Blake proposed to Ellen on a camping trip in the Ozark Mountains and we both knew that we wanted to get married in the Sierra Nevada Mountains where Ellen had grown up and there had been many family memories made already. We wanted it to be in nature, rustic and romantic. We wanted all our family and friends but for it to feel intimate. We wanted a party!
Planning our dream wedding was daunting because we now live in Kansas City and all our family and friends still live in California. It truly took a village. Luckily I have some of the most talented and hardworking family and friends and this wedding came together with only a couple external vendors. Our Auntie is a caterer and became the captain of our ship. She found an amazing secluded venue that fit our style exactly and she and the bride collaborated to design the menu, venue decor and order of the day. The family rented a cabin Airbnb nearby which became “wedding central”. The mother of the bride designed and made all of the florals and other family and friends members made signs, hauled furniture and coordinated.
When looking for a bridal dress I knew I wanted something timeless but bohemian: long sleeves, lace, low back. I couldn’t find my dream dress so I asked my Aunt, a talented seamstress, if she would make my dress for me. We designed it together via text, email, and one fitting. When the day came I felt like a bohemian warrior princess and everyone was blown away by what she had created! I’m so grateful!
Our day was inspired by our love for the outdoors and the beauty of nature. The bride is an artist and she DIY’d and carefully chose elements that would reflect their story as a couple; banners with some favorite quotes, hand carved and printed invitations, antique lanterns and natural centerpieces.
One of our favorite memories was the time we spent hiking through the woods right after the ceremony. We chose to wait to see one another at the altar which was a perfect decision for us. We share handwritten vows (even though the bride lost the first page of hers) and once the ceremony was over it was so sweet to get a moment together in the beautiful setting of Mt. Rose.
Another favorite memory was right when we sat down and began the reception. We had a private sweetheart table at the head of the room that was handcrafted by a friend of ours and now serves as our dining room table. We finally got to see everything come together and all the wonderful people we invited were together in front of us enjoying the evening. That was an emotional and special moment for us.
Processional: How Long Will I Love You by Ellie Goulding
Recessional: Catch& Release by Matt Simons
First Dance: The Luckiest by Ben Folds
If you’re planning now: Get your hands dirty! One of our favorite things about our wedding is that a lot of people had a hand in it and it made it so much more special to see when the big day came. DIY, use people’s talents and have fun with the planning and setup!