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A Casual, Rustic Wedding at Happy Days Lodge in Peninsula, Ohio

After winning the Hitched Ohio contest organized by Ben Hall and Jodi Jacobsen of Ben and Jodi Photography, in which wedding vendors donate their serv

After winning the Hitched Ohio contest organized by Ben Hall and Jodi Jacobsen of Ben and Jodi Photography, in which wedding vendors donate their services, Samantha Cook (21 and a student) and Benjamin Cook (24 and a welder) had the rustic wedding of their dreams at Happy Days Lodge at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Peninsula, Ohio. "Happy Days Lodge fit our personalities to a T," Samantha says. Samantha and Ben loved the rustic, wooden environment of the venue and added to it with burlap, mason jars and hanging string lights. With help from Laura from A Bride's Design in Avon, Ohio, Samantha was able to design her perfect wedding dress. The classic dress was all lace and featured a high neckline and an open back. "Laura made my dream wedding dress a reality," Samantha says. Throughout the wedding planning, Samantha and Ben were having a hard time choosing the exact color palette they wanted, but received plenty of help from their vendors. "Tiffany blue and peach were a perfect fit, and the gold accents captured the elegance of the scenery," Samantha says. The wedding-day florist, Blush Custom Weddings, created rustic-style centerpieces, placing white hydrangeas, dusty miller and baby's breath in mismatched coral, white and gold vases. Following Samantha and Ben's admiration for nature and the outdoors, wedding guests received burlap bags containing seeds they could bring home to plant. Every element of Samantha and Ben's dream wedding was a direct reflection of themselves and their love for rustic, outdoor styles. In the end, Samantha advises future brides and grooms to really value the entire wedding process, including the planning. "Don't forget that the outcome of the whole process is the day that you get to marry the one you love," she says. "It's a time to rejoice and celebrate."

Samantha designed her wedding dress and, with help from Laura from A Bride's Design in Avon, Ohio, created a lace dress with a high neckline and and open back. She paired the dress with a chapel veil with lace edging matching the dress.
Samantha's three bridesmaids wore matching halter, knee-length, peach bridesmaid dresses and paired them with matching nude wedges. They styled their hair with simple updos with white flowers.
Samantha and Ben's 150 wedding guests sat in white folding chairs as the couple said their "I dos" at their outdoor ceremony at Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Keeping with the laid-back style of the wedding, Ben and his groomsmen wore matching tan vests and pants, with white collared shirts and rolled-up sleeves. To stand apart from his groomsmen, who wore coral bow ties, Ben wore a coral tie.
Rustic Wooden Ceremony Welcome Sign
Vintage Blue Drawers Ceremony Accessory
Keeping with the rustic style of the day, a large, white door frame stood tall acting as Samantha and Ben's outdoor ceremony entrance.
First Kiss With Coral Lettered Backdrop
Samantha and Ben used cards in the shape of a fish as their place cards and wrote their guests' names in script on them. "Ben and I are very organic and strive to live a simple life," Samantha says. "We enjoy nature and spending our time together outdoors."
Keeping with the rustic, country style of the wedding, guests enjoyed sweet tea lemonade in glass mason jars.
Burlap Crystal Chandelier
Blush Custom Weddings acted as Samantha and Ben's wedding-day florist and created centerpieces using white hydrangeas, baby's breath and dusty miller and placing them in mismatched coral, white and gold vases. Surrounding tea-light candles created a romantic, intimate ambiance.
Samantha and Ben's reception at Happy Days Lodge followed a rustic look. "The lodge is made of dark wood, is quite large and has high, vaulted ceilings," Samantha says. "The feeling was very rustic, which we enhanced with burlap decorations, mason jars and sweet tea."
Like the place cards, Samantha and Ben's wedding favors reflected their love for nature and the outdoors. All of the guests took home a burlap bags filled with seeds they could plant in their gardens.
Keeping with the blue and coral color palette, "Mr." and "Mrs." were painted in these colors on wooden signs and hung from Samantha and Ben's dinner chairs.
DIY Chalkboard Thank-You Sign