Windi's Wedding Wisdom
There's never a dull moment in the wedding biz!
Here's some amusing tales, helpful tips and
lessons learned along the way.
There's never a dull moment in the wedding biz!
Here's some amusing tales, helpful tips and
lessons learned along the way.
Elopements are and will always be our first love. There are so many RAD locations in and throughout Ohio. The Hocking Hills region hosting over 4.7 million visitors annually and has been noted as the “wedding” capital of Ohio. One of my favorite photographers, Elizabeth Nihiser has thoughtfully written a blog featuring our of past clients!
Check out this Unity ritual inspo…. Unforgettable!
I am both honored and humbled to announce that “Run to an Elopement" has again earned first place in the Officiant category of the Best of Columbus Weddings poll 2023.
Congratulations to all of the winners and runner-ups! Here's a complete list.
I am so happy to announce that I have won the title of "Best Officiant of Columbus Weddings" for the third year in a row! Thank you to everyone who voted for me. Here's the list of the 2022 winner and I am so honored to be part of this amazing group of Wedding pros.
Tell us about yourself as the face behind Run to an Elopement?
Run to an Elopement is me, Windi Noble, an effervescent weirdo who loves big and enjoys the human experience. I am married to my favorite human with one adult kid and four cat overlords. Some of my favorite ways to “waste” time include hiking, yoga, daydreaming, pareidolia, reading, traveling and connecting deeply with friends and loved ones. I’m an avid collector of mineral specimens, concert tickets and experiences.
What should readers know about your business?
I have been performing wedding rituals throughout the U.S. for about eight years now. I prepare unique, nontraditional, nondenominational wedding rituals for couples who are seeking a fun and authentic experience. I understand the importance of a meaningful yet entertaining ceremony. Marriage equality is a priority for me so, yeah—there’s that.
What sets you apart from other professional officiants?
I don’t have competitors—I have a community of fellow officiants, and it is my belief that we each bring something special to the table. My services include some uncommon rituals such as ring blessings, meditation, aura cleansing and more. My personality and attentiveness are what set me apart.
What can engaged couples expect with working with Run to an Elopement?
Polite, prompt and professional exchanges pre-ceremony, and a loving, attentive, calming presence on your wedding day, dappled with a lot of laughs and tons of knowledge on how to have an amazing ceremony.
What is something you wish more clients knew about wedding officiants?
The importance of hiring a professional officiant, especially when it comes to the whole wedding experience. If you are using a friend who is not a wedding professional, it will affect the flow of the rest of your wedding team. Your other pros will have to compensate for your friend’s lack of experience and knowledge.
When should we hire our officiant?
This depends on how important this day is to you. I hate telling couples that I am not available, but I am booking couples a year or two before their actual date. Last-minute weddings can be accommodated, though I would suggest planning and booking your officiant much like you would a caterer or venue if that part of the experience is important to you.
Where are you located?
I am located in Columbus. However, I do travel all over the state and I am happy to travel to your ideal location. I do not have a venue for you to come to, though I do have a list of amazing locations throughout the state and I love helping couples find the perfect location—let’s go outside.
I love waking up to find one of my couples published. And I am SO guilty of loving a great hike on your wedding day. It's true... let's get out into nature.
Follow the above link to read and see more of this RAD elopement from 2021!
I am so very humbled and excited to announce that we won Best of Columbus weddings 2021! Thank you for your support and votes; without you I am nothing. Congratulations to all of my fellow RAD wedding pros -- such a honored and a privilege to share this title with these vendors!
