Tuesday, September 24, 2013

An Untraditional Grand Affair

Ashley is a great friend of mine and I've been really looking forward to blogging about her big day. I met Smash (that's her nickname, don't ask questions) freshman year in college and we lived next to each other in the dorms and in the same house for our whole college experience. I've shared more laughs with this girl then I can count. She has always been crafty, fun and unique, which is exactly how her wedding turned out.

Describe your engagement:
From the grooms perspective...
 On May 26th, I had told Ash that Derek and I were going to go to the Twin's game. She thought it would be a great idea because I had never been to Target Field. Her only request was that we didn't have too much fun, as we were going to a friend's later in St. Paul.
  Little did she know, the real plan was about to be set in motion. I had rented a very large helium tank the week before, and bought hundreds of balloons. After 9 hours of set-up this proposal was going to happen! Derek and I met up with Danielle at her place and set to work around 10am. And good thing we did, because little did we know that certain colors wouldn't work with the lighting, 500 balloons don't go as far as you would think, and balloon integrity was tested way too often.  

  Derek and I worked all day filling the balloons with helium and air. One would think this would be an easy task, but it wasn't. Blisters began appearing with every double knot  we tied and we began to get lightheaded from those we blew up manually. Thankfully Terry, Megan, and Katie showed up to help. With them was even more balloons and string.

  But how to keep Ash from suspecting a thing? Dani had the 'great' idea for me. I punctuated the word 'great,' because I only had to get into trouble on the night of my proposal for her plan to work. I was to tell Ash that Derek and I had a few too many beers, and were going to be unable to drive to Dani's for the party.Yep, I got in trouble! But  everything was working perfect.

  Soon friends and family were able to show up as the time was getting close. Balloons were everywhere. I was hoping she'd like it!

  Dani got the call that she was here. I started to get nervous! She ran downstairs to meet Ashley, and to make sure that she wouldn't be carrying anything. The door opened and I got down on one knee........and the rest is history!

When and where were you married? 
June 14th, 2013 at Grand View Lodge in Nisswa, MN

Where'd you get your dress/bridesmaids dresses?
The bridesmaids each picked their own dress. I originally wanted a blush color. After searching everywhere and only finding expensive and UGLY dresses, I told them to pick a short cream colored dress and tan shoes. Weddings are expensive and all I wanted was for them to be a part of the special day and spend as little as possible. 

Your shoes?
Badgley Mischka- They were the one thing that I really wanted for the wedding. I didn't care much about all the other details but the shoes were a must!

Your hair/make up?
I came with pictures for ideas and they did the rest. 

The tuxes?
We went to Men's Warehouse because we have Groomsmen from all over the US. 

Who catered your wedding? Where did you get the cupcakes?
When you have a wedding at Grand View, you must use their catering staff. I was very impressed with the food on the wedding day! The cupcakes were made by a woman name Laurie. She has a side baking business. She was wonderful to work with! It was great to have lots of choices and no maximum or minimum order. Laurie came in the day of the wedding and set up the cupcake stand as well as coming later in the evening to clean up. 

The photographer?
Our photographer was Russell Heeter Photography. A friend of ours who is a photographer found him. We knew he would be awesome if a photographer chose him. Russell was amazing! He asked for ideas on what we wanted and he came up with fun ideas! We aren't into cheesy and kissy photos and he was totally okay with that. He was able to let us be us. Russell is a professional, knowledgeable and fun!

What was your favorite part about your day?
It meant a lot to Jake and I that my nanny dad was willing to officiate the ceremony! Not to mention that my nanny family traveled from Japan to Minnesota for 3 days so they could be a part of the wedding. 
Jake's dad's band played the music before, during, and after the ceremony! It was nice to have them there as well as Jake surprising me with a song by Jason Mraz called "The Woman I Love." It is not your traditional wedding song and shocked some but if you know us, we aren't traditional. As well as seeing all of our family and friends who came!

Who helped you the most with planning?
My mom and aunt were a huge help! They made sure I was doing everything on time and they made a lot of the big decisions. I knew that I wanted a low key outdoor wedding with a rustic theme. What I really wanted was a tent to have the reception outside, a taco bar, and lawn games! The day of the wedding I had a lot of help from the wedding party, friends, and family. They came to the rescue after an eventful day with the new wedding coordinator. Our original wedding coordinator, Maggie, was amazing! If you get married at Grand View, make sure you will have Maggie!

If you could change one thing about the day what would it be?
We both said we would have gone to an island. We would have told people the date and they could come if they wanted. It would have been far more relaxing to just be told when to show up, eat, and dance! 

What is one thing that you absolutely had to have at your wedding?
The rustic theme and bean bag toss outside. And, the wine barrels at the front of our ceremony! Pinterest got me on that idea. 

Did you do anything DIY?
All the wedding decorations were made by hand by myself and friends. My aunt picked out the flowers and made them the night before with my maid of honor, mom, and grandma. I gave them my idea for colors and my aunt picked them out because I don't know the first thing about flowers.  They did phenominal job. I loved the flowers!  Danielle Biers (bridesmaid) designed our wedding programs. Again, I had a few ideas that I sent her, said do whatever you think would be best, and they came out amazing. My dad made our bean bag toss and my friend Aleesha and I painted them! 

What advice do you have for brides planning their weddings?
Do what you and your Fiance want!  It is hard to please everyone so do what you feel is important and it is okay if it isn't traditional! 
We did a lot of nontraditional things.
-no dollar dance
-no garter or garter toss
-first dance- we danced for 1 minute then had our wedding party join us
-our flower girls had bubble guns as they left
-some wedding party entered on scooters
-I only wanted one shower because it is a big time and money commitment for people.
If wedding planning isn't your thing, then don't do the big wedding! 

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