landlocked bride® | midwest + mountain west wedding inspiration

plan a modern wedding in the middle of the country

Anni Cee Photographie

From the Photographer:
When Naomi asked me about shooting her wedding to Trevor, she told me a bit about their story: they were engaged on the shore of Lake Michigan on a “secret date” that Trevor planned (they switch off taking each other on secret adventures!) – it was the middle of winter, and Naomi thought Trevor had hidden snowshoes for them. Instead, she opened her eyes to see him down on one knee with a ring. After I heard this and got to know them a bit, I knew it would be worth traveling to the spot they were engaged to take engagement photos. I’m so glad we did, because the whole day was amazing!

Confetti has been used at weddings for a long time now for the send off, but now it’s popping up in all kinds of fun ways.

Invitation | Washi Tape | Giant Confetti | Sprinkled Ice Cream Sandwiches | Invitation | Save the Date | Bridesmaids Dresses | Rimmed Glasses and Garland | China | Program | Send off | Cake

I don’t know if welcoming a new niece into the world has gotten me into an excited mood or what, but I just want to throw a handful of this stuff into the air and yell. Woohoo!

While working at a bridal shop allows me the wonderful opportunity to help brides find ‘the’ dress, what’s more special is building relationships with these individuals and being able to be a part of their entire wedding planning process. It is a truly amazing process; a process that has included goosebumps, tears and too many hugs to count. What can I say, I am a sucker for a good engagement story and have been known to shed a few tears witnessing such a special moment shared between the bride and her family. But what I have found to be most rewarding is helping brides with the details that are beyond the white dress; the details that help make their wedding day their own. 

Today there are so many ways in which brides incorporate new and old traditions to help showcase their individual style, preferences and unique interests when planning their wedding day. That’s the beauty of wedding planning, it has no right or wrong way about it. Brides are able to pick which traditional element they plan to keep, the ones they choose to skip and how to create new ones of their own. And today, with our endless amount of  bridal resources, we can see how brides have already put a new twist on many old wedding traditions.

 The Ring Bearer

Old Tradition: Pillows  | New: Banners, Pennants, Signage | Other: Bowls, Bird nests, The Bible

Banner photo: The McCartney’s Photography | Pillow: BraggingBags | Pennant: JoyfulJoyful | Wood Sign: Our hobby to your home

The Ceremony

Old Tradition: Unity Candle | New: Wine Ceremony, Cord of Three Strands | Other: Sand Ceremony, Love Letter Ceremony

Wine Ceremony: Charlotte Geary Photography | Rope Ceremony: Crystal Goss

Wedding Party

Old Tradition: Matching Style and Color | New: Different Dresses, Tie patterns, Dress Styles, Different Colors | Other: Patterned Dresses, Different Accessories

Andy Stenz 

Top:  The McCartney’s Photography | Bottom: Anna Page Photography

The Dress

Old Tradition: Whites | New: Colors | Other: Ombre, Multiple Colors, Short White Dresses

Dress (left): Miller + Miller Photography  | Dress (middle): Mark Hawkins Photography | Dress (right): Nathan Peel Photography | Ombre Dress: Studio 306  | Red Dress: David J. Owen Photography

The Guestbook

Old Tradition: Signature Book | New: Puzzles, Fingerprint Prints | Options: Photo Booth, Advice Cards, Mad Libs, Enlarged Print Canvas, Anniversary Notes

Puzzle: Bella Puzzles | Print: Blue de Toi

The Cake

Old Tradition: Wedding Cake  | New: Cupcakes, Cake Cones, Cake Pops | Other: Dessert Bar, Candy Bar, Smore’s Bar

Wedding Cake: Kapkinski Photography | Cake Pops via Bridal Expo Show Chicago | Cake Cones via Google Images | Cupcakes: Cari McGlynn Photography

The Send Off

Old Tradition: Throw Rice | New: Sparklers, Streamers, Rose Petals | Other: Bubbles, Sprinkles, Confetti

Sparklers: Brook Photography | Streamers: Scott and Tem Photography | Roses: Miller + Miller Photography


These are only a few ways in which brides have put a new twist on an old tradition.  The options are endless and can be incorporated in just about any element of your big day.  Take some time to think about what traditions you plan to keep, what traditions you plan to skip, or better yet, how you plan to make new traditions of your own.  


