A Contemporary Orange and Blue Wedding at Grange Insurance Audubon Center in Columbus, Ohio

After Suzette Matheson (32 and a graphic designer) and Brad Vrooman (31 and in IT) met online, they planned a first date for a Sunday. But they were s

After Suzette Matheson (32 and a graphic designer) and Brad Vrooman (31 and in IT) met online, they planned a first date for a Sunday. But they were so excited to meet each other, they scheduled a “nondate” the day before. “Needless to say, it went well, and we went ahead with our first official date the next day,” Suzette says. Their chemistry was undeniable. During their two-year engagement, they planned a colorful orange (Suzette’s favorite color) and turquoise (Brad’s favorite color) fall wedding at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Columbus, Ohio, and a reception at the contemporary Grange Insurance Audubon Center. Their theme, “Swept Away,” was inspired by not only their feelings for each other but also their first-dance song of the same name, by the Avett Brothers, and the amount of “whirling and twirling” decor they incorporated: in the streamers at the church, on the wands waved by guests as the couple left the church, in the floral bouquets, on the photo booth backdrop and on every chair at the reception. “What better way to show movement than by using colorful streamers everywhere?” Suzette says. The flower girl carried a metal candleholder of flower petals rather than a traditional basket, and her sister served as the ring bearer (“Why can’t girls be ring bearers?” Suzette says), carrying a metal sphere with two rings tied to the inside. A brass quintet and a church organist provided the ceremony music (including the processional of “Orchard House” from the movie "Little Women"). Decor included streamers, a homemade photo booth and totems of alternating streamers and lanterns. Suzette and Brad served a fall-inspired meal, followed by an elaborate orange and blue ombre cake with a one-of-a-kind bee cake topper and homemade cookies and candies. On the dance floor, Brad’s friends serenaded Suzette to the song “Sweetheart.” While Suzette and Brad had the time of their lives at their own wedding, they admit they could have eliminated undue stress if they hadn't procrastinated. They advise future couples to plan ahead, decide on priorities well in advance, and do it up right. “Splurge on what’s really important to you, and scale back on elements that are not,” she says. After all, when you find that special someone who sweeps you away, a little splurge is worth it. —Chrissy Sorenson

Since Suzette is a graphic designer, she designed the invitations, setting the tone for a playful, contemporary orange and blue celebration.
Since orange was part of the day's color scheme, Suzette bought orange shoes from Oka-B. She also incorporated the color into her overall look with an orange cardigan and a bold statement necklace.
Suzette’s aunt was her florist. “She was so excited to work with us because she knew it would be colorful,” Suzette says. A wildflower garden look was achieved in the bouquets with ranunculus, zinnias, dahlias and succulents, two tiny bees in the bridal bouquet (bees have special meaning to the couple), and ribbon streamers in keeping with the “Swept Away” theme. Flower arrangements were created with wire shapes and sculpted metal initials. “They all had such personality," Suzette says. "It was like nothing I had seen before.”
Suzette transformed an ivory bridesmaid dress into a gown. “My dress was one of the biggest money savers of the wedding,” she says. “Under $200 with alterations.” She ordered the custom dress, made to her measurements, from Azazie.com. With the bride wearing orange accents, she knew she wanted her four bridesmaids in turquoise. Their look was finished with neutral cardigans, shoes and orange beaded necklaces and earrings.
“The first time I saw the church, I fell in love with its classic architecture and cozy feel,” Suzette says of their ceremony site. The Catholic church was established in 1892.
Beautiful natural landscapes are part of the charm of the Grange Insurance Audubon Center in downtown Columbus, Ohio.
A table filled with board games served as an alternative option for guests not up for dancing.
The vanilla bean cake with buttercream frosting was drag-dot textured buttercream with ombre spray from blue to orange. Suzette and Brad’s cake topper was crocheted bees in orange and turquoise, with a “Swept Away” banner between the bees. "I love the way it turned out,” Suzette says.
Suzette and Brad's first dance, "Swept Away" by the Avett Brothers, inspired the theme for the entire wedding.