Heather & Matt's Handmade Riverdog Retreat Wedding

September 16, 2011 |

Heather and Matt have one of the most unbelievable stories, and you know I love a good romantic story! A few years ago, Heather went on a trek to Nepal with a group of people. Among those people were Jason (Matt's brother) and Jenn (a sweet photographer and pilot from Connecticut). Jason and Jenn had a connection and started dating long distance. After a time of dating, they decided to go for it and get married. They had their wedding in Connecticut and invited their friends from their Nepal trip to share in their happy day, including Heather. At the rehearsal dinner, Heather spotted Jason's brother, Matt, and thought he was super cute. She couldn't stop thinking about him and decided to get to know him better at the wedding the next day. Their connection was immediate and they started dating long distance.

After a little while of frequent flying between San Francisco and Cleveland, they got engaged and Heather moved to Oberlin to join Matt, and Jason and Jenn. How was that for a fateful trip to Nepal?!?

Matt is an artist and an amazing cook - he is also part owner of The Feve, which is one of the most beloved of Oberlin institutions. Heather is an environmental policy person and a total sweetheart. Together they are a fun and adorable couple. They wanted their wedding to represent all these sides of their personalities and to have everyone they hold dear to be there. They chose the amazing Riverdog Retreat just outside of Oberlin to hold the wedding and reception. Deborah and Terry are the proprietors and artists in residence, so if you are passing by, you have to visit and check out their gallery, or book a stay at their bed and breakfast.

On the wedding day, it was hot and gorgeous - it fit the theme of wildflowers and vintange details perfectly. All of Heather and Matt's friends chipped in to set up one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever been to. There was a barn with a photo booth and rustic jars and colors, a picnic table under a huge tree with tin can luminaries hanging from the branches, a fire pit for smores, the peaceful ceremony set up in the shade behind the gallery and the party tent in a wildflower field decorated with barn wood, old vases, pink, red and orange lanterns and beautiful red cloth accents as well as vintage looking cloth pennants hanging in various places.

But one of my favorite details were the sign posts they had made and placed all of the venue. These had clever references to important places in the couples' lives, but also important info like which way to the CAKE!

Heather and Matt chose another friend from the Nepal trip, Deana, to be their officiant and she did an amazing job. The ceremony was absolutely beautiful and heartfelt and left everyone shedding a tear. One of the most clever parts was when Deana asked Matt for a symbol of marriage - he jokingly said marriage was like a Chinese Finger Trap (you know those woven toys that you put your fingers in and then you can't get out of). But Deana thought this was a wonderful symbol of marriage and utilized it during the ceremony. She had Matt and Heather each place a finger in the trap and then pull to show how you cannot pull in different directions when you are married, but that when you work together, you can work through anything. The other highlight, was when Matt's daughter, read a sweet poem.

After the ceremony, and some photos, the party started and it only got better and better with great toasts, delicious food and custom cocktails provided by Feve bartenders. Then it was on to cake, dancing and late night pizza cooked in a woodburning oven right on the property.

Thank you for including me in your celebration. I loved all of the beautiful details, but most especially, all of the love.

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Riverdog Retreat in Wakeman, Ohio
Hair: Adeva Salon & Spa in Oberlin, Ohio
Makeup: Sonja Azizov from San Francisco
Flowers: The Carlyle Shop in Oberlin, Ohio
Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero purchased at Trudy's Bridal in Campbell, California
Alterations: The Perfect Bride in Rocky River, Ohio
Catering: Marigold Catering in Cleveland, Ohio
Cake: Handmade by Prue Richards
DJ: House of Entertainment
Late Night Woodfired Pizza: Lorenzos Pizzeria in Oberlin, Ohio
Handmade Pennant Flags: Made by the Bride's cousin, Tracy McKay


Here are some of my favorite images from the day.