I have only one word to describe today’s engagement session: Stunning.

Twin Town Studios

From the Photographer:
She is the former Miss Springfield, so she really wanted to do something a little different. She found a Ralph Lauren perfume ad she wanted to re-make with the horses, a field, a dress and riding boots. She and her fiance both ride horses, so we headed out to the barn for a stylized engagement shoot. It, of course, turned out beautifully!

My favorite part about reading Erica and Kiel’s wedding story is how they made ever effort to take moments throughout the day to be thankful, celebrate and remember. As if to remind themselves of how blessed and lucky they are. A message every couple should keep in mind – take time. Take the time to remember and to enjoy.

Kelli Hunt Photography

From the Bride:
While we dreaded the threat of one of South Dakota’s infamous snowstorms, our wedding on December 30th, 2011 in Sioux Falls, SD turned out to be a day of sunshine, family, and love.

Our candlelit wedding ceremony took place in the evening at a small church across the street from the liberal arts college where we met. The ceremony itself was intimate and wonderful, with the highlight being a fellow friend co-officiating and giving a beautiful and honest sermon about our history and watching us fall in love. Once the ceremony wrapped, we sipped champagne with our parents en route to the next event.

The reception took place in Sioux Falls’ downtown Washington Pavilion, an events center that features a majestic theatre. The stage was set with tables and a five piece jazz band played softly as the guests arrive. We opted for a sweetheart table so we could take in the moment and watch our loved ones enjoy the day we had worked so hard to plan. After amazing toasts, we cut the cake and hit the dance floor with our amazing nine piece band, Main Avenue Warehouse.

We were warned that the day flies by and that many new couples have few memories of their wedding day. So Kiel and I and our families took pause many times throughout the day to be thankful and celebrate. Therefore, we think our wedding was actually the most unforgettable day of our lives thus far.

Our advice to others planning a wedding is to lean on one another and enjoy it. We planned our wedding in eight months, but our partnership and the full support of family made it more fun than work. And then, when the big day comes, take deep breaths and schedule in time with your new spouse to celebrate your new beginning.

Ceremony Venue: Our Savior’s Lutheran | Reception Venue: Washington Pavilion | Floral: Flower Mill | Cake: Tonna’s Cakes | Cupcakes: Oh My Cupcakes! | Wedding Gown: Hannelore’s | Hair / Make-up: Southeastern Hair Design  |  Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade | Groom / Groomsmen Attire: Tip Top Tux | Catering: Washington Pavilion | Stationery: Kiel Mutschelknaus  | Band: Main Avenue Warehouse

Typically, I cringe at the idea of painting flowers for any reason, but when my boss came back from Engage 12 with photos of this:

Bob Gail, Scott Clark Photo, Ready Luck

my mind opened up a little. It looks like a succulent statue! So many brides are in love with succulents for their rustic feel, and some choose them because they love their earthy colors. I personally like them for their texture, and so using them as a blank canvas for color intrigues me. There are so many possibilities!

Bornay, a florist hailing from Barcelona, has been making true art out of succulents for a long while now. Literally, he takes pieces of art, usually paintings, and recreates them using flowers of all kinds, but his succulent creations are my favorite.

Top Left, Top Right, Bottom Left, Bottom Right 

He also created these amazing boutonnieres.


Carissa of JL Designs used succulents to create a silver pop in her tablescape. This is a perfect idea to incorporate a metallic if there is one present in your color palette.

Aaron Shintaku

I’m dying to see this done with a mix of greens, bronzes and golds, neon pops, or black and white.




