During a trip to Paris, France, Caitlynde Brancovsky and James Langer enjoyed a private boat cruise on the Seine River. The captain stopped the vessel near one of the bridges and encouraged the couple to go outside to see the best view of the city. “It was wintertime at night, so I was a bit apprehensive since it was cold and dark!” exclaims Caitlynde. “As soon as we were out there, I noticed something falling on the boat and starting to hit me on the head. There were over 1,000 long-stem red roses falling all around us, being poured from the above bridge.” When Caitlynde finally turned around, she found James on one knee. “I was in absolute shock,” she admits.
Though the couple travels often, they decided to get married in the bride’s hometown in a charming area of Northeast Ohio. “We felt it was very important to make sure it was accessible and affordable for our guests to attend,” she explains. “I think everyone expected us to have the wedding in some exotic location, and I think some were actually disappointed we didn’t,” she laughs.
Marrying alfresco in the gardens of a private club, Caitlynde had a clear vision of what the ceremony décor would look like: soft, understated, and timeless. Attendees arrived to the melodies of a string quartet. They found crisp white programs in a golden tray sitting atop a lovely Lucite fixture that held a vanilla-colored flower arrangement. A grand floral arch became the focal point, paired with Lucite chairs to eliminate distractions from the naturally beautiful, lush environment. The bride looked regal in a couture gown featuring a low back and sheer ties at each shoulder in lieu of typical straps. Her long, loosely curled tresses were perfectly paired with her cathedral veil.
Both the bride and groom are coincidently of Czech heritage, but Caitlynde comes from a Catholic background, while James is Protestant. “We opted for a non-religious ceremony with traditional vows, making it entirely about the marriage,” the bride shares. “We had a great officiant who allowed us to build the service together.” As sentimental touches, the couple’s respective late grandparents’ names were read aloud, and a Shakespeare quote was included as a nod to the groom’s paternal grandmother, Mary Jo Langer, who was a Shakespearean scholar.
Loved ones made their way from cocktail hour to the formal dinner reception, locating their seats by way of note cards suspended from a magnificent tree embellished with roses in shades of pink, crème brûlée, and lavender. “I knew from the very beginning that I wanted a lot of flowers,” affirms Caitlynde. James continues, “Flowers were the wow factor. Heather Thomas [of HeatherLily] is truly an artist. She and Cait connected visually from the very start.”
An elegant, formal dinner reception was carefully orchestrated so that it also felt warm and inviting. “We wanted our family and friends to be comfortable. As much as the wedding is about ‘you’, all of these people are spending time and money to be there to support you,” notes the bride. Long banquet tables created a unique floor plan within the space, whilst varying chair styles and satin linens provided contrast and texture to tablescapes. Arrangements of soft-colored blooms were arranged down the length of the table, as well as candlelight. “We also had chandeliers decorated with flowers and greenery to balance out the room,” says the bride.
Since the venue has very traditional décor, the bride worked out the details to make sure everything flowed design-wise. Even a custom dance floor mimicked the intricate designs introduced in the invitations. “I have an art background and a very strong eye, so it was important that nothing looked disjointed or out of place,” reveals Caitlynde.
The party kicked off once the 10-piece band started their set. “They played three hours straight with choreography and kept everyone on the dance floor,” tells James. As a surprise to guests, a dynamic firework show preceded the after-party, which was made complete with late-night snacks, including the groom’s favorite: Taco Bell.
The couple admits they were distracted and having such an amazing evening, they wish they had carved out more time for family portraits. Despite that, and perhaps taking more dance lessons, the big day was everything they ever wanted. “I disagree when people say no one notices the details… I am all about the details, and I think when you are thoughtful about putting everything together people can’t help but notice and appreciate it!” reminisces the bride.