Wedding of the Week: Abigail Swihart-Valentine and Michael Valentine
Ensuring a safe event resulted in beautiful details.
Oct. 16, 2020 | In a sporty saga that Abigail Swihart-Valentine calls “first comes volleyball, then find husband,” she and Michael Valentine first met in July 2018 at a sand volleyball tournament in Dayton. The pair talked daily after the tournament, eventually deciding to run the half-marathon portion of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon together that October; at the finish line, Michael asked Abigail to be his girlfriend. Since then the couple has played in more than 50 volleyball tournaments, run in five half marathons and even run a full marathon.
“We knew pretty quickly that we were meant for each other,” Abigail says. That’s why the following year, on Sept. 2, 2019, Michael proposed in the Columbus Park of Roses, surrounded by family and friends.
When the pandemic made apparent the fact that some changes would be required for their wedding at Dublin’s The Club at Corazón, Abigail and Michael pivoted quickly. “We moved our whole wedding outside under a tent, and it turned out more beautiful than I could have ever imagined,” Abigail says. Additionally, she took great pains to create restaurant-style seating: Each table consisted only of people in a household, with two-tops scattered among larger tables for families with kids, and friend groups seated nearer each other and further from family members.
For older guests who couldn’t attend due to safety reasons, the couple hired a videographer and had DVDs of the day made, which they sent as gifts.
Vendors were integral to the success of the event, Abigail says, noting that Jessica of Jessica Love Photography, Natasha of Aisle & Co. and Chris of Cued Up Entertainment all were especially supportive. “I was really picky with my vendors, and their experience, class and care made all the difference when a pandemic ensued,” she says. “Your wedding is only going to run as smoothly as the vendors you have, and I was so, so, so blessed to have had them.”
“Honestly, we were just so relieved to have been able to facilitate a safe, beautiful wedding without compromise,” Abigail adds. “The pandemic really made us re-evaluate what mattered most: We got married [and] we got to have our closest loved ones with us.”
Ceremony, reception and caterer: The Club at Corazón
Cake: Schneider’s Bakery
Florist: The Flowerman
Rentals: Kosins Tents & Events
Planner: Aisle & Co.
Photographer: Jessica Love Photography
Videographer: Aseel Brodd Photography
Music: Cued Up Entertainment
Stationery: Lana Dreams
Guest favors: Fleece blankets and donations made in their name to the Franklinton Street Church initiative
Rehearsal dinner: Napa Kitchen + Bar
Accommodations: AC Hotel Columbus Dublin
Sunday brunch: Fadó Pub & Kitchen
Bride’s attire: Custom Anomalie gown and veil, Badgley Mischka shoes, accessories from Worthington Jewelers; hair by Jessica Odenweller, makeup by Amber Preston Aesthetics
Groom’s attire: The Black Tux and Nordstrom
Rings: Worthington Jewelers
Bridesmaids’ attire: David’s Bridal
Groomsmen’s attire: The Black Tux and Nordstrom