Let’s face it – men don’t exactly feel the need to “sparkle” when it comes to their wedding band. In fact, I’m pretty sure most of them prefer keep it simple or not wear one at all. And, I don’t blame them. I honestly don’t always wear my engagement ring with my wedding band.

But, I digress.

Tungsten is the perfect answer to both a simple and long-lasting ring. Your ears perked up, right? TungstenWorld.com offers the best in cobalt chrome and tungsten carbide wedding bands – which are known for their extreme hardness (in other words, perfect for your guy). These sleek rings are nearly impossible to scratch and come in different colors, styles and sizes. Plus, they’ll mail you a ring sizer and ensure you have the best experience possible.

And, I’m talking from experience here. I purchased the Pilot’s ring from them without any problems and with the help of TungstenWorld.com’s awesome staff. Might I add that you can also have your tungsten ring engraved – which sold me when we started looking for rings. A quick an easy way to personalize your ring.

Lisa Hessel Photography

But, the best part is that tungsten isn’t reserved for just the guys.  They make the perfect simple wedding band for anyone, or are a great substitute ring to wear while on vacation. Although, I’m pretty sure anyone who puts one on doesn’t want to take it off.

This is a sponsored post. Tungsten World compensated me to write it. However, the views and opinions shared are solely mine – I only recommend products I use personally and believe will be of benefit for my readers.

When it comes to weddings, we all know the saying something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.  But what you may not know are the meanings behind each of these items – items that are believed to bring you good luck on your wedding day.

Tradition states that something old represents continuity; something new offers optimism for the future; something borrowed symbolizes borrowed happiness and something blue stands for purity, love, and fidelity. Luckily, tradition doesn’t lay any ground rules to what these items have to be, and thanks to ETSY the options are endless!

Bobby Pins: CIONINA  | Brooch: LuluSplendor  | White Flowers: madebywildangel |  Seafoam Flower: serenitycrystal | Blue Flowers: Saras Boutique | Crystal Pins: Bella Mia Design

Converse: NEWBRIDEINTOWN | Polka Dot Pumps: norakaren | Flip Flops: whomadethatbow | Lace Shoes (white): TomberAmoureuxed | Lace Shoes (blue): WalkinOnAir | Lace Slipper: uku2

 Flower Garter: KrumpetsDesigns | Hanger: Handmade Affair | Underwear: bridalparty | Petticoat: Gowns by Gaetana | Lace Garter: SofiaUniqueBoutique

Bouquet Charm: Paloma’s Nest | Clutch (top): J&Em Clutch Co.     | Clutch (middle): Fallen Sparrow  | Clutch (bottom): FuchstandBelle

Necklace (left): Pearly Jane Bridal | Necklace (right): galladesign | Earrings: JooJoo Land | Bracelet: Aurora’s Jewelry Box | Ring: 10onWednesday | Pearl Necklace: Zafirenia

Bow Shoe Clip: enjoythecreation | Flower Shoe Clip (light blue): kgdesign | I Do Stickers: YourHappilyEverAfter | Navy Flower Shoe Clip: BB&C Bridal

Belly Button Ring: Jens Jewels | Dress Patch: MondeDesigns | Bracelet: Frosted Willow | Garter: La Gartier


Besides bringing you good luck, these adorable, fun, creative choices are guaranteed to bring you a few compliments, not to mention amazing photo ops!

What is (or was) your “Something Blue?”

Allison Marie Photography

From the Photographer:
Since Haley and Taylor live out of state, I met them for the very first time right before their engagement shoot. Within only a couple minutes, I felt like we had been friends for years! They are both so energetic and passionate about life, not to mention extremely photogenic! I loved the fun details they included in their shoot.

Quote from the bride-to-be: “My fiance and I had a great time taking our engagement photos with Allison. She was somehow professional yet laid back at the same time. She definitely knew how to put us at ease in front of the lens! When deciding what to wear, I consulted a brochure Allison sent her brides-to-be – it was very helpful. In addition, I scoured Pinterest to find inspiration for the photos. After all this research, Allison was open to all of the ideas I had which included wooden letters writing out OCT 12 and an old frame with 10.12.12. written on it. She had me send her any pictures I loved, and and she did a great job incorporating all of those poses. In addition, she allowed me to have input as to where the photo shoots would take place. Overall, it was an excellent experience. Our pictures turned out amazing, and I would recommend her to everyone!”

