Stephanie and Gabriel were inspired by lots of things for their Iowa wedding. Their theme was a mixture of all things rustic, bohemian, hipster, creative and geeky!
“We drew inspiration from the items and people we love”, said Stephanie. “For example, our table names were book titles that Gabriel and I chose based on their significance in our life. We also found inspiration in frugality. The areas we spent more money on were the items that would directly interact with the guests, i.e. the food, the drink and the favours.”
“When it came to decorating, we have to give a lot of credit for the final look to Jenn of Harper Hadley Events, because we sat and told her the desired feel and the ambiance we wanted to achieve, and she nailed it. She brought together all our individual must-haves and created a coherent, absolutely beautiful event.”
“We decided to go somewhat low-key for the décor, not only because it’s remarkably cheaper to do this, but also because our venue didn’t need much more than minimal decoration. The walls are brick with new Edison bulb lighting fixtures so the idea was to play-up the rustic feel of the venue by having Mason jar candle holders with a variety of ribbon and burlap glued onto them. We had these surrounded by stacks of books and family photographs. We also collected lots of second hand glasses. Our ‘guestbook’ was Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience on vinyl! We had people sign with metallic Sharpies.”
“There were quite a few things we did differently to a traditional wedding”, she continued. “We asked all our bridal party to purchase Tom’s as their shoes and we also asked them to choose their own attire. Although neither of us is Jewish, we had a Chuppah because we agree with, and love, the symbolism of it. Additionally, we asked both sets of parents to walk us down the aisle.”
The ceremony was conducted by the groom’s father, Mike. “We were married by Gabriel’s father which was special because he added personality to the message. We wrote our own vows and did a back and forth recitation that was chock full of inside jokes, nicknames, and genuine emotion. We also paid homage to my Polish side by having a ceremony at the reception where the parents present their children with rye bread, sprinkled with salt, which is supposed to represent the parents’ desire that their children will never experience hunger or need. They then present the children with wine, which represents the desire that their children will never go thirsty. Finally, we had my cousin read an Irish blessing, to pay homage to my Irish side.”
“The best part about planning our wedding was the wedding day itself”, she concluded, “All the planning exists to get to that moment. The worst bit was dealing with criticism about some of our ideas, especially from those closest to us. In the end, though, we had to remember that the day was about us, and the life you are embarking on.”
“As cheesy as that sounds, it’s a reality, and it’s a soothing balm when emotions rise and tensions are high. Weddings can be very chaotic and emotional, so it’s important to surround yourself with people who aim to lessen those factors rather than add to them.”