Each week, we feature a couple from our latest issue.
The marriage of high school sweethearts Leiah and Jonathan Thomas was particularly special, as they had always known that they would “be together forever,” Leiah says. Having known each other since eighth grade, Jonathan proposed to Leiah after 11 years of dating with what we guess might be the best Christmas present to date.
It happened in Chicago the day before Christmas Eve, after a holiday trolley bus ride that culminated with Jonathan on one knee in front of hundreds of onlookers and close friends at Millennium Park. Leiah recalls being so shocked that she never said yes, but instead asked, “Does Dad know about this?”
The happy couple were wed at the Athletic Club of Columbus by Dr. Rafael Villalobos, a close family friend. They shared many laughs during the big day, particularly during the ceremony itself. “Raf had us separately write down why we loved each other, why we wanted to get married, and what we were looking forward to most in our marriage,” Leiah says, adding that he read those responses as part of the ceremony, where the couple heard each other’s answers for the first time. “We got so many compliments on the originality and authenticity of the ceremony.”
The most memorable event of the wedding, however, was the spur of the moment White Claw photo op. Ohio had just been named the No. 1 lover of the hard seltzer, which was experiencing a statewide shortage. Venue staff scoured the city that morning to find enough to meet the demands of the Thomas’ guests, Leiah recalls, adding that the beverage was hand-passed on serving trays during cocktail hour in the perfect blend of highbrow-meets-lowbrow.
And that unforgettable photo? “[Staff brought] out a marble display stand,” Leiah says. “We stacked the White Claw and added my broach bouquet to the top. … Needless to say, the photos of the bridal party with the fancy display of White Claw turned out just as intended: like a bunch of adult women in ballroom gowns that couldn't miss the chance to drink some of their favorite hard seltzer.” Hashtags for the wedding included, of course, #WeCame #WeClawed #WeConquered.
Wedding date: Sept. 21, 2019
Wedding colors: Dark teal, burnt orange, burgundy and gold
Attendants: Seven groomsmen and bridesmaids, one flower girl and one ring bearer
Bride wore: Morilee by Madeline Gardner gown from Henri’s Bridal, shoes from Saks Off Fifth, and accessories from Etsy and Amazon
Hair and makeup: Design by Anne
Groom wore: Suit from The Black Tux
Rings: Amazon (groom) and Carioti Jewelers (bride)
Bridesmaids wore: Dresses from JJsHouse.com
Groomsmen wore: Suits from The Black Tux
Rehearsal dinner: Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant, with an after-party at Pins Mechanical Co.
Ceremony: Athletic Club of Columbus
Reception: Athletic Club of Columbus
Cake: Made by a bridesmaid
Brooch bouquet: Handmade by the maid of honor
Photographer: Jenna Rosalie Photography
Videographer: Beth DuBoe Films
Reception tunes: Encore Entertainment
Sunday brunch: Condado Tacos