Real Columbus Wedding: Shahnaz Vellani and Isaac Walther

This travel-loving couple embarked on the biggest adventure of all last fall.

Emma Frankart Henterly
Columbus Monthly
Shahnaz Vellani and Isaac Walther married on Sept. 25, 2022, at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

Sept. 25, 2022 | Call it love at first road trip: Shahnaz Vellani doesn’t hesitate to admit that when she and Isaac Walther first met during undergrad at San Diego State University, they didn’t click right away. Then, in fall 2014, Shahnaz invited said mutual friend on a trip to the Grand Canyon; the friend extended the invitation to Isaac, and fate was set in motion. 

“Over the course of that weekend, we bonded over our different musical tastes and distastes,” Shahnaz says. “We showed our parallel competitive natures by repeatedly challenging one another over various topics. Hours passed as if they were minutes while we shared our interests, dreams and goals in that little green car.” 

By the end of the trip, it was clear they were interested in one another, she adds; their first official date was a few weeks later. “One date turned into two, and one adventure turned into dozens,” Shahnaz says. “Whether we’re traveling across the world or across the country, we’re still challenging each other in the most wonderful ways.” 

To propose, Isaac tapped into one of those adventures: a street party along the Seine River in Paris. “While I couldn’t bring the Seine to our current home in Toledo, Ohio, my goal was to recreate this special moment as best as I could,” he notes. He found a spot along the Maumee River and enlisted the Toledo Symphony’s brass section to play big band jazz, just like they experienced along the Seine. 

“Upon arriving to the restaurant, I lied about our reservation being pushed out and fibbed about wanting to check out the nearby park, all because it was a ‘nice day,’ ” Isaac recalls. “It was not a nice day.” 

When they arrived at the pre-selected spot along the river, the brass band began playing the couple’s song: “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede. “This was our favorite song from our trip to the Grand Canyon. If it wasn’t obvious enough what was going on when I was dragging her out to a random spot on the water, it became glaringly obvious now,” Isaac says. “Shahnaz turned away from the source of the music playing a song that she immediately recognized, to find me kneeling with a ring.” 

The wedding day included a number of similarly memorable moments and personal touches, Shahnaz says, citing the first look as one of the most memorable, along with dancing with guests at the reception. “This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to have all of the important people in our lives in the same space,” she notes. “The love and support in the room was so strong and we were overflowing with love and happiness.” 

Even Shahnaz’s late brother, Dakota, had a presence at the wedding. He was honored with a memory chair at the ceremony, an embroidered handkerchief wrapped around Shahnaz’s bouquet, a moment of silence and a memory table at the reception. 

“Thank you to all of our guests for taking the time to travel in support of and to celebrate us. We're so grateful to them,” Shahnaz says. “As well as our amazing vendors, who made our dreams a reality. This was, without doubt, the happiest day of our lives.” 


Photographer: Robb McCormick Photography 

Planner: Devoted Columbus 

Ceremony and reception: Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens 

Caterer: Metro Cuisine 

Cake: Stacia King 

Officiant: Run to an Elopement 

Florist and stationery: DIY 

Music and rentals:Party Pleasers 

Accommodations and day-after brunch: Hilton Columbus Downtown 

Rehearsal dinner: Private residence, followed by welcome drinks at Brewcadia 

Bride’s attire: Gown and veil from Forevermore Bridal (Toledo, Ohio), Badgley Mischka shoes, family heirloom accessories 

Bride’s hair and makeup: Hair by Jennifer King, makeup by State of Face 

Groom’s attire: Custom suit from Manno Clothing and Tailoring (Dearborn, Michigan) 

Rings: Shahnaz’s set from CustomMade, Isaac’s ring from TrueLuxeDesignCo on Etsy 

Bridesmaids’ attire: Azazie gowns 

Groomsmen’s attire: Suits from Men’s Wearhouse