Real Columbus Wedding: Sarah and Irina Padua
It wasn’t the wedding they envisioned, but it was exactly what they wanted.
Oct. 9, 2021 | Sarah (Paul) and Irina Padua’s wedding took place 3,000 miles from where it was originally planned, but the couple says it was better than either could have imagined.
COVID-19 forced Irina and Sarah to relocate their wedding from California to Ohio and to scale it back dramatically. The couple ended up doing the wedding planning themselves, and their families pitched in to decorate and help make their wedding dreams come true in Granville.
“It was perfect: It was a small, intimate wedding and a small venue,” Sarah says. “We are so glad it worked out this way.”
The pair met in Cleveland during a post-graduate program in preparation for medical school. “I had come from San Francisco, and I knew no one,” says Irina. “Sarah and I were in a lot of classes together, and she was my first and closest friend.” Their friendship grew into a romantic partnership, and in October 2018, Irina proposed in a unique way.
He had invited their families to an annual pumpkin-carving event where attendees turned their finished pumpkins around one by one. When it was his turn, Irina revealed what he had carved: “Will you marry me?”
Sarah, who had just gotten off a plane after interviewing for a residency program, definitely was not expecting the proposal. “I didn’t even have the time to take a shower or try to look nice,” she laughs.
The wedding and reception took place outdoors at the historic Bancroft Cottage at Seek-No-Further Cidery in Granville, which Sarah found on Instagram. It was the first such event for the venue, which previously had held one elopement. They chose another “newcomer” in the then-home-based Three Bites Bakery.
Desserts were a nod to Sarah’s Italian heritage and Irina’s Filipino lineage and included Italian wedding cake, tiramisu and Filipino Polvoron cookie favors; in an interesting twist, the wedding cake baker herself is half-Italian and half-Filipino.
Sarah honored her father, who died unexpectedly nine months before the wedding, with several special touches. Her wedding bouquet included a photo charm with his picture and a blue flower made from one of his shirts; a heart-shaped piece of the same fabric was sewn inside her dress.
Ultimately, the Paduas are grateful their wedding didn’t leave them feeling pulled in several directions the way a larger event might have.
“What I really loved was how much time I got to spend with Irina during the day,” Sarah says. “I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Desserts: Three Bites Bakery
Photographer and videographer:Bear Creative Co.
Stationery: Zola.com (invitations) and DIY
Accommodations: Bancroft Cottage and Granville Inn
Sunday brunch:Buxton Inn
Hair and makeup:Kenneth’s Hair Salons + Day Spas
A version of this story first appeared in the fall/winter 2022 issue of Columbus Weddings, which published in June 2022. The print story initially used she/her pronouns for Irina Padua; the web version has been updated with new pronouns per Irina's request.