My husband, Nate, proposed to me at our favorite local park. We are from Lincoln, NE and love to picnic at a park near our town. He picked what to me seemed like a random, run of the mill day to set up a picnic date for us. I was still in school at the time and rushed home from class to change out of my “I’m content with people seeing me like this” clothes into the grungiest hiking outfit I could find—it was picnic time, and we are notorious for trying to find new, beautiful but hard to come upon spots to hunker down. Unbeknownst to me, these were the clothes I would say the first of many “yesses” to starting a life with my best friend.
Upon finding the perfect spot, I plopped down immediately to start fixing our sandwiches. Nate asked me to stand up to give him a hug and began detailing the ways in which he loved me and valued our relationship above all else. Noting his strange behavior, I nodded along—partly in agreement and partly in hunger, while resuming unpacking our food. At this point, he must have realized how clueless I was as to his intentions and that keeping me standing and focusing on the monumental thing he was asking me to do was not going to happen. He dropped to a knee while I stared dumbfoundedly down at him with my sandwich clenched in my hands, forgotten.
I knew I wanted something simple, elegant and stunning in a quiet but not flashy way. I went into my appointment saying no lace, no sparkles, and nothing tight! I really imagined myself in something relatively “plain” and understated. I liked chiffon or tulle with flowy skirts with extravagantly long trains—that was the only part of the dress I actively hoped to be remotely dramatic. However, I didn’t have any grand idea of what my dream dress would be. I had some vague ideas and Pinterest photos, but my heart wasn’t set on any one thing. The dress I found ended up being the PERFECT combination of each of the things I had hoped for, while maintaining a sort of timeless bridal elegance I hadn’t even imagined
How did you know?
There were two things that really sealed the deal for me. The first thing that drew me instantly to the dress was the little flowers in the skirt. I thought they were absolutely gorgeous, and they simultaneously held a special significance for me. As a child, a big role model in my life was a person called Saint Terese of Lisieux. Her approach to life was that you make a difference in the world not through grand deeds or actions, but through grand love in even the smallest of deeds and actions. This was something that I tried to model from a young age and has sustained me through many trials. Her nickname in my church is “the little flower”, and seeing myself in a dress covered in little flowers moved me in a big way.
When I face timed my dearest friend and showed her the dress, she burst into tears and I felt that great love so deeply in that moment that I knew this was the dress for me—after all, wasn’t that exactly what we were preparing to celebrate?! It became clear that it was meant to be. It helped that the gown was absolutely stunning, elegant and everything I had hoped for and more!
The wedding day was perfect! Yes we were a model COVID wedding, but that somehow made the day even more special. We had an intimate ceremony and reception of our closest friends and family and felt very blessed to be surrounded by as many of our loved ones as we were. The highlight of my day was easily reaching my groom at the end of the isle. I shook like a leaf the whole way down and was nearly hyperventilating when I reached him (not as graceful as I’d imagined, but alas). The moment I took his hand the whole world slid back into focus and all of my nerves vanished. My bridesmaids later told me I stopped shaking instantly.
Everything else happened in the most blissful blur ever. Watching our loved ones smile, laugh and soak in the evening of companionship and love was more than I had dared hope for. There was this sacred sense of togetherness that permeated everything that happened throughout the day. We had all been yearning for human connection with those we loved most in the scary months leading up to the event, and to be able to have the small (socially distanced) gathering we had meant more than I can express in words. To see the same love Nate and I felt for each other reflected in the faces of our guests continues to fill our cups months after.
Our ceremony was held at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Lincoln, NE and our reception was at a small farm outside of town called Roca Berry Farm. I could write about the day for pages and pages, and I’ve been long winded to begin with, so I will cut myself off here by saying that, overall, the day was joyous, beautiful, peaceful, golden and filled with smiles, tears, and more love than imaginable!
My vision was a slightly bohemian, slightly rustic vibe set in tones of blue and burgundy. My bridesmaids wore dusty blue dresses, and the groomsmen midnight blue three piece suits. The bridesmaids had deep burgundy in their flowers and the groomsmen complimented them with burgundy ties and boutonnieres. All of the women had babies breath braided into their hair to subtly carry a hint of “flower child” with us on this legendary day. I wish I could say I had a big vision here too, but the truth of it is that neither Nate nor I were keen on compromising on the colors we wanted our side of the wedding party to wear and it just sort of worked out that they coordinated ok.
Our venue was set out in a barn, and we had recycled canning jars of various sizes filled with candles for our centerpieces. They were stacked on wood rounds and we scattered eucalyptus and babies breath around each table. Lights twinkled from the ceiling and long pieces of flowing white tulle hung down along the main beams in the room. There was an expanse of land surrounding the venue where guests could also spread out, talk and relax throughout the evening.
My photos were taken by “M. Julie Photo”
My dress was altered by “The Perfect Dress” (recommended by Ellynne)
Mine and my bridal parties hair and makeup was done by “Hair and Makeup by Alisha”
My flowers were done by a family friend (best wedding present ever!!!)
The suits were bought at “Emsuds Clothiers”
Our venue was “Roca Berry Farm”
Our church was “St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church”
And my wedding dress, of course, was purchased at “Ellynne Bridal”
I would recommend each of these vendors in a heartbeat!!!!!