In honor of our first wedding anniversary, here is a little story of our day + photos and video!
From the beginning, Ryan and I knew we wanted our day to be personal, unique, and fun. Without reinventing the wheel, we wanted to put our own touch on everything. Traditional wasn’t really our style. I think we accomplished it without going insane. 😉 We wanted it to be a day to remember, not only us, but for our friends and family as well. After our wedding, we couldn’t believe how many times we were complimented that we had “the best wedding ever.” We certainly didn’t set that high of a standard for ourselves, but somehow it all came together better than we ever expected. Don’t get me wrong though, as there were all the normal mishaps as well.
What really set the tone for everything was our venue. The ceremony and reception were held at a hidden gem in the middle of no where, Missouri. It was a fully restored barn from 1926 on 120 acres of land. The ceremony was outdoors, overlooking the lake, fields, and woods where the prairie grasses and wild flowers are abundant. It is truly a photographer’s dream, or for that matter, a bride’s dream! Following the ceremony, our reception was in the beautiful loft of the barn. There were also yard games and a bonfire on the lawn and a hayride around the property. It was actually difficult to get everyone together for the reception to begin because there was so much activity!
We set the date for August 25, thinking the weather would be perfect. Well, little did we know that 2012 would play out to be one of hottest years on record. Missouri was also under drought conditions for most of the summer. Funny enough, it rained on our wedding day. It started pouring on us and our wedding party as we were finishing up photos earlier in the day. We frantically ran for cover and grabbed our ceremony programs and guestbook that were already set up on a table outside. I remember Jan, the barn owner, pulling me aside and telling me, “You are SO lucky. Rain on a wedding day is good luck.” Bless our family and friends for drying off the ceremony chairs twice, and for my hair stylist who insisted on curling my hair again before the ceremony. We embraced the rain and the cooler temperatures that it brought though. Without that storm, it could’ve easily been 100 degrees that day.
I would call our wedding style eclectic. It was a little bit of rustic, charming, vintage, and handmade. We followed our color scheme of mint and coral very loosely, as we didn’t want anything to be matchy-matchy. We told our groomsmen to find a shirt in a shade of coral and the bridesmaids to find a dress in a shade of mint. Trust your friends! You’ll be amazed how all the different styles and colors come together to create a beautiful palette.
There were many, many hours spent thrifting and crafting and researching. Yes, research! I researched everything from personalized napkins to paper straws to cupcake liners. We wanted to make sure every purchase was not only a quality product, but also made sense financially. Just some of the things we bought were: strings and strings of globe lights, paper lanterns, yards of cream voile, mason jars, and 100+ lbs of candy. You can imagine how quickly all of those purchases add up.
It was truly a labor of love to pull everything together. It’s amazing how much money you can save when you really try! Ryan’s Grandma sewed many feet of bunting and burlap table runners. Ryan’s Mom thrifted various vases, old cameras, frames, and the cutest little knick knacks. My Mom grew wildflowers in her garden and planted succulents for the centerpieces. Ryan’s Uncle made yard games by hand (corn hole and hillbilly golf). We borrowed lace overlays, a tandem bike, and candy jars. With the help of our amazing friends and family, we painted wooden signs and canvas bunting, stamped candy bags and name tags for jars, and made our own chalkboards and luminaries. Ryan and I designed our own invites and ceremony programs, and he designed our wedding website. We even made our own honeymoon registry on our website (www.ryanandmindy.us) by creating our shop using WooCommerce.
The handmade ceremony backdrop was probably the biggest project. We cut long strips of cheap fabric in different colors and patterns and tied them on a rope between two handmade posts. (We had to improvise since there were no trees.) They were actually cardboard carpet rolls, but you wouldn’t have known because we covered them in burlap. The posts were held up by fence posts we temporarily put in the ground.
Being videographers ourselves, we knew that the photos and video were top priority on our list. As cliche as it sounds, they would be the most priceless investment we could make on our day. Therefore, most of our budget went to the photographer and videographer. We compensated and saved money in other places, like doing a homemade dinner for family and the wedding party before the ceremony and by buying a $40 wedding dress. Besides our amazing photos and video, our guest book is one of our favorite keepsakes from the day. Our guest book, a handmade journal, is full of instant photos and sweet messages from our guests.
