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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 | Hair & Makeup: Penelopie Beauty Bar | Groomsmen's Attire: Badowers | Bride's Attire: Dornink | Centerpieces: Target | Emerald Ring: Shane Co. | Gold Band: Josephs Jewelers | 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.

Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram

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.

Adam Foster Fine Art Jewelry

Pretty doesn’t even begin to describe what you’re about to feast your eyes on, my dears. Inspired by old world craftsmanship and the jewelry history of Europe, Adam Foster Fine Art Jewelry creates truly stunning and unique designs. Each piece is designed by Adam Foster and hand made in his St. Louis, Missouri boutique + studio. I mean, come on, how gorgeous are these sparklers?!

Traveling across the country — and the world — to source incredible stones and to gather inspiration, Adam Foster of Foster Fine Art Jewelry is truly a creative genius. He believes that knowing the source of the materials and the people that cut, mine or make each element of his pieces is crucial to the design process. And we couldn’t agree more. From truly unique engagement and wedding rings to one-of-a-kind necklaces and bracelets, this line of jewelry is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.

Working with clients across the globe, Adam Foster Fine Art Jewelry can help you design something incredible. You can see more of his work in his Etsy shop, as well as on Pinterest and Facebook. To schedule your in-person meeting, give them a call at 314.771.3390 or email info{at}



Bliss Weddings & Events + A Discount

As a former Windy City resident, I’ve been following (and swooning over) stunning events and weddings crafted by Bliss Weddings & Events since forever. With over 20 years of experience in luxury event planning, floral design + interior design, the creative geniuses behind Bliss will make sure your big day is totally unique and perfectly planned from start to finish!

Made up of a group of uber-talented planners and designers, the Bliss Weddings & Events team is as stylish as they are creative and fun! And that, my dears, comes shining through in each and every one of the high-end events they design and orchestrate. With a focus on personalizing every event with impeccable style, clever touches and creativity, not a detail is left behind. Guiding couples through the sometimes overwhelming process, Bliss will design every last detail of your event, from florals to lighting to paper goods. Chock full of inventive ideas and contemporary charm, a cookie-cutter event is simply not an option when working with Bliss.

Offering both full planning as well as month-of planning by their fabulous Month-Of Mavens, the Bliss team helps couples create streamlined and specialized events that will have your guests in awe. SMPers, the Bliss Belles and Beau are simply the answer to your event design + planning worries! Ready to get started on your big day? Now’s the time, because Bliss is offering $150 off  contracted month-of planning packages! Simply mention SMP in your email inquiry to redeem discount. 


These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
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