This elegant fantasy wedding at The Wilds in Bloomington, Indiana delivers personal touches without sacrificing elevated style.
Caitlyn and Joe met one another due to their mutual love for video games. For their wedding day with us at The Wilds, it was only right that nods to fantasy adventures and old-world beauty were scattered throughout. We chatted with the bride about some of the elements that brought their vision together for a stunning November wedding.
The Wilds: You two have a pretty unique meet-cute! Can you tell us about your first date and/or the proposal?
Caitlyn: Joe and I met in quite an unconventional way, while playing The Elder Scrolls Online. We gamed together and talked for a few months and then Joe asked if I would hang out in Boston with him while he was on vacation there. That turned into spending a week together with our first in-person meeting being me picking Joe up at the airport.
The proposal was so sweet! Joe took me out to lunch at Sakura for sushi and then we grabbed bubble tea afterward, pretty standard dinner night stuff for us. But at bubble tea, I went to the bathroom and when I came back Joe had the bubble teas in hand and ushered me to the car. In the car, he handed me my tea and the ring was around the straw. He asked me to marry him after I finally stopped giggling. It wasn’t what he had planned, but Covid had thrown all his other plans out of whack. I loved it though!
The Wilds: How did you find us at The Wilds, and how did you know this venue was ‘the one’?
Caitlyn: We found the Wilds through the Knot website while searching for Bloomington wedding venues with a chic, but rustic theme. We ended up choosing it because it claimed turn-key service, had decor included, and most importantly had a fabulous Brown County setting. We knew it was the one when we went for our private tour and saw the great combination of exposed beams and concrete that really encompassed Joe’s country and my city sides in one space.
The Wilds: Let’s talk beauty and fashion for your elegant fantasy wedding! What did you wear, and how did your aesthetic choices integrate your wedding theme?
Caitlyn: I designed my own dress and had it made custom with Lei from House of Breton. I had had an idea in my head for years and while there were some dresses on the market that were similar, I was experiencing a lot of body changes, so buying a dress off the rack and getting it altered in time would have been a nightmare. We chose to do the dress in 3 pieces – one corset top and 2 skirts. The goal was to be able to wear it again, and if I have a daughter who wants to use my dress, there’s options for them to incorporate it. I also didn’t want to struggle with bustling a cathedral train and tripping on anything while I danced. A tea-length skirt for the reception seemed like the perfect compromise, and I can wear it again to a nice dinner or party.
I also chose emerald accented accessories to match my engagement ring. It was hard to find jewelry and accessories that encompassed the image in my head, so I made them myself. I made my own hair chain to tie in the pearl necklace, which was a 16th birthday gift from my parents (something old). I customized it as well with an emerald dangle. Overall I just wanted an ethereal, fantasy feel to everything with a bit of a Viking edge (to compliment our Elder Scrolls background – Skyrim anyone?). It all ended up being thoroughly fitting when it was a moody, stormy day. Even after the rain died down, the blustering winds remained well into the late afternoon and matched the dramatic look perfectly.
The Wilds: What were your biggest priorities for the big day? Were there any non-negotiables or vendors that were on your ‘must-have’ list?
Caitlyn: Our biggest priorities for the wedding were clean spaces, good food, and making it really feel like ‘us’.
We only had one vendor on our must-have list, but that was our photographer Anna Clark once we spoke to her at one of The Wilds’ open houses. I had honestly been thinking of hiring a cheap photographer off Lily & Lime, but we put in for a time slot to talk to Anna to get an idea of what to expect from a wedding photographer and see what else was out there. After our conversation that day, Joe was like ‘Book her, whatever the cost’! He so infrequently got that decisive about things for the wedding, so I knew right then that since I had loved her too, Anna was obviously meant to be our photographer.
The Wilds: Did you incorporate any special history, hobbies, or passions that are special to you or help tell your fantasy wedding story?
Caitlyn: Joe and I wrote our script for our wedding and included a ton of little inside jokes that our friends and family or fellow nerds could understand.
In addition, we got a custom cake topper with our gaming characters from when we met on engraved on it from an Etsy seller. That cake topper made me cry when we got it in the mail, it was so awesome. To add to its awesomeness, it has magnets built in, so we just put it on our fridge when we got home!
We also got a custom neon sign with our last name that we had on the mantle for the wedding and reception, which we put over our bar cart at our house. We really wanted to make sure that anything we did we could reuse later since Covid and inflation made the cost of things higher as the planning went on.
The Wilds: What are you most looking forward to about your married life together? Where do you see yourselves in 50 years?
Caitlyn: We’re both looking forward to the fact that we married our best friend – and having a permanent group mate for gaming. In fifty years, I expect we’ll be snuggling in a two-seat recliner, complaining about aches and pains and how we don’t see the grandkids often enough.
|Bar Service||—||Upland Brewing Co.|
|Wedding Day Caterer||—||One World Catering|
|Cake/Dessert Provider||—||Farmhouse Cakes|
|Officiant||—||Just the Two of Us|
|Photographer||—||Anna Clark Photo|
|Florist||—||For the Beauty Floral|
|Hair and Makeup||—||Hair By Jordin|
|Wedding Dress||—||House of Bretón|
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