Real Columbus Wedding: Shahnaz Vellani and Isaac Walther
This travel-loving couple embarked on the biggest adventure of all last fall.
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