October 23, 2013 - Tradition dictates that every bride must walk down the aisle with something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.
Having lunch at the Ox Bar & Grille following their Oct. 19 wedding in downtown's Centennial Park are Tony and Sasha Fritz (back, left corner). With the couple are their children Stephan and Sophia (left), Gavin (right) and Liam (back, right). Also present are Sasha's father Andrew Ordiway and stepmother Lindsay Ordiway. Photo submitted. (click for larger version)
But for Sasha Fritz, her something blue was more like something blue and gold as she made Oxford an integral part of her wedding.
Sasha and her new husband, Tony Fritz, exchanged their vows on Sweetest Day (Saturday, Oct. 19) in downtown's quaint Centennial Park.
"Oxford's been a big part of our courtship," Sasha said. "It's where we dated for the most part."
"We're loyal to the community and we've created our memories here," said Tony, who's lived in Oxford for four years. "We want that to be an important part of who (our children) are."
The bride and groom utilized the products and services of many local businesses to make it truly an Oxford wedding.
"I wanted to try to do as much locally as I could," Sasha said. "I just want to see everyone be successful."
The wedding dress came from Glorious Collections. The flowers, ring bearer pillow and flower girl basket all came from A&A Flowers & Gifts.
The necklace and earrings worn by the bride came from The Boulevard Boutique.
Sasha's hair was done by ReGina Paul Salons. All of the wedding photos were taken by FiveStop Photography.
After the ceremony, everyone enjoyed lunch at the Ox Bar & Grille, the site of many dates and family dinners for the happy couple.
"It's not a huge event and it's not a lot of money, but if more and more people get inspired to help local vendors be successful and help our town prosper, that's what's going to continue to make Oxford a great place to live," Sasha said.
Sasha loves the fact that she was able to have so many local businesses involved in her nuptials, especially when she recalls what this town was like when her parents lived in Lake Orion many years ago.
"Oxford wasn't the town 20 years ago that it is now," she said. "I think it's amazing that it's grown the way that it has. I want to continue to see it prosper and I want to see all those shops do well."
When asked where they plan to honeymoon, Sasha replied, "We're not going anywhere."
"We're staying in Oxford," she said. "We've got plenty to do right at home."
The happy couple currently resides in a condominium in the Waterstone development, but they have plans to build a house in Oxford.
"We're going to stay and have our grandchildren come and visit us here someday," Sasha said.
She said the town just "fits" her family.
"It's not like we do a lot of traveling," Sasha said. "We just like being at home and we love doing things in town. If we go out to dinner, it's typically at the Ox or somewhere else downtown."
It's been almost two years since Sasha made the decision to leave Farmington Hills to be with Tony in Oxford and she doesn't regret it a bit.
"There wasn't any question, in my mind, about moving to Oxford," she said. "I fell in love with the town, too. It's just a completely different feeling coming from Farmington Hills."
As a pharmaceutical sales representative, Sasha spends her days working in Warren, St. Clair Shores and Roseville.
The contrast between northern Oakland County and the East Side is quite stark in her mind. "It's totally different," Sasha said. "The people are just so much nicer (here) and so much more concerned about you as a person."
Knowing that Oxford's waiting for her is what keeps Sasha going during her work days
"I can't wait to get home. I can't wait to get back to Oxford," she said. "I can have the worst day, but the farther north I get on M-24, I just feel myself breathing easier. I can leave it all behind because I'm home."
Tony finds Oxford's "sense of community" very appealing as well as the secure feeling it gives his family. "It's a safe environment and we see the police around quite often and they're friendly," he said.
Sasha's particularly pleased with how her and Tony's children have flourished in Oxford. "They love all of the community events," she said. "All of our kids are very involved in sports and all of the different community efforts. We're huge Wildcat fans."
"We see our children's names in the paper consistently," whether they're listed in the honor roll or shown at community events, Tony said. "It's a great place to raise your children."
Sophia, 7, a second-grader at Daniel Axford Elementary, is a Girl Scout and a cheerleader for the Oxford Jr. Wildcats youth football program.
Liam, 4, a student at the Oxford Early Learning Center, plays flag football, was part of the Oxford Recreational Baseball Association and is interested in getting involved in the youth wrestling program.
Gavin, 15, a freshman at Oxford High School, plays lacrosse and is looking to play hockey as well.
Stephan, a 2013 OHS graduate, was captain of the hockey team and a member of the 2012 homecoming court. He's now attending Central Michigan University.
Sasha is involved as well. She's the leader of Girl Scout Troop 70945, which consists of 23 girls.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.