I’m thrilled to be sharing Alina from My Yellow Umbrella‘s wedding. This December wedding (yes, December…in the Midwest) was filled with personality, character, DIY details, and you guessed – a yellow umbrella (parasol to be exact). Budget was important to Alina and Jonathan, so they strived toward cutting costs where they knew they could, but focused on making it memorable and fun for all involved. At the heart of it all, is simply two people in love, and I love that.

Jackie Cooper Photo

From the Bride:
When my now-husband, Cowboy, as I fondly call him, and I were engaged, he was moving to a different city the following month to finish med school. Because of that, we quickly made decisions about the who, what, when and where behind the wedding. We were blessed as we met open doors in each area and quickly nailed down the specifics. From there, though, I got to spend a few months dreaming, conceptualizing and DIY-ing. Our story (you can read it here and here) was one that was so special and unique that I wanted to showcase i t. So, I started by designing our invitations. Before giving guests the details, I shared a snippet of our story; they read, “Jonathan & Alina have spent the last 20-some years living great lives. Parallel lives. They went to the same schools, played for the same sports teams, and hung out with the same friends…but never met. 2.5 years ago, both moved to Kansas City…2 weeks apart. 1.5 years later, they were as happy as clams…until a mutual friend found out that they had been narrowly escaping each other for the last 10 years. ‘Immediately you must meet,’ he said. So they did. And the rest, as they say, is history.” Those invitations set the tone for the everything else. After I finished designing the invitations (in the typographic-heavy style that I love), my mom printed my designs and hand-made each invitations, laying paper over paper, adding dimension and beauty to every piece. Most people know me for my DIY blog, My Yellow Umbrella, so I, of course, knew I would be DIY-ing anything and everything I could (I’m also a bit of a frugalista, so I wanted to save money on ALL of it!). I also wanted our guests to see “us” in everything, even the tiniest details. So, as Cowboy started his third year of med school across the state from me, we got to work. Out of that, the details of our wedding day were born. I can truly say that it was the most incredible day of my life. Not only did I get to see the details I’d invested countless hours into come together, but I also became a wife to the most incredible man I’ve ever met!

All along, we were trying to be careful to be as frugal as possible. We decided to forgo a meal, as the wedding was at 3:00 in the afternoon, which saved a lot of money. All in all, I estimate we spent between $5,500 and $6,000, with the help of our parents. If you’re like me, you’re thinking that’s a good chunk of change. But, friends, I know with all of my heart that we saved SO much money.

Ceremony / Reception Venue: Fulton Valley Farms  |  Videographer: The Brickhouse Studios  |  Photography: Jackie Cooper Photo  |  Hair Stylist: Kayla Bodley at House of Hair Salon  |  Wedding Gown: The Savvy Bride  |  Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal  |  Groom / Groomsmen Attire: MakeYourOwnJeans.com  |  Ringbearer Attire: The Baxter Boy  |  Striped Candy Bags: Two Crazy Ladies  |  Gray Striped Straws: Shop Sweet Lulu  |  Candy: Candy.com and CandyFavorites.com  |  Flowers: Dillon’s  |  Flower Girl Attire: RuffleFabric.com  |  Groom / Groomsmen Accessories:   |  Sparklers: SuperiorFireworks.com  |  Bride’s Shoes: Off Broadway Shoes  |  Bridesmaid Shoes: Ebay.com  |  Cupcakes / Drinks / Cups / Utensils: Sam’s Club  |  Yellow Plates / Napkins: The Dollar Tree  |  Mason Jar Drink Dispensers / Yellow Parasol and Paper Lanterns: World Market  |  Pepsi Crate: Bondie’s Old Town Antique Mall