Real Wedding Wednesdays: Hillary Simpson and Christopher Belmarez

Emma Frankart Henterly

Hillary and Chris Belmarez’s relationship started with a wedding. That’s not an April Fool’s Day joke—the pair met when Hillary was serving as maid of honor at her best friend’s wedding in Charleston, and Chris, who was friends with the groom, filled in as videographer.

“Chris was in Charleston serving in the Navy, and my best friend’s husband was in the service along with him; so this girl from Ohio and this boy from Texas met in South Carolina by the strangest chance!” Hillary explains. “Chris and I got to know each other for a while and eventually started dating from afar while he continued his service. We made our long-distance relationship work, and we are so happy to finally be together!”

 After five long years of dating while in separate states, Chris’ time in the military ended and the pair traveled back to visit “our beloved Charleston,” as Hillary describes it. There, Chris proposed in Waterfront Park during an evening walk. Less than a year later, the two—who now live in Dublin—were wed in a ceremony that incorporated a number of personal details. The choir that Hillary sings with at St. Joseph Cathedral sang for their ceremony, and the newlyweds carried handmade rosaries that had been blessed by the priest who married them.

The highlight of the day, Hillary says, happened later that evening: “Prompted by our photographer, we had our first dance as husband and wife outside at sunset, just the two of us,” she recalls. “Benjamin [Derkin of Derk’s Works Photography] brilliantly captured this perfect moment.”

The Details

Wedding date: June 1, 2019

Wedding colors: Ivory, champagne and blush

Attendants: Five bridesmaids and five groomsmen

Bride wore: Lea-Ann Belter gown and a veil from Brides by the Falls (Chagrin Falls, Ohio), Something Bleu shoes from BHLDN, accessories from Etsy

Gown preservation: Dublin Cleaners

Hair and makeup: Hey Pretty! Beauty

Groom wore: Tuxedo rented from Romanoff’s Classic Tuxedo

Rings: Diamonds Direct

Bridesmaids wore: BHLDN gowns

Groomsmen wore: Tuxedos rented from Romanoff’s Classic Tuxedo

Rehearsal dinner: Due Amici

Ceremony: St. Joseph Cathedral

Reception: High Line Car House

Caterer: Together & Company

Cake: The Suisse Shop Bakery

Florist: Orchard Lane Flowers

Photographer: Derk’s Works Photography


Reception tunes: Buckeye Entertainment

First dance: “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley

Guest favors: Flowers from Trader Joe’s and Bakers Village Garden Center and Gift Shop

Registries: Macy’s, William-Sonoma and Crate & Barrel

Transportation: Xtreme Limo

Guests stayed at: Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel

Sunday brunch: Hillary’s mother’s home, catered by Together & Company

Honeymoon: Austin, Texas