One of the most personal parts of the day was our ceremony. Our videography business is actually called Two Are Better (www.twoarebetter.us), and we live that motto out in both our professional and personal life. Therefore, it only made sense to carry that theme out in our ceremony. Our officiant was my Aunt Marcie, who spoke the most beautiful and memorable words. We wrote our own vows and instead of doing a unity candle, we actually tied a knot during our ceremony. We found out later that rain on your wedding day (that it did!) is good luck because it makes the rope wet and thus the knot harder to undo. That gave me goosebumps! Ryan and I served communion to our guests, and our youth pastor served us communion. We didn’t plan for so many people to participate in communion, thus the DJ had to play “Crying in the Chapel” by Elvis 3 times in a row!
I mentioned mishaps, and there were a couple that won’t be forgotten. Like at the end of the ceremony, when my Aunt said it was time to anoint us with oil and pray over us… when I realized that the oil had totally slipped my mind! I knew I was forgetting something! We all laughed about it and she did a symbolic anointing. It was amazing to have our friends and family lay their hands on us and pray over us as a newly married couple. We walked out to “When I’m 64” by the Beatles and the party began! We had an amazing dessert table (thanks to a family friend!) and a candy buffet as favors for guests.
For our reception (and ceremony) we carefully chose every single song that was played. Our DJ was so awesome at fulfilling all of our specific requests. One of the best moments of the day was when we were introduced at the reception and we went straight into our first dance. We surprised everyone by dancing the fox trot to Frank Sinatra’s “You Make Me Feel So Young.” In secret, we had taken dance lessons in preparation for this special moment! Since we didn’t have a best man or maid of honor, we had everyone in our wedding party say a little something at the reception. That was so special to hear from each of them! Plus, two of the guys surprised us with a hilarious rap they wrote for us. We played the shoe game at the reception and got many laughs out of that. The reception seemed to fly by! As it was slowing down and guests were leaving, we moved the party out to the bonfire in the lawn. I felt like I could’ve stayed there all night just chatting with our closest friends.
My Dad passed away 3+ years ago, and although he wasn’t there physically, I wanted everyone to know that he was still very much part of the day. I cut out a heart from one of his favorite shirts and had it sewn on my wedding dress. My Mom and I lit a lantern at the ceremony in memory of him. We invited everyone to the dance floor in memory of the father-daughter dance and we danced to the song “Unforgettable.” Although I physically walked down the aisle by myself, I know I wasn’t truly alone.
After writing this, I still can’t believe that this was our wedding. We’ve never felt so grateful for friends and family and feel like we can’t thank everyone enough. We already wish we could go back and re-live our big day!
Jan & Bruce Sassman – Owners of barn venue
Kelley King (Friend) – Cake & Cake Pops
Lois Hall (Friend) – Other Desserts
Tom Rotter of Block Rockin’ Beats – DJ
Holly Yoder – Makeup Artist
Erika Fluhrer – Hair Stylist
Our Moms – Floral designers
Ourselves – Invitation & Ceremony Program Design
Darren’s Ballroom Dance Studio – Dance lessons
Alicia Wines Photography – Engagement photos
Ruche – Bride’s dress
Hey Lady – Bride’s shoes
The Red Magnolia – Bride’s belt (http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheRedMagnolia)
db Boutique – Bride’s garters (http://www.etsy.com/shop/DinkybirdBoutique)
Tessa Kim – Bride’s Veil (http://www.tessakim.com/)
JCrew – Groom’s Pants (www.jcrew.com)
Men’s Warehouse – Groom’s Shirt (http://www.menswearhouse.com/)
Nordstrom – Groom’s Shoes (http://shop.nordstrom.com/)
Knot Co – Groom’s Bow Tie (http://www.knotco.com/)
Speak Louder – Groom’s Pocket Square (http://www.etsy.com/shop/speaklouder)
Suspender store – Groom’s suspenders (http://www.suspenderstore.com/)
LilaFrances – Personalized Hanger (http://www.lilafrancesdesigns.com/)
TOPS Malibu – Cake toppers (http://topsmalibu.com/)
Candy.com – Candy
Peregrine Arts Bindery – Guest book (http://www.etsy.com/shop/PeregrineArtsBindery)
Sip Sticks – Paper straws (http://www.sipsticks.com/)
Luna Bazaar – Paper lanterns, battery operated tea lights, and one parasol (http://www.lunabazaar.com/)
Target- string globe lights (www.target.com)
Online Fabric Store – cream voile (http://www.onlinefabricstore.net/)
Blain’s Farm & Fleet – mason jars (http://www.farmandfleet.com/)
The Smart Baker – cake pop tower
Pretty Tape – washi tape