This wedding is the epitome of hand-made. The bride and groom literally built the venue (their farm!) to their specifications, and the bride is a wedding planner and florist, so everything was completely to her specifications. She gave a much more detailed and special account of the day then I could do justice to, so I’ll let the images and the bride speak for themselves!
From the Bride:
For us, everything is about being original and true to self so buying our farm 10 months before we got married was quite exciting and at times a race to the finish. We had to do a complete face lift to the property. New barn, new fencing, rebuild the bridge, gut the existing farmhouse, pour concrete in the barns, landscape, sow seed and lay sod…everything! On top of that is was when the winter temperatures were at some of the lowest they’ve been and the summer was 6 weeks of temperatures between 100-110*f and humid as all get out! Thank goodness for great friends willing to work for food!!
With all that said and all the blood, sweat and tears that went into making it ‘ours’ it also came with a cool addition…we could build this to be exactly what we wanted in a venue!!! I grew up on a cattle & row crop farm in a small town in Missouri and Andys family owned a farm is a small town about 30 mins from me. The farm we bought was smack dab in the middle of his family, my family and my grandparents farm. So having a real country wedding was a must for us! We don’t like the dazzle, divas and glitz of traditional weddings. We wanted a party…with a wedding on the side. We wanted all of our guest to come and be comfortable so of course we set the ‘dress code’ of jeans and casual dresses. We love our family and friends…not what they wear.
With me being a florist and wedding planner I couldn’t wait to get to work. I knew exactly what would be fitting for our taste and what our guests would appreciate as well. I handled the ‘girl’ stuff and Andy was the muscle on the farm. I planned the wedding and did the flowers and he built the venue for the wedding. It was a big group effort with lots of help from family and friends. Without them…it would have been tough. ;)
We started from the ground up. What do we like… Both owning countless pairs of cowboy boots we both insisted on wearing boots. Which is also what we chose as gifts for our wedding party. We took them cowboy boot shopping so they could each pick out a style to suit their personality. With Andy’s Italian roots all the guys shoulders are as broad as a barn and hard as heck to find suit jackets to fit so we chose to have the jackets and shirts custom made to fit the guys and also for the fathers so they would be comfortable. The girls simple yellow cotton dresses were made by a local gal. I wanted something simple and with pockets and what wouldn’t require any special undergarments that would be uncomfortable for the girls.
For Andy, he wore jeans, cowboy boots, crisp white shirts and suit jacket and tie accompanied by longhorn cufflinks to compliment our farm ‘mascot’ of a longhorn. I wore an Enzoani dress with a vintage inspired belt, cowboy boots and vintage 1940′s jewerly & hairpins.
Now that the attire is out of the way….the fun stuff to me…DETAILS! ;)
Growing up on farms we were blessed to have access to a lot of truly unique and rustic pieces. And it means so much more that it’s straight from our family farms. We made yard signs directing guests using barnwood from both our families barns. Quilts made by my grandma. Mason jars my mom has canned in since 1970. All the hay for the ceremony seating and hayrides was bailed on our farm, our card and gift table was the front door from the original farmhouse and the cake table was made of an old barn door, pastry plates made from antique plates and goblets and the cake base was cut from an extra piece of log we used in creating the log entrance to the farm and multiple antique pieces for accents at the reception mostly found in my grandpas workshop and sheds. These are pieces I chose to accent with flowers. I used a mixture of greens and wildflowers to create a simple, country look. We both like the easy, flowing look of wildflowers so the wedding party bouquets were left open and airy and tied with twine with the guys wearing simple yellow billy ball boutineers. Corsages had a twine bow and table centerpieces were in anything from mason jars to old lunch pails to vintage flour and sugar containers.
As guests arrived to the ceremony they were guided to a ‘parking field’ where a fall decorated haywagon would pick them up to transport them to the ceremony where they were asked to take a seat on a haybale and read the ‘newspaper’ which was what we used instead of programs. It included a story about us, our wedding party, pet section featuring our two American Bulldogs, I Spy game, crossword puzzle and more. As the 4pm ceremony time arrived the haywagons drove to the farmhouse and barn to pick up the bridesmaids and groomsmen. Once they were dropped off my father and I were escorted by haywagon to the ceremony where we had a single guitar player in the field playing for the wedding. We had chose to write our own vows which mine mentioned my deep love for Andy and also made mention of his beard. And Andy professed the love he has for me and also my flaw being my obnixious zebra print bedroom slippers. As a couple we keep things light and not overly serious and as I mentioned…true to us. Everyone has heard the ‘regular’ wedding vows so making them ours was important to us. The ceremony was a quick 20 mins. Then yard games, hayrides and vintage candy awaited guests as they waited for us to finish up pictures and get the reception started!! Our ‘party bus’ was a ‘party tractor and wagon’ we cruised around the farm getting pictures with the beautiful fall leaves and reveling in the moment.
Once at the reception we were treated to two of by far the BEST toasts around by my sister Sarah and Andy’s brother Sal. They had everyone rolling in laughter and tears rolling down their faces. Guests were seated by homemade seating cards clothespinned to twine on an old picket fence section. They had a treat of trailmix in a mason jar to snack on. We purchased brown bags and white wax bags to create ‘pockets’ for silverware and put salt and pepper in the white bags and had a stamp made to label them to keep it all neatly together we fastened it with a brad. In lieu of a traditional guestbook we had mad-lib style guest cards slipped in each bag that everyone filled out…and they were hilarious to read the next few days after the wedding! After a long day what else do you eat on the farm but BBQ!! All 400 of our closest family and friends chowed down on BBQ pulled pork, beef brisket, chicken, pork steaks and all the fixins! After dinner it was on to dessert! Lots of mini pastries, chocolate and white cake draped in chocolate buttercream, chocolate piped scrolling and brown M&M trim topped with a custom cake topper of Andy, myself and our dogs. Then…the dancing began. We had a county band playing all of our favorites and taking requests. Everyone was a big dancing family enjoying the party..just what we wanted. ;)
The night came to a close around 2am. Tired, exhausted, and totally and completely happy we sat in our bar in the recliners eating cake watching the band pack up but all that was heard was crickets and bullfrogs in the distance and all we saw were the bright stars in the sky on a cool fall night. This night was perfect. This night was ours. This was the start to our happily ever after.