Real Wedding Wednesdays: Sara Dodsworth and Stephen Novak

Heather Barr

Sara and Steven Novak are both passionate about teaching and playing music, and they met doing what they love—playing in marching band at Bowling Green State University, where they were both music education majors and were in the same coed fraternity. Now, they both work as music teachers in local schools.

After dating for four years, Stephen decided it was time to pop the question. He took Sara out to dinner at a restaurant in downtown Dayton and then on a walk through a nearby metro park by the river, where he got down on one knee.

Just under a year later, Stephen and Sara married at Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center, where they incorporated several personal touches into their ceremony and reception. Sara says one of the most special parts of the wedding was their “no look” (sometimes called a “first touch”) before the ceremony to preserve their first look as she walked down the aisle.

“We held hands on opposite sides of a wall and prayed together before we actually got to see each other for the first time at the ceremony,” she explains.

The couple also paid homage to their alma mater, where they met and fell in love, during their reception.

“All of our friends and family who are alumni members of BGSU’s Falcon Marching Band danced to a recording of the traditional drum cadence,” Sara says.

The Details

Wedding date: June 15, 2019

Wedding colors: Navy, gray and coral

Attendants: Five bridesmaids, five groomsmen

Bride wore: Martina Liana gown from White of Dublin, veil from Amazon, shoes from David’s Bridal, Swarovski jewelry

Groom wore: Tuxedo rented from President Tuxedo

Rings: Kay Jewelers

Bridesmaids wore: David’s Bridal gowns

Groomsmen wore: Tuxedos rented from President Tuxedo

Rehearsal dinner: Cap City Fine Diner

Ceremony: Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center

Reception: Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center

Caterer: In-house

Cake: Short North Piece of Cake

Florist: 5th Ave. Floral Co.

Photographer: 614 Wedding Photography

Other vendors: Taylor Party Rentals for the ceremony arch


Reception tunes: Josh Staley Productions

First dance: “L-O-V-E” by Nat King Cole

Guest favors: Playing cards from

Registries: Target and Crate & Barrel

Guests stayed at: Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center

Sunday brunch: Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center

Honeymoon: Valentin Imperial Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico