Meeting through mutual friends at a party they both attended in Columbus in 2018, Chanel was immediately drawn to Mark. She noticed his stunning blue eyes and also that he had some pretzels in his hand.
“I wanted the pretzels, so I sort of slyly took them out of his hands and ate them.” Chanel shares. “She didn’t want the pretzels, she wanted my attention,” Mark chimes in.
And she got both.
“Chanel’s radiating beauty was what first attracted me to her, but also she is funny and keeps you interested and engaged when she talks to you, which is something I appreciate,” Mark says. Chanel loves that Mark laughs at her jokes and is great at holding a conversation. “I just felt this draw, this immediate pull to him. He was so kind and friendly. Not only did I want to have a conversation with him, but everyone else wants to get to know him, too.”
While Chanel is from Columbus, Mark is from Cincinnati but has been working in Columbus since graduating from college. By April 2021, Mark was ready to pop the question, but due to COVID-19, it was tricky to plan a surprise proposal. “I had to conduct all of these clandestine operations while we were stuck at home during COVID,” Mark explains. “Chanel is very nosey, so that made it difficult to do!”
He planned some “business trips” to Cincinnati to buy the ring from a family friend who is also a jeweler. During the pandemic, the couple enjoyed many picnics at Goodale Park in Columbus. “I asked her to go on a walk around the park, and at the bottom of the park is an archway entrance. I had three of our friends stationed around that area to take photos and I popped the question right at the bottom of the arch.”
While both Mark and Chanel reside in Columbus, they opted for the Cincinnati Art Museum as the venue for their wedding day. Chanel remembers the first time she visited the museum with her family, years before her wedding. “In 2018, the museum featured the Terracotta Army exhibit. My family and I went to see the exhibit for Father’s Day. I remember passing the great hall with my mom and remarking that it would be a beautiful place to get married. And then years later, I lucked out. With Mark being from Cincinnati, the museum was a natural fit.”
The Cincinnati Art Museum was the perfect backdrop for Chanel and Mark’s nuptials on March 19, 2022. Chanel was excited about her dress and the classically elegant atmosphere provided by the museum. “I have a pretty big family; Mark does, too. We were excited at the prospect of having all of our friends and family come together to share in our joy and meet each other. There were so many truly great people in the room,” Chanel says.
Attending the event were 130 guests enjoying music from The William Brady Project Band before and during the ceremony, and afterward during the cocktail hour. The band also provided a DJ during the reception. Chanel selected a black, white and gold color palette, and knew she wanted to incorporate baby’s breath flowers into the decor. Adrian Durban, of Adrian Durban Florist, is a family friend of Mark’s and helped select other white flowers and greenery that worked well in the space.
“Not being from Cincinnati but having Cincinnati vendors who previously worked with the art museum made it super easy for me,” Chanel says.
Mark also looked forward to seeing how the venue’s art and lighting contributed to the wedding photos. “I was excited to see how the stage transformed into a venue for our wedding, knowing that we hired such a wonderful photographer to take pictures in a dramatic place.”
The Cincinnati Art Museum has an established in-house chef and a cafe, so all food was prepared onsite — a big draw for Mark, having worked catering jobs in the past. “They did a fantastic job,” he says. Adds Chanel, “We had a lot of compliments on the meal.”
The moment that Chanel and Mark say they won’t ever forget, however, is when the curtain was pulled back and they saw each other in all their wedding finery for the first time on their special day.
“I was a little antsy waiting, and then when I saw her for the first time — that image will stay with me forever,” says Mark. Adds Chanel, “Both of my parents walked me down the aisle. I started to get anxious, and I started to cry, but having both of them really helped me. Once the curtain opened and I saw Mark, I just started to book it down the aisle. They had to tell me to slow down!”
Guests enjoyed the post-ceremony cocktail hour, and then it was on to the reception.
At the close of the evening, guests were sent home with miniature bottles of Tabasco sauce and wooden cutouts that read “Thanks for spicing up our wedding day!”
Mark and Chanel agree that the staff at Cincinnati Art Museum was phenomenal and made their wedding day extra special.
Venue ~ Cincinnati Art Museum
Photographer ~ Sherri Barber Photography
Wedding Band & DJ ~ The William Brady Project Band
Flowers ~ Adrian Durban Florist
Cake ~ The BonBonerie
Makeup ~ Essie Cunningham
Hair ~ Che Mathews
Wedding Dress ~ Martina Liana from Luxe Redux Bridal, Columbus, OH
Want to have your special day at the Cincinnati Art Museum? Visit cincinnatiartmuseum.org for more information.