ren & caleb
Mountainous + Destination
Veil Magazine vendors
CALLIGRAPHY, INVITATIONS & STATIONERY
Studio 29 Photography + Design
CEREMONY LOCATION Blackwater Falls State Park (Davis, W.V.) at Pendleton Point overlooking the canyon • ENGAGEMENT RING Kay Jewelers • CHAIR RENTALS Masterpiece Rental Inc. • FLOWERS Mountain Mist Florist • HAIR Planet Earth Hair Studio and Impressions Hair Salon • HONEYMOON LOCATION Iceland • JEWELRY Novica (Jade bracelet) • MAKEUP Kim Schaefer • MEN'S FORMALWEAR Groom: Topman suit, Aldo Shoes, Bow tie from Tie Bar. Groomsmen: Express • OFFICIANT Ren’s Godfather, Uncle Bernie • PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEOGRAPHY MannFrau • RECEPTION DJ Bravo Live DJ • RECEPTION LOCATION Bear Paw Lodge at Caanan Valley Resort • REHEARSAL DINNER LOCATION Blackwater Brewing Co. • WEDDING BAND RINGS Etsy • WEDDING CAKE Harvest Moon Catering • WEDDING GOWN Miss Ruby Boutique (BHLDN Watters Skirt) dyed green by Aeva; Onzie Leotard from Macy’s • WEDDING PARTY GIFTS Mug printing at EmbroidMe
Our Forever Adventure
by Michelle Drewek
Ren and Caleb’s relationship can be best described in the terms they use to describe each other: spontaneous, unpredictable and fun. “The world seems to not matter when we’re together,” Caleb says. “She occupies my mind every waking hour, and when I’m asleep we hang out in my dreams.” Following years of travel and a perfectly unplanned proposal, their adventurous spirit landed them in Blackwater Falls for a breathtaking, mountainous ceremony to set the tone for their lifetime of exploration together.
Having known from the beginning that he wanted to spend all of his adventures with Ren, Caleb began looking at rings for Ren and planned on having her pick one out. He was originally going to propose on their 2-year dating anniversary, but an opportunity arose that he couldn’t pass up.
“A blog that Ren loves was having a live show in Milwaukee the Thursday before our anniversary dinner,” Caleb details.
“Normally I have volleyball that night, but it was cancelled due to the weather so I immediately bought us tickets and surprised her when I got home. I hadn’t planned on asking her that night, but they did a Q&A segment at the end of the show and I seized the opportunity to ask in grandiose fashion. I couldn’t have planned a more perfect Ren and Caleb, spur-of-the-moment way to ask. She squeaked out the cutest ‘yes’ into the microphone and all was right in the universe.”
Being in the wedding industry has given Ren and Caleb a variety of inspiration, but it was Ren’s family trips to Blackwater Falls in West Virginia that laid the groundwork for their destination wedding. She incorporated a lot of her creative flair to create their minimalistic, natural wedding theme.
Tables were adorned with iconic markers from Ren and Caleb’s relationship, typewriter written explanations incorporated on the back. Caleb’s dad cut slabs from tree trunks to make chargers for the place settings and dessert pie table, and drilled smaller tree trunks for candle holders and succulent planters. (They brought over 50 succulent plants from Wisconsin to West Virginia!) And Ren’s talent was penned onto the design and calligraphy for their save the dates, invitations and signage. Caleb says that for him it was all about making sure that Ren’s vision came true, a vision he infinitely admires about her.
Knowing they’d draw a lot from their personal style for décor, they used Veil Magazine and GQ to narrow down tailored styles for their attire that would fit their figure and fancy. Ren wore a Onzie leotard underneath a BHLDN Watters skirt that was dyed green to complement the beautiful Wisconsin succulents and West Virginia greenery. With flowers adorned in her hair, Ren met Caleb in the woods to exchange their vows alone during their intimate first look. When Caleb first saw her, he says his “world stopped. Her face was glowing, and I’ve never seen her smile so big.”
