landlocked bride® | midwest + mountain west wedding inspiration

plan a modern wedding in the middle of the country

Studio Fleurette
Twin Cities, Minnesota

Now, I know I have said this about paper before, but honestly, I have a true weakness for flowers. When styling and designing weddings, I always look forward to the florals. While my own wedding contained minimal flowers, do not let that trick you into thinking I don’t like flowers. Because I do. My heart flutters at the site of a gorgeous dahlia, peony or ranuncula. They always add the perfect touch of softness and color.

Dani’s work is always beautiful. I stalk her blog regularly for photos of her latest work. And, she’s received quite the press lately with features on Wedding Chicks and in the latest issue of Southern Weddings Magazine.

How did you get started?
I have been around plants and flowers since I was young. My father had a nursery, garden center and was a professional horticulturalist and I always knew I would be happy if I could have some of the same in my life as a career. I had to try a few other things after college and worked in the medical field for a few years before going back to school for a Horticulture degree. From there I was hired as a garden designer and manager in Minneapolis for a landscape architect firm. Over time I just felt a bit restrained with our cold temperatures and limited plant palette and wanted instant color and something more year round. Floral designing for weddings and events really filled a void for me and I now do this exclusively.

Where do you find your inspiration?
I love color! When someone tells me about the colors for their wedding or event I immediately start to envision a palette based on what they have told me. My eyes will pick out that color or color combination wherever I am – a certain blue I am thinking about for a wedding will surface when I am in a furniture store or that golden yellow I can’t quite settle on will be on some pretty packaging somewhere. And then after that, I start to think about flowers, their style by themselves and then the overall style combined they make coming together as design piece.

I am inspired by nature as well, and pick up on the more subtle colors and textures that exist in the fields, the woods and in the garden. I definitely love my designs to have some movement and a bit of carefree flower placement if possible, that’s what looks best to my eye. I try to get a sense of the history and feeling of a wedding venue in order to create something that looks like it belongs…take inspiration from the outside and bring it in if possible. I love a cohesive feel to an event or wedding.

Photos courtesy of: Kristina Lynn Photography

Navy is one of those classic colors that is truly seasonless. It’s perfect for Fall, Winter, Spring or Summer. You can dress it up or down. You can add sparkle or pops of color.

row 1: Jill Thomas via Style Me Pretty; Chillipit via Pacific Weddings; Sweet and Saucy Shop
row 2: Fleur; 100 Layer Cake
row 3: Martha Stewart Weddings; BHLDN; Fleurology

It is weddings like this one that are truly the reason I have anything to do with this industry. You can feel that Fall crisp in these photos, but you can feel and see Josie and Javram’s love and heart even more. And, I love the intimacy and story behind their courthouse ceremony.

Keri Doolittle met up with the couple right after they tied the knot on Veteran’s Day to capture their joy.

Keri Doolittle Photography

From the Bride:
Javram and I were high school sweethearts and then friends. After I graduated college, we lost touch when Javram moved to California and I traveled to New Zealand and Italy. A few years passed, and we both landed in Denver again. We ran into each other one night through a mutual friend, and instantly felt that familiar connection. We hung out together for the next several months, and then finally I told him I still had feelings for him and that I wanted to date… again. He told me this was very good news 🙂 That was on November 11th, 2007.

When Javram proposed on Valentine’s Day this year, we were planning on getting married on November 11th (our anniversary date), 2012 in Costa Rica. However, I had always envied a close friend of mine’s wedding at the courthouse. She showed me her pictures once, and she looked so classy, the whole event seemed so meaningful, intimate and low-stress.

As we started to plan, the idea of a destination wedding became less appealing and more stressful. After much deliberation, we decided not to wait a year and instead take advantage of our serendipitous anniversary date, do a civil ceremony and then meet our family at our favorite restaurant for dinner afterwards. The day we made this decision, I ran into a friend of mine who had also done a courthouse wedding and she had glowing reviews for the judge who married her and her husband. I took it as a sign.

We booked 11-11-11 with the recommended judge, made dinner reservations for 11 people (total coincidence!) planned a photo shoot with Keri Doolittle, and we were done planning our wedding! It was amazing. I felt a huge weight lifted off of the whole occasion and I started looking forward to it instead of stressing out about it.

