Real Weddings

Local Broadcasters Vow Forever

By Denise R. Marcos

Photography By Todd Stricker Photography

Newlyweds Ron Eisenberg and Gina Galaviz are surely no strangers to camera lights, microphones and large audiences. In fact, the former broadcasters, who were often reporting on much more formal topics, made it a point to have their Thanksgiving nuptials a casual, entertaining atmosphere for all.

“We’re very fun people, and we wanted our wedding to reflect us. We didn’t want it be too formal or elaborate,” Gina said. “Being surrounded by people we love and care about was the most important thing to us. And we wanted our guests to walk away from the wedding and really remember that they had a good time.”

The couple’s November 26, 2009 union at Biga on the Banks was a perfect blend of entertainment, laughter and delicious cuisine.

“We wanted to have our ceremony and reception on the Riverwalk,” Gina said. “And we wanted our guests to remember a night with good food, music and the wonderful setting.”

More than 100 guests joined Ron and Gina for their holiday affair. Warm candlelight radiated on amber walls and hues of oranges and reds gave the space its festive look.

“I wanted the room to glow and it did,” Gina said. “The color theme was reflected in the curtains and drapery and I wanted it to have the feel of a lounge with couches, tall tables and stools and lots of candlelight. Luminaries of President Barack Obama lined the outside along the Riverwalk and provided more glow.”

The shades of vibrant fall colors weren’t the only things that carried warmth throughout the room. Close friends and family traveled from miles around to celebrate the union of the happy couple.

“We didn’t want a very large wedding,” Gina said. “We wanted to have a very intimate celebration with our closest family and friends alongside us as we vowed to spend the rest of our lives together. That’s what was important. And we’re glad to have shared it with them.”

Surrounded by loved ones and escorted by her 19 and 15-year-old nephews Gina looked breathtaking in her custom gown designed by Van Vu of Bridal Perfect Fit. The sleeveless, A-line dress with ivory silk, chiffon accents and short train were the perfect complement to her surprise gift from Ron.

The round, gold hoops with diamond posts accented with mixed metals and tones provided a modern look. Her necklace featured a thick, round gold circle pendant with a line of diamonds. The couples’ names and wedding date were engraved on the back of the pendant—the perfect present for this art-deco-loving bride.

“I really love pieces from this time period, in fact we went looking everywhere for the perfect rings,” Gina said. “We wanted them to be different. We searched all throughout the U.S. My engagement ring is a unique seven carat vintage, uncut garnet ring mounted in white gold.”

The personal touches were evident throughout the entire wedding. Frugal and creative, Gina decided to tackle doing all the florals herself. And dozens of roses later, the end result was beautiful.

Unlike the flower process, which only took an hour to make the day of the wedding, the couple spent countless hours writing their vows and when it came time to read them tears and laughter filled the room.

Following their first kiss and the couple proceeded to the dance floor to share their first dance as husband and wife. Ron surprised Gina with dance lessons from Wanda Deagan Dance Studio.

“We danced to ‘It Had to Be You’ sang by old friends Bill and Jennifer Chrisman,” Gina says. “They’re really terrific they perform all over town and play all kinds of music.”

Following their first dance, the couple and their guests enjoyed a diverse fare of non-traditional Thanksgiving hors d’oeuvres. Reputable Chef Bruce Auden created a variety of delectable appetizers.  Mini Ahi tuna burgers with wasabi aioli, vodka grilled shrimp cocktail and vegetable Nori rolls with ginger soy were just some of what was to feast.

The cake, made by Lynda Stansberry of Sweet Traditions, was a modern, three-tier creation with layers of champagne, pistachio and lavender featuring white fondant ribbon and flowers. The groom’s cake was an all chocolate cake designed as tree stump with Ron and Gina’s initials carved into the bark. As an alumus of Ohio State, Gina requested the university’s logo be placed at the top.

After dinner and dessert, the couple stayed until the very last song was played.

“We stayed until the very end. We had a handful of close friends come back to our hotel room at the Drury Plaza Hotel for the after-party,” Gina jokes. “The entire night just flew by. But I will remember the way the room glowed when I walked in and saw all the faces of people I love in it. We danced so much that night our feet hurt. It was a night we will remember. And, Ron did such a wonderful job helping me plan it."

Wedding Details:

Guest Accomodations: The Drury Plaza Hotel, The Marriott Riverwalk and Rivercenter Hotels  
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Biga on the Banks
Wedding Consultant: Sarah Gallardo of Sarah's Wedding Creations
Brides Dress Shop: Van Vu of Bridal Perfect Fit
Bridal Hair and Makeup: Laura Manzanares of D'Anthony Salon and Pati Rodriguez
Inviations: The Prints and Paper
Caterer and Bar Service: Biga on the Banks
Cakes: Sweet Traditions
Reception Musicians: Jennifer and Bill Chrisman of the Jennifer and Bill Show
Photographer: Todd Stricker Photography

Special Thanks from the Bride and Groom:

"I had this idea I could do it all, but I soon realized I needed someone to help me the day of the wedding. I chose Sarah because of her attention to detail and even though she was hired for the wedding day, I met with her several times before the wedding. The day of the wedding she had two assistants with her. The entire wedding went smoothly."

"Todd Stricker documented our wedding. I have known Todd and his award-winning photojournalism since we worked together. We are thrilled to have Todd document our big day in his unique, journalistic style that will really capture the moment in time. Thanks Todd!"

Special Tips for the Bride and Groom from the Newlyweds.

  • Let your groom get involved because it will take the stress off of you and make it a special for both of you.
  • Hire a wedding coordinator to help out. It is money well spent.
  • Don't be afraid to be different.
  • Planning is critical and it's important to compromise with your bride.

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