Katherine McNeil and Jonathan Burns first met 15 years ago, when they were sat beside each other in their high school chemistry class. The following year, they found themselves taking physics together. Katherine boldly asked Jonathan to be her lab partner. While working on a project together, they developed a friendship and soon started dating. Over a decade later, he proposed in a park while their families watched from the window of a restaurant. 

It was important to the couple that their families were involved in planning the day, so both sides were included in the meetings with Viva Bella Events. A hotel in downtown Cincinnati was selected for the venue, both for the convenience of out-of-town guests and because the aesthetics fit with their vision for the event. The design was evident from the invitation suite: A gold gate-fold cover with the top and bottom mirrored by laser-cut circles to resemble falling stars and their reflection on the Ohio River was wrapped with a charcoal belly band featuring a laser-cut pattern of the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge that connects Cincinnati, Ohio to Covington, Kentucky.  

“We wanted to make the ceremony as personalized as possible,” explains the bride. Just as with the planning process, both sets of parents were included, as they were asked to stand in order to be honored and provide their blessing for the marriage. Readings from First Corinthians, Winnie the Pooh, and quotes from Albert Einstein were read, followed by a performance of “Love Me Tender” by Elvis Presley, sung by a cousin of the bride. 

Before the reception, the newlyweds snuck away in order to watch their loved ones enjoying the festivities. “It was incredible to look down at our reception with guests chatting, mingling, and celebrating us!  It’s a vision that we won’t soon forget,” muses Katherine. They, along with their families, also got a preview of the reception space. “Walking through the double doors took our breath away,” the bride illustrates of viewing the glamorous décor for the first time.  Centerpieces were designed with ivory calla lilies, roses, hydrangeas, and split leaves painted gold. Bullion stands featured cascading crystals added to the opulent look. “The creative partners did an incredible job of taking our vision and making it more than a reality,” confirms the bride. “We are lucky to call this fairy-tale day our own!