Several years ago, Jaime Lind and Michael Lewis were working at the Newport location of Don Pablo's, a popular Mexican chain restaurant. Michael, who had just transferred from a Don Pablo's in Cincinnati, was the new kid on the block. Going out after a hard night's work is standard "restaurant culture" procedure, and Jaime and her co-workers would often cap off the night at a local bar. When Michael arrived on the scene, she kindly invited him to participate in the fun. "We always used to go out after our shifts and got to be really good friends," remembers Jaime. "Then I woke up one day and realized that I wanted more." Two years later, working at another Ohio restaurant, Michael surprised Jaime with a proposal that left her speechless and the entire restaurant cheering. "I was excused from work that night," says Jaime with a laugh.
THE BRIDE Jaime Lind, 24, social work student
THE GROOM Michael Lewis, 25, computer programming student/bartender
THE DATE September 16
THE SCENE Ceremony at St. Therese, Southgate; reception at Fort Thomas Community Center, Tower Park
THE CEREMONY Their vision was simple: "I kept saying that my theme is 'fun'," says the bride. "I'm a very laidback person. I knew we could do it nicely without spending a fortune." At the ceremony, Jaime chose to have both her father and stepfather escort her down the aisle. She'd had a serene air for most of the day; even taking pictures in Tower Park, where the reception would eventually take place, seemed dreamlike and surreal. "The reality of it hit me when they opened the doors to the aisle," describes Jaime. "That was when I started crying." Meanwhile Michael stood waiting at the altar, his face flushed scarlet. "It happens when he gets really nervous," says the bride.
THE CELEBRATION All the jitters and emotions happily gave way to a reception steeped in fun-loving spirit: clusters of big, bright sunflowers, swarms of sweaty dancers, and a DJ who knew how to party. The cozy confines of the Fort Thomas Community Center in Tower Park (formerly known as The Old Mess Hall) gave the celebration an intimate vibe, even though more than 300 guests were in tow.
THE LAST DANCE "My stepfather insisted that we play Billy Joel's 'Piano Man'," says Jaime. Sure enough, as the reception came to a close, Jaime and her stepfather were dancing to the full-bodied classic. Before long, the entire crowd had formed a circle around them, arm-in-arm, boisterously singing the lyrics.
Photography © Paul Dirk Ludwig
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