A Bright, Science-Themed Wedding at Franklin Park Conservatory Palm House in Columbus, Ohio

At first glance, Christel Hoot (30 and a student) and Brett Kinkopf’s (31 and works in health care) early-fall wedding was a vibrant, intimate affair with a palette of showstopping orange and fuchsia hues reminiscent of a tropical sunset and eye-catching florals. But beyond the attention-grabbing aesthetics were endless one-of-a-kind accents that gave the day a quirky flair. “We tried to incorporate as much of our personalities into the wedding as we could,” Christel says. “Our favors were anatomically correct heart soaps, and our seating cards were test tubes filled with rock candy and toe-tag labels.” Christel and Brett prefaced their fun-filled fete with a traditional Catholic Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral in Columbus, Ohio. The pair attended the cathedral while studying at Ohio State University, where they met, giving the ceremony an extra-sentimental spin. “Though we had recently moved to Cleveland so Brett could complete an ER residency, we really wanted to hold the wedding in Columbus, since it was where we had shared the most time together,” Christel says. 

Before heading to Franklin Park Conservatory Palm House for the reception, Christel and Brett made a pit stop at Ohio State for photos, where they paused for a photo op with a group of OSU football fans on their way to the big game. The cocktail hour was held at Palm House’s butterfly house, one of Christel’s favorite spots in Columbus. Guests mixed, mingled and enjoyed a full bar, then headed into the Grand Atrium for the reception. Soaring glass ceilings and tropical flora infused the evening with an air of drama and intrigue, especially when paired with the tables’ orange floral and fuchsia table linens. Science details abounded throughout the reception, speaking to the couple’s medical backgrounds: chemistry ring stands filled with green orchids served as centerpieces and DIY beaker candles cast a warm glow over the expansive space. Anatomical diagrams of the heart, kidney, pancreas, stomach and more provided an unexpected alternative to traditional table numbers. “Our medical friends all sat at table Pancreas, since there is a saying that goes ‘Eat when you can, sleep when you can, and don’t mess with the pancreas,’ ” Christel says. Even the after-dinner treats followed along with the theme. The couple’s doughnut table sign had wooden cubes designed to look like the periodic table of elements. For the cake, Christel and Brett went all out, having their DNA isolated by Gel Electrophoresis and using a cross section of it to decorate each tier. “One tier was my DNA, one was his, and one tier was both of ours,” Christel says. After dancing their hearts out to the sounds of Encore Entertainment DJ, the newlyweds sent their guests off with rock candy test tubes. A tip from Christel: “After being engaged for almost six years and dating for a few more, we realized that being best friends is what makes the short journey through life worthwhile. We have been married over a year, and each day I feel so lucky to have married my best friend.” —Libby MacCarthy