Photos by Lauren Miller of Glitter and Grace Photography
After working together—and becoming close friends—at Sluggers and Putters for three summers, Skyler and Caitlin finally started dating in 2014. Something just clicked all of a sudden when Skyler went away for a trip to the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Tennessee with a group of his friends from college. Skyler texted and called Caitlin while he was away to tell her how exciting the festival was and how she should join in the fun next year.
It was then that Caitlin realized that she was falling for him. It took being away from each other for her to realize what he meant to her. Upon his return from Tennessee, the two started dating. From then, they dated long-distance for two years while in college. They split their time between Columbus and Canton. They took camping trips on long weekends, attended weddings all over Ohio, ran races, traveled to music festivals, went to countless sporting events, got to know each other’s closest friends, celebrated holidays, and at the end of it all, Caitlin said they felt like long-distance experts.
When Caitlin returned home to Canton in the spring of 2016 after graduating from Ohio State University, she was hoping Skyler was waiting eagerly to propose. She’d have to wait a few months for that.
On October 9, 2016, Skyler and Caitlin went for a hike they’ll never forget. Earlier in their relationship, they hiked a trail at Conkle’s Hollow and took a commemorative photo overlooking the fall foliage. They both loved that photo—and the view—so Skyler brought her back to the same spot to take another photo. Only this time, he set up a camera to capture a photo as he proposed to her. With tears of excitement, she said, “Yes!”
Fast-forward to May 6, 2017—Skyler and Caitlin’s big day. With her two maids of honor, Caitlin left her parents’ house early in the morning to arrive at The Onesto and meet the other bridesmaids. They got ready in the bridal suite, toasted mimosas and exchanged gifts. They did their hair and makeup as Seifert’s Flower Mill delivered all of the flowers, set up the centerpieces in the ballroom and delivered the bouquets to the suite. Caitlin’s family set up homemade Italian desserts, put up last-minute decor, and placed their favors, made by their friends at Just Imagine Gift Gallery, on all of the tables.
Down the road, Skyler got ready with his groomsmen at the McKinley Grand Hotel. Once the guys were ready, their photographer headed toward the church and took photos of them in the Classic Car Museum, at the National First Ladies’ Library and on the streets of downtown Canton.
Then it was off to Christ the Servant for the ceremony. Skyler and Caitlin choose not to do a first look, as they wanted the first moment they saw each other to be when she was coming down the aisle. At the very first wedding they attended together, Skyler said, “When everyone else is looking at the bride coming down the aisle, watch the groom. Look at his face. You want to catch that look the first time he sees her.” To this day, a year later, Caitlin still tears up when she pictures his face at the end of the aisle. “That face, teary-eyed and big smiling, was the face that made every other worry, fear or piece of anxiety that had built up (although there wasn’t much) completely fade away. I looked down that aisle, and saw my soon-to-be husband. I saw the man that would be a father to our children and the one I would grow old with. That was by far my favorite moment from our day,” Caitlin said.
After a beautiful Catholic Mass filled with tradition and family, they were sent off by all of their family and friends to take photos before heading to The Onesto for the reception. After taking lots of photos at the McKinley Monument, Stadium Park and even at their house in Ridgewood, they made their way to The Onesto.
Walking into their reception to the cheers and applause of their family and friends was another moment Caitlin says she’ll never forget.
The band they hired, The Chozen Few, was phenomenal. The dance floor was never empty the whole evening. And when that final song came to a close, not wanting the party to end just yet, the couple headed next door to Conestoga for a couple more drinks with friends. They filled the bar.
As they walked back to The Onesto hand-in-hand as husband and wife, Caitlin said she had no idea she would ever get so lucky in this life as to have the most magical dream wedding and marry her soulmate.
The couple mentioned that they’re incredibly thankful to their wonderful parents, David and Joanne Decker and Tim and Rhonda McCully, for giving them the wedding of their dreams. They are eternally grateful for two outstanding examples of love.
A year in, and the couple is most excited to live a life full of adventure. When asked what advice they’d give other couples, Caitlin said to communicate with your partner, laugh every day and marry your best friend. “Really, truly find the strongest, happiest friendship in the person you fall in love with.”