Wedding Guide – Spring 2022

Our destination weddings

Four intriguing locations to consider for your big day

The local couples listed below have all opted for a ceremony and/or reception away from Toledo. To follow in their footsteps, check out the Instagram pages included in each ad!

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

PHOTO CREDIT: Picture This by Ginny

Duffee Maddox and husband Joe Barton were originally scheduled to wed in May 2020, but the pandemic caused them to change their plans. Their solution? To host a wedding in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the perfect place for history buffs.

“We were living in Brooklyn at the time and moved to Toledo for a job at the Toledo Museum of Art in early 2021,” says Maddox. “My husband, from Virginia, is a history podcaster. [of Apple podcast, “Excuse Me History”], which is one of the reasons we chose the location.” The couple married on May 22, 2021. Learn more about traveling to Gettysburg for your wedding or honeymoon at

@alicelouisepress (Perrysburg Invitation Printer)

Las Vegas, Nevada

PHOTO CREDIT: Light and Fade

The quintessential location for elopements, Las Vegas proved to be the answer to one Toledo couple’s anxieties about their big day. “We originally planned to get married here in Toledo, but there was stress about planning the perfect wedding, limited capacity of a venue for our guests due to Covid-19, anxiety to be the center of attention as a bride… nothing about planning it was fun,” says Worada Lehman-Elchert, who married Jason on July 7, 2021. “One day we joked about leaving to Las Vegas to get married, just the two of us. We both looked at each other as if it could be a real possibility and then decided to do it. It was everything we hoped for.

Worada and Jason Elchert got married in the valley of fire state parka striking place for photos and romance.

@lightandfade (photographer)

@emberandstoneevents (wedding planner)

Kailua Kona, Hawaii

PHOTO CREDIT: Swatch studios

Emily and Andy Vascik had been planning on taking a family vacation to Hawaii for a very long time, so they thought, “Why not get married there?” In November 2016, they took the plunge with a small, intimate wedding in Kailua-Kona. “Being surrounded by the waves, the flowers and the wonderful spirit of the island was something we will always remember,” Emily recalls. “We were truly blessed that day.”

The Toledo couple decided to have their reception at their home at Registry Bistro, where chef Erika Rapp included references to Hawaiian cuisine on their menu.

@registrybistro (Reception and restoration of Toledo)

@swatchstudios (photographer from Toledo)

@ellafloraweddings (Rossford Florist)

@wixey_bakery (desserts from Toledo)

@vintageandlaceweddings (wedding organization)

Rincon, Puerto Rico

PHOTO CREDIT: Reki wedding movies

Local couple Christina and Joe Henry wanted a stress-free ceremony with family and closest friends, so they began planning their Puerto Rico destination wedding in 2021. “We booked our stay with an airbnb near the venue. and a few nights at the hotel. for convenience,” says Christina. “The best part about arriving was that everything was a surprise for us and our 28 guests! In total, our wedding expenses (including: my dress, men’s suits, venue, food, hair, makeup for all the girls and moms, photographer, decorations, flowers, DJ, organizer, Airbnb, hotel and flights) were lower $12,500!”

@soniagregorycoordinadora (wedding planner)

@rincon_of_the_seas (place)

@rekiweddingfilms (photography)

Couple Q&A

Kayla Russell and Shane Russell Jr.

The significance of the cord ceremony comes from a passage in the Bible, Ecclesiastes 4:12, which reads: “though one may be subdued, two may defend themselves. A three-stranded cord does not break The braiding of the three strands represents the union of God and the two partners in marriage.

How did you meet?
Toledo School of Arts.

Who asked the question, and how?
Shane popped the question at our favorite park where we often walk.

How long did the engagement last?
One year.

What made your wedding day special?
Our son was the ring bearer.

During the wedding planning process, have you ever wanted to run away and be done with it?
Yes, this idea seemed less expensive and less stressful.

Was there something about the marriage that didn’t go as planned?
Organization, communication between individual parts and musical malfunctions.

Three words to describe your wedding expectations:
Peaceful, beautiful, simple.

Three words to describe your marriage reality:
A bit stressful…

Wedding coordinator:
Family members helped with the planning.

Eston Bakery in Toledo.

We have created our own playlist with our favorite Christian artists.

Where did you spend your honeymoon?
Berlin, Ohio – an Amish town.

Tips and tricks for other couples:
When planning a wedding, remember that the more people involved, the more chaotic it can get. Remember, it’s your wedding. Be respectful of other people’s opinions, but don’t miss out on what you want just to please picky, opinionated people.

Did you take a shower and/or bachelor/bachelorette parties? If yes, what did you do?
I didn’t have a bridal shower, but my husband had a bachelorette party.

Gabriel and Shannon Lands Jones

How did you meet?
We met at work. Gabe works for the city of Toledo and I work for Lucas County. Our paths crossed when the city and the department had to collaborate on a major project.

Who asked the question, and how?
Gabriel asked me one evening in October when I least expected it. We had a disagreement earlier in the day, and really, that was the last thing I expected. We were both at home, enjoying a warm roaring fire, when I decided to add some wood to the hearth. When I turned around, Gabriel was on his knees, asking for my hand in marriage.

How long did the engagement last?
About three years.

What made your wedding day special?
We had all of our closest family and friends with us. It was small, intimate and perfect.

During the wedding planning process, have you ever wanted to run away and be done with it?
We had several setbacks due to COVID-19 that forced us to delay the wedding a few times.

Was there something about the marriage that didn’t go as planned?
No, everything went as planned. No surprises.

Did you do anything during the marriage that would be considered untraditional?
Instead of a man of honor speech, we asked our brother-in-law to give the toast. He’s known Gabe since he was a kid and really gave a beautiful heartfelt speech. In addition, our children participated in our wedding ceremony. The five of us had a sand unification ceremony and the kids were at our wedding party too!

Chris Shutters Group.

Describe your wedding venue:
Comfortable, practical and economical. The site coordinator was helpful in planning the ceremony and reception necessities. She was very accommodating when it came to touring the premises, figuring out chair cover color choices, dining options, and reception decor.

Other wedding vendors you would like to mention:
Jan Hudson of Hudson Photography and Jennifer Pello of Pello Salon & Spa were very helpful and professional.

Where did you spend your honeymoon?
New England. We flew to Boston and then headed up the Atlantic coast, stopping at several towns along the way and spending a few days in Bar Harbor, Maine. We ended up getting matching tattoos in a small town outside of Bar Harbor. The tattoos are memories of the day we got married, Gabe’s late father, and our honeymoon.

Tips and tricks for other couples:
Be open-minded about what’s available for your wedding needs. Set a budget and try to stick to it. Be sure to try the food and the cake before choosing your supplier.

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