The wedding sessions

The couple had props for all of the guests to be photographed in

The couple had props for all of the guests to be photographed in. They had a square dance caller and a bluegrass band for their entertainment. For dessert the couple chose pies and they provided some premium pies and their guests were encouraged to bring their special family recipes. The couple helped to cut and serve the pie for their guests.

The bride’s father

The bride’s father had passed on so she had him close to her in the form of a heart cut out of one of his blue work shirts and sewn into her dress close to her own heart. Both sets of the groom’s grandparents had also passed on and he carried photographs of them in his vest pocket throughout the day. The bride cross stitched and sewed the ring bearer’s pillow.

How did you meet?: We have been friends for a long time, since about 1997 or so. We lost touch for a number of years and then unexpectedly ran into each other at a bar. We hadn’t seen each other for a good 8 or 9 years probably, and there was an instant attraction. We rekindled our friendship and it slowly turned romantic.

Bride: What attribute/s drew you to your groom?: Jeff has a very kind and gentle spirit about him. He is a really sweet and sensitive guy with a huge heart. And he makes me laugh! We have so much fun together, all the time. He just makes life fun.

Groom: What attribute/s drew you to your bride?: Jess is a lot of fun too. She has a great sense of adventure, is incredibly optimistic about life, and is just an all around good person. I get to see her silly side, which she doesn’t always show to everyone.

A little or a lot about your proposal…: We went to the Missouri Botanical Garden on our first date, and continue to visit frequently. We have ‘our bench’ there where we sat together on our first date and Jeff asked permission to put his arm around me, and so began our courtship. The day we got engaged was a random Sunday and Jeff asked if I wanted to go to the Garden. Once we got there, it started raining really hard – I guess it foiled his plan a little. So we took shelter in one of the indoor buildings and we could see ‘our bench’ out a window. I wasn’t really expecting anything and then all of a sudden he pulls out a ring. It was great!

Any advice for other Brides?: Keep things simple. You can have an amazing day without spending a ton of money. Relax and have fun!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues?: We’ve been square dancing for a few years and really enjoy it. When we were trying to come up with ideas for the day, I started asking our friends (most of whom don’t square dance) if they would be willing to participate in square dancing at the reception. A lot of people have an icky association of square dancing from middle school gym class, but everyone seemed intrigued by the idea. So, we went with it. I knew I wanted to have the ceremony and reception all in one place for the sake of simplicity, and we wanted a venue with a relaxed and kind of old time, rustic feel. Plus, we both really wanted a rural setting with options for outdoor photographs. We managed to find a place that had all of those!

Did you use any blogs for inspiration? I did look at Style Me Pretty a little, but most of my inspiration came from Pinterest.

What was your biggest challenge to overcome while planning?: Well, budget of course, but even worse: I was in Nursing School. Luckily, I had the whole Summer off of school and was really able to accomplish almost everything before the Fall semester began. I did, however, have a major exam the Monday after our wedding – talk about anxiety!

Did you have any DIY elements? If so, where was the inspiration, how long did they take, and roughly what was the cost? Which were your favorite? What about any fails that didn’t make the cut?: Yes! I had a lot of fun gettin’ crafty! The inspiration was rooted in the old time square dance, which tied in nicely with the burlap and lace trend. Chalkboards and the “J &J” was an easy theme to use throughout as well. I have always loathed the traditional guest book and knew I wanted something more interesting. I saw a ‘wish tree’ on Pinterest and decided I could make one. I bought an old watering can at a flea market for about $20 and used branches from a Birch tree in our back yard. I stamped the wish cards with our initials and tied the hanger ribbons in our colors, then made a chalkboard sign so guests knew what to do with the cards. I think I made 5 or 6 small chalkboard signs, one for the wish tree, one for the bar, one as a ‘thank you’, one with the dinner menu, and one for the favors. I found unfinished chalkboards at JoAnn’s and used wood stain on the pine frames, and a chalk pen to write out the messages. That took about an afternoon to complete and cost around $30.

