Family Ties Give This Couple’s Wedding Day Extra Meaning

For Mara Leyendecker and Cody Ernst, the importance of family showed through in small details.

Photograph by Bambino International

Mara Leyendeker and Cody Ernst met while they were students at UC, in their microbiology lab course. The two became lab partners, then friends, and then Cody asked Mara out on a date. She made him wait until the end of the semester, but as Mara remembers, it was “the most romantic first date she had ever been on—and the rest is history.”

Photograph by Bambino International

When it came time to plan their April 23, 2021 wedding, the couple decided to have a masquerade-themed wedding following a trip to New York City where they saw Phantom of the Opera. Mara fell in love with the show, and since the two are medical professionals (she is a doctor and he is a nurse practitioner), the theme seemed appropriate for COVID times.

In addition to using her parents’ cake topper and wearing her mother-in-law’s wedding tiara, the church—St. Martin of Tours—also held special meaning. Maura’s grandmother became a nun later in life, after her husband passed away and her children left home. Her funeral was held at the same church. As Mara says, “Family is very important to the both of us.”

Photograph by Bambino International

PHOTOGRAPHY: Bambino International | CEREMONY: St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church | RECEPTION: Bell Event Centre | FLOWERS: Forever Floral and Rustic Sweethearts | CAKE: Spoon Fulla Sugar | GOWN: Eve of Milady, from Bridal and Formal | RENTALS: Bell Event Centre | BRIDE’S HAIR & MAKEUP: Reign Beauty Studio| RECEPTION MUSIC: CSC Special Events | CATERING: Bell Event Centre | VIDEOGRAPHY: New Horizons Films | TRANSPORTATION: A Savannah Nite

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