The most memorable weddings, in my opinion, are fabulous and fun and this upbeat farm affair is both. Coordinated by Canvas Weddings and filled with blooms by Alluring Blooms the couples’ special touches made the day extra lovely – like favors of local honey and the mini escort card canoes – and with a fabulous photographer like Paige Green on the guest list we can relive every gleeful moment here.
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From planner Corinne Van Arsdale of Canvas Weddings…There is a word in the Yiddish language that comes to mind whenever I think of Keri and Ricker and their wedding day: bashert. Bashert means “destiny,” or meant to be, and is commonly used in reference to one’s soulmate. Not only are Keri and Ricker the utter definition of “meant to be,” (they both referred to each other as “my totes bestie” in their vows), but I sort of feel like my role in their wedding was fated.
I met Keri when I was still living in Chicago. I was working at BHLDN-Chicago, and a recently-engaged Keri and her now-mother-in-law were in town for the weekend for a wedding, and decided to drop in to the store to try on some wedding dresses, and I was assigned to handle their walk-in appointment. Needless to say, we got along swimmingly, and after some chatting, I discovered they were from Madison — where I was going to be moving in a few short months. Long story short, Keri and Ricker were the first Madison couple to hire me for their wedding, and my love story with Madison weddings began to unfold.
Keri & Ricker are just special, and I’m so grateful that they’ve become near and dear friends, because I know for certain I would have missed their joy, quirky silliness and their spirit had we stopped spending time together post-wedding. Every inch of this day was sweet, open and pure joy — just like them. The weekend kicked off with a “Welcome to Madison” party at the Madison Children’s Museum that included a Friday Fish Fry, beer on the roof and a performance by an improve troupe. The “farm-fresh” wedding day was held on the groom’s family farm and included a sweet ceremony on the lawn, a sparkling water bar, plenty of hand-made details, delicious cuisine, an epic rain storm and dancing all night to live music.
From The Couple…Aside from throwing a celebration that sincerely reflected our joyful life together, we wanted the events to convey a sense of place. We’d both lived in some amazing locations independently of one another – San Francisco, Denver, Bolivia, Chicago, Central Pennsylvania – and we met in Lake Tahoe where neither of us resided. So, it made sense to us to really highlight Madison as the place where we settled down to begin our life together.
The playful vibe of the museum captured our aesthetic perfectly for the welcome party & rehearsal dinner. We decorated the tables with “still life” collected at local thrift stores. Everything from kitschy Wisconsin souvenirs to Viewmaster reels of UW-Madison of to Packer helmets doubled as centerpieces and floral containers.
We knew we wanted to hold the ceremony and reception on the family farm where Ricker’s parents were married. The property has been in the family since the early 1950s, having passed from his grandparents to his parents. The farm provided the ideal setting for a wedding redolent of pastoral life. The wooden tables dressed in lace and burlap, the horses, the flowers in vintage vegetable cans and delicious, simple arrangements and the Swedish folk-art stage backdrop were just some of the elements we used to call attention to the Norwegian and German farmhouse roots of the area.
If we could make it personal, we did. Rings, earrings, dresses, ties, veils, suits and paper goods were all custom designed for us. Perhaps most importantly, we built the ceremony from the ground up. First we sat down to discuss what was important to us in our future as a married couple. Adventure, laughter, friendship, love, gratitude and family stood out and these principles became readings (and a song) that anchored our ceremony. We enlisted Ricker’s brother-in-law’s father to officiate. He had performed these duties for his own daughter’s wedding and melted our hearts. He was an obvious choice. Our vows were personally written and from the heart, and we sealed the deal with a kiss that ignited actual fireworks detonated by two groomsmen. Delighted yet surprised, my grandmother nearly fell off of her chair!
Ricker and I are each other’s best friends. We certainly take our commitment seriously but never forget to have fun together. Whether we’re singing made-up songs in the kitchen to our lab pup Monty, or hiking in Costa Rica, there’s no other person we would rather be with. And we hope that everyone left our wedding weekend feeling as happy, lively and in love as we did.
Photography: Paige Green Photography | Event Planning: Canvas Weddings | Floral Design: Alluring Blooms | Wedding Dress: Monirose - Bespoke Gowns | Cake: Bloom Bake Shop | Invitations: Hannah Luree Odland | Ceremony Venue: Wilamar Farm (Private Family Residence) | Bridesmaids Dresses: Alexandra Grecco (Bespoke) | Hair: Nicole Stevens, Fritz & Associates | Band: Platinum Band | Grooms Attire: Sam’s Tailor (Bespoke) | Officiant: Friend Of The Family | Brides Jewelry: Lauren Wolf Jewelry | Catering + Bar Service: Chez Vous Catering | Groomsmen Attire: Express Mens | Paper Goods (trivial Pursuit, Programs, Escort Cards, Save-the-: Bride DIY | Rentals: A La Crate Vintage Rentals | Rentals: Event Essentials | Shuttles: Gallant Knight Limo | Sunday Brunch: Madison Concourse Hotel | Welcome Party Bar Service: Roman Candle | Welcome Party Catering: Bluephies | Welcome Party Guitarist: Hannah Odland | Welcome Party Improv: Monkey Business Institute | Welcome Party Piano: Gregory Wahlberg | Welcome To Madison Party: Madison Children's Museum