This Local Couple Married on Friday the 13th

Brett Anderson and Marki Travelstead decided they liked the number 13 so much that it became the theme of their nuptials.

Photograph by Jonathan Gibson Photography

When Brett Anderson and Marki Travelstead got engaged, they did what most newly engaged couples do next: pick a wedding date. Then they did what most couples don’t: choose Friday the 13th—then decided they liked the number 13 so much that it became the theme of their nuptials. By happy accident, even their guest list fell into line.

“We both knew we always wanted a really small wedding,” Marki says. “We didn’t have a bridal party or anything—it just kind of awkwardly worked out that there were 13 people we really wanted to invite.”

Finding a venue that wouldn’t overwhelm their intimate gathering was key. For the ceremony (Oct. 13, 2017), the Cincinnati Observatory proved the perfect fit, and its beautiful interior required minimal decorating, save for some beautiful flower displays from Marki’s favorite local florist. “I love historic buildings and I love architecture, and I just thought that was the coolest building, and it also fit us,” Marki says.

Lucky 13: The numeral 13 was the theme of this intimate wedding, with only 13 guests at the historic Cincinnati Observatory, a steak dinner at The Precinct, and stunning floral displays by Robin Wood Flowers.

Photograph by Jonathan Gibson Photography

Invites were stamped with a wedding logo Marki designed—the number 13 in Roman numeral form—and the pair also got couples’ “XIII” tattoos; hers along the inside of her ring finger, and his with one numeral on the base of each finger.

The reception was held at Jeff Ruby’s The Precinct, in the Ruby Room. Guests chose their own entrées and what kind of cake they wanted. Both Brett and Marki agree dinner was probably their favorite part of the day. “It was amazing, probably the best steak I’ve ever had,” Brett laughs.

In planning their big day, they stressed that their commitment to each other was already cemented, and their wedding was merely a day to honor that. The couple, who both grew up in Marion, Illinois, went to the same high school, though they didn’t become close until after graduation. Years later, after they’d been dating a few years, they moved to Cincinnati so Marki could pursue her master’s degree in health services administration at Xavier University. “We had been living together for years, so it really didn’t feel like [by getting married] we were establishing anything new,” Marki says. “It was important to us that it wasn’t like this fairytale happily-ever-after. From the beginning I knew our day needed to be a celebration of our commitment, not the beginning of it. I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Click through our gallery more to see more images from Marki and Brett’s wedding:


Venue: Cincinnati Observatory | Flowers: Robin Wood Flowers | Reception/Dinner: Jeff Ruby’s/The Ruby Room at The Precinct | Invites/Save-the-Dates: Designed on Canva; printed via Wedding Paper Divas | Custom Logo Stamp: Etsy | Officiant: Kathryn Siefert | Gown: Pronovias Atelier, Lace Bridal Couture | Alterations: A Fit of Perfect Alterations | Earrings: Renee Pawele | Bride’s Hair: Benefit Salon & Spa | Groom’s Suit: Calvin Klein, Men’s Wearhouse | Rings: Welling & Co. Jewelers | Matching Tattoos: White Whale Tattoo

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