lifestyle., weddings.


Today we have banana bread baking in the oven, football on the TV and laundry in the wash.  Sundays have become a serene ritual in our home with lazy mornings and small to-do lists.  Laundry usually landing at number one.  But, thinking about Sundays a year ago, we were in the middle of wedding planning and things were a bit more unsettled.  My to-dos were a mile long and I was constantly seeking inspiration, ideas and of course, the perfect dress.

We planned for about one year and two months and truly enjoyed the entire process.  The decisions, the color palettes, the dresses, the food, the time with friends and family.   About one week in, my MOH gifted me with The Knot’s Ultimate Wedding Planner & Organizer.  Ladies, if you just started planning, please do yourself a favor and pick one up.  Find them here, at B&N.  It will keep you on track and aid in areas you’ve never considered.

After all the decision making, we ended up with a remarkable day.  Here are some details on vendors we used and what inspired us in making the event a dream come true.

The Invitations
Some couples are very picky in this area and some aren’t.  I turned out to be one of the picky bunch (not surprising), but my husband, not so much. We ended up with these beautiful invitations came from Minted.  We loved the gold foil detail and the mix of fonts helped communicate an understated elegance for our event.

The Attire

Going into dress shopping, the only thing I had my heart set on was a flowing skirt with soft, romantic material.  No sparkle, no embellishment.  Then, I fell in love with Maggie Sottero’s Esme.  You’ll notice it doesn’t look quite like the stock photos- I added a one shoulder and took a layer out of the skirt to make it fall more naturally.  Unless you’re opting for couture, don’t ever feel like you have to wear it off the rack.  Hire an amazing seamstress and make it your own.  Thank you to the ladies at A Heavenly Celebration for making it happen!

Since the dress had a statement bodice, I wanted to choose simple accessories.  The entire look came together by making sure I chose items that reflected my style and personality.  Nothing about it surprised my husband.  The fur wrap was not only great for photos, but also warm in the chilly November air.  I’m a shoe addict and these heels stood out from the crowd.  They went with our color palette and were much more fun than a white satin pair.  I also can’t wait to wear them again!

Earrings: Kate Spade  Shoes: Sam Edelman  Fur: Tion Bridal  Bracelet: a gift from dad  Makeup: Ivy Boyd

As for the boys, I really wanted a classic look.  Black and white.  We rented tuxes from Men’s Wearhouse and chose a tie/vest combo for the groomsmen and bow ties for the ushers.  I didn’t feel right about a white tie, so my groom stood out with silver.

The bridesmaids wore Jasmine Bridal style P166052K in burgundy.  The color looked fantastic on all of them and the high neck made them comfortable and easy to wear.  We added length and provided gold shawls to keep them warm.

The Flowers

After choosing November, I had an immediate struggle with flowers.  I didn’t want a typical fall color palette but also wanted to avoid a “holiday” feel.  My final inspiration came from summer weddings in the Hamptons with all white flowers and lots of greenery.  Once I met Shelly from Shelly Sarver Designs, I knew she had to be a part of our day.  She immediately read into my ideas and created these stunning bouquets that answered all my floral prayers.

She also helped us decorate the reception, putting together centerpiece styles, window arrangements and decorating the cake.
Cake: Glorious Desserts

My vision for the reception was an elegant garden party with understated elements.  Variation in the centerpiece designs made the space interesting and a lot of candle light created romance.  Instead of sticking with solid gold, I incorporated mercury glass, clear vases, metal, wood and bronze.

The Reception
Our reception was held at Forte in downtown Des Moines.  We had been to a wedding there a few years back and immediately knew it was the place for us.  Baratta’s, an incredible local Italian restaurant, rents the space and caters.  The food is amazing and their service is impeccable.

I had a serious vision for our head table and after some DIY (and major help from dad), we created the flower wall and marquee letters.  Both were statement decor pieces and I’m so thankful we pulled them off.  I’m also thankful for the patience to do assigned seating.  With a big crowd, this can be a daunting task, but well worth it.  I purchased a template from EZ Printables on Etsy and printed these at home.

Signage is a great way to add decor to any event.  These are craft store canvases with a white paint pen and calligraphy.  Making them on your own ensures you get exactly what you want and is budget friendly.

The Photography
Sharing these details with you would be much less exciting without our amazingly talented photographer, Amanda Kohler Photography. Recommended to us by a friend, she is based out of Omaha, NE but traveled to Des Moines to capture our day.  We are so thankful for everything she did to make our day special and her pictures will be treasured for years to come.


*If you have any questions about vendors or products we used or need a recommendation, please feel free to comment below!

With love,

xoxo.  a


November 7



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