Long-Distance Couple Comes Together in October Wedding

It was Claire Svoboda and Ross Passmore’s jobs at a local gym that first brought them together. They met in May, and Ross was scheduled to be deployed the following January; they maintained their long-distance relationship for over 17 months and several different countries. After that, Claire says, “We feel like we could do anything.” When they finally reunited, they bought a home together and began planning their life. Soon after, Ross surprised Claire with a candle-lit marriage proposal. “I always joked that I didn’t want anything super-fancy or a bunch of people around, so it was really sweet,” says Claire.

On a cold October day, the bridal party stood at the handmade altar crafted just for the day by Claire’s father and adorned with silk flowers. The couple wrote their own vows and read them from a small book they will treasure forever. Family antiques and vintage tablecloths added more personal touches. Ross gave each of his groomsmen a beer boot engraved with their nicknames, and bridesmaids stayed warm in matching shawls. As the enchanting evening began, the couple had their first dance on the patio, illuminated by celebratory sparklers each guest held.

Photos: Sam Areman Photo
Alterations: Will Style Tailor Shop
Bridesmaids’ Gowns: The Dessy Group
Hair: Hali Owens
Makeup: Renee Himberger
Formalwear: Men’s Wearhouse
Catering: Contemporary Food Management Inc. 
Dessert: Sweet Magnolias Bake Shop
Florist: Blooms
Rentals: Guy Design, AAA Rents & Event Services
Venue and DJ: Falconwood Park