Our Favorite Things: Emily Craig and Danny Kester

Comfort food, quirky decor, and an epic dance party made this Memorial Hall wedding a night to remember.
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Emily + Danny

Photograph by Best Day Ever

Emily Craig and Danny Kester had only known each other six months when they got engaged, but that didn’t stop the Norwood couple from throwing the wedding of their dreams just seven months after Danny popped the question.

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Photograph by Best Day Ever

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Photograph by Best Day Ever

The groom in a moment.

Photograph by Best Day Ever

The tight-knit group of 107 gathered for the ceremony.
The tight-knit group of 107 gathered for the ceremony.

Photograph by Best Day Ever

“We started with a list of all the important things we wanted in a wedding,” Danny says. “For us, that was definitely having a close-knit community of people that we know and trust.”

The 107-guest wedding made for a cozy crowd at Memorial Hall. “We wanted it to feel romantic and intimate, but we also wanted there to be pops of quirkiness,” says Emily, an environmental designer and co-owner of Social Design & Events. “We didn’t want it to feel too stiff.”

A gold-adorned tablescape.
A gold-adorned tablescape.

Photograph by Best Day Ever

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Photograph by Best Day Ever

Long tables helped to spur conversation between strangers. String lights and candles gave the illusion of al fresco dining. Gold silverware, gold chiavari chairs, and gold-sequined table runners added warmth to the tablescapes. And the pops of quirkiness? Gold cat figurines for place cards, jumbo balloons filled with confetti, tassels galore, and plenty of polka dots—including the ones on Emily’s J. Crew bridal gown. Rather than choosing monochromatic bridesmaid dresses, Emily let each bridesmaid pick her own dress from a palette of eight colors.

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Photograph by Best Day Ever

Holtman's Donuts for dessert.
Holtman’s Donuts for dessert.

Photograph by Best Day Ever

The food added another layer of personal flavor. “We wanted to serve food that we liked to eat and have beer there that we liked to drink,” says Danny, a bartender at Rhinehaus. Prepared by Cincinnati Cooks Catering, Emily and Danny served their guests chicken and waffles and pulled pork sandwiches, with an assortment of Holtman’s Donuts for dessert. The bar was stocked with their favorite brews from Rhinegeist and MadTree Brewing Company, and guests were given Deeper Roots coffee.

To segue the downstairs dinner party into an upstairs dance party, all the guests were assembled on the raised stage of Memorial Hall’s grand auditorium for a group picture, which was immediately followed by dancing. Guests are still talking about the onstage dance party to this day.

The stairs at historic Memorial Hall.
The stairs at historic Memorial Hall made for a unique picture.

Photograph by Best Day Ever

Vendors
Venue: Memorial Hall Wedding Planner: Social Design & Events Flowers: Marti’s Floral Designs Gown: J. Crew Bride’s Hair/Makeup: Parlour Salon Music: DJ Jona Rentals: All Occasions Event Rentals Catering: Cincinnati Cooks Catering Cake: Social Design & Events, Holtman’s Donuts Invitations/Stationary: Social Design & Events Favors: Deeper Roots Coffee

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