Written By: Alexandra Sferra
The Love Story of Michelle and Tyler
Like every love story that we dream of or see in movies, these two lovers met in high school at a cross-country camp! Tyler didn’t go to Michelle’s high school, but his uncle was her coach so he tagged along to cross-country camp! They got randomly matched for a corn hole tournament, and he couldn’t stay away from her for long. After that, he showed up to all of the meets and continued to support the team until they ended up dating! “I fell for him because he was so easy to talk to, sincere, and supportive. He made me laugh and he made me feel both safe and excited at the same time. I never got tired of talking to him, I was always excited to see him at a meet or see a text from him pop up on my phone. Those qualities have been a stronghold during COVID-19!”
Tyler and Michelle started dating at the end of 2013, and Tyler popped the question in 2018! They dated for about four and a half years through the end of high school and college! “He graduated high school a year after me, and we both went to the University of Cincinnati. My freshman year of undergrad, we were long distance (we're both from Northwest Ohio, so it was a 2.5-3 hour drive to Cincinnati) but that allowed us to maintain independence and make new friends while still staying committed to and supportive of each other. Throughout college we both stayed busy with classes, work, and travel but always made time for each other. I really valued that we were able to have a relationship that allowed us to be our own people and explore different hobbies, but we never sacrificed our commitment to each other and were intentional about making time to be together.”
When I asked Michelle how Tyler proposed, she responded with how much she loves this story! (Here at Blush, we are SUCKERS for good proposal stories so she sucked us in, and boy she did not disappoint!) “We had gone ring browsing in November 2017 to get some ideas, but a month or so later I decided to go to graduate school and he took a co-op, so we would be in school longer. I thought that meant our plan was being pushed 6+ months. In April 2018, he planned a date for us at a park and was acting super weird, fidgety, etc. I 100% thought he was going to propose then and there, and was ready for it. He didn't pop the question, and a few days later I mentioned it... his response? "Oh, is that why you were acting weird?" So I thought it was in my head. The next weekend, he mentioned that we should get donuts before we met up with friends for my last Saturday in undergrad. We got Holtman's and went to Smale Park (my favorite), sitting on the swings. I had on leggings and no makeup, and he was standing up because it was chilly (or so he said). I kept asking him if he wanted his second donut, because I wanted mine, and when I leaned back up, donut in hand, he was down on one knee with the ring. He asked me to marry him, I screamed and dropped the donut back into the bag, said yes, and the rest is history. We definitely threw off the people we called with a Saturday morning engagement!”
Tyler and Michelle had a long engagement that lasted two and a half years. They both wanted to be done with school, plus she has always wanted an outdoor fall wedding so they knew exactly when. They had two and a half years to not only plan their dream wedding, but also to enjoy being engaged; they wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. They got to be picky about their vendors, get married exactly where they wanted (which was in between their hometowns) and they were able to get all of the important life chapters out of the way like graduate school, undergrad, job hunting and a big move to Atlanta! (Can you imagine doing all of that WHILE planning a wedding?! These guys are superstars!)
When I asked Michelle how she envisioned her wedding in the beginning, she explained how she wanted a ceremony and reception that felt exactly like them. This meant having the wedding outside, near their hometowns, while incorporating pieces from their families and backgrounds. “I wrapped an embroidered cloth from my recently deceased grandmother around my bouquet, we used the cake knife that his grandparents and parents had used to cut the cake, I used one of my friend's hair pieces from her wedding during the reception, and my best friend's dad made our cake topper. We made sure that our ceremony accurately reflected our relationship, choosing specific readings, creating our own vows by combining different pieces (as opposed to writing our own, personal vows and reading them as a surprise, if that makes sense). That also included being really intentional about the songs we chose for the ceremony, for walking into the reception, for our first dance, and for parent dances. We also wanted to have as many people there as possible. We've always loved hosting and being with friends, and we also have pretty big families, so our original plan was a 300 person guest list!”
COVID-19 changed the way Michelle had always envisioned things happening, with cutting down the guest list, her brother not being able to attend because of COVID-19 exposure, along with one of her best friends having the virus and not being able to be there. Not having a groomsman and a bridesmaid in your wedding on such short notice is not fun, and Michelle had to witness that first hand on her wedding day. Luckily, they got to talk to each other before the wedding and had a zoom linked up so they wouldn’t miss it!
On the big day, October 17th, 2020, the girls headed to the salon Michelle has been going to since she was a kid for hair and makeup at 7:30am. This salon has always treated her great, and has done her hair for every prom and homecoming dance, and are always so much fun. Once they were all dolled up, they headed to the venue to get things started! “We got dressed (it honestly didn't feel real until I had my dress and veil on) and did pre-ceremony photos. Tyler and I didn't do a first look, so I was definitely anxious to see him at this point! When it was time to get lined up, I was nervous but so excited. My dad had been in a severe and life-threatening car accident at the end of 2019, so having him be able to walk me down the aisle and give a pre-dinner prayer was even more special than it would have been before. Seeing Tyler at the altar and exchanging our vows, I truly didn't have eyes for anyone but him. In that moment, it didn't matter who was or wasn't there. It just mattered that he and I were finally tying the knot after almost 7 years of dating.” I’m not crying, you’re crying.
Michelle went on explaining how much fun the photos were after the ceremony, and how they couldn’t stop laughing and kissing! She explained how the reception flew by, and how their guests were really good about keeping their masks on while on the dance floor, and while some people left earlier than they would have in normal non-COVID times, they still got to talk to everyone who was there! Michele said how they continued to talk about how they couldn’t believe that it was already over!
They honeymooned on Hilton Head Island; one of their family friends owns a vacation home there, and they gifted it to them for their wedding gift! (yes, please!) They biked around the island, took a ferry trip to Savannah, dined outside, and hung around the house and relaxed!
“I LOVED shopping at Blush Bridal. I made an appointment and brought my mom and a few bridesmaids in summer 2019, fully intending to "just look" and not make a decision that day. Jodi showed us all to the upstairs area, and was so patient with me when I had no idea what style I wanted. I had been to a different shop in the RBD earlier that morning, and was trying on all silhouettes and material types. She actually pulled the gown that I wound up with (Justin Alexander/Lillian West) and I doubt I would have ever pulled it myself. I tried it on like 3 times that day as I narrowed it down to two or three options, and couldn't stop smiling in it. I totally expected to cry when I found my dress, but Jodi had explained that tears are actually pretty rare, and it's usually just more of a feeling. That's definitely what I had. I felt like the most beautiful version of myself in that dress. Buying it so far in advance made me nervous, so I asked if I could sleep on the decision. I came back the very next day with my mom, tried it on again, picked out a veil (this time Jami was helping me), and that was that. I came back into the shop twice, once to pick up the veil and once for the dress, and everyone was so helpful and welcoming each time. My only regret about finding my dress that first day is that I didn't get to do it again. I had a BLAST trying on all the different dresses, and having that upstairs space since there were 5 of us total was great to be able to spread out.”
Venue: Crimson Lane in Ada, OH
Photographer: Studio Seventy-Nine
Paper goods: Designed, Seal, Delivered
Catering: Kathy's Korner in Arcadia, OH (FB only)
Hair: LO8 Salon, North Baltimore (FB only)
Makeup: Makeup by Silver V (Instagram only)
Floral: Design by Gina Lynne Design
Cake: The Ribbon Box in Marysville, OH
Dress and veil: Blush Bridal, obviously!
DJ: Good Vibrations Mobile DJ Service in New Carlisle, OH
Rings: Ashcroft and Oak
Favors: Totally Wedding Koozies
Bride: Michelle Ricker