We adore today’s Decorah Iowa wedding submitted by one of our bride readers. The stunning views of the foliage and sunset and the gorgeous color palette make this wedding unforgettable.
From start to finish, we could not have imagined a more wonderful wedding day. I have never been so full of love & gratitude — our day would not have been possible without the hard work and creativity of our amazing friends & family members.I love the Midwest, I love my homestate (Iowa), and I love my hometown (Decorah). John knows this (and even proposed in front of the Iowa pillar at the WWII Memorial) and he happily agreed to a Decorah, IA wedding.We wanted JOY and LOVE to be the focus of our wedding day — and we wanted our guests (many of whom had never been to the Midwest) to have an amazing, memorable Iowa experience.Our ceremony was one of my favorite things to plan! From the music, to the officiant, to our original vows – we wanted the ceremony to be very personal. My grandfather and great uncle (both Lutheran pastors) officiated my parents’ wedding in 1980. While they have sadly both passed from Early Onset Alzheimers, we were able to have Daniel Forsgren (my great uncle’s son-in-law) officiate our wedding. Dan took elements from my parents’ wedding homily and incorporated it into our ceremony – it was a wonderful way to honor my grandfather and great uncle and made for a few very emotional moments.Our readings included: 1 Corinthians, Sonnet 116, and Robin Williams’ Pecadillos Monologue from Good Will Hunting. My friend Jason shared a special gift of music during the ceremony – Bob Dylan’s Make You Feel My Love. We had local musicians, Jeni Grouws and Nori Hadley, performing our processional and recessional songs. Their guitar, violin, and vocals fit the venue perfectly! I walked down the aisle to Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole and we walked out as Husband and Wife to On Top of the World by Imagine Dragons.
Our flowers (another of my favorite things to plan) were provided by Canoe Creek Produce – a local farm – and inspired by Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s novel, The Language of Flowers. I wanted our flowers to be local, seasonal, beautiful, and meaningful and Barb (of Canoe Creek Produce) did NOT disappoint. She did an amazing job incorporating our wedding colors – fig, plum, gold, and ivory – while also making sure that all of the bouquets had positive meanings.All of our paper goods (Save the Dates, Invitations, Menus, Programs, Table Numbers, etc…) were designed by my little sister/MOH, Lynsey. She is an incredibly thoughtful and talented graphic designer. My amazingly talented mother designed the Unity Candle for our ceremony. She also handmade ornament favors and commemorative pebbles for each guest as well as handmade boutonniere pins and bouquet ornaments. In addition to all of the handmade elements, she also visited countless thrift shops and antique stores to find the glassware for our centerpieces. I hand wrote all of the escort cards and event signage for the ceremony and reception. We had a full team of friends & family who helped set up the reception space the day before the wedding.We fell in love with De Novo Barn – the venue for both our ceremony and reception – after our first visit. The outdoor ceremony site overlooks the gorgeous Oneota River Valley and the leaves were just starting to change on our wedding day. The reception space is an Amish-built barn adjacent to the ceremony site. Best of all, a Day-Of Venue Coordinator was included with the venue rental so I (Ms. Type A) was able to relax and LET GO on our wedding day.We lucked out with absolutely gorgeous weather for our wedding day! Sunny & 75 was better than we ever could have expected (especially for a late-September celebration in NE Iowa!)Cocktail Hour activities included bocce ball (John is one of the founders of Major League Bocce) and a DIY/iPad photo booth – complete with Iowa, DC, and Tallulah (our dog) photo booth props! Our alcohol choices included beer from Decorah, IA brewery, Toppling Goliath.Luther College Catering provided a delicious locally sourced, Iowa-inspired, family style meal. Our tasty assortment of cakes (Uncommon Carrot Cake, Chocolate Overload Cake, Italian Cream Cake, and Raspberry Chocolate Torte) were generously provided by one of my closest family friends, Kari Burns, of Cake Buzz Cakes.After a quick transformation of the barn (from dining room to dance floor), it was time to DANCE! John and I shared our first dance to Nothing Can Change This Love by Sam Cooke. My wonderful Dad and I then shared a dance to Watch Them Grow by Zach Gill. The party continued until we made our “Grand Exit” surrounded by loved ones & stunning sparklers! We hopped on “Holly and Trolley” and ended the evening at The Courtyard & Cellar in downtown Decorah, IA. It was a fabulous location to end the evening!We are so incredibly thankful to our friends, family, and vendors who helped make our celebration so memorable!
VENDOR LOVE –
Photography: Finding Focus Fotography | Wedding Venue: De Novo Barn | Transportation: Decorah Trolley Company | Handcrafted Gifts & Details: Prairie Patterns By Dawn D-C (Mother of the Bride) | Bridal Accessories: Lovely Bride | DJ: Stike Force Entertainment | Catering: Luther College Catering | Cake: Cake Buzz Cake (Kari Burns, Family Friend) | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Venetian Gold Chiffon Gowns By Dessy After Six From The Wedding Shoppe | Wedding Dress: Inka Gown By Antonio Gual For Tulle From Hitched Salon | Hair and Makeup: Steph Perry | Graphic Design: Lynsey Christensen (Sister of the Bride) | Floral Design: Canoe Creek Produce | Videography: Neal Abbott | Photography Assistance: Katie Jeanne Photography | Bride + Bridesmaids Accommodations: Hotel Winnesheik | Groom + Groomsmen Accomodations: Dug Road Inn