This past summer I featured Amanda and Chris’s engagement session on the blog. So, when Laura sent over their wedding photos I was quite smitten. Their wedding was incredibly intimate, personal and full of sweet details. Including their “Goodies to Go” station – those photos had me in the mood for some sweets!
From the Bride:
I’m a massive planner by nature and thrive in a world of details. I do NOT, however, have one creative bone in my body. I knew I wanted a simple, personal, and love filled day for my wedding, but I had absolutely no idea how to make that happen. Then my amazing photographer, she introduced me to the world of wedding blogs. Ah! Who knew this even existed?! I’m here to tell you that whoever you are, ANYTHING is possible if you have a guide to show you the way. I ended up having that picture perfect wedding I never thought possible.
I paid close attention to DIY and Real Weddings section because I loved the thoughtful crafty details and was also on a pretty tight budget. I’m not lying when I tell you I have zero creativity. Unless I see something right in front of my eyes, I can’t picture it. Here my ‘design palette’ was created. I printed off pictures and jotted down notes until I started coming up with my own ideas, Eventually, the entire wedding and every detail was inside my head for good. Once I started implementing some of the things I saw, and they turned out perfect, it gave me the confidence to go outside of my comfort zone and start making crafts and coming up with ideas myself. I learned that you don’t have to adhere to any special rules. If you like something, go with it! This whole process has changed my life.
My husband, Christopher, and I knew we wanted an outside wedding with only immediate family members and that we wanted to open it up to a big open-house style ‘celebration’ afterwards. It was very important to us to have these significant people in our lives feel relaxed, comfortable, and loved. Luckily, Christopher agreed on the vintage yet rustic décor I fell madly in love with. We didn’t have wedding colors, but used a lot of natural burlap with champagne and ivory and touches of pastel for color. There are not a lot of outdoor venues to choose from around Des Moines so we were SO lucky to find the perfect location, The Stonehaven Barn, 15 miles west of Des Moines. To cut down on costs, we didn’t have our two food vendors cater, instead we picked up meat from award winning local Smokey D’s BBQ (Chris’s favorite) and salad and sides from locally owned Noodle Zoo (my favorite). My coworker made our ‘wedding cake’ that sat on tree cake stands that Christopher made and adorned them with moss and fresh flowers. The guests’ cake had 6 delicious flavors and was made by our favorite cupcake bakery in town (Think Carmel Apple, Chocolate Covered Cherry and Orange Dreamcsicle to name a few!).
We didn’t have a wedding party, but Christopher’s 3 ½ year old son, Dawson, was our ring bearer. We got married outside on a pedestal surrounded by boulders underneath the spattering rain. We also did a ‘ring warming’ ceremony where each guest held our rings and said a special blessing over them before we exchanged them. Christopher’s mom read our bible verses and we had a local high school string quartet play Cannon in D and the Beatles for our processional and recessional.
For 8 months my family collected china bowls and platters for the buffet table, vintage salt and pepper shakers, oil lamps, and mason jars, mason jars, mason jars! I hunted for old toddler pictures of Christopher and me, edited them into a Sepia tone to look old, and framed them with antique frames for centerpieces. I also took our readings from the wedding and some ‘love sayings’ I found on the internet for the other centerpieces. My sister, Amy, helped me mold some of my other ideas into reality. She stayed with me the week of the wedding and together we were knee deep in paper pinwheels and puffballs. My late Grandmother had a button collection that would impress American Pickers so we used them for the middle of the pinwheels and my flower bouquet (also wrapped in twine.) I searched high and low for the perfect vintage drawers and my soon to be grandmother stepped up to the plate and found perfect ones at her local pawn shop. Relatives and friends baked mini cookies the weeks leading up to the wedding, I ordered a few items (ringbearer box, ‘Just Married’ banner, and hair piece) off of Etsy, Christopher constructed the beautiful “Goodies To Go” station. We borrowed antique tables to use for the ‘tattoo parlor’ and ‘coloring’ stations (mostly for kids, but adults enjoyed equally as wellJ). Family friends helped picked fresh wildflowers from ditches and backyards the morning of the wedding to put in mason jars and milk vases.
We had ladder golf and horseshoes out for people to play yard games and sparklers and S’mores ready for later in the evening. Christopher and I also took professional ballroom lessons and performed the end routine of Dirty Dancing, “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” as a surprise first dance (He’s such a trooper!).
All of the hard work, the spreadsheets inside of spreadsheets, the multiple antique store runs, and the last minute craft making were completely worth it and I wouldn’t change a thing. We had a meaningful and intimate ceremony with a relaxed, fun, and charming reception. We were told by multiple people that it was the best reception they’ve been to and the most fun they’ve had at a wedding. The entire day was magical!
Ceremony / Reception Venue: Stonehaven Barn | Photographer: Laura Schmitt Photography | Catering: Smokey D’s BBQ; Noodle Zoo | Cake: Carefree Patisserie | Flowers: Bouquet – Hy-Vee Floral; Centerpieces – Gardens of Family / Friends | Beverage: Hy-Vee Wine and Spirits | Wedding Gown: Maggie Sottero from Weddings by Design | Rentals: A to Z Rental; DM Rental