Two veterans included personal elements and a few surprises in their wedding.

This story first appeared in the fall/winter 2020 issue of Columbus Weddings, which was published in August 2020.

Oct. 19, 2019 | Most relationships start with an element of chance, but Aubrey and Tony Reams’ chance meeting is more unusual than most.

In 2017, while both were serving in the Army, Aubrey and Tony met while preparing for deployment to the Middle East. The stress of the situation made for a rocky start to their romance. “We actually had dated for about seven months, cut it off and then got back together a few months later,” Tony says. “You could call it a big growth period; we were also training for a mobilization.”

Yet, when the two got back together, they were strong enough to endure a forced separation: Tony was to be stationed in southern Iraq and Aubrey in northern Iraq. “I actually ended up getting moved to Afghanistan, so we were even farther apart,” Aubrey says. “But we decided that we wanted to tackle that together.”

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After the two returned from their deployments, each decided to embark on civilian life with the goal of beginning new careers and starting a family. During their first shared Christmas season home, Aubrey and Tony drove from his parents’ house to her parents’ house in Newark.

“It was a really personal Christmas that year, just because nobody had seen each other,” Aubrey says. The snow began to fall, and as Tony was hauling things from his truck, he approached Aubrey with a hug and a question. You might guess the rest.

“He reached into his pocket and he pulled out the ring, got down on one knee in the snowy mud next to his truck,” Aubrey says. “It was very private, very intimate and totally him—and I just loved it.”

Personal touches also distinguished the couple’s wedding at the Trout Club in Newark. The couple wrote their own vows, which—although penned independently—each referenced Tony’s enthusiasm for Ohio State sports. Another surprise took place during the newlyweds’ first dance. Leading up to the wedding, Aubrey had devoted herself to learning the Ruelle song “I Get to Love You,” which she performed for her new husband. “It was a song I had heard overseas and instantly thought of Tony,” Aubrey says. “The only people who knew about me singing were a few vendors. I kept it a secret from even my own family.”

The impromptu performance had the desired effect on its intended audience, however. “It was just a very raw moment,” says Tony, who now makes his home with Aubrey in Newark. “I didn’t even notice anybody else in the room but her at that point. … The entire day could be summed up by that one moment.” 

VENDORS

Ceremony, reception and caterer: The Trout Club

Cake: Dizurts Custom Cakes and More

Florists: Prema Designs and Village Flower Basket

Rentals: Party Pleasers and Main Events Party Rental

Gown shop: Henri’s Cloud Nine

Bride’s accessories: Amazon and Etsy

Hair and makeup: Le Rêve Makeup & Hair

Groom’s attire: The Black Tux

Rings: Elizabeth Diamond Co. (Dayton)

Bridesmaids’ gowns: Joan’s Bridal Couture

Flower girl’s gown: Amazon

Groomsmen’s attire: The Black Tux

Ring bearer’s attire: Jos. A. Banks

Music: Josh Staley Productions

Photographer: Michelle Joy Photography

Videographer: Be Still Film Co.

Invitations: Pixel Perfect Invitations

Other stationery: Etsy and Madelyn Johnson of Columbus Maker’s Market