Maureen Kyle’s relationship with Mark McDougall began under unusual circumstances. The WKYC Channel 3 News Today reporter and midday anchor and her future husband met in front of the State Theatre lobby restrooms — he was going in, she was going out — at the 2008 Jump Back Ball, a popular PlayhouseSquare fundraiser. It was at that precise moment that Mark, an attorney at Calfee, Halter & Griswold, quipped, “Hey, you look good!”
“I thought, Did that guy just walk by and hit on me? That was so weird,” Kyle, now 30, recalls. “It made me look, and it made me laugh.” They only reconnected after Kyle recognized the man with McDougall as a high school friend and struck up a conversation with her old buddy later in the evening.
That admittedly cheesy pickup line was just one stop on the way to their Sept. 4 nuptials. Planning for the big event began after an October 2009 proposal in New York City’s Central Park — Kyle’s favorite spot in the Big Apple since her days at Fordham University — and culminated in a weeklong Italian honeymoon.
But the couple’s wedding adventures started with the hunt for a ring. Kyle talks about how she stumbled upon the inspiration for her diamond engagement ring, a vintage Tiffany piece she saw in the window of an unusual souvenir shop during a weekend in New York City. Half of the space was devoted to selling T-shirts, baseball caps and other touristy mementos, half to high-end jewelry.
“It was like something out of Pretty Woman,” Kyle recounts. “My college roommate and I went in and asked the saleslady, ‘Hey, how much is that ring in the front window?’ She looked me up and down then said, ‘$43,000’ — like, ‘It’s not for you.’ We ended up taking a whole bunch of pictures.” IMG Jewelers in Lyndhurst used those photos to make a more reasonably priced replica.
Similarly, Kyle found her gown while working on a story about the buying and selling of pre-owned wedding dresses on the Internet. She saw exactly what she was looking for the first time she logged on to preownedweddingdresses.com: an ivory organza Lazaro with lace cap sleeves, a lace appliqued bodice with modest V-neck and deep-V back, and tiers of lace and tulle down the back of an A-line skirt. “I wanted to try it on, but there wasn’t a store in town that had it,” she laments. She finally found a sample in a Cincinnati bridal boutique and bought the gown new, which ended any worries about the condition of a used one.
The bride-to-be didn’t sweat details such as the exact floral selections for her bouquet. “I don’t know the different types. I didn’t really care,” she says. She picked out her veil and headpiece in a mere 10 minutes at A Bride’s Design in Avon. And she allowed her four bridesmaids to wear whatever shoes and jewelry they wanted with their purple silk shantung cocktail dresses, one-shouldered numbers purchased at Jessica McClintock during a group shopping trip to Beachwood Place. Plus, she eliminated the need for handbags by packing a reusable grocery bag with Tylenol, bottled water, makeup bags and more and stashing it under the bridal party’s table at the reception.
“I didn’t want to tell them that they had to wear this or they had to wear that,” Kyle explains. “And I didn’t want everybody constantly worrying, ‘OK, where’s my bag?’ ”
Similarly, to keep things easy, she ordered invites from weddingpaperdivas.com. “With my busy work schedule, ordering them online ended up being super simple,” she says. “I don’t know if it was the cheapest option, but it worked for me.”
Kyle admits to choosing St. Paul Shrine in Cleveland for the ceremony out of sheer practicality. The church didn’t have a 4 p.m. Mass, which meant she and McDougall could get married at that time and eliminate the lag between the usual 2 p.m. Catholic wedding and evening festivities. Selecting the State Theatre for the reception, however, was a sentimental choice.
“That’s where we met,” Kyle says. “I thought it would be great if we could have it somewhere that was meaningful.”
But it was her father, St. Ignatius High School football coach Chuck Kyle, who selected the menu for the plated sit-down dinner. Approximately 200 guests dined on prime rib and baked salmon prepared by Sammy’s Catering. He also suggested the favors: purple and silver M&Ms printed with the couple’s names and wedding date and packaged in beribboned black pillow boxes.
“We are Mark and Maureen McDougall,” the bride points out. “Had I married anyone else, I don’t think I would have ever [used the M&Ms].”