[toggle title=”KELSEY CLAYTON + BENJAMIN TEUFEL” state=”closed”]
by Rachel Jones | Photographs from Photos by Nick

WHIRL Weddings: January 2013

Bridesmaid Amy Naccarato gave Kelsey a blue Swarovski crystal “I do” appliqué, which the bride placed on the bottom of her yellow satin heels.

WHIRL Weddings: January 2013

Maid of honor Lucy Colavincenzo made this lemon cake with raspberry filling and cream cheese frosting. Lemon leaves, lemon macarons, and yellow blown-sugar birds topped each of the separated tiers.

Although they shared an instant connection during freshman orientation at the University of Richmond, Kelsey Clayton and Benjamin Teufel kept their feelings a secret. It wasn’t until their senior year that the friends finally confessed their crushes on each other! After six years of dating, Benjamin casually proposed to Kelsey on a Sunday afternoon. “We were talking about something, and he said, ‘Well, we can’t do that until we’re married,’” Kelsey explains. “I just said, ‘Yeah, that’s true,’ not realizing where he was going, and then he said, ‘Let’s change that.’” That’s when Benjamin took out an engagement ring, which belonged to his late mother, and officially popped the question. The couple said personalized vows at the Heinz History Center Library and held the reception in the Great Hall downstairs. Even though Kelsey is an event planner at Hello Productions, she enlisted the help of her co-worker, Ashley Moss, to orchestrate the yellow, navy, and green-themed wedding. “I have great attention to detail, but I still needed help that day,” Kelsey says. Birds played a prominent role in the details: Kelsey’s father drew birds and a tree for the invitations, and Kelsey wore yellow feathers in her birdcage veil.

WHIRL Weddings: January 2013

Kelsey and Benjamin made Limoncello to pass out as favors to their 150 guests.

WHIRL Weddings: January 2013

Instead of using only flowers in the bouquets and centerpieces, Blooms Florist added in juniper berries and herbs.

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[toggle title=”MAUREEN BIELTZ + BRAD SLEZAK” state=”closed”]
Photographs from Mark May Photography

WHIRL Weddings: January 2013

As a throwback to their high school beginnings, the couple danced to the “Full House” classic, “Forever,” by Jesse and The Rippers.

WHIRL Weddings: January 2013

Maureen, her mother, and her sister made all of the bouquets and centerpieces themselves. Huge money saver!

Maureen Bieltz and Brad Slezak graduated from Baldwin High School with crushes on each other, but nothing more. That’s when fate stepped in. Four years after high school, the grads bumped into each other while Maureen was walking to work at Children’s Hospital and Brad was going to class at the University of Pittsburgh. The couple rekindled the spark and dated for two and a half years. A few years later, they were too busy to celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14, instead celebrating two weeks later with dinner reservations at Eleven and by booking a room at the Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel. “He said,‘Your present was too big to carry in, so I checked in early. It’s already in the room,’” Maureen says. When she walked into the room, Maureen saw roses, champagne, and chocolate letters from Sarris Candies that spelled out “Marry Me.” (One of their first dates was at Sarris!) The sweethearts married at St. Albert the Great Parish. A colorful reception at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden’s Special Events Hall followed. The couple incorporated their own pops of color by pairing chocolate brown with purple and lime accents.

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[toggle title=”KERRI BALLINA + RICK BAUER” state=”closed”]

Photographs from Limelight Images

WHIRL Weddings: January 2013

“Seeing him for the first time with this big grin and knowing he was going to be my forever,” Kerri says, trailing off, “I would do that day over and over again.”

Kerri Ballina went in for a job interview and left with the love of her life — Rick Bauer, who sat in on Kerri’s interview. “After I left I was like, ‘Who is this guy? He’s really cute!’” Kerri says. When she tried to send a follow-up email — to be professional and to get a chance to talk to Rick again — Kerri could not find his contact information. She ended up not accepting the job and thought she would never see Rick again. But Kerri and Rick turned out to have a mutual friend who helped the pair get together. After 10 months of dating, Rick proposed during a hot air balloon ride over Napa Valley. The couple wed at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Oakland. Eight bridesmaids in yellow dresses and seven groomsmen in black tuxes accompanied the couple at the altar. An honorary groomsman spot was left open for one of Rick’s cousins who passed away.

These weddings are featured in the January 2013 issue of WHIRL Magazine.
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