If there’s anyone who knows how to throw a unique wedding with loads of heart, it’s this couple. Along with their planner, A Family Affair of Maine, they incorporated so many meaningful details including a log cutting ceremony to celebrate their German descent and protea blooms as a nod to his South African birthplace. The incredible White Loft Studio came along to photograph and her captures are all waiting in The Vault.
From the Bride and Groom…We met in the fall of 2010 as undergraduates at Bowdoin College. Though it’s a small school and we’d been there at the same time for a full year, we didn’t meet until the start of the second year, when we happened to be in two classes together. As our officiant (the professor of one of those classes) noted during our wedding ceremony, we began that semester sitting on opposite sides of the classroom, but it wasn’t long before we were sitting next to each other.
The college we attended has a beautiful art museum with dramatic front steps, and it was a particularly mild fall. Rory emailed me to ask if I wanted to sit on the steps with him at dusk and eat kiwis. It was somewhat unusual but exceptionally sweet—a phrase I think describes us as a pair. We sat together for a long time, talking and watching the sun go down. I think the kiwis went forgotten.
The proposal all happened very organically. We knew early on that it was ‘the real deal’ and never felt uncomfortable discussing a future together, even before we were officially engaged. We designed rings for each other with the help of a Maine jeweler and carried them around for a while until the time was right.
In 2013, we made the difficult decision to spend two years an ocean apart so that Rory could study history in England and I could study writing in Iowa. We decided it was time to make our commitment to each other, so once we’d moved into an apartment in Iowa City, Iowa, we woke up early one morning and walked to a nearby park to propose. We sat in the grass under an oak tree and each described why we wanted to marry the other, and presented each other with rings. Afterwards, we had brunch at our favorite Iowa City diner.
Every couple is special in its own way, but one thing that we’re always surprised by is how unlikely it was that we had the chance to meet. Rory grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Katie was raised in various locations across the Midwestern and northeastern U.S. Rory is also a few years older, so had he not decided to spend a full year studying abroad during college, we wouldn’t have overlapped in college at all. Additionally, we’re very different. We think all the time about how lucky we are to have crossed paths.
We wanted to include some South African elements in our wedding to celebrate Rory’s background, so I asked the florist to include a few protea, the national flower of South Africa, in my bouquet and in the décor. We also offered our guests iced South African rooibos tea before the ceremony, and used small South African animal figurines, which our wedding planner spray-painted gold, as place-card holders.
One of the craziest and most fun parts of our wedding was the log-cutting ceremony. Rory and I are both of German descent, so we researched German wedding traditions and discovered a ceremony in which the bride’s father and brothers fell a tree and the newly married couple saws through it together as their first obstacle in marriage. Rory and his dad cut down the tree together the day before the wedding, and my dad, brother, and cousins carried the log into the ceremony venue. The guests seemed to really enjoy the spectacle of the log cutting, and it was one of the most memorable moments from the day.
Photography: White Loft Studio | Wedding Planning + Design: A Family Affair of Maine | Floral Design:Broadturn Farm | Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids’ dresses: JCrew | Caterering: Dandelion Catering | Makeup: Bride | Hair: Big Day Beauty | Lighting: The Event Light Pros | DJ: Dionne Entertainment| Band: Lay-Z Gait Trio | Groomsmen Ties: Liberty London | Groom’s Attire: J.Crew | Groomsmen Attire:The Black Tux | Venue: The Barn on Walnut Hill | Venue: The Barn on Walnut Hill | Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero | Bride’s Robe: BHLDN | Bridesmaids Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar | Event Rentals: One Stop Party Shoppe | Event Rentals: A Family Affair of Maine | Event Rentals : Heartwood Essentials | Invites:Stationery Bakery | Veil: Melinda Rose Designs | Wedding Cake / Desserts: Nothing Bakes Like A Parrott| Wedding Favors (macarons]: Nothing Bakes Like A Parrott