DIY Wedding

A Summer Mahoning Drive-In Theater Wedding With Retro and DIY Details

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The bride incorporated quotes from the couple’s favorite flicks into her vows.


Samantha Bono and Donald Coyer’s Mahoning Drive-In Theater wedding / Photography by Love Me Do Photography

When a wedding can rock a theme, the Big Day is that much more fun. It doesn’t matter the theme; it could be artistic, nod to the couple’s heritage, look like a witch’s haunt, whatever. As long as it’s done well, it succeeds. And this Mahoning Drive-In Theater wedding does a damn good job of it. Love Me Do Photography snapped all the eclectic, cool and throwback details, which you can see below.

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IIt’s not unusual to look at wedding photos and admire the creativity behind the festivities. What’s a bit rarer is when the newlyweds are the visionaries behind the event — and bring it to life themselves. Enter Donald Coyera furniture maker, and Samantha Bonoan IT professional, and their eclectic Poconos wedding in June 2021.

But first, their backstory: Don and Sam both grew up in Wildwood, where they met through the music scene. Their first date — Shrek 2in a theater — kicked off a 15-year relationship that began a new chapter with the groom-to-be’s 2019 proposal.

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After two years of planning, the Port Richmond couple threw a nostalgic kitschy-cool bash at the Mahoning Drive-In Theater, a circa-1940s spot in Lehighton that only plays retro flicks. (Their theme, by the way, was “Solstice at the Drive-In.”)

The first time Sam and Don set eyes on each other’s attire — she wore a vintage-inspired Swiss-dot gown; he donned a hand-painted suit — was when the bride walked down the aisle.

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DIY details were at every turn, from the invitations (by the bride) to the wood-and-fabric arbor (made to “mimic the sun,” says Don) to Sam’s bouquet, comprised of wildflowers and grasses picked from her best friend’s garden .

Sam, Don and their mothers sourced mismatched pieces at thrift stores to give their party an at-home vibe. And instead of a cake, Sam’s and Don’s mothers baked brownies and cookies for the ice-cream bar.

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As for the rest of the food? The 140 attendees snacked on slices from Ramble Pizza Co.’s food truck and helped themselves to an endless stream of candy, popcorn and soda from the concession stand.

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There were plenty of other moments meant for the big screen, like when Sam incorporated quotes from the pair’s favorite movies into her vows — for Don, the most meaningful part of the celebration. The newlyweds and their guests wrapped things up with an apropos finale: They watched two movies, That Thing You Do! and The ‘Burbson 35-millimeter film.

THE DETAILS
Photographer: Love Me Do Photography | Venue: The Mahoning Drive-In Theater | Planning/Design: Sam Bono and Don Coyer | Florals: Cape Shore Gardens | Catering: Ramble Pizza Co. | Bride’s Gown: Willowby by Watters from RK Bridal New York | Hair & Makeup: Marissa Grace Artistry | Groom’s Attire: Hand-painted suit from Indochino | Entertainment: Marx Event Group | Invitations: Sam Bono | Calligraphy Art: VG Custom Artwork | Waiter: Jodi Dever | Rings: Desiree Casimiro

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