Real Weddings: Julia and Kevin Draper

Julia describes how she pulled off blending the traditions of two people of different faiths while building new traditions of their own at their sophisticated Ohio wedding.

The Big Day: October 27, 2012

The Scene: Greystone Hall in Akron, Ohio

Our Story: Kevin is Catholic, and I am Jewish, so we decided not to have a religious officiant. Instead, our mutual friend who introduced us got ordained and performed the ceremony, which was so special. Our ceremony was really personal, and we loved getting to customize it to include traditions from both religions as well as readings that were important to us.

The venue was an old Masonic Lodge built in 1917 that was simply exquisite, including hand-painted ceilings, marble detailing and a two-story ballroom. We wanted a sophisticated feel, but more importantly, we wanted our guests to feel comfortable, relaxed and have a great time. Our goal was to get as many people as possible on the dance floor, and I think we accomplished that!

My Wedding Stylist: Katie Priscilla at Nordstrom Beachwood Place in Beachwood, Ohio

Katie was absolutely incredible. She understood the look I wanted to create and helped me find the perfect dress for my body. Katie also helped me find my bridal accessories, bridesmaid dresses and my rehearsal dinner dress. Every time I met with Katie, I felt confident she would help me find exactly what I was looking for. She knew the products inside and out, and she was so sweet and so much fun to work with.

My Look: My gown was the Nicole Miller Faille Trumpet Gown, with Givenchy jewelry and Vera Wang shoes.

When it was time to get my dress altered, Natasha, Nordstrom’s wedding alterations specialist, went above and beyond my highest expectations and perfectly tailored my dress to my shape. The bustle she created was stunning, and I received numerous compliments from wedding guests.

Not only were Katie and Natasha wonderful at their jobs, they were both an absolute pleasure to work with. They always had a genuine smile on their faces, and they were both so warm and welcoming.

My Wedding Party: My bridesmaids wore grey dresses by Suzi Chin for Maggy Boutique. They all LOVED their dresses (saying they were not typical “bridesmaid” dresses) and will happily wear them again.

Our Special Moments: We didn’t want to have a traditional guestbook, so Kevin and I tried to come up with a creative way for our guests to share their thoughts and marriage advice in a non-traditional way. We ended up having guests write their message on a block of wood from the game Jenga. We placed a block at each guest’s table setting and provided a separate table where people could add their block to the pile. At the end of the night, we had a tower of messages from our guests–it was so much fun!

We read all of the messages the following day. Some were really touching, others were hilarious and had us crying from laughing so hard–and all of them were very personal. We’ll have these forever, and every time we read them, it will remind us of the love we are surrounded with from our incredible friends and family.

Photography by Lisa Scalfaro.

Did you find something for a wedding at Nordstrom? We love a good wedding story! E-mail Nordstrom Wedding Stories for details about getting your wedding featured on our blog. And for more inspiration, make a complimentary appointment with a Wedding Stylist or browse our Wedding Suite.

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