Hilary Grosser and Eric Jaschke met at Washington & Lee University in Virginia during their freshman year, but it wasn’t until 2010, at the very end of their senior year, that they started dating. Four years later, the couple decided they’d celebrate their anniversary with a weekend in Healdsburg, California. When they drove up to Gary Farrell Winery and found that they’d arrived too late for a tasting, Eric convinced Hilary to sit with him on the winery’s patio. While Hilary had a feeling a proposal would happen that weekend, she was completely surprised when Eric pulled her to her feet and got down on one knee to pop the question then and there.
With help from a dream team of planners at Viva Bella Events, the ecstatic couple prepared for their elegant June 20, 2015, wedding in Cincinnati, Ohio. The ceremony took place at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, and was followed by a party at the Cincinnati Country Club, which was one of the easiest choices for the couple to make. The bride’s mother was the first non-legacy female member of the club, and her parents had their own reception there years before! The classic flower-filled celebration was photographed by Ted Miller of Kortnee Kate Photography. Take a close look at every gorgeous detail below.
With their planners in Ohio and the couple residing on the West Coast, Hilary admits that the planning process wasn’t always easy. Through a lot of Skype calls and Pinterest inspiration, they managed to tackle the toughest part (narrowing down the guest list) and dreamed up small details that helped create a day to remember. Invitations offered guests a glimpse of the simple and elegant aesthetic the couple had channeled for their big day.
The experience of shopping for a wedding dress was an important one for both Hilary and her mother. “My grandmother passed away before my parent’s wedding, so she and my mom never got to go shopping together for her dress. It was important to me that my mom got to enjoy it on the other side,” Hilary says. The third dress she tried on — a layered lace Vera Wang gown with a sweetheart neckline, buttons down the back, and a long dramatic train — turned out to be the one. Hilary paired her wedding dress with an ivory grosgrain ribbon and a stunning cathedral-length veil.
For her something old, the bride wore her great grandmother’s pearl ring and her great great grandmother’s lace handkerchief tied around her bouquet of ivory roses, magnolias, and peonies. For her something new, she accessorized with a tennis bracelet that her father gave her on the day of her wedding. The bottom of her custom Prada shoes served as her something blue.
Eric paired a bow tie and David Yurman cufflinks with his classic Ralph Lauren tuxedo. His groomsmen rented Vera Wang tuxedos from Men’s Warehouse to give the wedding party a cohesive look.
While Eric had a white boutonniere, the groomsmen wore blush pink flowers.
Hilary and her bridesmaids got ready for the ceremony with champagne and monogrammed robes. Each woman chose her favorite silhouette of the pale green J.Crew gowns Hilary chose. The one rule: No one shoulder dresses. “I just asked that none of them go with the one shoulder look because I think in a few years we might look back and have one of those ‘what were we thinking’ moments!” she says.
The church had some strict rules regarding decorations, so the couple kept their ceremony décor minimal. They selected large floral arrangements to adorn the altar and floral wreaths to dress up the entry doors. Hilary’s father walked her down the aisle as a string quartet and trumpeter played Clarke’s Trumpet Voluntary. The couple’s close friends offered readings, including Corinthians 13:4-13 and “Wedding Vow” by Rebecca W. “It was really special, our friends spent months picking out their readings and it couldn’t have been more perfect,” Hilary says.
As the newlyweds exited the church, Eric said to his wife, “We did it! You look incredible.” Although it was meant to be a sweet, private moment, it’s one the couple will be able to remember for years to come thanks to a happy accident. “He was still mic’d from the vows and our videographer caught it. It was such a nice surprise,” Hilary says.
This couple wanted to make sure everyone had a blast at their party, so they hired a jazz quartet to perform at cocktail hour. There, guests chose one of three signature cocktails: The ‘His’ cocktail was a Manhattan, ‘Hers’ was an Eastern Standard, and ‘Ours’ was a Margarita with the option to add jalapeños.
The couple’s reception space was a flower lover’s dream, decked out in over 1,000 peonies! A mixture of round and rectangular tables were draped in white linens and topped with small candles and a range of high and low centerpieces in the couple’s color scheme of muted green, ivory, peach, and pink. In addition to tons of gorgeous peonies, the couple filled out centerpieces with roses, hydrangeas, lisianthus, and greenery.
The venue’s chandeliers were an elegant touch, warming up the property’s classic ball room.
The couple’s chairs were marked with fresh greenery garlands and wedding-appropriate bundles of white flowers that were tied with trailing ivory bows.
Place settings included gold-rimmed chargers with the couple’s dinner menu placed on top, along with a cookie in the shape of one of four states that are meaningful to the couple — Ohio, where the bride is from, Texas, where the groom is from, California, where the couple lives, and Virginia, where the couple met. Dinner began with a salad followed by a choice of filet mignon, grilled chicken breast, or eggplant napoleon.
For dessert, the couple served their five-tiered almond, dark chocolate, and vanilla wedding, which was covered in white chocolate buttercream and plenty of fresh flowers.
The bride and groom brought in a 10-piece band to get the party started. After a father-daughter dance to “The Way You Look Tonight” by Fred Astaire, Hilary’s mother performed on the bagpipes. “She used to play in the Cincinnati Caledonian Pipes & Drums band and my friends absolutely love that she plays them,” the bride says. Guests finished the night with late night stadium food. “It is my favorite part about Ohio in the summer — grilling out with family and friends. So we had brats, mets, hot dogs, sliders, and french fries!” the bride says.
The newlyweds had a system throughout the planning process that may save couples a headache or two. “I would pick two options that I loved equally for every part of the wedding and Eric would make the final call if couldn’t decide.”
Ceremony Venue: The Episcopal Church of the Redeemer || Reception Venue & Catering: The Cincinnati Country Club || Wedding Planner: Viva Bella Events || Bride’s Wedding Dress: Vera Wang || Hair: High Five Salon || Makeup: Brideface || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew || Groom’s Attire: Ralph Lauren || Flowers: Robin Wood Flowers || Invitations: Union Street Papery || Music: Lyrica; Sam Hill Bands || Cake: The BonBerie || Rentals: All Occasions Event Rental; Goodwin Lighting; La Tavola Linens; Wildflower Linens || Videographer: Mason Jar Films || Photographer: Ted Miller of Kortnee Kate Photography
Can’t get enough of this beautiful wedding? Then check out another couple’s classic ballroom bash in the video below.