We so enjoyed the wedding planning for Ryan and Jenna who were married last November and were thankful we were able to keep the surprise and not let it slip!! When Jenna’s mom Shelly got married, her mother ordered a special floral backdrop as a surprise and it meant so much to her that she wanted to do something similar for her daughter!! As Jenna had already chosen a floral pergola as a backdrop for her wedding, Shelly came up with an idea to create a floral surprise over the dance floor which was in a tent connected to the Bloomington Country Club. A suspended decorated ladder with hanging lanterns and covering the tent poles with greens, curly willow and white blooms created a beautiful focal for their first dance! A second surprise was a special backdrop behind the wedding party table (described below)!!
When Jenna came for her consultation she knew exactly what she wanted and was organized with inspiration photos of each item. Since her sister was just married a year earlier, she had learned a lot from that experience. They asked Ryan’s carpenter cousin to build them a pergola which would be something they could keep and also personalize their wedding day with. They used the pergola backdrop as their inspiration and built their day around the pergola decor for simple elegance with touches of deep family importance. This beautiful pergola traveled all the way from Colorado where Ryan’s cousin lives. We covered it with curly willow and greens, then hung white blooms to create the look based off of her inspiration photo.
Because she asked her best friend from nursing school, Joe, to be in her wedding party, she had each of her attendants choose a style of dress they were comfortable in and was in the blue, silver & charcoal color palette so her guy friend wouldn’t totally stand out among the gals!! Her vision was to have lots of white blooms, candles and soft colors to keep the focus on her and Ryan.
Jenna’s favorite part of wedding planning was how it brought their families together. Her mother, sister, future mother-in-law and aunt (all who have been great role models and support to Jenna) went dress shopping with her and which she describes as a day she will never forget. She confesses she never thought she would enjoy the flower part as that has always been her mom’s “thing” but …”After I met with Nancy, I realized how the decor sets the tone for the day. Nancy really listened to what I wanted and she worked with us and made it happen!”
If she could change anything about the wedding planning process, it would have been to have her sister, who lives in Florida, closer. “Kaitlyn made an insane effort to be involved but I know that she missed out on things we would have loved to have done together.”
Jenna’s least favorite part of wedding planning was all the decision making. “There are so many choices and different aspects involved that it can be overwhelming. I was happy that at the end, Ryan and I could sit back and enjoy the time and effort everyone put in the planning and we could just be in the moment with those we loved!”
Jenna’s mom worked closely with us to plan the special surprises which also included the head table backdrop where we hung their engagement photo framed in an old window, lanterns and the letters “LOVE” mounted to a plexi-glass board which we hung over the window frame. When we asked Jenna how she felt when she saw these special suprises, she responded: “My parents are some of the most thoughtful people and I am beyond lucky to be their daughter. They went above and beyond to make sure every detail and dream was accomplished! Most importantly they have been there to support me every step of my way. When I saw the vintage window frame with our engagement photo and the LOVE sign, I was completely speechless!! It made our bridal party table stand out while also giving us a beautiful piece to cherish forever. I was teary-eyed knowing the effort and lengths my mom went to – to add such a personal touch which is most important to me.”
My favorite memories from the day include, my mom and sister helping me with my dress, the first look with my dad, seeing Ryan smile at me as I walked down the aisle and dancing with friends and family who mean the most to us. I will always remember that we felt completely surrounded by love as we made a commitment to each other before God (and in front of our families) and of which we will always honor – that was the most memorable part of our day!
Jenna’s advice to future brides is to not let the details, decision making and being caught up in wanting to have everything perfect overshadow what the day is all about – marrying the person you love and being surrounded by family and friends.
Photo credit – Christi Chambers Photography
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