The day before our wedding began with coffee and buying flowers.
I decided to make my own arrangements not having a wedding party and wanting simple table-scapes. While out buying flowers, two of my soon to see best friends, Nadia and Sarah, called to chat and tell me how excited they were.
To have that moment walking around the supermarket with peonies in one hand, coffee in the other and talking to my long lost friends was a small personal pleasure. Little did I know that this excitement would only grow and grow from my friends and flow out at full capacity during the reception.
My friends are incredible and the best kind of celebrators. They know how to continually keep being excited and pumped for something that deserves to be highlighted and recognized.
Due to weather, our day of packed schedule and plans turned into a day of lingering and relaxed chats. We needed that. These girls are amazing and long time friends and I miss their stories, wisdom, curiosity and laughter while they are away in their cities.
After a long brunch with Nadia, Sarah, and Abby, we arranged the flowers and they helped with anything they possibly could.
The night before the wedding ended with dinner and cocktails at RoCA.
I felt incredibly humbled sitting next to 20 dear friends that bought plane tickets and came to Iowa from NYC, Arkansas, Colorado and everywhere in between.
And even better than that, everyone was there to laugh, drink well crafted drinks, and meet new friends.
I woke up on Friday, June 5th very peaceful and quiet. To make the relaxed morning even more calming was brunch with my mom at a diner around the corner. What a lady. She brings a calm presence to whatever the situation. Looking back, that morning was a needed break in between the excitement and high pitched squeals and question answering that would continue all day and night. Oh! and hugging, constant hugging.
Most brides get the day started at 8am, luckily we chose the most leisurely wedding schedule we could think of and I didn't walk into an apartment full of best friend attendants until noon.
My former apartment has this beautiful big window'ed and sunny porch on the back. It's all white and styled by Lauren who knows how to make any bright and sunny space even more feminine and inviting.
After Avery curled my hair, Nadia applied my makeup, I sent a THE watch over that Zach has wanted for months. Shinola is this American made (Detroit based) watch company that happens to manufacture rose gold leather band watches. Since the color of ring that Zach picked for my ring is rose gold, it was only fitting to get him the same (we are starting to match more and more these days).
Logan our very good friend and Zach's former roommate is responsible for these amazing photos of the day and Dave our good friend and trusty neighbor in the old building took video on Super 8 film (soon to be here!) The two of them walked back and forth between the apartment building we both lived in and our new apartment.
This was just one example of how much our friends were a part of our wedding. We decided not to have a wedding party because we have too many best friends and we wanted those best friends to enjoy and celebrate with us and not worry about driving or flying to Des Moines every weekend and rehearsal dinner and buy outfits they don't even really like (or can shorten and wear again). But from the cake to the decor to the music, our friends were so eager to help out and be near us that day.
As my mom drove me out to the Gilbert's house, I couldn't believe that I was about to see and be near Zach who was hours away from being MY husband. Mine!
The adventure started with an absolutely necessary walk through a field of thistles and prairie grass far above my head. These were not even above my knees the last time we had looked at the path...
We picked this huge oak tree by the stream to have out first look at each other. Because there is no cell reception down there, I had no way of getting a hold of our friends waiting with Zach to tell them I couldn't get through the weeds to get there. So I had to do it! I sent my sweet mother back half way through the bushes and hiked up my dress and tiptoed through the thistles. I was pretty determined at this point, like maybe there was some unnecessary adrenaline pushing me and making me feel like the perfect woman in an action movie.
I finally saw Logan in the distance and it was a sweet sign of relief. I was almost there! Last step was to maneuver over a few stones across the brook.
As I saw Zach in his suit and fresh new haircut standing there, I got the first big rush of overwhelming happiness and excitement in me knowing I was going to finally be MARRIED to him! Today!
Logan captured the moment beautifully.
And then we explored the fields and trees! We got married at Zach's parents house a few miles away from Earlham, IA. We often go on walks through the property and decided the tall trees, grass, and stream were the elements we had both imagined our wedding to look like.
