Local Wedding: Jamie & John

A rundown historic church becomes the perfect backdrop for two local artists’ creative wedding celebration.
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May 14, 2016

Photograph by Best Day Ever

Photograph by Best Day Ever

Long before Jamie Muenzer and John Auer got engaged, Jamie knew she’d found the perfect wedding venue: the historic Church of the Assumption, now an art studio, in Walnut Hills, which she discovered during her artist residency at Core Clay.

Photograph by Best Day Ever


“I would joke [to John] that it would be such a cool ceremony space, because it was kind of decrepit, but beautiful and full of character,” Jamie says.

Photograph by Best Day Ever

When the couple—both fine arts majors who met in a sculpture class at DAAP (“Jamie needed a lot of help with her project,” John says. “I kept finding myself coming up with excuses to stay after class and work with her.”)—did get engaged, they immediately started planning how they’d transform the interior of the old church with their artistic vision.

Photograph by Best Day Ever

Photograph by Best Day Ever

“It was completely DIY,” Jamie says. “I’m mainly an installation artist so I thought of it as kind of a big art show. I used Plexiglass to make all the signs, the seating chart, and the table toppers.”

Photograph by Best Day Ever

Photograph by Best Day Ever

“I also made the backdrop we got married in front of, using butcher paper,” she adds. “And John [who is a carpenter] made the wooden beams they hung between. There was a lot of love that went into it.”

Photograph by Best Day Ever

Photograph by Best Day Ever


When the big day came, Jamie and John say the DIY touches—beyond just decor—made everything that much more special.

“Jamie’s brother is a writer, and he took a lot of time writing a speech that was really, really good,” John says. “It meant a lot to other people that we were getting married and spending our lives together, and that meant a lot to us.”

Photograph by Best Day Ever

Photograph by Best Day Ever

“We wrote our own vows,” Jamie says. “And as I was walking down the aisle, my cousin and my uncle played electric guitar to Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Dancing in the Dark.’ It felt more like a party than a big formal wedding.”

Their advice for couples planning their own weddings? “Go with your gut,” Jamie says. “We definitely had a vision from the beginning of how we wanted the day to be—we wanted it to feel like us, kind of kooky and creative. When people were talking to us about it afterward, they said, It just felt like you guys.” And that’s the point.

Photograph by Best Day Ever


Ceremony: Former Church of the Assumption, Gilbert Avenue | Photography: Best Day Ever | Reception: Woodward Theater | Bouquets: Farm Girl Fresh, San Francisco | Centerpieces: The bride and mother of the bride | Cake: Bonomini Bakery, Northside | Donuts: Holtman’s Donuts | Gown: BHLDN, Chicago | Invitations: Karen Boyhen | Alterations: Kim Dao Alterations | Bride’s Hair & Makeup: Holly Gericke, Hair by Holly | Food: Catch-a-Fire Pizza | Band: Prestige Grease | DJ: DJ Mowgli

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