Weddings tend to strike a separate cord in all of us, and this personality-filled Iowa fête by Mark Kegans Photographs is the perfect example of what tends to strum every cord in my wedding-obsessed heart. Because not only was this wedding held in the chicest of lofts filled with the most sophisticated details (hello fabulous ceremony backdrop!), but when the best man also has the rings flown in by a remote-controlled helicopter and the couple had their hands in every special detail – you just know this entire celebration is strike-a-cord-worthy. And after scrolling through the images of the couple’s oh so perfect day in the full gallery of images, I guarantee you’ll agree.

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From the bride… From the get go, Kyle and I knew that we wanted to have a large role in the pieces that would make our wedding day whole. We struck a fine balance between knowing when to ask for help and knowing what we could handle ourselves. Sometimes it was a bit stressful, but in the end, it all turned out perfectly. Kyle and I got engaged in a photo booth on Christmas Eve, and though we knew having a photo booth would be important to us for our fall wedding, Kyle (an industrial designer) decided to put a unique spin on things: he built our photo booth himself. Not only was craftiness a large part of our wedding, but so was locality. I’m from Iowa, and Kyle is from Michigan, and we tried to have the wedding reflect our appreciation for all things local: our food included Iowa prosciutto and local greens, the honey we used as our party favors was from Iowa, and our salad had Michigan dried cherries. All of our paper materials were provided by a Michigan paper company, and our beer and wine were purchased from the restaurant where I worked all through high school and college. Kyle and I are proud of our roots, and we wanted to pay homage to them in every way we possibly could.

While we take the tradition of marriage seriously, we did want to have at least a little bit of fun with our guests — which is why we enlisted the help of Kyle’s brother, best man, and sister-in-law to help us stage a spoof in which the best man “forgot” the rings and had a remote-controlled helicopter bring them over to him. It was the best surprise ever — from everyone’s reactions, you can see that we were able to keep that one a pretty good secret!

Aside from the photo booth, Kyle designed our invitations, programs, menu cards and honey tags, and I wrote the copy for everything. Nothing felt better than knowing the majority of what we’d come up with we’d also been able to execute and create ourselves. We had friends do the chalk art, arrange songs to be played during the cocktail hour, and help us assemble the photo booth. We were lucky enough to have had Kyle’s father, a judge, marry us. Looking back, nothing is cooler than seeing the parts that so many wonderful people played in helping us with our wedding day. The day was wonderful, from top to bottom. Kyle and I knew that above all else, our hard work was only an element of the event. We wanted to have a good time and not sweat what we couldn’t control. That was the easiest (and best) decision we ever made. The night flowed perfectly, thanks to our coordinators; the decor was absolutely stunning; and every moment was filled with laughter and wonderful conversation.

Wedding Photography: Mark Kegans Photographs / Event Planning, Design + Flowers: Magnolia 105 by Divine Flowers / Wedding Venue: Sticks in Des Moines, Iowa / Wedding Cake: Cake Me, I’m Yours! / Food + Catering: Lisa LaValle / Wedding Invitations: Kyle Lawson, Groom / Shoes: Miss America / Wedding Dress: Tara Keely

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