I wrote about our wedding day on my phone during our 13 hour flight home from Greece. I wanted it to be fresh in mind of feeling all the feels, so here ya go. :)
Our wedding day was the most magical day I’ve ever experienced. And the best part was? It rained. If you would’ve told me six months ago that it was going to rain on our wedding day, I would’ve told you to get lost. In all honesty, I had always pictured my wedding day as a sunny and 72 degree day - it was September after all. We were jipped on a spring here in Des Moines, so I was just sure our fall would be the best weather ever! But that wasn’t the case, so we rolled with it, and it still was our best day ever.
The week leading up to our wedding it said rain and cold all weekend, which left me stressed, frustrated and trying to come up with a back up plan for our outdoor ceremony. We tried just about everything but eventually came to our senses that our 30 minute ceremony wasn’t worth dropping thousands more on a day that we’ve already spent a pretty penny on. I was checking the weather every 20 minutes on every possible weather source. It was Thursday afternoon that I realized I had to be okay with whatever the situation was. Trust me - it wasn’t easy for the perfectionist in me who envisioned a warm sunny day, but I had to remember that God had another plan. Was I more focused in a picture perfect day, or did none of that matter because I was marrying my best friend? And it was definitely the latter.
It didn’t rain all morning into early afternoon so Joe and I got to take a lot of photos out in the rose garden prior to the ceremony (which honestly looked like a dream without the sun beaming down on our faces!) If you’re not familiar with the DSM rose garden, it’s the prettiest little spot behind the art center (another one of my favorite places). It’s filled with roses (obviously) and gorgeous, tall trees. It was the perfect spot for our garden inspired wedding.
My mom was just so positive it was going to rain from day one, so she had ordered 200 umbrellas six months prior (yes you read that correctly). My mom and our coordinator had also suggested we move the ceremony inside to Wooly’s, but I stood my ground and was adamant that we kept the ceremony outside. We had also previously planned to have tents out for the bridal party to hang out in as guests arrived, which worked out well because just as we wrapped up photos in the garden, it started to rain.
My mind was in other places, but everyone else was thinking people might not come because of the horrible weather. And while we didn’t take attendance, I saw almost (if not all) of our guests. No better feeling than realizing that all of those people love you enough to sit through a chilly, not-so-typical wedding ceremony! The train of my dress got drenched but I didn’t care. I was so happy, excited, feeling all the feels that I rolled with it. I knew I’d only wear it once, and there was no way I’d hold my train down the aisle!
After the ceremony I felt like I could finally BREATHE! We hopped on the limo, drove around downtown to take more photos with our wedding party, and stopped for a drink at our favorite bar, Hello Marjorie (where we got engaged!)
Next up - reception! A weight was lifted off my shoulders that this was inside. ;) We had our reception in the East Village at Wooly’s, which is Joe’s brother’s concert venue. The place looked completely transformed to what I was used to. It’s more of a dive-y, hipster-y spot so we used that to our advantage and decked the place out with plenty of flowers and vintage decor. It was the perfect reception venue for us - we both spend a lot of time there going to concerts which added all the more meaning to it! It also speaks to who Joe is - a huge music lover and used to have his own band. ;)
I enlisted in a lot of help to set up the place. I had gathered a lot of decor that was either in my house currently, or something I could reuse again in the future. My style is definitely not your typical formal wedding decor, and while not everyone agrees with this, I didn’t care! I wanted the place to be representative of Joe and I. We switched out all the band posters to posters of Joe and I, with pictures of us, lyrics to songs that we love, and other illustrations and designs (one being a giant watercolor of Mister Pickles!).
I had crafted another of items as well, such as floral rings hanging from the doorway, a cut out of our hashtag (#summerslovin), bar signs, personalized menus, cocktail napkins and more. I’ll be honest - I went a littleeeee over the top on details, but it’s so much of my designer nature that I just really wanted the space to feel personalized and like Joe and I.
Andddd let’s not forget about the other wedding details. Joe wore a green jacket and black pants. The groomsmen had the cutest pink floral bowties and my bridesmaids wore different shades of pink. Multiple people looked at me like I was sort of crazy for having mismatched dresses, but you guys I’m telling you it WAS THE CUTEST THING EVER.
All in all it was better than I could’ve ever dreamed of. Of course none of it would’ve been possible without our amazing vendors!
Photographer: Ali Leigh Photo
Ceremony: Des Moines Art Center Rose Garden
Reception: Wooly’s DSM
Caterer: Gateway Catering
Florals: Shelly Sarver Designs
Live Band: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Stationery: Brighten Made
Dress: Pure Bridal
Reception Florals + Styling: Emily Powell
Hair: Jenna Hoffmann / Make-up Kelsi Ziemann
Groom’s Outfit: The Black Tux
Rentals: Unique Iowa Events
Baked Goods: Scratch Cupcakery