Not only is this wedding from Jeff Loves Jessica Photography itself completely gorgeous, but the story of Lara and Steve is even sweeter! After living together in Phuket, Thailand, the couple knew they wanted to infuse their wedding day with subtle homages to their time there. And, well, when you’re married in a flower farm, how could your wedding day be anything other than stunning?
From the bride, Lara: One of the first things we did when we got engaged was to sit down and write out a list of words or phrases that we wanted to describe the feel of our wedding. I still remember sitting out on our patio on a warm summer day and coming up with things like “family style,” “city meets country,” and “a big ole party where, hey! we’re also getting married!” Ultimately we would also use words like simple, classic and most importantly “us.” We also realized how much our friends and family meant to us while being away from them, so we wanted our wedding to not only celebrate our love, but to honor and celebrate everyone around us who have helped us become who we are.
We hoped (and in retrospect feel like we successfully achieved) that our wedding would look and feel “organic.” Although we do love our co-ops, what we really meant by that was that we wanted everything about our wedding day to organically unfold and feel relaxed and natural. Fortunately, that vision was also conducive to our attempt to be budget-friendly. We didn’t really have a theme or color scheme although everyone from our florist to our mothers tried to narrow one down for us based on what we were telling them. But, because of everyone’s efforts, not a theme or color scheme, it ended up being a beautiful day! For example, we wanted our flowers to be local and seasonal (as we are proud Minnesotans!) with a hint of the tropics (as homage to Steve’s lineage and our time in Phuket).
Any advice for brides planning their weddings now? After becoming overwhelmed by options and details and yes, even wedding magazines and blogs, a recently married friend wisely advised me to choose 2 or 3 special touches to take on. We ultimately had to scale back a lot of the details I thought we needed because it was simply too much to coordinate from abroad, but we both walked away with our sanity and the few details we chose to keep were really enough to make it feel like us. So, that is advice I would pass on to any bride, even if you aren’t trying to plan a wedding from halfway around the world!
Also, we didn’t have a wedding planner, but I now understand why people do! If it’s an expense you have the budget for, go for it, but if you don’t, have someone in charge on the day of other than you or the groom! My friend Caitlin was my right-hand girl and she knew me and my vision enough so that anyone with last minute questions or crises could go to her and I was blissfully oblivious to any last minute drama!
Which leads to me my final bit of advice: no matter what happens, remember that at the end of the day you will be married! A light sprinkle started about an hour before our beautiful outdoor ceremony was to begin and Caitlin and I waited until 10 minutes before the start of the ceremony to decide to move it under the reception tent. Even though I had always envisioned our ceremony out in the middle of the beautiful garden, in that moment it was a no-brainer (and it helped that the tent was gorgeously decorated with twinkling lights and vines anyway!). And you know what, in retrospect, we think it worked out better than we had planned! Everyone sitting around their tables surrounding us felt so much more intimate than them sitting in rows with our backs to them! This was a good final lesson in letting go of the small stuff and truly having the day organically unfold itself!
Mothers’ Processional: “Whole Wide World,” Wreckless Eric
Bridal Processional: “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
First Dance: “Good Life,” One Republic
Wedding Location: Stillwater, MN / Wedding Photographer: Jeff Loves Jessica Photography / Wedding Venue and Flowers: Camrose Hill / Wedding Dress: Sue Wong / Bride’s Hair: Samantha Palumbo / Bridesmaid’s Dress: BCBG / Groom’s Outfit: Reyn Spooner / Wedding Caterer: Divine Swine / Ice Cream Dessert: Sebastian Joe’s / Wedding Invitations: Mara Mi