Real Columbus Wedding: Erika Teets-Johnson & Daniel Johnson
High school sweethearts find their happily ever after in an enchanted forest wedding.
This story first appeared in the fall/winter 2021 issue of Columbus Weddings, which was published in June 2021.
Aug. 29, 2020 | Erika Teets-Johnson and Daniel Johnson’s love story started in 2006, when she was a freshman and he was a senior at Olentangy High School. They locked eyes one day passing in the hall between classes. Erika remembers anticipating that time of day—just before sixth period class—just to catch another glimpse of him. It wasn’t long before Daniel messaged her via MySpace.
Except for a year when Daniel went out of state for college, the high school sweethearts have been inseparable. He proposed in 2019 while vacationing in Paris, France. The plan was to ask her midair while flying in a hot air balloon. “She made several not-so-subtle hints on how she wanted me to propose,” Daniel says. However, windy conditions grounded trips that day, so he asked her in front of the Louvre. “I wasn’t going to leave Paris without proposing,” he says.
The two celebrated their love with a forest fairytale wedding on Aug. 29, 2020. About 90 people attended the outdoor—and COVID-conscious—ceremony and reception at Orchard House Boutique Inn in Granville. With the pandemic in full swing, they wanted friends and family to feel as safe as possible. It was Erika’s dad’s idea to distribute glowstick wristbands to guests in green, yellow and red, signifying their comfort level in socializing. Everyone was encouraged to wear masks, tables were spaced 6 feet apart and there was an abundance of hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes. “City Barbeque did an amazing job of making dinner service safe and enjoyable,” Erika says.
As for traditional parent/child dances, the couple let family members choose songs, although Erika vetoed her dad’s “Ohio State Fight Song” selection in favor of the more traditional “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts. She also had a special dance with her grandfather, who died several months later, at age 89. “I am so grateful to have these memories with him at our wedding,” she says.
In addition to one of the groomsmen who entertained guests as the “flower man”—blowing petals from his hands and twirling down the aisle—Erika and Daniel say their most special moment came at the end of the night.
“The beautiful forest was illuminated by lights strung across either aisle of trees. It was so magical,” Erika says. “We relaxed and soaked in the moment with close friends and family. It was just surreal.”
While the two have yet to go up in a hot air balloon, they recently traveled to Jamaica for a much-deserved and long-overdue honeymoon.
Ceremony and reception: Orchard House Boutique Inn
Caterer: City Barbeque
Florist: DIY bridesmaid bouquets with blooms from Kroger; DIY broach bridal bouquet
Rentals: Main Events Party Rentals and Swanky Wishes Rentals
Stationery: Zola.com and DIY
Music: DJ DeFran
Photographer: Lindzy Lee Photography
Rehearsal dinner: Red Oak Pub and Restaurant (Newark)
Hotel for newlyweds: Orchard House Boutique Inn
Hotel for guests: Granville Inn
Bride’s gown: Rue de Seine from Lovely Bride (Cincinnati)
Bride’s accessories: Noon on the Moon Bridal (veil), Nordstrom (Blue by Betsey Johnson shoes), Amazon (earrings)
Groom’s, groomsmen’s attire: Express suits, custom Nike shoes
Rings: Diamonds Direct (bride’s), David Yurman (groom’s)
Bridesmaids’ attire: Revelry.com