Real Columbus Wedding: Austin Hopkins and Kevin Mitchell

Deeply personal touches, from attire to the unity ceremony, highlighted this Short North wedding.

Nicholas Youngblood
Austin Hopkins and Kevin Mitchell married on June 26, 2021.

June 26, 2021 | There’s never a dull moment between Austin Hopkins and Kevin Mitchell, so it’s no surprise that, from their proposal to their wedding, the couple found a way to make every moment memorable. 

After dating for four years, Hopkins decided it was time to propose. He couldn’t just get down on one knee; it had to be a highly orchestrated production. “I am very surprised that nothing went wrong,” Hopkins says. “It was all perfect.” 

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In 2018, Hopkins booked a cruise for the couple and invited his family along. Shortly before boarding, he began complaining of an upset stomach in an effort to get Mitchell alone in their room. As soon as they were in the cabin, Hopkins admitted to a ruse. He explained that he “had to vent” to his partner. Following a heartfelt speech that Mitchell spent wondering what he had done to get in trouble this time, Hopkins popped the question, much to Mitchell’s surprise. He was shocked yet again when his own family knocked on the cabin door; Hopkins had secretly booked them on the trip, as well. 

After getting through COVID-19 delays, Hopkins and Mitchell finally held their wedding—replete with deeply personal touches—in June 2021. Their attire was a statement, to say the least: Italian Baroque-inspired tuxedos, massive capes and shining crowns. 

For Hopkins, guests’ reactions to the custom-made ensembles, which took nearly a year to craft, was a highlight of the day. Mitchell, on the other hand, cites seeing the reception space—a vision that he says was years in the making—as among his most memorable moments. 

The couple’s unity ceremony was crafted with the same level of care and personalization as the attire and décor. 

“We both love to travel and see much of the world and learn from other cultures,” Mitchell says. To honor that, he and Hopkins incorporated wedding practices from around the globe into the ceremony, which Hopkins’ mother officiated. Their spin on the Celtic tradition of handfasting included a rope adorned with symbols that evoked traditions of Asian, South American, African, Australian and Native American cultures. 

The grooms maintained their focus on prioritizing their individuality and personal expression over convention in other ways, too: They included songs from the soundtracks of Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts, some of their favorite video games, to pay homage to their inner nerds. 

“Just because we get married does not mean that we lose ourselves,” Mitchell says. “We gained somebody to share ourselves with, but [we] are still our own people.”  


Ceremony, reception, caterer and accommodations: Hilton Columbus Downtown 

Cake: Short North Piece of Cake 

Planner: Savvy Events Ohio 

Rentals: Got Ya Covered Linens 

Music: The Naked Karate Girls (Cincinnati) 

Photographer: Amy Ann Photography 

Stationery: Julie Hanan Design (Chicago) 

Rehearsal dinner: Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse 

Grooms’ attire: Custom Ottavio Nuccio Gala tuxedos, accessories from Cape & Crown Creations on Etsy 

Grooms’ hair and makeup: Brides by Blake 

Rings: Swank Metalsmithing on Etsy 

Groomsladies’ attire: Vera Wang gowns from David’s Bridal 

Groomsmen’s attire: Suits from Men’s Wearhouse 

This story first appeared in the spring/summer 2022 issue of Columbus Weddings, published in December 2021.