“I really don’t like the color pink,” laughs Kathryn Hayden. Despite her typical preference, her wedding to Cory Gamber was filled with shades of blush and coral. “I want it to ooze glamour, elegance, and femininity,” she told her design team. They delivered, and she found a new appreciation for the hue. “[It was] the most beautiful day I’ve ever experienced,” she muses.
The event may not have even occurred if not for a Halloween party, and later, a flood. They met dressed as the Hamburglar and Drew Carey hosting The Price Is Right and were smitten after two dates. Just under a year later, a devastating rainstorm hit Cincinnati. When Cory helped Katie save her Christmas decorations while his own basement was filled with six feet of water, she knew he was The One.
When the time was right, Cory went to see Katie’s parents to declare his intention to marry her. “I graciously received their blessing but only after a few questions and a deep discussion about the true weight of this decision,” he confirms. Finding the ring was a surprisingly simple process. His future bride had shared a picture of the exact style she wanted with several of her friends so that any of them could give Cory the information he needed. Additionally, her mother wanted to pass down the diamond from her engagement ring and even suggested a trusted jeweler.
After picking out the perfect table and arranging for their server to film the moment, Cory proposed at the same restaurant where they had their first date. “Neither of us can remember what he said because we were so caught up in the moment,” admits Katie. After she said yes, Cory took his new fiancée to a surprise party with their nearest and dearest to celebrate their engagement.
As a photographer herself, the bride was familiar with a variety of venues in the surrounding area. Though her dream day involved a ceremony on the front lawn at The Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina, it was quickly clear that the famed estate did not have the capacity to allow the couple invite all the friends and family they wanted to be in attendance. An estate with an old stone mansion on 600 acres of farmland among the suburbs of Cincinnati had everything the sweethearts could have hoped for. “I loved every minute of the planning process as our wedding planners, Viva Bella Events, were a dream team and kept the stress level to a minimum,” affirms Katie. “Cory was pretty involved for a groom, but he has a saying, ‘For you, the world.’ He lives by it and does everything he possibly can to make me happy.”
Just as in the beginning of their relationship, rain affected the couple’s plans once again. This time a torrential thunderstorm caused them to flip the ceremony and cocktail hour so the vow exchange could still be held outside. “The storm burned off some of the humidity and created the most gorgeous light we could have asked for,” reveals the bride. Because Katie had seen many a unity candle get blown out from the wind, they searched for an alternative. She explains, “We landed on a unity braid where we chose to intertwine Cory’s love, my love, and the love of God into one strong cord that can’t easily be broken.” The service was further personalized by having the uncle of the groom officiate. Remembrance flowers to honor lost loved ones were displayed and carried in by the mothers of both the bride and the groom, and Katie had a few orchids and snapdragons tucked in among her bouquet of peonies and roses in honor of her late grandmother.
The drapery of the reception tent was designed to resemble the inside of a jewelry box. Accents of gold, rose gold, crystal, and lighting added to the luxe atmosphere. To allow the entire bridal party, their significant others, and flower girls and ring bearers to all sit together at the same head table, a long station for 47 people was decorated with tall floral arrangements to draw guests’ eyes upward. Layered votives, smaller displays of flowers, and other decorative accents filled in as the table runner. The ombré wedding cake fit the color scheme that began months ago with the invitations. In addition to the impeccable sugar flowers was a cake topper expressing the sentiment the groom has so often said to his new wife: “For you, the world.”