OFFICIANT - Run to an Elopement (23%)
PLANNER and DESIGNER - Aisle & Co. (15.4%, 16.2%)
TRAVEL ADVISER - Wanderlust Travel & Tours (22.4%)
Runner-up: Bliss Honeymoons, 18.9%
DJ - Josh Staley Productions (18.4%)
Runner-up: Buckeye Entertainment, 15.4%
BAND - The Conspiracy Band (19.8%) and MojoFlo (19.5%)
Runners-up: Jazz Arts Group, 9%; Honey and Blue, 8.7%; The Wet Bandits, 8.7%; The Floorwalkers, 8.3%
FLORIST - The Flowerman (11.4%)
Runners-up: Petals & Leaves, 7.6%; Prema Designs, 7.1%
BAKER: CAKES - Capital City Cakes (16.6%)
Runners-up: Short North Piece of Cake, 12.7%; Lavender & Honey Wedding Cakes, 11.9%
BAKER: OTHER DESSERTS - Pistacia Vera (19.6%)
Runners-up: Duck Donuts, 12.6%; Sadie Baby Sweets, 11.8%
BAKER: SPECIAL DIETS - Pattycake Bakery (32.3%)
Runner-up: Bake Me Happy, 27.2%
PHOTOGRAPHER: GENERAL - Starling Studio (9.5%) and Kismet Visuals (9%)
Runners-up: Photo 243, 6.5%; 614 Wedding Photography, 5.7%; Comfort Photography, 5.5%
PHOTOGRAPHER: BOUDOIR - 614 Boudoir Photography (21.6%)
Runner-up: Kismet Visuals, 20.1%
VIDEOGRAPHER - Nathan Peppers Films (14.6%) and Jonah Epps Films (13.8%)
Runners-up: Columbus Wedding Videos, 11.2%; ALC Productions, 11.1%
PHOTO BOOTH - The Selfie Spot 614 (16.7%)
Runners-up: Josh Staley Productions, 15.4%; Buckeye Entertainment, 14.7%
ALTERNATIVE ENTERTAINMENT - Studio Von (24.8%)
Runners-up: Kurt Dreier Caricatures and Illustration, 16.6%; FunFaces by Steve Campbell, 16.4%
STATIONER - JesMarried (23.7%)
Runner-up: Ink & Ivory, 12.5%
CALLIGRAPHER - Ink & Ivory (21.7%)
Runner-up: Lovely Arrows Designs, 18.1%
SALON: HAIR and SALON: SPA - PENZONE Salons + Spas (13.6%, 20.6%) SALON: MAKEUP - PENZONE Salons + Spas (14.6%) and 614 Beauty (14.4%)
Runner-up: Kenneth’s Hair Salons & Day Spas, 9.3%
SALON: NAILS - The W Nail Bar (21.1%)
Runner-up: Lacquer Gallery, 16.4%
CEREMONY: RELIGIOUS - St. Joseph Cathedral (19.7%)
Runner-up: Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 14%
CEREMONY: INDOOR, CEREMONY: OUTDOOR and RECEPTION: GARDEN/GREENHOUSE - Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens (25%, 24.6%, 41%)
RECEPTION: HOTEL/EVENT CENTER - Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph (11.8%), Westin Great Southern Columbus (11.2%) and Granville Inn (10.9%)
Runner-up: Hilton Columbus Downtown, 9.8%
RECEPTION: HISTORIC - Ohio Statehouse (14.7%)
Runner-up: Granville Inn, 11.8%
RECEPTION: INDUSTRIAL/URBAN - Strongwater (18.9%)
Runner-up: High Line Car House, 14.8%
RECEPTION: RUSTIC/BARN - Jorgensen Farms Historic Barn (31.8%)
Runner-up: Magnolia Hill Farm, 16%
RECEPTION: MUSEUM/GALLERY and RECEPTION: CONTEMPORARY/MODERN - Columbus Museum of Art (54.1%, 18.3%)
RECEPTION: GOLF/COUNTRY CLUB - Scioto Reserve Country Club (22.3%)
Runner-up: Country Club at Muirfield, 12.2%
MICRO VENUE - Hotel LeVeque (22.6%)
Runners-up: The Fig Room, 16.4%; Flat 51, 15.6%
OHIO DESTINATION WEDDINGS - Hocking Hills Wedding Chapel (19.2%)
Runner-up: Gervasi Vineyard, 13.6%
REHEARSAL DINNER - Lindey’s (14.8%)
Runners-up: Wolf’s Ridge Brewing, 8.7%; Marcella’s, 8%
BRUNCH - Lindey’s (15.1%) and Cap City Fine Diner (14.2%)
