LifeStyle Ohio Weddings

Travel Themed Hometown Wedding

Not having a destination wedding? No problem! You can definitely feel like you did like this couple did with their travel themed wedding. They split their wedding ceremony and reception between Kentucky and Ohio.

Although the bride wishes she wasn’t so meticulous about all the little details, they look beautiful. If this doesn’t inspire ideas and wanderlust then I don’t know what would. So if you are having a destination wedding or not this should definitely stir up your imagination.

What city or cities was your ceremony and reception located in?

Our wedding mass was in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky but our reception was right across the Ohio river in Cincinnati.

What made you pick the cities?

I wanted to get married in a beautiful, historical building that was also in my hometown so that more guests could attend. I grew up in northern Kentucky and so kept this in mind when planning.

What made the ceremony space stand out or special?

I got married in the same church that my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents were married in. I am very close with my family and I loved this connection. The church itself is a smaller Catholic church with tall ceilings and beautiful gold details.

What made the reception space stand out or special?

Cincinnati Music Hall is a staple of the city, and was built in 1878. My great-grandma reminisced to her children about growing up down the road and witnessing its construction! It is a stunning structure with unique architecture, and had the capacity to host our large amount of guests. It is also extra memorable because it is considered to be among the most haunted places in the midwest. It was built on top of a potter’s cemetery and a lunatic asylum, and has been featured on several ghost-hunting TV shows!

Describe your ceremony and reception.

Seating Chart

We had a traditional Catholic ceremony where we were witnessed by our 15 member wedding party. After this, we took a limo across the river into Cincinnati where we made our grand entrance in to Music Hall. Our reception focused on our love for travel, and definitely had a “travel theme”. Guests came in to find a map asking them “where in the world are you sitting?” and they were directed to a table named after one of the countries we had been to. All of the decorations were based on travel elements, and the food was the highlight of this! We had buffet-style food stations with dishes from Thailand, Mexico, and Italy.

What kind of cake did you have?

A local baker made us a three-tiered cake with all home-grown ingredients from her farm in Kentucky. She garnished it with small map-paper flowers too!

What was the color scheme of you travel themed wedding?

The color scheme centered around the travel theme, so I used blue, green and yellow. These are my favorite colors, but also typical colors used on maps or globes. My bridesmaids wore the same dress but in different colors, and I was meticulous about color-coordinating everything at the reception to match this.

What type of decor did you have?

As everything centered around the travel theme, we had centerpieces consisting of antique books and globes. Each table was different, so some had map-paper patterned vases or map-paper pinwheels. We had a large banner made of map-paper, used a suitcase to collect cards and gifts, and had an entry display of vintage suitcases and globes with a large direction sign. This sign pointed to locations significant to our relationship and places we had traveled to together.

Did you do any DIY projects for your ceremony or reception? If so what?

Directional Signpost

I did several, maybe too many! I dedicated so much of my energy into this reception! I drew a “relationship timeline chalkboard”, gathered photos of our ancestors for a heritage table, and created my own seating chart using luggage tags, cork board, and an old map. I also mod-podged map paper onto vases for some of the centerpieces, and designed by own table number signs. My husband is a talented woodworker and he actually made our directional signpost which I then painted as our entry display too!

Bride’s most memorable moment?

I think all of the fun moments on the dance floor seeing all my closest friends and family from all over the globe- all these moments together are my favorite!

Is there something you wish you had done differently or didn’t stress so much about?

I wish I hadn’t done quite so many personal touches for the travel theme. I spent SO much time on all of the details and in reality the thing people care about most is having good food, good music, and fun. I wish I would have cut back on the meticulous details and just relaxed more.

Any tips for those planning a wedding where you did?

There are so many great vendors, but the staff at Music Hall and our caterers and DJ’s made the whole event go so smoothly. Having a good schedule of events, quality danceable music, and tasty food are really what makes the guest experience the best possible. If you have a wedding in the Cincinnati area, be sure to check out the vendors we used!

What was your budget? How many guests did you have?

I was very fortunate to have my parents pay for our wedding. I am not sure of the final cost but I estimate it was around $18,000. We had around 325 guests attend!

Did you have a honeymoon? If so where?

