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Iowa Backyard Barn Wedding

When my sweet cousin Kate let me in on plans to transform her parents’ backyard barn into a full-blown ceremony venue, I was the tiniest bit skeptical. But thanks to a little creative dreaming and a whole lot of elbow grease, they pulled off a handcrafted, vintage-chic celebration that’s sure to take Pinterest by storm. Amanda Basteen captured the day, and you can get your hands on it all in the gallery.


From The Bride…Ryan and I met about 5 years ago through mutual friends. Our relationship was not the typical love at first site type of romance. We became really close friends before we started dating, and I think that helped us build a really strong foundation. I know we can both say that we truly did marry our best friend.

Once I knew that Ryan was the man I would marry, I started dreaming of my perfect wedding. I grew up on a farm and have always had a love for the country. Ryan also grew up around farming, and we knew that getting married on a farm was the perfect representation of our future life together. I asked my parents if we could get married on their farm, and they were more than happy to get working on turning it into the perfect wedding location. They have an old vintage barn that I knew had the potential to be special. It took over a year to restore the barn for the wedding with help from our awesome friends and family. Ryan and I designed and built the window wall on the front of the barn that really gave it the quirky vintage feel I was looking for.

The day after Ryan and I got engaged, my mom and I started the hunt for the perfect wedding decorations. We had such a fun time hitting up all of the local shops and flea markets in our area, and were able to find the perfect vintage and shabby chic pieces we were looking for. We wanted every detail to have our own personal touch and I couldn’t be happier with how the decor turned out. My mom and I designed all of the decor for the wedding and our dear friend Bobbie Peiffer helped us pull together all of the finishing touches. She has experience in wedding design and I knew that she would take our vintage ideas and top them with the perfect finishings.

Our parents really helped make our dream wedding come true and we can’t thank them enough for letting us transform their barn into the perfect wedding location. Our guests had so much fun walking around the property and admiring all of the hard word it took to get the grounds looking so beautiful. Our wedding day was more amazing than any expectations we had and we couldn’t be more thankful that we were able to share it with our loved ones.

We are so excited to start our new life as husband and wife and are so happy we have all of these amazing memories. We knew our wedding would be a once in a lifetime experience and are delighted to be able to share and inspire other couples looking to create their own special day!

Photography: Amanda Basteen | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Various | DJ: Unique Events | Cake/Dessert Bar: Amber's Eats And Treats | Floral/Event Design: Bobbie Peiffer | Rentals: Vintage Love, Rentals & Annessi | Venue: The Barn | Wedding Party Hair: Hair {by Kailee} | Wedding Party Make-Up: Lindsey Coblentz

Modern and Preppy Elopement Shoot

As a born and raised Iowa girl, I have to give a shout out to these amazing Des Moines vendors, Aly CarrollShelly SarverEphemera Design and so many more. They’re the creative geniuses behind this Palm Spring-inspired elopement shoot, and I, for one, can’t get enough. Think bold patterns, bright colors, and a little touch of gold thrown in for good measure. Ready? The pin party starts right….now!


From Aly CarrollAfter a long, bleak Iowa winter I was dreaming of shooting an event in a warmer location. So, on a brisk April day I assembled a team of vendors to stage a wishful escape, a Palm Springs elopement. Inspired by the light pink wall down the street from my studio, I incorporated shades of citrus, preppy clothing, and nautical accents. 

Photography: Aly Carroll | Floral Design: Shelly Sarver | Bakery: Bite Sized Bakery | Invitations: Ephemera Design | Catering: Big City Burgers And Greens | Groomsmen's Attire: Badowers | Bride's Attire: Dornink | Centerpieces : Target | Emerald Ring : Shane Co. | Gold Band: Josephs Jewelers | Hair & Makeup : Penelopie Beauty Bar | Outdoor: Valley Junction | Rentals: Poppy & Olive's | Rug: Urban Outfitters | Stylist: StyleEsque

SMP Midwest Welcomes Our Advertisers + A Discount + A Giveaway!

Today we’re thanking our lucky stars for WASIO photography, the sole reason your Saturday is about to take a giant step up from normal to extraordinary.  I’m talking an entire portfolio of jaw-droppingly gorgeous images from one of the most talented photography teams you will ever meet.  How’s that for the perfect weekend?  Dive into all of the pretty (+ a discount and giveaway) below!

From WASIO photography… Living in Chicago, we get to appreciate the beautiful architecture and incorporate it in our photographs. The roots of our inspiration are landscapes and being in the moment. True love is one of our greatest motivators that inspires us to capture special moments that literally happen in seconds. By having such a strong passion for love and beauty, we thrive to deliver timeless photographs that will be passed down through generations. Our goal is to always awe our clients with the famous WASIO signature style photographs.

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Discount! Book WASIO photography in August or September and we will add 10 additional images to our handcrafted wedding albums! ($300 value)

Giveaway!  One lucky SMP reader will win a sunset or sunrise 1-hour engagement session* with WASIO photography! (Value $499)  Simply leave a comment below telling us why Chicago is your city of choice for your engagement session!  The winner, chosen completely at random, will be announced right here on SMP on Friday, September 12, 2014.  

For terms and conditions, click here.  

*Session must take place in downtown Chicago on a mutually agreed day. The engagement session includes session time plus one WASIO signature edit 8×10 print. Online gallery will include all color corrected images from the session. Client will have the option to purchase additional prints with WASIO signature edit or all high-resolution electronic images.