One of the coolest things about Friday is that it didn't rain!!! We planned the entire wedding outside in high hopes it wouldn't rain. As the wedding was closing in, rain sadly looked pretty promising.
As we rented a tent and moved locations last minute, Zach and I and our parents and so many people were faithfully praying and asking for the rain to hold off. This was not a necessary prayer to pray (because it would have been an amazing day either way), but I am learning more that our God is a Father who delights in giving his children gifts. Matthew 7 teaches "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"
So we prayed and asked and when the day held no rain, we and many people rejoiced and praised God! Not because he did what we wanted but because he is giving and loving.
Zach is a genius and decided to build in a little cocktail party at the beginning of our ceremony while our guests were arriving. This was the perfect buffer for any lost drivers and encouraging everyone to greet each other instead of having to sit right away.
At 7:30, our friends began to sing and my dad and I walked toward the ceremony. I noticed people standing! We had way more people come than expected-which made both Zach and I so happy!!
We chose a You + Me song called You and Me (haha) to walk down the aisle to. The first verse was really relatable to our relationship, and furthermore, its PINK singing with the guy from City and Color. How much more dreamy can it get?! Aside from walking down the aisle prematurely (as Zach will tell you) and holding hands awkwardly for a little bit, the ceremony was perfect.
We have been blessed greatly by Jacob, an elder of our church and a mentor to Zach. He led us through premarital counseling, which I personally feel like we both gleaned a lot of understanding and gained an even stronger foundation of what our relationship and marriage is supposed to look like through scripture.
Zach and I wanted nothing more than to honor and glorify God on our wedding day. Jacob shared an awesome teaching of how marriage is a picture in our lives of how Jesus loves and pursues us and how powerful that is. Our friends led Come Thou Fount and we got to sing and praise our Father whom we strive to love and serve far more than we do each other.
A moment that I hope will never fade from this day, was the moment that Zach told me he loved me for the first time. We have dated for 2 years, and although we both knew that we loved one another, Zach had told me that he had decided long ago to only tell his wife those words (who is this man?! amazing.) We decided to write our own vows to one another. I knew I would have a shaky voice and a weak stomach if I was going to read them out loud to him, so we asked Jacob to read them for us. I did not know that Zach was going look at me and tell me out loud that he loved me, but he did and it made my voice shaky and my stomach weak anyway.
After the ceremony, we fled to the highest hill on their land (where we were going to originally hold the wedding) and took pictures. We were both amazed, peaceful, and so happy. All I wanted to do, and ever really want to do anywhere, is run around and dance. So we DID.
As we came back to the reception, I was SO EXCITED to see all of our friends that were in the same spot, talking to each other and eating and drinking! The reception was intentionally designed and organized to allow all of our friends talk to each other and to meet new people. The night went quickly as we talked and greeted and laughed and danced. It was beautiful.
Because the wedding was at 7:00PM on a Friday, we asked our guests to eat dinner after work and head over. We decided to make a large scale charcuterie board for our guests to graze. Lauren took this idea and made it stunning.
Our good friend Mary Bunting makes the most beautiful decadent cakes and deserts. I will promote her goodness all the rest of my days, because she is way too good at what she does. I mean, lemon poppyseed cake with honey buttercream frosting?! And it looks like this?!
Zach gave a speech thanking everyone for flying, driving, and planning to come celebrate with us.
Spaid gave a REALLY sweet speech encouraging the both of us separately and together. It was so awesome.
Needless to say, we felt so loved and celebrated the entire day.
The night ended with our first dance-under the stars as we had hoped for-to a song by Imaginary Futures called Fire Escape. We were unpacking our new apartment and this song came on, and well give it one listen, and you'll know why we thought it was the dreamiest song to dance together to.
And after that our friends DANCED. and it was perfect.
And the wedding adventure was over, and the marriage adventure began. It's even better on this side! We still have the most encouraging and challenging friends, our families are still so loving and giving, and we get to learn every day how to apologize for being selfish and impatient and work on loving and serving each other.
From the comforts of Pleasant Street-
See you soon!