Summertime Love — Ella + Phil


Ella & Phil’s Wedding Vendors

Wedding planning is all in the details, and here they are:

PREMIER HEARTLAND WEDDING IDEAS VENDORS: Photography, Kirstie Veatch Photography 

Reception Venue, Ushers Ferry Historic Lodge | Florist, E's Floral | Stationery/Invitation Design, Shutterfly | Catering, Dostal's Catering | Cake and Dessert, Emily Grace | Hair & Makeup, Nadias Salon | Wedding Gown & Bridesmaids Dresses, Brides & Weddings | Groom and Groomsmen Attire, Holley's | Rentals, Spielman's Event Services | DJ, Chris Happ


See all the vendors we LUST for, that can help you with your big day!


From long time acquaintances to finally breaking the ice.

Ella knew Phil from a distance, being friends with his younger sisters. She always saw him as that “cool guy” that probably wouldn’t want to hang around with one of his sister’s crazy friends. As years past, and Phil’s sister Erica got engaged, Ella was asked to go celebrate with their family. After a couple beers and conversation, the ice was official broken between Ella and Phil. The night was over and Phil could not stop thinking and talking about Ella. He made a bet with his sisters that he could get Ella to say “yes” to go on a date with him. With the bet in place he was on his way. Phil had his mind set to ask Ella on a date and when it came down to it, he lost. “But if you ask him about it, he will say it was the best bet he ever lost,” said bride Ella. Phil may have lost the bet, but it wasn’t long after that Ella agree to a date, and so began their adventure.

A surprise visit ends in the proposal.

Their relationship had to be a long-distance one and contained thousands of hours of FaceTime and countless road trips back and forth from Altoona to Chicago. Phil made one of the countless trips to see Ella perform The Music Man one Friday night. And on Saturday, he decided to go back with Ella’s family to surprise her at her second performance. After the show, Phil helped Ella clean the stage and set from the show. With a late night, they got back to the apartment and Ella noticed a dozen red roses and wine sitting on the coffee table. Phil mentioned he had one more surprise, as he grabbed the ring off the table and got down on one knee. And of course she said YES!

With the ring on her hand, the wedding planning began. Ella did not have a concrete theme for her wedding. She knew she wanted a July wedding and was inspired by summer berry tones, greenery, and gold accents. There was perfect blend of elegance and fun that worked into her flowers. Elissa at E’s Florals in Solon put together whimsical and colorful arrangements that turned their venue into a summer garden.

Making decisions for the big day.

Finding a reception venue was “the most challenging part,” said bride Ella. She knew she wanted to get married in her home church, so that part was easy. She needed a reception hall that could hold and seat 300 people. Then Ella came across Usher’s Ferry Historic Lodge and it checked all her boxes. “I loved the open concept and it was very comfortably sat our 215 guest.”

Because both Ella’s and Phil’s family grew up with each other, it was important to have all of them a part of their big day. Their families helped them with the preparations for their wedding, reception, and thank you gifts. Ella’s little sister also drew a picture of Phil and her so the guest could see it as they entered the venue. Spending these moments with their families meant so much and both Ella and Phil, it truly added to the love of their special day.