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Missy Bruggeman and Ethan Nordberg’s Festive Holiday Wedding

By Alexandra Macon | Photography by 

Ben Hartley / Style & Story Creative

Melissa “Missy” Bruggeman and Ethan Nordberg were seated next to each other at a wedding in Rye, New York in the spring of 2014. “We were at the ‘singles’ table and immediately hit it off,” remembers Missy. “We went on our first date the following Saturday.”

The two had been seeing each other for just over a year when Ethan proposed in June of 2015. “We were in Austin for the weekend visiting my brother and sister-in-law, and my parents were there as well,” says Missy. “It was a hot day—at least 90 degrees—and Ethan told me that he had to pick up some documents from a client downtown. I was completely oblivious. When we arrived, he said the clients were running late and suggested we take a walk along the Riverwalk. I was still oblivious. Midway through our walk he got down on one knee and pulled the most beautiful ring out of his pocket. I say ‘Yes!’ To my surprise, he had arranged for my family to meet us for brunch at the Four Seasons afterwards. It was wonderful!”

The couple immediately set a date of December 5, 2015 and decided Missy’s hometown of Columbus, Ohio, was where they wanted to host family and friends on their big day. “Ethan and I both really love Christmas,” explains Missy. “Everyone is always so happy during the month of December so getting married then seemed like the perfect idea.”

Missy’s dress and veil were designed by Reem Acra, and she wore Jimmy Choo peep-toe pumps. “My dress was actually nothing like what I imagined wearing on my wedding day,” explains Missy. “I never thought I would wear lace with beadwork, but when I put the dress on I just fell in love. It also felt very holiday-ish, which I liked!”

The couple knew from the very beginning of the planning process that they wanted a traditional ceremony in an old church. “We were very fortunate to be able to reserve the First Congregational Church of Columbus,” says Missy. “The gothic sanctuary, with its towering ceilings, stained glass windows, and rich wood carvings, is awe-inspring, yet surprisingly intimate.” Missy walked down the aisle escorted by her father to “Let the People Praise Thee, O God,” sung by a choir. After Ethan’s family minister shared some heartfelt words, the bride and groom exchanged vows.

Guests were then transported to the Westin Downtown, one of the oldest hotels in Columbus. “The ballroom was an ideal setting for our reception,” says Missy. “The grandness coupled with the intimacy created by the holiday theme was a great juxtaposition.” Decorated with white lights and Christmas trees, the reception started with a lively cocktail hour before guests took their seats for dinner. The bride and groom’s first dance was to “All I Ask of You” from Phantom of the Opera, and then, toasts were given by the Father of the Bride, Richard Bruggeman, the Best Man, Jonathan Nordberg, and the Matron of Honor, Lindsi Parker. After dinner, everyone danced non-stop to music by The Perfect 10 Band, and the party went until well past midnight.