A vintage wedding filled with family treasures, musical surprises, and bliss.
Photographed by Liv Hefner Photography
Sometimes when a relationship is meant to be, it is meant to be. Whitney Cumberledge and Kevin Archer met their sophomore year at Wirt County High School in Elizabeth. Although they knew each other, and some of their friends dated, there was never any romantic interest between them. When they graduated from high school, they went their separate ways. But during Christmas break 2009, while Whitney was home from college, they met at a social gathering and reconnected. “Neither one of us were looking for relationships. Unfortunately, and fortunately, it was completely out of our control,” says Whitney. Come January when Whitney had to go back to West Virginia University, they decided to make things official.
After dating for almost five years, and living together for three, marriage was something that they had discussed on several occasions but not something Whitney was expecting any time soon. On October 2014, however, Kevin decided that it was time for them to take the next step in their relationship. He asked Whitney’s father, Criss Cumberledge, for his daughter’s hand in marriage. It was a sign of respect to her and her family. Once Criss approved, on an autumn evening, Kevin took Whitney to one of his favorite places, a scenic vista overlooking Marietta, Ohio, and Parkersburg. There he got down on one knee and asked for her hand. It was a special and intimate moment for them and Whitney could not have been happier.
Adding the Personal Touch
Excited for their engagement, Whitney and her mother, Kathy Cumberledge, began working on ideas for the wedding. By January, Whitney hired Misti Sims from Little Black Dress to be their wedding planner. “I always wanted a wedding planner. I would not trade and would give every penny again to have Misti as my wedding planner,” says Whitney. By February, they booked The Blennerhassett Hotel as their venue. The historic hotel went along perfectly with their vintage theme and complemented what they envisioned for their wedding. For the next year, Whitney and her mother shopped at vintage stores to buy the decorations. Because Whitney wanted her wedding to have a personal feel to it, all the decorations at her wedding were either a family item or purchased second hand items from vintage stores. Each table would have a vanity mirror with old items such as books, quills, radios, old clocks, and so forth. But it was not just the decorations that added the personal touch. On her wedding day, Whitney would wear her mother’s trumpet-style gown with long lace sleeves, altered by The Dressmaker’s Closet in Charleston, and her great great grandmother’s pearls. And on the day of her wedding, Whitney’s mother gave her the ring that belonged to her grandmother who passed away. The wedding was full of familiar, cherished treasures that made their day an unforgettable one.
The Perfect Day
The big day arrived and Whitney and Kevin did not feel any wedding jitters. After being together for seven years, they were not nervous, instead they were happy and ready to exchange their vows. During the day, they never experienced any stress thanks to Misti and her team. Everyone had a timeline and everyone knew the plan. Whitney says her day started off really fun. Misti and her team brought food for her and her bridesmaids and they ate, drank, were merry, and for Whitney, nothing could beat that. Her hair was done by Carrie Creamer and her makeup was done by Meredith from Makeup by Meredith at Parkersburg. They came to the hotel and everything went smoothly as they got her ready for her wedding.
When it was time to walk down the aisle, Whitney was getting nervous knowing that once the doors opened, everyone would be staring at her. She thought to herself, “Smile. Look pretty. Don’t fall.” But the moment could not have been any more perfect. Instead of Wagner’s traditional “Wedding March,” her grandmother played the piano and played “Clair de Lune” for the bridesmaids and groomsmen’s processions, and “Cannon in D” for Whitney’s walk down the aisle. As her grandmother played the crescendo, the doors opened and Whitney’s eyes met Kevin’s and all her nerves and everyone else disappeared. “It was like a tunnel vision. Everyone else didn’t matter. It was this pristine moment when you are blocked by the music and the overwhelming emotion that you are feeling. I started walking down the aisle and the only thing I was looking at was Kevin at the end,” Whitney says.
After a beautiful ceremony, they had a delicious dinner, and a fun reception. The Grand Ballroom was decorated exactly as Whitney pictured it. “The Greenhouse at St. Marys came early in the morning and they knew I wanted everything placed, not arranged. They customized it using their own creative flair,” says Whitney. “They knew what I wanted. Peonies, vines, succulents, old roses, there were a lot of dimensions and everything looked phenomenal.” For their first dance, Whitney and Kevin surprised all their friends and family with their debut waltz, dancing to “Their Hearts are Dancing” by John and Audrey Wiggins. And by the end of the night, it was a special moment for Whitney and Kevin as their friends and family encircled them and joined them to sing “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”
In the end, Whitney and Kevin can only describe their wedding day as a perfect one. Everything went smoothly, their day was filled with friends and family, eating, drinking, and fun. “It was a very perfect, relaxing, and joyous day,” Whitney says.
Bride’s Gown: Bride’s mother’s, altered by The Dressmaker’s Closet, Charleston
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Elizabeth Michaels, Parkersburg
Hair: Carrie Creamer, Vienna
Makeup: Makeup by Meredith, Parkersburg
Groom’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse, Parkersburg
Planner: Misti Sims, Little Black Dress, Parkersburg
Flowers: The Greenhouse, St. Marys
Cake: Lisa’s Sweet Stop, Beverly, OH
Entertainment: Premier Productions, Parkersburg
Location: The Blennerhassett Hotel, Parkersburg