When Michael Madalon proposed to Meghan Kelleher on August 30, 2014, he knew the day was going to be special, but didn’t realize quite how meaningful the date was. “Unbeknownst to Mike, he proposed exactly eight years to the day after we first met as juniors at Miami University!” says Meghan. “We met on the first day of Spanish class, and while neither of us can speak a lick of it today, we got more out of that class than either of us could have imagined.”
This “Miami Merger” (that’s what they call the 14% of Miami University alums who marry their classmates!) took place on September 12, 2015, with 148 guests gathering at the Apawamis Club in Rye, New York — halfway between Michael and Meghan’s parents’ homes. “We were drawn to the feeling of hosting our friends and family in a space that felt like home,” says the bride. With a timeless vision, rustic details, and relaxed accents that kept the black-tie affair totally down-to-earth, this duo made it official in stunning style. Take a look for yourself, photographed by Michelle Lange Photography!
Meghan has a passion for paper, so she teamed up with Katie Roden of Linen & Leaf to design an invitation suite mixing modern calligraphy, light green letterpress, a custom wax seal, and vintage stamps that each held a special meaning to the bride and groom. Invites don’t get more personal than that!
These Pura Lopez sandals, with colored feathers down the front, were Meghan’s first choice for her wedding day. However, she didn’t want to ruin them with a 90% chance of rain in the forecast, so she reached into her closet for blue patent Yves Saint Laurent sandals for a "something blue" that was already perfectly broken-in.
But the sweetest accessory of all had to be Riley, the couple’s golden retriever. Although she couldn’t come to the wedding, Riley was dressed up in a floral garland and made the cutest cameo while Meghan was getting ready and at the church post-ceremony!
As she shopped for her wedding dress, Meghan loved nearly every Romona Keveza gown she tried on. But the winner was this lace trumpet style, found on a mother-daughter shopping trip in Charleston. “I called my mom while she was waiting for her flight home, and we realized we’d both been going back to photos of this dress. That’s when I knew it was the one,” says the bride. Add a cathedral-length veil edged in matching lace, a side-swept chignon, and a loose and organic bouquet of peonies, astilbe, and seeded eucalyptus, and we’re swooning, too!
Meghan’s favorite color is green, and the airy “Dusty Shale” hue of these chiffon J.Crew dresses was the exact shade she wanted her bridesmaids to wear. Each woman carried a bouquet in cream and blush, mixing garden roses, dahlias, and seeded eucalyptus.
Mike and his groomsmen all wore classic tuxedos. “He didn’t want any frills,” Meghan says of the sleek and simple look.
“The hardest part of planning the wedding was doing it all from a distance,” says Meghan, who lived in Charleston until just three months before the big day. “When I moved back to New York, Mike and I squeezed a great deal of planning in at the last minute!”
The pair’s ceremony was held at St. Agnes Cathedral. “I was nervous about getting married in such a large church, but it’s where I was baptized and confirmed, and having the ceremony there meant I could get ready at my childhood home,” Meghan explains. “It made for a very nostalgic morning!”
To contrast the traditional church ceremony, Mike and Meghan planned a relaxed cocktail hour, beginning with an old-fashioned trolley used to transport guests. The Apawamis Club’s terrace was decorated with custom cornhole boards, crates full of Coca Cola in glass bottles, and a string quartet playing classic rock. The bar served up “The Riley” (gin, lemon, cucumber, mint, and aloe water), named after the couple’s dog, and “The Irvin” (vodka, vermouth, and blue cheese olives), named after the building where they first met. Cocktail napkins were printed with fun facts about the pair’s near-decade together.
Inside the club, escort cards were arranged on silver trays and set on a table decorated with votive candles and a lush arrangement of eucalyptus branches, hydrangeas, dahlias, and roses.
“The ballroom is quite formal, so we mixed in farm tables, wooden bars, and candlesticks from thrift shops to give it a more rustic vibe,” Meghan says. Taper candles added height to the tables, while the soft palette of white, blush, and green kept everything feeling light and airy.
“From the moment we got engaged, Mike and I spent a lot of time visiting local thrift shops to find urns, candlesticks, and other brass accessories to mix in to the centerpieces,” Meghan says. The vessels were filled with astilbe, dahlias, ranunculus, and roses. Place cards were hand-written modern calligraphy on torn paper, which was finished with the bride and groom’s wax seal. A sprig of eucalyptus was tucked into each light gray napkin.
The dinner menu was full of specialty items, from mini cheeseburgers with beer shooters during cocktail hour to the filet mignon and prosciutto-wrapped halibut meal choices. “I grew up eating Ralph’s Italian Ices, and really wanted to incorporate that into our menu. We had a lemon Italian ice palate cleanser before dinner, and passed blackberry ices on the dance floor!” Meghan says.
“Every aspect of our wedding reflected who we are as a couple. We wanted our guests to know they were at our wedding!” says the bride. The classic white wedding cake had layers of lemon cake with tri-berry compote and cream cheese filling. Favors were another one of the bride and groom’s favorites, Birthday Cake Truffles from Momofuku Milk Bar!
After a night of dancing and an epic sparkler send-off, Mike and Meghan headed to Park City, Utah, for a few days before relaxing on the beaches of Hawaii. “It was the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation,” she says.
“When you’re planning your wedding, it’s easy to get caught up in what can go wrong,” says the bride. “But in reality, all that matters is marrying the person you want to spend your life with. Appreciate and enjoy every minute, because it will go by in a flash!”
Ceremony Venue: St. Agnes Cathedral || Reception Venue & Catering: The Apawamis Club || Bride's Wedding Dress: Legends by Romona Keveza, purchased at Maddison Row || Veil: M&J Trimming || Hair: Osio Salon || Makeup: Perfect Faces by Jessica || Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew || Groom's Attire: Ralph Lauren || Groomsmen's Attire: Brooks Brothers || Flowers: Violet and Verde || Invitations: Linen & Leaf, printed by Laughing Owl Press || Table Numbers: Sixpence Press || Cocktail Napkins & Matchbooks: For Your Party || Guest Book: Sugar Paper || Chalkboards: Scout Design Shop || Music: VSMusic4U; 74 Events || Cake: A White Cake || Rentals: Please B Seated || Favors: Momofuku Milk Bar; Lunetta Cavit || Videographer: Frank Ahn Films || Photographer: Michelle Lange Photography