Real Wedding – Zandra Katauskas and Mark Ritter

Emporella are overjoyed to introduce to you the amazing Zandra Katauskas and her handsome groom, Mark Ritter. We have loved writing about this wedding and we really hope you enjoy reading about it too!

The happy couple met at grade school many years ago. During school, they were both labeled the “quiet” ones by their classmates. However, life took them separate ways after school, they even both got married, had children to other people and then divorced.

Fate brought them back together over 30 years later together again when we “reunited” online. Zandra was living a busy life, in the city, as she had just graduated with a business degree and was taking care of two very active children as a single mother.

Mark proposed on Christmas Day with all of their children’s presents. They married 1 ½ years later in a private ceremony at Ely’s Mill in Gatlinburg, TN.



Zandra and Mark both love the outdoors and really wanted a beautiful country wedding. So they each wore cowboy boots and denim. Her bridal dress was from David’s Bridal. And her denim jacket and cowboy boots were “something borrowed” from her daughter. Also, Mark’s shirt was from Kohl’s.

Wedding Style:


The beautiful couple married in Gatlinburg, TN at Ely’s Mill. The venue had minimal decorations including wildflower bouquet wrapped in burlap and a matching boutonniere in twine. Decorated with a stunning wooden “we do, we did, we eloped” carved sign hand-crafted and purchased from

Wedding Party:

The couple were up early on their wedding day to obtain their marriage license at Sevier County Courthouse. Then, they both enjoyed a lovely pancake and waffle breakfast at the recommended Log Cabin restaurant in Gatlinburg. Mark sat patiently at the beauty salon while several stylists were busy doing the bride’s hair and makeup. Since they were running short on time and both very hungry, the decided to grab a pizza at Domino’s pizza next to the salon. Everything seemed to go smoothly until one hour before the ceremony when it started to rain. Then, they also realised that they had sadly left the flowers at the cabin, but luckily, Ely’s Mill wasn’t too far from it, so were able to get them and still make it to “the church” on time.

It was a private ceremony with just the two of them, the photographer, and the officiant. We were married on 7.17.17. As an accountant, Zandra tended to thrive on numbers so, the date is the same forward and backwards.

More About The Suppliers:

New Beginnings Photography capture the special day beautifully and since the bride was secretly planning the ceremony from thousands of miles away, it was important to have professional customer service. Eric Gebhart at New Beginnings responded promptly to her inquiries and was very detailed with instructions from the time of the package was booked until the date the photos were processed and ready to be viewed online.


The salon was chosen for its location, About You Salon did an amazing job as you can see from her beautiful photos. While VERY busy with other bridal parties, the stylists took their time to ensure that she was very pleased with the outcome. They made this lone bride feel (and look) like a princess.

The florist was chosen because of its name … seriously! The Little Pigeon Florist, making a beautiful bouquet for the brides perfect country wedding!

Comment from the bride – “I married my best friend, biggest support and love of my life. While I had known that going into our wedding day, the fact that he sat patiently in the beauty salon, surrounded by other Godzilla brides, bridesmaids and stylists for over two hours, further solidified our love for each other. While other couples would have chosen not see each other prior to the ceremony, I wouldn’t want anyone else by my side on this very special day.”


Wedding Suppliers –

Venue – Ely’s Mill

Bride’s Outfit – Davids Bridal

Groom’s Outfit – Kohl’s

Flowers – Little Pigeon Florist

Hair and Make-Up – About You Salon

Photography – New Beginnings Photography

Decor – Etsy


By Mackenzie Brook

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s