As a wedding blogger, I love hearing about how friends and family come together to plan a special day for their loved ones — much like how the mother of today’s bride, Dani, grew squash and sunflowers after hearing her daughter wanted them in her wedding. So sweet! Tory and Dani’s day was full of heart-warming details like these, and was captured to utter perfection by Emily Steffen.
From the bride, Dani: We wanted something that felt like us. As artists and musicians, we wanted details that spoke to who we are. When people asked us our “theme” or our “colors” in our planning process, we were kind of at a loss! The best we could come us with was that it would be something eclectic, with a nod to vintage. We love thrifting and antiquing, so we just filled our wedding with the kinds of things we love and already had in our lives.
It felt like we had a million DIY projects! The wedding was held on a portion of land owned by my mother in northern Wisconsin. And when Troy and I wanted sunflowers and squash for ceremony decor, my mother grew them for us! A good friend and neighbor let her use a part of his field (all of my mother’s land is wooded) and helped her keep it up over our very dry summer, and the result was amazing! We had so many extras we gave away boxes of squash, and our extremely talented florist incorporated the extra sunflowers into our reception flowers and each of the bouquets. One of my mother’s good friends sewed our favor bags to hold our locally-crafted chocolates, and my dad spent a few nights finishing them off with string. My dad also found all of the barn wood for our directional wedding and parking signs which he made and painted by hand.
We were engaged over a year before our wedding, so we had plenty of time to collect! We collected dozens of vintage metal frames for table numbers and signs, which I painted by hand the day before the wedding. For reception flowers, we used our own vintage glassware and mason jar collections, which our florist worked into beautiful, eclectic arrangements. We also purchased over 100 vintage wooden folding chairs, and another 100 or so vintage metal folding chairs for our ceremony. We also collected a few dozen glass, ceramic and brass hand bells which we decorated with bows of floral fabric to match our favor bags for each table, so guest could ring them in lieu of clanking glasses with spoons.
My favorite DIY project of all had to be my floral headpiece – I made it the morning of our wedding using vintage leaves and flowers, and silk ribbon from Tinsel Trading Company in New York. It felt good, as an artist, to make something on my wedding day! As gifts to my maids, I gave them custom monogrammed totes, and vintage handkerchiefs. Each of the men also had a vintage handkerchief to use as a pocket square, and our guests were provided with an assortment of handkerchiefs to choose from at the ceremony, all of which I collected from antique shops and eBay, and that my mother washed and pressed.
Any advice for brides planning their weddings now? Accept all offers of help and don’t take on took much at one time. And be sure to get to work early! Our wedding ended up being a month or so after a large-scale move to another state, a job change and a few weeks Troy started his graduate program – none of which we expected when we set our wedding date! I feel like we had to put off a lot of the smaller details of until the last week, simply for lack of time in the months before, and some projects just didn’t happen. Our family and friends, and especially our parents, were an amazing help though – we couldn’t have done it without them, and they tried to help as much as they could since were a bit overwhelmed by life in those chaotic months!
Processional: Bartok’s Violin Solo Sonata: Fuga and Bach’s Partita No. 3-Prelude
Ceremony: Original music by Spiral Joy Band
Vow Exchange: Couple’s rendition of “If Not For You,” George Harrison
First Dance: “Unchained Melody,” Righteous Brothers
Father/Daughter, Mother/Son Dance: “You Are the Sunshine of my Life,” Stevie Wonder
Wedding Location: Wausau, WI / Wedding Photographer: Emily Steffen / Ceremony Venue: Private Residence / Reception Venue and Caterer: El Tequila Salsa / Wedding Flowers: Evolutions in Design / Wedding Dress, Jacket, and Earrings: “Crashing Waves” by Va Et Vien via BHLDN / Reception Dress: Hoaglund New York via Bloomingdales / Wedding Shoes: Manolo Blahnik / Hair: Lori of Salon Allure, Appleton, WI / Wedding Rings: Bill Fuhrman / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Ann Taylor, J. Crew / Groom’s Attire: J. Crew / Pocket Squares: Vintage and Handmade / Wedding Cake: Sweet Nothings Cakes / Ceremony Music: Laura Schafer and Spiral Joy Band / Wedding Invitations: Dani Schafer / Transportation: Lamers