Weddings and fall fun all in one

by Dan Holland

Friday, Oct. 13 – a date usually more closely associated with Halloween and all things macabre – saw seven couples tie the knot at Luther Farms, located at 5150 Alger Rd.

Akron Municipal Court Judge Nicole Walker performed the outdoor weddings amidst pumpkins, gourds, cornstalks, chrysanthemums, hay and other fall-themed items for sale. Couples were staggered in 15-minute intervals from noon to 1:30 p.m.

“We’ve been doing off-site weddings since COVID, so we go all over within our jurisdiction to perform weddings,” said Walker. “We enjoy doing it for the community, and it’s been a lot of fun.”

Halloween enthusiasts Jesse Gibson and Shaina Silket of Springfield Township said they waited a long time for their perfect day.

“We waited four years for a Friday, October the 13th to come around, and it’s finally here,” said Silket. “We had originally thought about doing a much bigger wedding with a horror theme to it, but then the pandemic hit, and we had gotten engaged right before that. When we found out Akron Municipal Court had partnered with Luther Farms at this beautiful location, we decided to get married here.”

Louis Petit and Xiaojing Fang of Fairlawn decided to have a smaller ceremony at the location.

“We’ve been together for a long time, and with COVID, we haven’t been able to travel back to China,” explained Petit. “So, we plan to have a big wedding back in China, and this just seemed like the perfect place to have a small wedding, here today. And then in China, her parents can be there.”

Andy Luther, who runs the day-to-day operations at the farm, along with cousin Tim Luther and help from a score of family members, looked forward to the event. “We’re excited to have Akron Municipal Court here today to perform the weddings,” he said. “We have several couples that signed up, and we’re just happy to be part of their special day at the farm.”

Brandon and Kristen Calalesina of Cuyahoga Falls said the date and venue suited their personalities well. “We’re spooky people,” said Brandon. “We love pumpkin patches, and it’s Friday the 13th. So, we figured it would be perfect.”

James Bowick and Crystal Tiffner, who live in Columbus, decided to travel back to Northeast Ohio for their nuptials to be with a number of family members who live in the Greater Akron area.

Newlyweds Jesse Romine and Ashley Hambel of Akron said the rural setting and simplicity of the event were very appealing to them.

An elementary school group finished up touring the farm grounds just prior to the wedding ceremonies.

“The farm hosts school groups every day of the week, explained Andy Luther. “We get a lot of kids not only from this area, but many from Cleveland and Cuyahoga County – kids who have never been to a farm or seen anything like it. We try to educate them a little bit and they have fun with it.”

Weekend activities include hayrides, a petting zoo, corn pool slides, a corn maze, playground area with outdoor games and three pumpkin cannons. For information, visit ∞

Shaina Silket and Jesse Gibson waited four years to have a Halloween wedding on Friday the 13th. Photos by D. Holland.

Andy Luther holds his son, Aiden, in front of a pumpkin canon at Luther Farms.

Photo (main): Akron Municipal Court Judge Nicole Walker (r) married Kristen and Brandon Calalesina of Cuyahoga Falls, who said they are “spooky people.” Photo by D. Holland.