Trying to plan a wedding when your fiancé is Travis Hafner, the 29-year-old designated hitter for the Cleveland Indians, might seem like a daunting task — his baseball schedule only leaves November and December open. But Amy Beekman, 26, from Westlake, didn’t care when they got married. She was just excited to plan her wedding.
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At first the two wanted a small wedding, but after the guest list flew past 250 people, they knew it wasn’t going to happen. That was okay with them, though. “Just seeing everybody, that’s what truly makes it special — having all your friends and family come in,” says Amy, the head cheerleading coach at Baldwin-Wallace College.
The couple held their ceremony and reception at the Hyatt Regency Cleveland at The Arcade because of its history and all the beautiful details, from the skylights in the lobby to the golden ceilings. Plus, it was a place to stay for family who traveled from Travis’ hometown in North Dakota. Other guests included teammates Grady Sizemore and Casey Blake, manager Eric Wedge, general manager Mark Shapiro, plus coaches Joel Skinner, Derek Shelton and Carl Willis. Hank Blalock of the Texas Rangers, John McDonald of the Toronto Blue Jays and wrestler Jerry “the King” Lawler also attended the Nov. 11 nuptials. Travis, who is Catholic, and Amy, who is Jewish, opted for a dual ceremony and chose religious components such as a unity candle, the breaking of the glass and having Amy’s mother and father walk her down the aisle.
Amy chose the first dress she saw — a lace and Swarovski crystal beaded Henry Roth dress from The Perfect Bride in Rocky River. “I saw it the day after I got engaged. I just happened to be getting fitted for a bridesmaid dress,” she says. While she forced herself to try on about 20 other dresses, she ultimately came back to this one. She paired the dress with a Henry Roth fingertip lace and Swarovski crystal rectangular veil. Amy borrowed diamond chandelier earrings from Mavilo Wholesalers and wore her great grandmother’s engagement ring on her right hand.
The six bridesmaids, including Amy’s 13-year-old sister, wore twisted-front halter dresses by Watters and Watters, also from The Perfect Bride, along with gold shoes and earrings. “The dresses looked great on everyone,” she says.
Steven M. Tokar from Steven M. Tokar Custom Floral and Design created different moods for each part of the day. “You never can really picture what it looks like. It was honestly better than what I had expected,” Amy says. “The flowers and the decorations were absolutely breathtaking.”
The ceremony took on a heavenly atmosphere with lighter-colored flowers and was performed under a very elaborate huppah, a Jewish wedding tradition, covered with crystals and cream-colored roses and hydrangeas. For the cocktails before the reception, Tokar used red and black velvet linens reminiscent of the Great Gatsby era. For the reception he chose bold, tall gold vases with red roses and crystals. Tokar created Amy’s bouquet with dark, red roses, and her bridesmaids carried gold-colored messenger roses. A gold monogrammed box filled with Malley’s Irish crème truffles was placed at each seat.
Guests feasted on a burrito bar, sushi display and Starbucks coffee before sitting down to a plated dinner of a mozzarella and tomato salad and their choice of veal medallions, filet mignon, lamb or sea bass. Travis welcomed everyone and then toasted his new bride: “Amy’s a really happy person 99.9 percent of the time and her smile really lights up the room, but it’s my job to make sure she’s happy 100 percent of the time. I’m going to do that,” he said. “He made half of the women cry,” says Amy.
Once the reception was over, guests were escorted to Pickwick & Frolic for an after-party featuring martinis and music from the ’80s cover band The Breakfast Club. “It was a blast,” says Travis. “It was the perfect band for us.”
— Kim Schneider