Runner-up: The Pearl, 11.5%
GOWNS: NEW - La Jeune Mariee (23.1%)
Runner-up: Wendy’s Bridal, 20.1%
GOWNS: CONSIGNMENT - Luxe Redux Bridal (47.6%)
Runner-up: Off White, 36.5%
GOWNS: CLEANING/PRESERVATION - Dublin Cleaners (35.1%)
Runner-up: Columbus Lace Dry Cleaning, 16.2%
BRIDESMAIDS - Gilded Social (19.7%)
Runner-up: Wendy’s Bridal, 18.7%
MENSWEAR - Pursuit (23.3%)
Runner-up: Romanoff’s Classic Tuxedo, 16.4%
JEWELER: RINGS, JEWELER: ACCESSORIES and JEWELER: CUSTOM - Diamond Cellar (28%, 27.8%, 29.1%)
Runner-up: Worthington Jewelers, 17.8%, 17.3%, 21.3%
JEWELRY BOUTIQUE - Red Giraffe Designs (36.2%)
Runner-up: Honey Rose & K, 17.4%
LOCAL GIFTS/FAVORS - The Candle Lab/Penn and Beech Candle Co. (20.2%)
Runner-up: Cheryl’s Cookies, 17.5%
CATERER: DINNER - Cameron Mitchell Premier Events (20.5%)
Runner-up: The Berwick, 11.1%
CATERER: LATE-NIGHT - Buckeye Donuts (22.3%)
Runner-up: Mikey’s Late Night Slice, 20.3%
RENTALS - Aiden & Grace Specialty Rentals (21.9%)
Runner-up: Lasting Impressions Event Rental, 12.6%
TRANSPORTATION - Short North Trolley/Columbus Trolley/Coach Quarters (17.5%)
Runners-up: Fun Bus, 14.4%; Xtreme Limo, 14%
HOTEL: NEWLYWEDS - Hotel LeVeque (21.6%)
Runner-up: Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph, 20.3%
HOTEL: GUESTS - Hilton Columbus Downtown (15.7%)
Runners-up: Hotel LeVeque, 12.8%; Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph, 12.6%
LOCAL BACHELOR PARTIES - Topgolf (21.4%)
Runner-up: Pins Mechanical Co., 19%
LOCAL BACHELORETTE PARTIES - The Big Bang Dueling Piano Bar (17.7%)
Runner-up: Lincoln Social, 16%
We are so proud to announce that we tied with Wows and Vows for BEST OFFICIANT in Columbus, Ohio. Wows and Vows (25.9%) and Run to an Elopement (25.6%)
There are no words to describe how overwhelmed, proud and truly grateful for the support of our community! Without you we are nothing and we strive to meet and exceed our couples expectations. So, thank you for voting for us.
Looking for a list of amazing vendors that we love to work with and HIGHLY recommend? Head over to Columbus Monthly for the full story here!!
Meet the magical makers:
Held at CEDAR GROVE LODGE in Hocking Hills, Ohio and Southern Ohio, Heather & Cody's wedding was full to the brim of sentimental details. Initially dating in high school, the couple were reunited after a decade apart and rekindled their connection. With so much of their relationship spent there once they were reunited, it was a special spot to celebrate at. MANDY FORD captured their day.
After a proposal in Jamaica - which very nearly got derailed after a run-in with a giant crab - they were inspired to infuse these memories into the day. Lush, tropical tones paired beautifully against the colourful fall leaves. Their florist - SHAFFER CREATIVE - was so thoughtful to add a few stems of the flower, Heather, into the bouquet! Tropical stems were paired with pampas grass to pull in fall tones. Amber glasses were the perfect golden accent against dusty blue linens, making this wedding a one-of-a-kind event for their guests to enjoy!