We did a “travel registry” through the website Wanderable where guests could buy us specific excursions or aspects of our honeymoon. We ended up doing a 10 day safari in Tanzania and went to the beaches of Zanzibar as well.

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  • Lauren Floyd

    I love this theme! I spent around $20,000 of my parents’ money too, and I wish I could go back and do it all over cheaper. I’m actually working on a post about cost-saving tips. My husband may’ve been on to something about going to the courthouse!

  • Kendro

    This is such a unique theme for a wedding and the pictures are absolutely breathtaking. I can definitely see myself having an “out the box” wedding theme in the future.

  • Kita Bryant

    Love this themed wedding. I think it’s so cute how everything came together down to the decor pieces of suitcases.

  • Keish

    Wow! This is FABULOUS! Lord only knows if marriage is in my future, but this would be a theme I would borrow 😉 her efforts and time were not in vain!

  • Joanna Teris

    This is awesome! I love the idea of a travel theme for the wedding. It was very clever and unique. Crazy that the venue was in a haunted location but still very cool.

  • Nanekia Ansari

    I love the attention to detail! This was an amazing theme and executed with perfection. Congratualtions!

  • Nadalie Bardo

    Oh my goodness the detailing on the cake flower is simply stunning. Gotta love a great themed wedding!

  • Kasi Perkins

    These are some amazing pictures, love the decor. I love the travel theme, my cousin had one at her wedding reception too.

  • Tamill

    This is actually a very good idea. It gives you the feel of destination wedding, but close to home. This is something to consider for when i start planning.

  • Kiwi

    Wow a travel theme wedding is cute. I travel a lot but I think having it as a theme would be cute and they played it off.

  • Jean

    325 guests! Wow that’s a massive wedding. You did an amazing job creating a magical day for all those guests.

  • Fiona Maclean

    I do love the theming of this wedding – and the Cincinnati Music Hall looks charming. I particularly like the map-themed flowers on the cake – such great attention to detail! I am sure the bride and groom will have found this such a memorable day.

  • Anda

    Splitting the wedding ceremony and reception between two cities is quite a common practice among those whose families are big distances apart. I love the idea of a themed wedding. You can offer a lot of fun to your guests by doing it this way.

  • Christopher Rudder

    I wouldn’t call myself a travel blogger if one day I will get married and not do a travel-themed wedding!
    Nice. Love this specially the idea of having 3 closely-related but different color tones for the bridesmaids.
    Wish it was also the same for the groomsmen 🙂

  • Indrani

    Marriages are like that – guests are interested in good food music and fun. But nothing to regret about, the memories created with personal touch is always precious. Loved the map themed flowers and the color theme based on travel.

  • Monique Ruffin

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS THEME. It’s so cool and unique. My wedding cost around $10K we we’re DYIers lol. Paid for most of our wedding ourselves. JESUS it was alot, but I would definitely had done this had a been creative back then.

  • Nika

    I love that you got married in the same church as your parents and grandparents. That’s so beautiful

  • Melody Pittman

    Wow! I love it! Never thought about a travel themed wedding but this is really clever. The map flowers on the cake were a nice added touch and the little suitcase. Adorable.

  • Elaine Masters

    I so admire her creativity but OMG what a lot of work. Glad she was able to enjoy everything in the end. It is certainly one of the more unique themes that I’ve seen.

  • Tiffany Heard

    I love to travel so this theme sounds like something I would do! So cool to have been married in the same place as her grandparents.

  • Brittany

    i loved all of the details that brought this theme wedding together. I’ve never heard of a couple having a two state wedding in this way, but it worked out.

  • Claire

    I love this idea! For someone so obsessed with travel if I ever did get married it would have to be a travel theme. I love the decor, those map flowers on the cake are so cute! And what a great idea for the honeymoon too, Africa is my dream destination!

  • sherianne

    This is a great idea! I absolutely love the directional signpost, luggage and globe. Plus all the details… the where in the world are you sitting with luggage tags as a seating chart and card box from a piece of luggage. And map paper flowers on the cake, it’s all perfect!

  • Ami Bhat

    What a beautiful way to celebrate in your own town. And that too with your favorite theme. Loved the Quirky aspects to the wedding, like the way the table settings were done. The cake too… Lovely…!!

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