Photographed by Michele Coleman Photography

Visions of sugarplums and wedding rings danced in their heads.

Leslie is sure that Ryan had a crush on her when the couple first met at summer camp in 2000, although he denies it. Their first date is another thing. Leslie always wondered what Ryan thought of her on their inaugural outing, but he never would let her know. That’s because he had decided to save expressing those feelings for a fall day in 2014, when Ryan told Leslie that what had crossed his mind was that she was the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. That set the stage for the winter wedding Leslie always wanted, which took place the week before Christmas.

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Leslie decided that the Blennerhassett Hotel possessed the glamor and elegance that she always desired, decorated for the season with Christmas trees and gingerbread houses. Leslie’s ivory trumpet gown by Sottero and Midgley featured beading that glowed in the candlelight. She topped it off with a white fur to keep her warm in the December air, although the snow Leslie hoped for did not fall. Ryan paired his Vera Wang tuxedo with black and white argyle socks. They each wore the gift they had received from each other for the occasion: a diamond bracelet for Leslie and monogrammed cufflinks for Ryan. As for decorations, instead of flowers, the couple used candles and candlelight to provide a romantic feel that would play off of the Christmas tree lighting. In addition to the traditional first dance and mother-son dance, Leslie and her father, Jim, went the extra mile with a choreographed number to Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.”

Guests enjoyed a three-tiered square vanilla bean cake with raspberry filling with vanilla buttercream frosting. They went home with crystal Christmas ornaments as favors. After spending a few days at The Greenbrier, the couple returned to Parkersburg, where she works as a grants manager and he is an environmental health and safety manager.