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Classic Midwestern Fall Wedding

As an Iowa native living on the East Coast, this Cedar Rapids wedding feels like a little slice of home. Complete with a down-home ribs dinner in a prairie lodge and pretty details up the wazoo, there’s a whole lot to love in the gallery from Hannah White waiting right here. Happy Tuesday, SMPers!


From the Bride… Bastián and I met in a castle in Chile when I was there doing research on love poet Pablo Neruda. Three continents, two years, and a lot of airfare later we made our relationship work, and we knew this day had to be a celebration of all the people who’d shown us so much love along the way.

When you’ve got friends coming in, flying to Iowa from Chile, California, North Carolina, New York and more, you want to show them a good time, and also marry the traditions of all the different places that have made you who you are. We had a down-home Iowa dinner (miraculously, no one had a serious issue with the ribs and the formalwear!) in a prairie lodge, but then for dancing we headed back to downtown Cedar Rapids and mixed it up — a bit of Chile, a bit of Iowa, a bit of the coasts and everything in between. We were so happy to see people meeting, dancing, celebrating, speaking English and Spanish and everything in between.

The whole day was about bringing people together: we rode with our friends in the party bus, and even finished off the night continuing the laughing, talking and celebrating with several guests in our hotel suite! Perhaps it’s not the “romantic” wedding night, staring into each others’ eyes, that many imagine. But for us, the whole weekend was about community, about love in a larger sense.

Photography: Hannah White Photography | Reception Venue: Squaw Creek Lodge | Reception Venue: Shores Event Center | Bride's Shoes: RSVP | Caterer: Catering by LJ's | DJ: Hitting the Mark Entertainment | Church: Sts. Peter and Paul Chapel | Groom's Tux: H & M | Hair Clip: Etsy | Wedding Designer and Florist: Covington and Company

Cedar Rapids Wedding Weekend from Melissa Hayes Photography

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!

Country Club

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

Jenny Yoo and Monique Lhuillier are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Jenny Yoo and Melissa Hayes Photography are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Jenny Yoo

Melissa Hayes Photography

Solon, Iowa Woods Wedding from Paper Antler

Happy Brides are the prettiest Bride’s in my opinion. A gorgeous gown or a sparkly pair of shoes are fine and dandy but a big smile, now that is the perfect accessory. And this Bride’s smile is maybe the sweetest of them all. One that Paper Antler managed to photograph so perfectly along with a day set amongst the trees of Iowa. Take a forest canopy and pair it with peonies and fun details like chalkboard mugs for each and every guest and the result is the happiest of celebrations with a even more fun details in the full gallery.

From Paper Antler… This adorable couple celebrated their wedding weekend at camp Io-Dis-E-Ca in Solon, Iowa, where a row of trees in the middle of the woods created a perfect aisle for their ceremony and an open field was ideal for their picnic style BBQ reception. The bright and colorful palette of yellow, blue, soft pink and grey was beautiful against the natural landscape and there were oodles of DIY elements including the amazingly intricate save-the-dates and invitations, designed by the Bride herself.  As a wedding favor, everyone received a chalkboard painted mug so they could write their names and fill it up with one of Ashley + Creighton’s favorite espresso drinks at the coffee bar. One of the sweetest moments of the day was when all of the guests lit paper lanterns and released them into the sky before sending Ashley + Creighton off with a sparkler exit.

Wedding Photography: Paper Antler / Wedding Venue: Camp Io-Dis-E-Ca in Solon, Iowa / Floral Design: Bridgewater Gardens + FiftyFlowers.com / Wedding Catering: Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack / Wedding Cake: Yummy’s Gourmet Cakes / Wedding Stationery: DIY by the Bride / Wedding Dress: Ivy & Aster

Ivy & Aster is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.