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My dream wedding looked like something straight out of the book, The Secret Garden. I always knew I wanted to have a small outdoor ceremony with a greenhouse reception (because I'm realistic about the temperamental Iowa weather). That being said, I've yet to find that perfect venue here in central Iowa. Instead I made due with a local Des Moines art and furniture warehouse space that features an expansive wall of windows looking out to a beautiful wooded ceremony space that overlooks downtown Des Moines. I'll admit that I didn't quite get my dream wedding... but I still got my dream wedding, if you know what I mean! Being surrounded by 150 people that we love was such a blessing and something I'll never forget.


The day was unreasonably hot for June at 95 degrees with a 90% chance of thunderstorms scheduled to arrive in the middle of our outdoor ceremony and despite that, we took our chances! Ohh I'm so glad we did though, because nearly 30 minutes before walking down the aisle the sun came out and trickled through the trees creating those little dancing light beams that never cease to stop me in my tracks. The minimalist alter was lovingly made by Andrew and sat beneath the ceiling of trees. On a tree nearby was a linen banner calligraphed with the names of our wedding party and the aisle was lined with English garden-like pots of ferns and other greenery. Meanwhile, our friends and families filtered in and filled the chairs as we prepared to walk down the aisle.


We knew we wanted to tell our love story at some point during the day, and what better time than right before the ceremony! The last minute decision to create a love story video, turned out to be a great way to give our guests a glimpse into our everyday lives as Cassie & Andrew and the love we have for each other. Photos of us growing up, going on dates, and traveling together preceded a video of my maid of honor interviewing each of us about our relationship and upcoming marriage that proved to be equal parts hilarious and sentimental. (read: Cassie & Andrew's Love Story)


Our bridal party, made up of our closest friends and family members, started the ceremony off and lined the alter. My ladies wore french blue tulle skirts & ivory lace tops and the guys wore khaki suits with french blue ties. The flower girl and ring bearers were nothing short of adorable as they took their jobs mighty seriously! Finally, I made my way down the aisle with my mom on one arm and my dad on the other with tears in my eyes (I told the make up artist I didn't need waterproof mascara because I'm not a cryer. She insisted and I'm so glad she did!)

The ceremony was straight out of a storybook. Our pastor shared a very relatable message about marriage and love as butterflies danced around us (I promise I'm not making this up!). Andrew and I each shared our vows we wrote for each other, exchanged the rings, and recessed back down the aisle as husband and wife as the DJ played one of our favorite songs. Meanwhile, one of our ring bearer's who carried a baseball holding the first ring Andrew ever gave me, was bound and determined to deliver that ring by the end of the ceremony. All of a sudden we hear "Andrew, catch!" and a baseball is flying at us. Thankfully Andrew has more hand-eye coordination than I do!


We made our way across the lawn to the light-filled warehouse space that was carefully decorated with vintage-looking plants and gold candlesticks. Almost immediately the sky opened up and poured, and just minutes later there was a full rainbow. (We're told that is good luck!) Set up for a cocktail-style reception, our guests filled the reception space as they mingled with each other and enjoyed our appetizer stations and cocktails. I'm sure you all know what comes next. We enjoyed the dinner, cake cutting, toasts, bouquet & garter toss, and most of all the dancing that ended the night. 

Needless to say, our wedding was better than our wildest dreams. The mere fact that half of our crew (Andrew's half) traveled all the way from New England to celebrate with us, was more than we could have ever asked for. Having these people together in the city we love so much was something we will never forget. This day was the perfect starting line for the adventure to come.


Read: 12 Pieces of Advice from a Recent Bride



Venue: Sticks
Photographer: Ivory+Bliss
Flowers: Artisan Floral & Events by Saley
Hair & Makeup: Vesta Salon & Spa
Catering: Taste To Go
Cake & Pies: Nancy Ertz
Event Planning: Out of Box Productions
Dress: Anais Anette from a&bé Bridal Shop
Bridesmaid Skirts: Revelry
Groomsmen Attire: Men's Wearhouse
DJ: SBC Event Services
Stationery: Gatherie Creative