Photograph by Stephanie Buechler, © My Tiny Wedding 2016
For some couples, a hometown wedding packed with pomp and circumstance is the stuff of dreams. For others, a more intimate affair will do. Such was the case for Kennedy Heights–based couple Wesleigh Todd and Daniel Paszterko, who followed history—and their hearts—to Kentucky’s Red River Gorge for their October 13 wedding.
The couple met in 2013 during a night out with their respective friends in Over-the-Rhine. Just two days later, they shared their first date, a hike in Ault Park. “We hiked a bit through the woods, then sat down on a bench to take in the view and chat,” Wesleigh says. “Little did I know that spot would be where Daniel would ask me to marry him a few years later.”
The couple got to work planning their wedding. The decision to keep it small was a simple one. “Daniel and I are very low-key and don’t like to make a big fuss about things,” Wesleigh says. In addition to keeping their celebration small, the couple wanted to incorporate the outdoors. “We’re big nature lovers and we seek adventure, so we knew it had to be an outdoor wedding with some sort of unconventional twist,” Wesleigh says.
The search for a wedding locale that fit that description proved to be frustrating. “While we were looking for a unique spot to get married in, we realized very quickly that flights, along with finding an adventurous, talented photographer and officiant was extremely challenging and expensive,” Wesleigh says. It was during a chance conversation that a light bulb went off for Wesleigh, a yoga instructor and hair stylist. “Some clients of mine mentioned the company My Tiny Wedding, and it dawned on us what an amazing idea that was,” she says of getting married in Red River Gorge, Kentucky, where My Tiny Wedding is based. “We’ve spent many years going hiking and camping at Red River Gorge, and we’ve always thought it was one of the most beautiful places in the world,” she says. “And luckily, it’s so close to home.”
The couple contacted My Tiny Wedding, excited by the prospect of the company’s package offerings. “The whole idea of a package deal, including both the photographer and officiant, was so appealing to us,” Wesleigh says. “It made things stress-free, allowing us to fully take in the moments we shared together.”
True to their cool, casual style, Wesleigh and Daniel, who works in business development at Medpace and is in the National Guard, chose to have their ceremony at Sky Bridge, a spot that holds sentimental value for the pair. “We have hiked at Sky Bridge multiple times and we felt like it’s such a magical place, which is why we chose that location for our ceremony,” Wesleigh says. In a decidedly nontraditional twist, but one befitting the couple’s personalities, they laced up their hiking boots and made the trek—wedding finery and all—to their ceremony site, where they swapped their boots for more refined footwear. “The hike gave us the perfect time to calm our nerves beforehand,” Wesleigh says. The pair exchanged vows in the company of just four friends (“plus a little baby girl,” Wesleigh says) and with a setting sun, a pink sky, dramatic rock formations, and fall foliage as their backdrop. “We felt so secluded and at peace. It was beyond perfect,” she says. To boot, “Hiking back gave us the time we needed to reflect and to take in the beauty of our location.”
The couple’s experience with My Tiny Weddings “exceeded our expectations,” Wesleigh says. “Our photographer, Stephanie, was incredible. Her pictures are works of art. She, along with our officiant, helped us to feel at ease on our big day.”
My Tiny Wedding, mytinywedding.com