper Elephant, was a highlight of the day. ”She thought of so many creative ideas and amazing ways to incorporate our interests and even brought along their own super cool photography ‘light sabers’ for us to use on the night of the wedding in some pictures.”
To celebrate each other during the wedding, Erin surprised Frank with two R2D2 cake toppers. The couple decided to carry the Star Wars theme into the reception. “As our bridal party was being introduced during the Grand Entrance, they each had a light saber toy that they used to have their very own little Star Wars battle before meeting together on the dance floor. We had the DJ play the opening theme from the Star Wars movies as a little added humor for their battles! Our bridal party met on the dance floor, put the light sabers up in the form of a tunnel, and Frank and I ran through together!” Erin says.
When it comes to the future, they imagine themselves sharing happy memories and making each other laugh, “since that’s what we feel we do best together!”