Getting married at the historic City and County Building downtown was magical. It happened to also be Veteran’s Day, so the entire place was empty. Javram and I met with the judge who was the only person there, save one security guard, and she performed a lovely ceremony for just the two of us.

Afterwards, all dressed up and nowhere to go for a couple hours, we did an impromptu champagne toast and lunch at Le Central, where strangers kept offering their congratulations. Our wedding was simple, meaningful and intimate. It was perfect for us.

Javram and Josie live in Denver with their 2 dogs and 2 cats. Javram is in school to become a Holistic Health Counselor. Josie owns and practices in her acupuncture clinic, Immortal Palace, where she specializes in women’s health and nutrition. She also runs a popular online nutrition program called The Only Nutrition Program You’ll Ever Need.

Ceremony Venue: City and County Building (Downtown Denver) | Photography: Keri Doolittle Photography | Flowers: The Perfect Petal

A post in which I ramble on about the things I am thankful for.

But, really, I am thankful every. single. day. Not just on Thanksgiving. This year, in particular, I could not feel more blessed.

Life has been good to my husband and me. We were blessed to both finish our MBA programs within a month of each other. B accepted a new job, which had us relocate to our favorite state (Colorado) not even a month ago. We celebrated one blissful year of marriage. I relaunched my planning business.

I am thankful for our health. Our love. Our dogs. Family. Friends. The weather. Purely thankful for our life.

A huge thanks to all of our family and friends for being incredibly supportive during this last year. B and I took a huge leap by picking up and moving to a new city in a new state, and our family and friends have been 100% behind it since the first time we brought it up. We are thankful for their phone calls and emails. Their Facebook updates and photos. Their visits. Their love. Their support.

And, to you all of my readers. Thank you for being fabulous readers. For visiting each day and showing your support. Thank you for being you, and staying true to you! I wish you all a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday. One filled with love, support and giving.


Photos: Lisa Hessel Photography

We’re mixing it up with the “real wedding” features by highlighting a fun video from the husband and wife team at MTVIDYO. I always love finding new videographers around, but also love that they used a Foster the People song nearly two months ago. Bonus points, definitely!

Aimy & Kyle | Wedding Highlights from MTVIDYO Weddings on Vimeo.

I’m particular partial to this palette because it reminds me of the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas.  The warm, gold tones are perfect for any Fall or Winter soiree.

row 1: BHLDN; Mark Brooke via Elizabeth Anne Designs
row 2: Wedding Style Guide via Ritzy Bee; James Christianson via The Knot
row 3: Q Weddings via Style Me Pretty; Ivy & Aster; Kristen Marie Photography via Style Me Pretty

The perfect frosty pink pair of peep-toes before Winter.

A&A Photography

I say it time and again, simple understated details just work. They just do. And, here’s why. Because when you have a couple that is just truly in love, that shines so much more than the details.

Jessica and Daniel married in Defiance, Missouri at one of my favorite winery venues. The rolling hills in the Fall in Missouri are just stunning. Add those beautiful changing leaves and you have one grand backdrop for a wedding.

Simpli Photography

From the Bride:
I wanted our small and intimate wedding to highlight my love of nature, all things homemade, and the small Missouri community that I grew up in. Chaumette winery and the chapel overlook green rolling farmland and the colorful landscape that I find so beautiful.  Our jam jar favors were lovingly made by my mother, aunts, and various friends whom wanted to take part in the preparation.   The flowers brought my love of nature indoors using natural wooden containers filled with succulents, live plants, herbs, and wild flowers.  The delicious browned butter pumpkin cake that we served was the talk of the evening.

Daniel’s favorite part of the day was when my father, who married us, said his final remarks as the ceremony was concluding. He misspoke and announced “Ladies and gentleman, you may now kiss the bride!”  We were all laughing as we exited the chapel!

My favorite part of the day was as I entered the chapel and started to walk down the aisle. I was overcome by a warm rush of air and the feeling of love all around us.  It was so special and emotional to look around and see loved family and friends coming together to witness our marriage.  It was something that I will never forget.

