A Dreamy, Elegant Garden Party Wedding at Meshewa House in Cincinnati, Ohio
In the halls of Miami University, fate was simply a snapshot away. Catherine Gorman and Austin Poston's story began in a business law class, where Austin made a snap decision that led to meeting his future wife. "He took a picture of me and sent it to his friend making fun of the size of my bag," Catherine laughs. "Little did he know, that friend was also my best friend and roommate." Undeterred, the pair spent the remaining days of the course studying together as friends. "He asked me out one day, and the rest was history," she says. "And the friend that introduced us is still a dear friend to us. After we got engaged, we thought it fitting that she officiate our wedding."
Drawn to the allure of European garden party weddings seen on social media, Catherine confesses, "When I first started the wedding planning process, we thought about having our wedding abroad." However, the constraints of their jobs made them rethink their plans. Nevertheless, the pair was determined to make their dream a reality. "However, I knew that my job would make it difficult to plan a wedding abroad, so I decided I wanted to bring that concept to Ohio."
Their vision soon led them to the perfect venue - an elegant outdoor garden setting that captured the essence of their dream. "My mother-in-law actually found the venue since it is right down the street from my in-laws' house," Catherine reveals. "When we stepped foot on the property, I knew it would be the perfect venue for an elegant outdoor garden party."
With the enchanting locale secured, the bride immersed herself in the quest for decor that would infuse their celebration with charm. "I spent so much time looking at decor and had a very difficult time finding anything that fit my theme," Catherine says. "Thankfully, my florist connected me with Borrow Curated, which had such unique decor items." This gave the couple access to vintage plates and tea cups: the perfect accents for their garden party.
Drawn to the designer Danielle Frankel's exceptional blend of innovation and timeless elegance, the bride couldn't imagine herself wearing anything else on her big day. She swiftly planned a trip to New York City, accompanied by her closest confidants: her mom, mother-in-law and sister-in-law. Upon arrival, Catherine knew she had made the right choice. "We got lucky that Danielle herself was there. She helped me pick the perfect dress," Catherine tells. "For my second dress, I wanted something a little funkier and fell in love with the Cult Gaia fringe dress I ended up changing into."
As the guests gathered for the ceremony, they were greeted by a mesmerizing display of flowers in the open-air space. "Our florals were the star of the event," Catherine smiles. "I showed our florist a few pictures of my inspiration (soft pastels) and she absolutely knocked it out of the park." The bride carried a simple-but-elegant bouquet of calla lilies while her bridesmaids, all sporting sleek black gowns, held nosegays of a similar variation. "I wanted my bridesmaids to have petite bouquets, so our florist creatively pulled together a mix to pair back to my own bouquet."
The ceremony itself was a heartfelt celebration of love, made even more memorable by a special touch. "A favorite part of mine was having my father drive me down the aisle in his 1968 Mercedes 280SL, and my husband driving me back down the aisle in it after," Catherine reminisces. The vintage car, a cherished treasure from her father's collection, symbolized the journey they were about to embark on together. Following the "I dos" (and the chic "getaway"), the festivities were just getting started under the tented reception area.
Attendees mingled and marveled at the floral seating chart display, which featured an array of vases displaying a different variety of flowers, as well as a corresponding table number and guest list. At the end of the night, they were gifted with their own beautiful bouquets to remember the magical evening. Additionally, guests noticed the head table display: an artful sight to behold. "The head table display was stunning and expansive," Catherine admires. The newlyweds knew it would be a backdrop to countless cherished moments. Catherine and Austin's personal touch extended throughout the wedding, including a custom crest that graced invitations, menus, napkins and cups.
The entire reception exuded an ethereal atmosphere, reflecting the garden party theme. The crystal swans, lovingly borrowed from Catherine's mother-in-law, played a special tribute to the couple's shared love of family traditions. "We incorporated my mother-in-law's crystal swans as our cake topper!" exclaims the bride.
Amidst the whirlwind of activity, the bride and groom agree on the cherished aspect of their special day: their vows. "We knew we wanted to do something a little different and have completely private, and personal vows prior to the ceremony," Catherine reveals. "We both read our written vows to each other, and it was the best, sweetest moment of both of our lives." As for advice, the newlyweds urge couples to pick the vendors to fit the vision: not the other way around. "I had a very particular vision for everything; the day would not have been so beautiful without our vendors!"