Heather and Cody began dating weeks after Heather got into high school. Cody, an upperclassman, was along when some older boys drove the freshman girls to a football game. Heather and Cody felt a spark right away, and soon after, Cody asked Heather to homecoming. After that, they began a relationship. Like many high school relationships, Heather and Cody broke it off after a few years to do life on their own.
Their paths crossed on and off through their twenties, but they were both on different trajectories. After nearly a decade apart, Cody sent Heather a random text message that rekindled their friendship. It didn't take long for old feelings to flood back in. Even after all that time and change, they couldn't fight the same feelings they shared all those years before. At their wedding, Cody and Heather danced to "Greatest Love Story" by Lanco. This song parallels their love story perfectly. Photographer Mandy tells us, "I'm so happy that Cody and Heather found their way back to each other. Their story goes to show, even if you find the right person, it has to be the right time."
This Pandemic is crushing your wedding vision, you’ve spent countless hours and dollars planning the “perfect” wedding for you and your partner and then life “ass-handed” you. For those who don’t know this reference, it’s essentially the hardships of life being handed to you every day…no? Anyway, elopements are our jam, our first love, the thing we do best--I mean, come on, it’s all in our name. But I digress - here’s our plan to ensure you are supported while considering an Elopement, Micro wedding, or a third “virtual guests” option; we will talk about this more a little later. First, what’s the difference?
An Elopement is an intimate celebration that include you, your partner, your officiant, and maybe a photographer.
A Micro Wedding is also an intimate celebration, however, this one may include some guests – no more than 25.
Many wedding pros know your wedding day needs to be magical and unforgettable, even during Pandemics – it is still a celebration of your love, commitment and union as partners. Plus, it’s a great time to be planning a wedding—quarantine livin’ allows for the space and time needed to meet your vendors virtually and do any “homework” that your vendors may require. Think out-of-the-box and also outside, as we all want to keep everyone’s health and safety in mind – meeting inside generally means closer quarters and may introduce some unnecessary boundary issues for those who have preexisting conditions. Our typical ceremony is 10-25 minutes in length and on the simple and sweet side if it is just the couple with no guests, though we do custom write each ceremony and so the length truly depends on your vision. We always offer some fun rituals that may support you on your wedding day, such as our meditative moment (which comes free with all of our services). Ring blessings, which are a great way for your rings to be presented at the altar, are another really neat offering. Other examples of additions can include smudging upon request or any of our many unique unity rituals. So, although you may not have a large guest count, the rite of marriage will still be beautifully presented and celebrated.
The Hocking Hills is one of our favorite places to meet with couples for this special day. We perform about a third of our weddings each year in that region of Ohio, so that’s to say there is some wisdom that comes with that experience. Here’s are a few tips to help you begin your planning process!
We have a list of our favorite vendors in the area we are happy to share-- just email us. Here are a few of our favorites because we have worked with them many times and know the integrity they carry in their practices.
Sarah Shaffer, head creator and owner of Shaffer Creative Co. has made this lovely guide to help you with your floral and décor needs—low guest count doesn’t mean you don’t deserve flair, beauty and romance.
Cedar Grove Lodging & Events has the best sunsets, plenty of deer, super cozy, clean, spacious cabins for 2 and more check out their offerings. The “Deer Run” is our favorite, it has a hot tub, gas grill, full kitchen with your basic necessities provided, a fire pit, an awesome back porch view of the woods for coffee drinking and bird watching in the mornings. It’s 10 minutes away from the parks and only 20 minutes from Downtown Logan AND they have plenty of beautiful little nooks and venues for an intimate celebration. Plenty of room for social distancing.
