College sweethearts tie the knot with rustic tree house wedding at the Mohicans

February 7, 2018 GMT

College sweethearts tie the knot with rustic tree house wedding at the Mohicans

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Marissa Evans and Brandon Andrew were college sweethearts. There was just one catch in their young romance: They began dating just days before Evans was set to graduate.

Their attraction was immediate and magnetic. It wasn’t hard for Andrew to make an impression when his first words upon meeting Evans at The College of Wooster were, “You are beautiful. Your eyes are very blue.” Most men aren’t so earnest or forthcoming, Evans says, but something about Andrew was special.

The prospect of a long-distance love could have been a deal breaker to some couples. But when Evans embarked on a career in Washington, D.C. and Andrew stayed in Wooster to finish out his program, their bond only grew stronger.

Evans returned a year later and they’ve been inseparable ever since. After seven years of dating, they tied the knot October 28, 2017, at The Grand Barn at the Mohicans. With the help of Oak & Honey event planning, it was a rustic affair filled with lush greenery, glowing strands of light and friends and family brought together around communal tables covered in candles.

All photos by Addison Jones Photography

The couple was on vacation in Lake Tahoe when Andrew proposed. They stopped at Emerald Bay and he insisted on taking a quick hike to get a better view.

“If you’ve ever seen it, you’ll know that it’s breathtaking,” Evans recalls. “I’m not terrified of heights, but I wasn’t thrilled about the climb and I was convinced I was going to fall off the side of a cliff. So Brandon’s way ahead of me, encouraging me to follow him, and I’m hell-bent on not falling.”

Andrew tried to get her to stop to “take in the scenery.” Of course, he was really planning to pop the question. Evans was just attempting to keep her mind off the soaring altitude.

“I’m trying not to die or freak out about how ridiculously high we were,” she laughs. “All I remember was that I saw that he brought out the ring box, and I was completely surprised and my response was, ‘What?’ Then my head started to spin because I started working through all the work that needed to be done. Right afterwards, we found this hidden beach that gave you a clear view of the mountains. It was beautiful. Everyone has their dogs with them, so there are dogs playing in the water and it was quiet. And in that moment, everything felt just right.”

And after their peaceful break for celebration, there was plenty of planning in their future. The theme of the big day was a woodsy tree house barn wedding. They picked a location rich with the natural beauty of the outdoors, just like the setting of Andrew’s proposal.

Of course, the wedding had to have a playful side to reflect the eclectic couple. The fun-loving duo revel in new experiences. (Andrew notes that it’s not unusual to see Evans bouncing between attending a roller derby match, a Run The Jewels concert, a march in Washington, D.C. and getting a tattoo before drinking sour beers at a brewery with her bridesmaids.)

So it’s no surprise that one of their favorite parts of the wedding was serving up Brewnuts, the Cleveland business that crafts booze-infused doughnuts and just opened their own bar in Gordon Square. Faithful Little Cupcake created the elegant, natural white cake and Taproot Catering was responsible for the food menu.

“It was amazing to have everyone we love surrounded around us,” Evans says. “It was overwhelming, exciting and beautiful, and everything happened very fast. We were fortunate to have people like [our event planner] Melanie keeping everything to a tight schedule and making sure everything moved along perfectly. It really allowed us to be in the moment and appreciate everything that was happening. The food, decor, music, friends, family - all of it was just perfect and we wouldn’t change one thing.”

There’s no question when it comes to what’s kept their relationship so strong – from the first time they met, to a long distance romance, to their seven years and counting together. A little sense of humor, a taste for adventure and constantly encouraging each other keeps them on their toes every day.

“We communicate with each other openly and honestly about everything,” Evans says. “We are very in tune with how the other is thinking and we make sure that we work together as a team. Brandon and I perfectly balance each other. He calls me out when I’m not being my best self, and in return, I do my best to make sure he’s not leaving the house in flip flops and shorts when it’s below zero. We push each other to be better together. We both succeed together and I’m fortunate to have someone who not only works hard to challenge himself, but supports me and accepts me for who I am.”


Photography: Addison Jones Photography

Planning: Oak & Honey Events

Venue and reception: The Grand Barn at the Mohicans

Dougnuts: Brewnuts

Cake: Faithful Little Cupcake

Donuts: Brewnuts

Catering: Taproot Catering

Floral: Fair Rarity Flowers

Rentals: All Events Rental

Dress: Wendy’s Bridal

Tux: JoS. A. Bank

Beauty: Beauty Therapy