Ceremony / Reception Venue:  Chaumette Winery | Photographer: Simpli Photography | Cake: Diane’s Cakery  | Dress: Saison Blanche  | Shoes: Gianni Bini  | Suit: Perry Ellis | Flowers: Judy Sheets

Emily Steffen Photography

I cannot get over the peonies at this wedding. Besides the fact that they smell wonderful, I literally am just boggled by the generosity of Drew and Sheena’s family, friends and neighbors. They all helped out and donated blooms from their peony bushes for their wedding. And, oh my starts (thanks Emily), they are beautiful. It just goes to show that family and friends are the perfect detail to every wedding.

One Tree Photo+Cinema

From the Bride and Groom:
We met at a pick-up game of Ultimate Frisbee May 2008. Sheena was just starting grad school and Drew was a new local high school biology teacher. There were weeks of flirtation until Drew finally had the courage to ask Sheena out. We have spent all of our time together ever since going camping, running road races and marathons, gardening, traveling and playing with our puppy together. In other words, we just hang out and enjoy time with each other.

In life, we are pretty low-key and wanted a natural, relaxed setting for our wedding and reception. We both agreed that an outdoor wedding had the most appeal to both of us; Drew is a high school biology and field & prairie ecology teacher and Sheena is a biology/ insect ecology grad student. Sheena is an Army Brat and has friends and family all over the country while Drew is a Kansas City native with a very large family still mostly in the surrounding area. Logistically it was most accommodating to find a venue in Kansas City which would make travel easier for out of staters and a large portion of family members who already live in the area. We found Fresh Air Farm via Google, went out and saw the place and instantly fell in love with the setting and all-inclusive-ness of their event package (they take care of set-up, food, drinks, music, nearly everything). Everything else about the wedding was very DIY from the hundreds of handmade doilies (by the bride’s mother and aunt) and wood discs (cut by the bride’s grandfather) and hand-picked flowers that decorated the tables to the handmade pennant flags that hung from the ceiling (made by the bride with assembly line help from the groom’s mother and sister). The guest book was drawn by the bride’s mother also.

We didn’t have an official color scheme. We chose May 21st based on peony bloom timing in Kansas, a gamble, but it worked out perfectly. Blue dresses were chosen because it would complement the pink (peonies) or any other back-up flower in the event “Plan B” should have been employed.

When we chose our wedding date, we knew the Spring weather can be tough to predict in a continental climate so an outdoor wedding, much like banking on flowers to be in bloom locally, can be quite the gamble! Fortunately our venue provided a tent to cover our group of close friends and family in the event of inclement weather. Although it rained a few days earlier in the week, on our wedding day it was very windy with temperatures in the low 80s but the rain held off, at least directly over us, for most of the night. The wedding ceremony began at 6 pm with the wedding party and bride walking down the aisle to a violin soloist (bride’s talented cousin). The groom’s uncle was ordained online to officiate the wedding. The ceremony was minimalistic but extremely personal with a few anecdotes from the groom’s uncle followed by original vows tearfully exchanged between the bride and groom. The whole ceremony lasted about 15 minutes. Appetizers and cocktails greeted guests after they made their way through the wedding party line. Dinner was served shortly after. Dinner was buffet style with meats carved from the bone for all of the guests. There was a whole slow roasted pig and a smoked turkey to choose from served with hearty homestyle sides. Dinner seating was inside the barn in the loft area followed by toasts and cake. Dancing was enjoyed for the remainder of the night outside following dinner. It never rained directly on us but, in the distance a lightning storm entertained all of the guests.

Ceremony / Reception Venue: Fresh Air Farm | Ceremony Musicians: Emily Parsons, cousin of the Bride |  Reception Musicians: Jesse Wallace; DJ provided by Fresh Air Farm | Officiant: Chris Ising, Groom’s uncle  | Photographer: One Tree Photo+Cinema  | Caterer: Fresh Air Farm  | Cake/Bakery: Paula Ising, Mother of the Groom; Fresh Air Farm | Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas | Flowers: Family friends | Favors: Ferrero Rocher; Wooden coasters (cut by the bride’s grandfather) | Hair Stylist / Make-up Artist: Bethany Fox (Encounters Salon & Day Spa) | Jeweler: Helzberg Diamonds | Wedding Gown: Justin Alexander from Bridal Extrordinaire  | Shoes: Nine West from Zappos | Men’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse; JoS. A. Bank | Ties: Amazon