Photo's capture by Windi
Pinkerton Cakes can provide you with a zero contact delivery of the wedding cake of your dreams, trust us! We have had the pleasure of sampling Megan’s tasty treats on several occasions. Get the Macarons --trust me. Oh, wait and the cakes… oh goodness just look below and imagine how tasty they really are…
Can’t shake the need for your family to be present to witness your nuptials? Loren Miller is making dreams come true with virtual weddings packages. Loren’s offerings vary from simple ceremonies to a full-blown wedding experience that includes your friends and family, cake, toasts, dancing and more from the convenience of your guests’ homes. This virtual wedding experience is a great way to keep your date while also keeping everyone safe and healthy! D.J. Loren is also a professional emcee and officiant – when this is all over we can throw a truly EPIC party, in the meantime, let’s get creative and make some magic happen while celebrating your love and commitment!
That's it for now...
When I sat down to begin writing this blog, I had a grand vision of providing you with a lengthy and inclusive list. Five thousand words later, I decided it wasn’t a blog—it was a novella. So here we are with part one of a three-part series that will showcase some of my favorite, truly unique unity rituals as well as a few that are a bit more common.
Unity rituals are a lovely addition to any meaningful ceremony. While they are not a requirement of a great ceremony, they are a fabulous way to break up the intensity of standing in front of a group of your closest loved ones. In addition, a well-planned unity ritual will engage your guest—so it’s a win-win. I always encourage my couples to think outside the box, get creative and make it your own. Due to the vastness of this topic, our three-part series will be broken down into the following categories: “our favorites,” “family centered and/or guest participation” and “just the couple.”
Ready to get started? Awesome—I have had the opportunity to serve some truly rad couples and we have created some “outta’ the box” unity rituals for their special day. Some of my favorites include:
Building a fire- This is great for outdoor weddings that allow open fires. Our couple begins the ritual by lighting the fire. Then we call upon your guests to keep the fire burning throughout the celebration by stoking and adding their own log to the fire. It’s a great way to include everyone and bonus points for have a raging fire all night!
Geode Smashing- Where are my rock-hounds at?! Geodes are like the "Blow Pop" of the geology world because underneath the hard exterior lies a surprise center! This boulder shaped mineral is hollow in the middle and filled with sparkling crystals. To prepare the geode requires a bit of handiness and tools, but the outcome is worth the “work”.
Photo Credit: Hailey Lauren Photography
Blending of Rosemary and EVOO- It’s all in the title—you take a high-quality extra virgin olive oil and add 3-5 sprigs of fresh organically grown Rosemary and seal the bottle. The intention is to pick a wedding anniversary when you will open the oil and use it for a romantic dinner or pair it with a vintage bottle of your favorite Red and a beautifully crusted bread. Rich in Mediterranean tradition.
Mixing of the signature cocktail/mocktail- This is a great way to debut your signature cocktail, your favorite drink or honestly, just get the party started! Consider something fun like a Butterfly Peaberry tea Moscow mule or keep it simple with a Jack and Coke. Whatever you choose be sure it represents your personalities, theme or wedding vibe.
Photo credit: Stephanie Kase Photography
Lego Building- Where are my Master Builders at?! We’re not talking about building the Death Star—unless you want your guests to help throughout the evening. We usually recommend a set that is 150-250 pieces. Lego makes a super cute wedding set that is 132 pieces – check it out here. I have had past couples use their Lego creation as a cake topper or décor on the cake table after the ceremony!
Photo credit: Doug Melvin Photography
Ring Blessing- Love minerals and crystals? Me too! We offer an awesome service that designed and manifested especially for you. We hand select minerals based on their properties and fill then with our love and intentions. Your minerals will be beautifully and thoughtfully place upon the grid for you during your meditation. Lastly, we place your wedding bands upon the center stone and deliver them to the altar in style. For more information on adding this service to you ceremony head over to ring blessings. I look forward to sharing part deux of the unity ritual series with you real soon!
Photo credit J Hannah Photography