During their ceremony, in front of 117 loved ones, Ren and Caleb recited shortened versions of their vows to one another with the most important detail of their wedding by their side, Kenzo, their beloved dog. When the officiant, Ren’s uncle, pronounced them husband and wife and invited Caleb to kiss his bride, Kenzo jumped, bounced and barked in excitement for his newly-wed mom and dad.
The day was perfect in every way, with amazing food and delicious beverages to treat their supportive family and friends who traveled all that way to be with them, and the videography and photography were worth every penny for capturing the love and laughter encompassing their celebration. Caleb and Ren also give special thanks to their parents for all of their help creating the wedding of their dreams. “We couldn’t have done it without you!”
Following their beautiful wedding day, Ren and Caleb jetset to Iceland for what Ren describes as the “best week of my life; driving aimless in the beautiful country, site seeing and taking photos with my best friend.” Caleb also remembers seeing Ren’s beautiful smile when she saw a glacier for the first time. “It was big and glowing, just like on our wedding day”
While Ren and Caleb don’t know where the future will take them, they hope it will take them around the world. “Our aspirations to visit and absorb culture hopefully will continue to heighten each year,” Ren says. “We believe that experiences together have more value and importance to our lives than tangible items.”
For future brides and grooms, they offer this simple and sound advice: “Details are nice, but enjoy your day and try to remember the bigger picture. This is just the beginning of your life together. Take whatever comes your way in stride and move on. Anything can and will happen.”
The number 29 has special significance to Caleb and I. My first German Shepherd, Leo, was born on November 29th. He is how the name Studio 29 came about. 29 is always the hockey number I pick since I started playing. Caleb proposed to me at 9:29 p.m. Our wedding date was July 29, 2016, and I was 29 years old.
We met at a wedding in 2011. Caleb was the best man and I was the photographer. Fast forward to September of 2013, we both attended The National concert at Red Rocks in Denver, Colo. We exchanged cell phone numbers and then went on our first date a few weeks later. Our first date included Coconut Margaritas at Riviera Maya in Bay View before attending an art gallery show along KK. A few weeks after our first date, I moved to a studio apartment on the top floor of Riviera Maya and the rest is history.
I knew he was the one on one of our long walks around the city. Caleb used to send me songs via Spotify, and one of them was “Summertime Clothes” by Animal Collective. It is about a couple wandering around together. It was just perfect timing and really meant a lot. I love that everything we do is rather sporadic and unplanned. We just are able to make the mundane things in life fun without much planning.
Ren: I gave Caleb a mason jar mug with our wedding logo engraved into the leather by Tactile Craftworks. He used the mug at our welcome dinner. We rented out a local brewery and had a food truck!
Caleb: I gave Ren a frame with three postcards from the three different areas that were monumental in our relationship. 1) Our First Time Meeting at Red Rocks in Denver, Colo., 2) Our Engagement at Turner Hall in Milwaukee, Wis., 3) Our Wedding Day at Pendleton Point at Blackwater Falls State Park in Davis, W.V.
I always knew I didn’t want a traditional dress. I rarely wear dresses and I wanted to feel comfortable and like myself on my wedding day. I wanted to hike and dance in my dress and I did not want to feel inhibited by my attire. I wore my hair in loose, wavy curls and pinned it to the side. I loved feeling like myself on my wedding day. I felt comfortable and confident, despite it being a little out of the ordinary.
I chose to wear a leotard and then a skirt. Ariel from Aeva Bridal is a master at fabric dying, so a Facebook group referred me to her. My inspiration for dying it green was a green geode that Caleb got me when we visited Blackwater Falls together for the first time. I love the color green and I knew it would be a great way to really personalize my outfit. The logo I designed was also implemented in my gown via the copper belt I wore. Aeva created a metal clasp that was the exact shape of the intersecting triangles I incorporated in our logo.