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.
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