New York’s LaGuardia airport is far from the most romantic place on earth—but that’s exactly where Elizabeth McKnight Tuke first met Robert “Bobby” Dale Dake, the man she would go on to marry just a few years later.
It was over the holidays and both of them were sitting at gate C32 waiting to board a flight home to Cincinnati. Elizabeth, the founder and CEO of a lifestyle public relations boutique, and Bobby, a VP at Brixmor Property Group, immediately hit it off, but it took Bobby almost a year to finally reach out to her again and ask her out. For their first date, they decided to meet in the middle of Union Square (she worked close by) and both of them fell fast with three back-to-back dates in one week!
On March 4, 2016, Bobby asked Elizabeth to join him for a special drink at Union Square before he headed out for a work trip. After dropping many hints that she should expect a big, romantic surprise that night, Bobby threw her off the scent by saying his big plan of the evening was to go see the impossible-to-get-tickets-for Broadway show, Hamilton. Just as they were about to hail a cab, Bobby dropped to one knee in the exact location of their first date and proposed with a ring inspired by a vintage Harry Winston art deco design. A close friend, Coveteur’s co-founder Jake Rosenberg, hid behind a car the whole time and captured the moment on camera. The couple later went for an intimate dinner at the Waverly Inn, before being feted with cocktails by a few friends at The Beatrice Inn nearby.
When deciding where to tie the knot, they both agreed that their hometown of Cincinnati was the only place that felt right. “When Bobby and I got engaged, there was no question that we both wanted to showcase our beloved city to our out-of-town friends,” explains Elizabeth. They settled on the Camargo Club, an original hunting club that also has one of the world’s most reputable golf courses. “The small, tucked-away clapboard clubhouse is always adorned with beautiful flowers and foliage,” she adds. They decided to keep the club’s classic, old world charm, but personalized the decor by adding English-garden inspired details, like potted geraniums, berries, and fauna, to the grounds and even the paper. “My mother, Missy Norton of Painterly Design, created a custom Save the Date that featured garlands, florals, fruits, and birds. She also did the wedding program and dinner menus to reflect that aesthetic.”
For the dress, the bride worked with evening designer Elizabeth Kennedy to create a custom couture wedding gown. “I sent her so many inspiration photos; everything from an image of Scarlett O’Hara to old Chanel runway looks,” she said. “I wanted a classic silhouette with sleeves and a fairly high neckline, but with an editorial, fashion-forward twist.” Kennedy ended up designing a bodice made out of French lace with an organza train that featured scattered appliqué silk flowers all over. Accessories and makeup were kept simple and elegant. Elizabeth chose a pair of white silk pumps and vintage diamond earrings and turned to images of model Caroline Murphy for inspiration for her beauty look. In line with the minimalist styling approach, the bridesmaids wore custom champagne silk faille gowns paired with pearl or blush LeLe Sadoughi’s crystal earrings.
The ceremony took place in Indian Hill Church, the Episcopalian church the bride grew up attending. “This was my favorite part of the wedding and set the tone for the rest of the evening,” Elizabeth shared. The bride arrived to the chapel in a 1960 Jaguar MK IX borrowed from a family friend. During the ceremony, four vocalists from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music sang “This Is the Day Which the Lord Hath Made” by John Rutter. The giddy couple later exchanged wedding bands (a gift from the bride’s mother) and were then officially declared husband and wife.
Guests proceeded to have cocktails on the stone terrace that overlooked the Camargo Club’s 9th Green. “It could not have been a more beautiful evening with the lighting and mild weather,” remembers Elizabeth. A candlelit walkway then led guests down to the tents, which were decorated with greens and flowers and featured a black and white checkered dance floor.
The dinner menu consisted of all local ingredients—Cornish game hen and organic root vegetables—but the real treat was dessert: a “Hummer,” which is an alcoholic dessert drink that’s typically served at Elizabeth’s father’s club in Florida. “Hummers were served to guests as they headed out to the golf course to watch the surprise fireworks display,” says Elizabeth.
By far the most emotional part of the evening came during the speeches though. First, the bride’s father shared the story of when Bobby first asked him for his daughter’s hand in marriage over a round of golf. Later, Bobby took the microphone and toasted his father, Roger Dake, who was diagnosed with an illness over a year ago. He commended him for his strength and perseverance in fighting the disease. “This received a standing ovation from all 280 guests,” Elizabeth shares. “He then ended with a toast to me and our magical, serendipitous way of finding each other with a quote from one of my favorite authors, Roald Dahl: ‘And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.’ ”