When Nicole and Drew started planning their wedding, they began to realize how contrasting their styles were from each other. Instead of letting the differences get to them, they chose to embrace the differences and incorporate both their styles into the big day. The result was purely magical and included the talents of Heather Jowett and A Splendid Occasion, and the couple topped it all off with some day-after portraits wearing a boho dress in a cornfield. Perfect.
From the bride, Nicole: Drew and I met five years before we started dating and dated for four years before getting engaged. We had a long engagement by Midwestern standards — just under two years. When we finally started planning our wedding we realized how different we really were and chose to embrace the differences rather than fight about them. As such, we created a wedding where almost every element had a perfectly matched foil. We styled a vintage barn with modern ghost chairs and lawn games. We didn’t play by the rules and had a flower girl, but no ring bearer. We opted for French macarons and homemade pie over cake. We had our first dance in private as the sun was setting and barefoot. We skipped the hokey wedding music and chose to start the day with an electric violinist playing everything from The Lumineers to Hotel Costes and ended with a local country rock band that got everyone on the dance floor. I danced and he didn’t. But we both joined at the end of the night to enjoy some good ‘ole fashioned McDonald’s cheeseburgers that were delivered about an hour before last call for all guests – and I even got him on the dance floor for a song or two!
Hosting our wedding in Michigan allowed us to splurge in so many other areas that we otherwise would not have. But most importantly we were able to host an entire weekend of events beginning with a casual welcome dinner on Thursday evening at the tiniest hole-in-the-wall burger joint on the outskirts of town. On Friday a few dozen of us went wine tasting and vetted off onto the back country roads in a trolley. Having that time with our closest friends set the tone for the remainder of the weekend. That evening my in-laws hosted an incredible welcome dinner for all wedding guests on the patio overlooking the harbor at the hotel. It was simple, cozy, and perfect (and yes, there were crazy DIY details for that party, too). The morning after the wedding we also hosted a farewell brunch (with more handmade details) – allowing us ample time to say goodbye to everyone before they began their lengthy travels back home. Following brunch we met our lovely photographer, Heather Jowett, by the cornfields to get my ever-so-dreamy day after shots. And that night when we drove back to Chicago we stopped at our favorite pizza spot, Homeslice (wedding day hair + bohemian day after gown and all) to grab a bite and a beer. The weekend could not have been more perfect.
One of my favorite memories of the day was walking down the aisle to our electronic violinist playing Temper Trap’s Sweet Disposition. I had envisioned this day for so many months that by the time my Dad stood there waiting to walk me down the aisle, I just about lost it. It was the most surreal moment of the entire weekend. He started rambling about something completely unrelated to calm me down and before I knew it I was buried in the most meaningful hug of my life and then just like that he was giving me away.
Absolutely everything down to the last detail was tailored for our special day. My reception dress, ceremony dress, and the insanely gorgeous ostrich feather flower girl dress were all designed by friend and uber talented designer, AZEEZA. The men had cat (yes, cats!) ties that were custom made by Knotty Tie. And all of the tiny little paper goods – I DIY’d on for the entire year leading up to our wedding. The DIY route was a tedious one, but well worth it in the end because it made the day feel like it truly represented us as a couple. My mother-in-law and I worked for months on all of the crazy details from the gold straws, escort cards, menus, the penny ‘BAR’ sign, golden cats, and salt favors. Every detail had meaning well beyond the surface.
In planning your wedding try not to shoot for perfection. There are too many moving parts and too much to be grateful for to focus on all of the nitty gritty details. I’m a control freak so in true fashion I planned and prepped for everything that could go wrong, including rain. What I didn’t plan for – 57 degrees in mid-September resulting in the mad dash to find heaters the week of our wedding, my semi-blue lips in our wedding video, or shivering at the alter! It was, in a word, FREEZING! But the funny thing – no one around us seemed to care. They were all just so excited for what was yet to come, and what was happening, that they found a coat, huddled close, drank more and had a blast regardless. It’s frightening how easy it is to lose sight of the big picture and the real prize (getting married and spending the rest of your life with your best friend!) but months down the road when all has subsided, you’ll be grateful for such an incredible day with family and friends but even more so of the person you get to wake up to every morning.
Bridal Party Processional: “Stubborn Love,” The Lumineers and “Bitter Sweet Symphony,” The Verve
Bride’s Processional: “Sweet Disposition,” Temper Trap
Recessional: “Home,” Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
First Dance: “Lay Lady Lay,” Bob Dylan