Real Columbus Wedding: Amy Rico & Austin Pitts
COVID-19 concerns turned this couple's destination wedding into a minimony on bank of the Scioto River.
This story first appeared in the spring/summer 2021 issue of Columbus Weddings, which was published in December 2020.
Sept. 5, 2020 | Amy and Austin Pitts always knew they wanted a small wedding. The high school sweethearts have an affinity for travel and, after Austin proposed during a trip to Aruba in early March, planned to have a destination wedding in Maui.
Less than two weeks after they returned from Aruba, the state of Ohio was on a stay-home order to curb the spread of COVID-19.
After dating for eight years, they weren’t keen on waiting to be able to travel to have their dream wedding. After some thought, they came up with the perfect Columbus destination.
“Genoa Park and the Scioto Mile is where we went eight years ago to watch the fireworks, and that was the first time [Austin] said, ‘I love you,’ ” Amy says. “I was like, if we can’t do it [in Hawaii], let’s do it in our favorite place, and let’s just have a small ceremony with our family and a couple of friends.”
A small reception for about 80 guests at Scioto Grove Metro Park, catered by Condado Tacos, was planned to follow. But as the pandemic wore on, it became clear that even the relatively small gathering wouldn’t be possible; because the park is not a catering or banquet hall, it does not qualify for the governor’s exemptions to the 10-person gathering rule. By July, Amy and Austin decided to scrap that idea, too, rescheduling the party for June 26, 2021—which just happens to be Amy’s grandparents’ anniversary. (The Pitts also plan to visit Hawaii for a combination honeymoon, vow renewal and one-year anniversary trip.)
The wedding itself, however, wasn’t about to move.
“We could have gotten married at City Hall, and I wouldn’t care, as long as I got married to Austin,” Amy says. “It’s not about the party, and it’s not about the Instagram stories you’re going to post, or anything like that. It’s really about who you want to spend the rest of your life with.”
The pair began making arrangements for a socially distant, COVID-compliant minimony: They curated a small guest list of close family and friends, Amy’s brother got ordained to officiate, outfit-matching masks were ordered. On the big day, guests stood well apart in family groups as the pair exchanged vows on the bank of the Scioto River with the Columbus skyline in the background. After, the Pitts celebrated with three dinners at Condado Tacos on three consecutive nights: one with friends, one with Amy’s family and one with Austin’s family.
“I don’t think there was anything I’d want to change or do differently,” Amy says. “It was perfect.”
Ceremony: Genoa Park
Dinners: Condado Tacos
Cakes: Nothing Bundt Cakes
Flowers: The Flowerman
Transportation: Classic Limousines of Columbus
Photographer: Oh Deer Photography
Bride's gown: Hayley Paige from Nordstrom
Bride’s accessories: Own shoes, accessories from Etsy
Groom’s suit: Pursuit
Groom’s accessories: The Tie Bar
Rings: Family heirloom and Carioti Jewelers
Newlyweds’ accommodations: Hilton Columbus Downtown