Photography: Erin Wilson Photography |
Caroline + Blake
Tontitown // June 30, 2018
Caroline Franco and Blake Ceola both grew up in Tontitown. Their sisters were close friends, and they even remember playing together on weekends. However, sometimes fate takes its time. “There was just enough of an age gap between Blake and I that we didn’t become friends until our mothers played matchmaker in the spring of 2016,” Caroline says. “We both pocketed this crazy idea for a while since we thought it was super weird, but, to our surprise, it was actually perfect!”
After dating for 15 months, the couple took a trip to Colorado with Caroline’s sister and brother-in-law. The trip was meant to celebrate Blake’s 30th birthday, but he had additional plans. After a birthday dinner in downtown Breckenridge, the couple took a walk. “The whole day had been chilly and misty,” Caroline recalls. “The clouds opened up, and the sun peeked through shining over the mountains. It was incredible.” Blake took the opportunity to get down on one knee and pop the question.
From there the planning began for a June “Italian countryside” wedding. Both Blake and Caroline knew they wanted to be married at St. Joseph Catholic Church. “Tradition is huge in Tontitown,” Caroline says. “St. Joseph is where our grandparents, parents, and siblings all were married, so we wanted to celebrate our marriage the true Italian/Catholic way by continuing the tradition.”
The reception venue was an equally easy decision. “One of my favorite memories growing up is spending Saturdays with Dad down at the barn, listening to country music, and building things,” Caroline says. “So, we planned the reception area around the barn on my parents’ property. Celebrating the biggest day of my life on the land that brought me so much joy and a sense of freedom for so many years was an absolute dream.”
St. Joseph Catholic Church holds a special place in the couple’s heart. They followed in the footsteps of their parents, grandparents, and siblings by exchanging vows here.
TO EACH HER OWN
A mix of styles brought personality to the bridesmaids’ dresses. Muted tones and shimmering fabrics stand out against the natural setting’s vibrant green backdrop.
Caroline notes she is drawn to antique mismatched furniture pieces and dark wood. Randal Events highlighted this by using comfortable yet classic pieces to create lounge and dining areas for guests on the property.
TRUE TO NATURE
Jana Mayfield of Mayfield Flowers & Designs, who also happens to be a close friend of Caroline’s family, designed the day’s florals. “Jana really understood the importance of keeping our overall vision of an Italian countryside by incorporating family vessels, fresh fruit, sun flowers, and other flowers customary to an Italian theme,” Caroline says.
PLAY IT COOL
After an Italian-themed dinner, guests enjoyed a traditional bride’s cake paired with homemade gelato created by a family friend, chef Vince Pianalto. “Blake is not a cake eater, so we thought it would be fun to serve his favorite dessert, ice cream, rather than a groom’s cake,” Caroline says.
Celebrating the biggest day of my life on the land that brought me so much joy and a sense of freedom for so many years was an absolute dream. – Caroline
A VISION IN REALITY
“I envisioned our reception being on my parents’ property under the stars with live dance music and good wine, surrounded by all of our family and friends,” Caroline says.
BRIDE’S GOWN Low’s Bridal & Formal CAKES Shelby Lynn’s Cake Shoppe CATERING Catering Unlimited FLORAL DESIGN Mayfield Flowers & Designs GELATO Vince Pianalto PAPER GOODS Shindig Paperie PHOTOGRAPHER Erin Wilson Photography RENTALS Randal Events VENUE (CEREMONY) St. Joseph Catholic Church WEDDING COORDINATION AND DESIGN Claudia Slezak, Classic Beginning
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