An Elegant, Rustic-Chic Wedding at Rhinegeist Brewery in Cincinnati, Ohio

Melissa Pinguely (27 and invitation designer) and Alex Havlin (29 and a lawyer) met through a common friend and hit it off immediately. After dating, Alex proposed with a ring, designed by Melissa, using diamonds passed down from Melissa’s grandmother. “I know my grandparents would have loved it,” Melissa says. Less than a week after they got engaged, the couple toured Rhinegeist Brewery’s event space in Cincinnati, Ohio, and decided it would be the perfect place to host their ceremony and reception. When planning their wedding, they envisioned a combination of styles—rustic and modern glam, trendy and classic, old and new—and used shades of gray, white, tan, gold and sage to achieve this vision. “I love all things neutral and knew that if I made myself choose a color, I would regret it before the day was even here,” Melissa says. An invitation designer by trade, she spent many hours creating the perfect bridal suite using gold foil, florals and silk ribbon. Details included a wooden ceremony trellis made by Alex, vintage wooden box centerpieces from Alex’s grandfather’s workshop (with a note reading  “These boxes held tools and parts that Joe used to help anyone who needed it and, by extension, teach us how to live. In memory of Grandpa Joe and all those we miss tonight”) and carefully selected ceremony music (from Louis Armstrong to Death Cab for Cutie, played by a classic guitarist). During the reception, guests enjoyed plated meals of braised beef short ribs, rosemary-garlic herb chicken or vegetarian lasagna with a Cape Cod salad and homemade corn bread along with a variety of good craft beer before dancing the night away. There were no favors—instead the couple donated to a local hospice—and the dessert was a doughnut bar rather than a traditional cake. Melissa has some advice for other couples: This is your day—it’s okay to think outside the box and do what works for the two of you. “Your love and relationship is unique, so your wedding should be too.” —Chrissy Sorenson