Real Columbus Wedding: Meredith and Nick Walstra
A philanthropic meet-cute led to a highly personal wedding in Downtown Columbus.
May 22, 2021 | Meredith (Zoul) and Nick Walstra met through a unique, but “not-surprising-if-you-know-them confluence of sports, charity, competition, and beer,” Meredith says, when Meredith was the captain of a team and Nick was a coach for her opposition in a women’s flag football game raising money to fight Alzheimer’s disease.
During a planning session with coaches and captains of both teams, Meredith “saw some potential in Nick and struck up a conversation at the bar,” she explains. They made a date to watch March Madness together the following evening; nearly four years later, Nick proposed in the Hocking Hills at Ash Cave, where the pair had first proclaimed their love for one another. With help from Meredith’s mother, Nick had commissioned a ring using diamonds from rings belonging to both Meredith’s mother and grandmother.
The deeply personal touches didn’t end there, though. The couple’s dogs, Sebastian and Brantley, made appearances at the wedding in the form of custom artwork, specialty drinks and as details on the wedding cake, which was made by Nick’s sister.
Meredith’s mother escorted her down the aisle; her late father’s presence was felt through photographs of him displayed and carried throughout the day. For their unity ceremony, Meredith and Nick potted up a tree—a self-described “house divided,” the pair used Ohio State and Michigan pint glasses to hold their respective soils. “The tree will be planted in Westgate Park, where we live and will be able to watch it grow through the years,” Meredith says.
The Ohio/Michigan theme continued at the reception, where growlers from breweries in the two states were included in the centerpieces in an homage to the couple’s shared love of craft beer. That theme was also seen in the couple’s bar selection, which included three brews from Land-Grant Brewing Co., and in the bourbon beer barrel that served as their guest book.
The Walstras had the distinction of being the first wedding at Downtown’s National Veterans Memorial and Museum, which opened in 2018. “It was a truly spectacular location and unique venue,” Meredith says. “We knew we wanted to get married Downtown and loved the idea of being able to use multiple spaces. This venue location gave us perfect access to the Scioto Mile and gave our rooftop ceremony and great hall reception the perfect backdrop of the Downtown skyline.”
Ceremony and reception: National Veterans Memorial and Museum
Caterer and rentals: The Berwick
Cake: Break Away Cakes
Planner and florist: Alyssa Schlegel (based in Cleveland)
Music: Encore Entertainment
Photographer: Amy Ann Photography
Accommodations: Hyatt Regency Columbus
Rehearsal dinner: The Boat House at Confluence Park
Gown cleaning/preservation: Dublin Cleaners
Bride’s hair and makeup: Alea Beauty
Groom’s attire: Suit and accessories from Pursuit
Rings: Private jeweler
Flower girl’s attire: Dress from Nordstrom
Groomsmen’s attire: Suits from Pursuit