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  • Maggie O'Heran

Leah & Justin

Switchyard Park Pavilion | Bloomington, Indiana

floral arrangements and bride and groom at switchyard park pavilion

Most planners have been at it since the end of March, catching up from last year and moving forward to our new "normal" annnnddd then there's me. Kicking off the year at the end of May. But it was a beautiful kickoff at Switchyard Park's Pavilion here in Bloomington, Indiana!

wedding welcome table at switchyard park pavilion

But hey, that's a-okay because it wasn't too long ago that all I could do was sit in bed. Some know, some don't, but I had a major knee reconstruction less than 12 weeks ago. Think knee replacement with my own parts + 2 (huge) screws and about 5 other things thrown in to make it work. But, that's a story for a different day. Time between surgery and Justin & Leah's big day? 100 days exactly. Time spent in bed prior to their big day? 6 months, 17 days. Which was time well spent because I could take all my excess energy and pour it into making 5/29/21 for Justin & Leah.

I will admit, I would have been pretty hurt if they had someone else help them on their big day. Not that I am competitive, there's plenty of couples out there for all of us planners, but I've known Justin for well over a decade now. Spending some formative years in the same circle and, surprisingly, not going to jail from some of the shenanigans we've had in the group (I was a good kid, I promise 😂).

When Leah reached out for help back before the knee saga began, I was ecstatic. I am also so thankful, because they stuck with me knowing full well I was starting the journey to fixing my knee. You see, it was two stages of surgery. The first in Nov 2020, an easy peasy scope, and the 2nd for sometime way later this year, like next fall. So doc and I agreed it'd work out just fine and I could get through this wedding season before rehabbing my knee again. But, life doesn't always go as planned and the easy peasy scope turned into the 6 months in bed, not being able to bend my knee/walk well or for very long/being completely disabled. By the grace of God, they stuck with me and the doc moved the stars and moon to get me fixed up in time for their big day. And what a big day it was!

AND now that's all out in the open, let's talk about that big day!

It was surprisingly COLD for Memorial Day weekend and the day dawned a lovely shade of grey. But you know what they say about Indiana weather, wait 5 mins and it'll change. Eventually, it did warm up a bit and the sun made an appearance, but it was no match for the light Leah & Justin radiated. Their love and the love for them from their guests warmed Switchyard Park Pavilion and made the sun shine brighter (wait, when did this turn so sappy?!). Jenn Williams (Hamm) with EyeMuse Photography captured it perfectly. Could they be any more photogenic??!! AND Jenn found the perfect spots in the park for them to take photos. Which just tickles me pink since as a couple, and individually, they love being outdoors.

Their love for the outdoors came through in their centerpieces too. From the beginning, Leah knew she wanted to use Sola Wood flowers, which while new to me, was something I could totally get behind. We found the perfect ones, but where stuck on greenery after some mock ups showed us what we didn't want to see. When Leah originally brought up the idea of cut greenery from their homestead, I baulked if I am being honest. Wildflowers & greenery don't usually last that long once cut, but she did her due diligence and found greenery that lasted. And well, I am up for anything if I can make it work, so we made a plan and work it did. Just check these out!

Did you notice the favors too?! Leah propagated and put together those just for the guests. Aren't they just adorable??

While we carried the Sola flowers through to the bouquets and boutonnières, we added in faux succulents instead of the greenery to pull in the favors and Leah's love for green.

And their adorable daughter threw dried flowers provided by Leah's sweet momma. Their son was our ring security with the cutest little suitcase crafted by Leah. Aren't they just the most photogenic family?!

Which takes us to their beautiful ceremony lovingly officiated by Justin's dad.

After the ceremony, guests enjoyed a cocktail hour and Michelle Bantle with Pour to Perfection knocked it out of the park assisting the guests and I, while Jenn snagged some more awesome shots.

Cocktails led to dinner, provided by the wonderful Pili's Party Tacos, which made way for these adorable shots too!

Dinner led to wonderful celebration shots of dried flower confetti (crafted by her momma again) showering Leah & Justin and giving the guests a good belly laugh.

The celebration continued with wonderful cupcakes & cake provided by The Mix. I am still in awe of how they utilized the decor items I provided and made a BEAUTIFUL dessert display for all to enjoy. I geek out on cake anyways, let alone a display this gorgeous!

Dessert led to dancing the night away with the best soundtrack, provided collaboration between Justin, Leah, and Clayton Hicks, independent DJ. I totally failed to mention the guys walked down the aisle to Gangsta's Paradise, the instrumental version. It was and so fitting for the group.

As you can see, Leah & Justin had just as much fun as I did on their big day. Hopefully more, because what's the point if their smiles aren't bigger than mine?

Join me in congratulating to the new Mr. & Mrs. Ball and in cheers to the continuation of your journey together!




While planning, design, decor, and florals were all me, I couldn't have done it without the following vendors, thank you, thank you, thank you!

Clayton Hicks


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