Backyard ceremony and 78th Street Studios SmARTspace reception
Emily and Jeff’s wedding was so artistic.
Please enjoy, Scott Shaw Photo | Cleveland Wedding Photographer
At the 78th Street Studios SmARTspace reception everyone in the wedding party made a custom work
of art to hang in the reception space. It was interesting to see all the different approaches.
Jeff is getting a PhD in Art History at the University of Pennsylvania and Emily works at the
Philadelphia Zoo. She incorporated butterfly wings, peacock feathers and beetle wings into the wedding.
Emily said, “We never had a set theme in mind, but art and nature emerged as commonalities throughout
the ceremony and reception space. We used a lot of blue, green, and copper–seen in the candle holders on
the tables, the peacock feathers, and the jewel beetle wings. We used peacock feathers and foxglove flowers
on the save the dates and invitations (made by my bridesman, Matt). We more or less tried to make everything
personal and involve as many of our friends and family as possible.”
We started with getting ready photos at the home where Jeff grew up-his parents Willie and Katie’s
elegant, art-filled 1919 home in Cleveland Heights.
They did a First Look in front before we were off to take photos outside the Cleveland Museum of Art
and also inside the Atrium.
Emily’s bouquet was very unique: “I worked with a woman in Malaysia to custom create the bouquet,
which was made from real (naturally expired) blue morpho butterfly wings set in sterling silver.
I added peacock feathers to the bouquet that were molted by our peacocks at the Philadelphia Zoo.”
Then it was back to the home for the backyard ceremony before heading to the 78th Street Studios
SmARTSpace for the reception.
As the bridal party and bride and groom and parents entered, her Native American friend Windwalker
was smudging. “The smoke is from burning dried sage and she is fanning the smoke with feathers
to direct it. Smudging is used for cleansing/purifying places and people. Windwalker currently
lives in San Diego and is of Mic Mac, Lenape, and Cherokee descent.”
“During the ceremony Windwalker is playing a Native American drone flute-it is a dual-chambered flute
where one side has a traditional range of notes, while the other side harmonizes with a single
“drone” note. The single flute with the traditional range of notes can be played by blowing in
that side of the flute, or both holes can be played to achieve a harmony. The flute is very
significant in Native American culture and had various uses across different tribes, including
including healing, meditation, ceremonies, and courtship.”
After the ceremony everyone went to the 78th Street Studios SmARTspace for the reception and
enjoyed the art displays.
Later in the evening maid of honor Chelsea Davison created a game about the couple and I won’t
even try to describe how it worked! She was a staff writer on the Comedy Central show @midnight
and starred as a comedian on the most recent season of MADtv.
As was clearly evident, Emily and Jeff put a lot of thought and interesting details into their
wedding that meant a lot to them. I love when couples put so much of themselves into their wedding!
The belt buckle was Jeff’s grandfather’s, Bob. It was gifted to him by his grandmother Ellen
after his grandfather passed away. Jeff’s grandfather got the belt buckle on a trip to
Mexico in the mid 1950s. He wore it almost daily and many people knew him by it.
Windwalker with Emily and her parents Debbie and Scott.
There were lots of tears for everyone during the vows.
There was also much laughter as Jeff’s parents, Katie and Willie listened to the vows.
“The arch was built by my brother and not intended to have any religious significance. The wings are
from various color varieties (green, teal, blue/purple, yellow, and red/copper) of the Thai
(also referred to as Asian) Jewel beetle (Sternocera ruficornis). I purchased mine from Thailand,
where the wing casings are a byproduct from the beetles that are harvested for a food source.
Some came drilled and others my brother drilled for me. I paired up all the wings based on size
and color (all natural) and put all the rings through them (had some help from the moms and Jeff
on the green ones) to hang on the arch and space. There were 1,000-1,500 used total for the arch
and reception space.”
Jeff’s best man Dan and his fiancee Emily looked at the art done by the bridal party.
Emily’s parents enjoyed looking at the photos.
I asked about their unique rings and here’s a plethora of information from Emily:
“All of our rings are using the Japanese mokume gane technique. The name means “tree eye gold”
in Japanese. Its appearance mimics the wood grain around knots in tree wood.
and is a combination of two or more precious metals without the use of soldering (the creator of
the rings describes this as “kind of miraculous”).
All of ours are made from the same strip of metal that combined sterling silver, white gold,
and yellow gold. The technique was originally used solely to decorate the hilts of samurai’s
katana swords, beginning in the 17th century. As samurai became less common in Japanese society,
the technique was applied to other decorative items. In either case it was considered a significant
indicator of social status and wealth. The pattern of any mokume gane piece is unique and cannot be
replicated, even by the person who made it.”
reception: 78th Street Studios SmARTspace
officiant: Jeff’s uncle, Scott Robuck
musicians: Wendy Barlow and Bob Bellamy (harp and hammered dulcimer)
caterer: Cafe Sausalito
desserts: Katie Lampros at LaLa Custom Cake and Mason’s Creamery
florist: Hilary Gent was our wedding coordinator and did all the floral arrangements and installed/mounted everything in the reception space
dress: Emily’s grandmother’s (worn by my grandmother (maternal) her sister, and my mom for their weddings), tailored by Jeff’s aunt
suit: Enzo Custom in Philadelphia
bouquet maker: Karen from SilverTemptation (Etsy shop)
rehearsal Dinner: Barroco
hair styling: Charles Scott Salon
To see their engagement photos in Philadelphia, please click here:
Thank you for viewing this Cleveland wedding,
– Scott Shaw Photo | Cleveland Wedding Photographer