I didn’t want to spend a lot on table decorations, I knew I wanted candles all around and flowers of some sort. I had family save all their glass jars of different sizes, plus I had quite a few old mason jars already. I did buy about 20 more mason jars on Craigslist for $20. I fell in love with the look of Babies Breath for flowers and it’s super affordable. I ordered it in bulk from Sam’s Club for about $100 and had more than enough. We just made simple bouquets in the jars and put candles in some of the other jars. I had tied jute bows around all the jars ahead of time. It was probably about $160 for all the table decorations. My mom sewed burlap table runners for all the tables, and a really pretty one with ruffles for our ‘sweetheart table’. The burlap cost around $75 and it took her a couple days of sewing to complete them. She also made our heart shaped ring bearer pillow out of burlap and embroidered “Reed” and our wedding date onto it. It now sits in one of our living room chairs. I made some burlap and doily bunting/banners for the pie table, they only took a few hours to make. I ordered the doilies on Amazon as I couldn’t find vintage ones for an affordable price, they were around $25. For the pie table, I bought several glass cake stands (some new, some vintage) for around $100 total and borrowed a couple as well. I was also able to reuse some decorations my girlfriends had made for my shower – some tulle bunting which we hung around the fireplace, as well as a burlap “Let them Eat Pie” sign they had made for the shower. I really wanted galvanized washtubs for the bar and was going to purchase them on Craigslist for about $175, but the Universe smiled upon me – a neighbor had set some out on the curb for free! That was an amazing find. For my ‘something blue’, I had my mom sew a heart-shaped piece of my deceased father’s old blue sweatshirt into the bodice of my dress. That idea was 100% Pinterest, and it was nice to have something of my dad’s with me, yet it was private at the same time since most of the guests didn’t know it was there. It was a special way to connect with my dad on that day. I have to say though, my favorite DIY piece by far was the pies. Pie is big in my family and several of us love to bake them. My original plan was to bake all the pies myself, but as the day approached I quickly realized there was no way I was going to be able to pull that off! My cousin, an uncle, an aunt, and a dear friend each made 2-3 pies to contribute and we ordered a few from our favorite pie shop in town. Having all the homemade pies was really special and helped make the day feel more relaxed. Everyone that made a pie said they thought it was really fun to contribute to our day, and it added to that old time feeling we were going for. Photos by:

What was the most memorable moment from your wedding?: Oh my gosh, this is hard. It was such a fun day and I loved so many moments. Jeff and I did a “first look” which was great because we were able to relax together and calm our nerves. If I really had to choose a favorite though, I would say it was having our two friends, John and Rob, play and sing “Pecan Pie” by Wilco as we sliced into our pie and fed each other bites. It was a really sweet moment.

What was your absolute “must have”?: We had a few ‘must haves’. For me it was pie, for Jeff it was live music. We had two great friends sing and play fiddle and guitar during the ceremony, we had our other friends serenade us with “Pecan Pie” and then we had a live band for the square dancing. The other thing I really wanted was a group photo of us with all 61 of our guests. We did a serious one and a silly one, our photographers did a fantastic job of making that happen.

Leanne and Mark met on an online Christian website and fell in love immediately. They both knew that their laughter, shared values, and love for God and life would create a perfect relationship. After Mark proposed, it was obvious that they would have their fabulous wedding at his stunning home. With an expansive yard and a gorgeous pond, the ceremony and reception site seemed obvious.

Leanne put together an absolutely breathtaking event filled with wildflowers and pale roses, homespun touches, and details galore. Nearly all the details were made by Leanne including the stunning table decor and ceremony space. The wedding guest count never stopped growing as these two, the kindest and most humble couple, had numerous people wanting to celebrate their love with them.

Leanne is such a talent! I would hire her for my wedding!

Congrats to Leanne and Mark! Wishing you both a lifetime of happiness!

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