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 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."