Although Susan McGrath had been on and off a dating website for a while, fate stepped in to make the perfect connection when Jason Pietrucha joined as a new member. They arranged to meet for drinks, but never made it to dinner because they spent the entire night talking. The couple experienced an immediate connection. “I knew that this was the man I had always hoped for and not a day has gone by since that I haven’t felt that way,” shares Susan. “No matter what is happening or even in some of the trying moments that everyone has, there hasn’t been one second that I haven’t felt how grateful and lucky I am for having found him.” As for Jason, Susan was the first and last lady he dated from the site.
After a magical proposal on the beach of Susan’s family’s summer cottage in South Haven, Michigan, the pair began preparations for their nuptials. Taking their busy schedules into consideration, the bride looked for a planner by researching bridal magazines. This approach proved successful in finding someone to conceptualize the romantic, warm ambience with a palette of pink, cream, and pastel green she desired for the celebration. “Hope [Weis of Hope Weis Consulting] literally took my vision and dream and brought it to life,” affirms Susan.
Introduced in a grand fashion, guests received exquisite brocade invitations in pale green with blush touches fastened by champagne ribbons, which arrived in luxurious boxes swathed in the same fabric. “Our friends and family still talk about it and many kept it as a keepsake,” notes Susan.
Loved ones gathered for the ceremony at the century-old Fourth Presbyterian Church constructed in a combination of English and French Gothic styles. The stone interior featured soaring ceilings, exposed buttresses, antique chandeliers, and stained-glass windows. Though the bride and groom had a First look in the lush courtyard of the sanctuary, Jason was emotional when he saw Susan approach the altar. She was gorgeous in an Ines Di Santo ball gown with elaborate beading and crystals on the bodice and cathedral train. A veil with a delicate trim was draped over her blonde updo.
Susan carried a creamy bouquet that included roses, peonies, and ranunculus bulbs accented with a sprinkle of rhinestones. Since her father had passed away and couldn’t accompany her on this momentous occasion, she placed a photo of him kissing her cheek when Susan served as a flower girl for her sister’s wedding in a small frame and fastened it to her nosegay. “So it was as if he were right there with me, walking me down the aisle all the same,” she says. A trio of ivory ranunculus blooms adorned the dapper groom’s tuxedo.
The celebration continued with a reception in a stunning luxury hotel favored by the couple. Susan felt confident leaving the details of the day in the hands of the expert coordinators at the venue and her wedding planner. As guests made their way to the ballroom, they passed an enchanting hallway lined with cherry blossom trees anchored by orchids.
Escort cards showcased elegant calligraphy and laser-cut details; menus echoed the design with the addition of rhinestone embellishments. Inside, crystals twinkled from the ceiling of the chic space with mirror panels and draping. The sweetheart table was fronted by a beautiful arrangement of roses, hydrangeas, peonies, and orchids in shades of white and pink. Similar floral compositions with additional touches of green in tall faceted crystal vases surrounded by sophisticated crystal candleholders decorated guest tables. A garden of lifelike sugar flowers also adorned the five-tier wedding cake. The metallic silver embroidery gracing linens reflected the tone of chiavari chairs.
When asked if she would change anything about the day, Susan readily responds, “No, it was an absolute dream come true. From beginning to end, it was truly a fairy tale come to life.”