What you are about to see is a lesson on how to plan the perfect wedding weekend. Rehearsal dinner, wedding, brunch… tie it all together so the images (like these gorg ones from Melissa Hayes Photography) flow in a way that is beautiful. This is a rehearsal dinner and a wedding all in one post, and even I am learning so much about honing in on your specific style. I love it!
From the gorgeous bride… If you build it, they will come. Bruce and I met in Washington, DC almost six years ago. After a long courtship he popped the question and we decided to plan our wedding in my hometown of Cedar Rapids, IA. We wanted to be sure that the wedding reflected the two of us and we sought out to make things as personal as possible. As this was a destination wedding for so many out of town guests, we wanted to plan lots of wedding weekend events to be sure our friends and family enjoyed everything Iowa had to offer.
We held our large rehearsal dinner at the gorgeous Sutliff Cider Barn that overlooks acres and acres of Iowa farm country. It was a casual and relaxed evening that couldnt have been more perfect. Our rehearsal fell on the Summer Solstice and despite the morning thunderstorms, we were blessed with an evening filled with lots of natural light. After seeing our guests surprised faces as they exited the buses for dinner, I was confident that we succeeded in showing everyone how much beauty Iowa has to offer.
One of my favorite moments occurred before the ceremony. As we pulled up to the church, I was greeted outside by my nervous and emotional Father. He and I have always had a special relationship and I was so pleased that we were able to share a few moments together in the courtyard before he escorted me down the aisle as a string quartet played In My Life by The Beatles.
Following the ceremony, we held our reception at the Cedar Rapids Country Club a location that holds many memories from my childhood. It was fun to be announced as husband and wife in the very ballroom where I had spent so many celebratory occasions growing up. I was so happy that we were able to take photographs outside on the golf course and our guests were able to enjoy the view from the patio during our cocktail hour.
Planning our wedding from Washington, DC was only possible with the help of my Mother, who thankfully did the lions share of the work. We decided on a color scheme that included navy, toast and a little hint of coral. We worked with a local artist in Iowa to create our stunning invitations and wanted all of our paper products to mirror the same look, using the same combination of colors and fonts. The flowers turned out beautifully delicate peach David Austin roses, cream peonies and dahlias and lots of greenery. My Mother found lace tablecloths to complement my lace dress and we used lots of candles and mercury glass candle votives to decorate the tables at the reception.
Im still so touched by the many friends and family who traveled to Iowa to help us celebrate our wedding. The weekend was absolutely perfect in every way and it was truly a weekend that we will never forget.
Photography: Melissa Hayes Photography | Flowers: Cedar Memorial Flower Shop | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Cake: Jules Bakery | Invitations: RSVP | Reception Venue: The Cedar Rapids Country Club | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Band: Funk Daddies | Grooms Suit: Hickey Freeman | Groomsmens Ties: Salvatore Ferragamo | Bridal Boutique: Carines Bridal Atelier | Bridesmaids Earrings: Kendra Scott | Rehearsal Dinner Catering: Braise | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Sutliff Cider Barn