What happens when two designers get together and plan their own wedding? Amazing things, as you can see from Rachel and Jonathan's beautiful day. They started out as "just friends" but after two years of grad school they finally began a whirlwind courtship. After just five months of dating, on a semester abroad in Europe, Jonathan proposed, so romantic. The two decided that a laid back, farm style, DIY wedding would be just their style. A huge thank you to Rachel and Jonathan for sharing the details of their day, and to Erin Johnson Photography for the beautiful pictures.
About the couple...
The couple still had grad school to finish and jobs to find, so it would be another two years before their actual wedding. That gave the two designers plenty of time to create their perfect event.
First up: the setting. Jonathan grew up on a farm in South Dakota, and Rachel’s grandmother has a farm in Mankato, so an outdoor farm wedding seemed fitting. They chose Windbeam Farm in Hager City, Wisconsin, where guests could choose to camp for the entire weekend. It was the perfect setting for a low-key, do-it-yourself wedding.
The pair worked closely together on the vision—from designing their invites to designing their ceremony—though they also divided and conquered some tasks. “He kind of took over the musical part and I did a lot of the craft part,” says Rachel. The décor helped create a playful, rustic vibe: Colorful farm-fresh flowers rested in milk cans and Mason jars, table numbers included drawings by the couple’s nieces and nephews, and a homemade wood sign encouraged guests to “Dance Yer Butt Off!!!” Rachel spent hours on craft projects like the escort cards, which she hung from an old weathered door with twine and mini clothespins, while Jonathan was up at 6 the morning of the wedding to assemble flowers with his mother. “It was a lot of work, but we really embraced it,” says Jonathan. “The way we looked at it was that it was a big deal, and we wanted to invite everybody we knew, and we made it as big a deal as we possibly could and put on the best party we could.”
To accomplish that, they whole-heartedly enlisted the help of their community. Jonathan’s Communist Daughter bandmates played during the ceremony and cocktail hour, and his former co-workers at Café Levain prepared a Tuscan-inspired meal, which was served family-style out of mismatched bowls brought by guests. The homemade sangria featured wine from Jonathan’s parents’ winery, while the beer was from a friend’s start-up brewery. Even dessert was DIY: The couple put a callout to guests to bring homemade pies and ended up with 35. “It was nice to have that support,” says Rachel. “The wedding definitely felt like us, but it also felt so supported by everyone; it felt very inclusive and loving.”
With the wedding behind them, Rachel and Jonathan still have plenty of joint projects to work on. They teach two classes together at the U of M. They carpool to work at their landscape architecture firms a few blocks from each other. And in August they’re anticipating their biggest joint project yet: a baby boy.
Participating Vendors: Ceremony/reception: Windbeam Farm in Hager City, Wisconsin // Photography: Erin Johnson Photography // Dress: J.Crew // Hairpiece: bhldn.com // Groom’s/groomsmen’s attire: Blacklist Vintage // Catering: Café Levain // Pies: Home-baked by guests // Flowers:Arranged by Jonathan’s mother and her sisters // Invitations: Designed and printed by the couple • Ceremony music: Family, friends, and Jonathan’s Communist Daughter bandmates // Hair/makeup: Indigo Salon in Red Wing.