When Katie and Joel decided to marry at her parents dairy farm, they knew it would take a lot of hard work, but they had a feeling it would all be worth it. After commissioning a good friend to create a piece of art that would inspire their day, they got right to work DIYing every whimsical detail that followed. With the help of their loving family and supportive friends, they spent seven months cleaning, painting, re-wiring and preparing the grounds. Although the weather had been finicky leading up to it, nothing could stand in the way of this rustic and oh-so-charming celebration. Briana Snyder Photography was on-hand to document just how seamlessly a working dairy farm was transformed into the most romantic spot on earth.
Surrounded by the ones they love (and several farm animals too!) Katie and Joel knew all their hard work had paid off.
Thanks to Briana Snyder Photography for sharing these beautiful images with us, and to Katie and Joel for reminding us that love is the perfect reason to roll up your sleeves.
Who, What, Where ~ Ceremony & Reception: Katie’s Family Farm. Photography: Briana Snyder Photography. Catering: Amanda Starry, friend of Katie. Cake and desserts: all made by Katie, her sister, and mother. Wedding gown: Venus, Wendy’s Cincinnati Bride. Wedding shoes: Dillards, shoe clips by Snestina. Bridesmaids’ dresses: Dillards. Bridesmaids’ sashes: flowers handmade by Meredith, Bluebird Studio and finished with sashes by Jackie. Flowers: Katie’ s mother. Graphic design: Kristin Sullivan Calhoun. Music: Seth and Hannah Jones (Katie’s sister and brother-in-law)
From the Bride, Katie…
Joel and I didn’t have a theme in mind when we began planning our wedding, but we both come from wonderfully large and loving families. More than anything, we wanted our wedding day to center on family. It had been a quiet dream of mine to marry at my family’s farm, a place rich with meaning and memories for me. I almost couldn’t believe it when Joel thought the farm would be a wonderful place to begin our marriage, and my parents agreed! I asked a graphic designer friend to create some original artwork that would be a symbolic centerpiece for the wedding, and she freehanded a beautiful tree that perfectly illustrated family and new life. We displayed the tree at the reception and used the graphic to create our own invitations and programs.
In keeping with the family theme, almost everything about the wedding was DIY and carried about by my parents, siblings, in-laws, and close friends. We had our work cut out for us, too—we had just seven months to transform a working dairy farm into the beautiful, idyllic setting I pictured in my mind. The biggest job was clearing the barn of old machinery, tools, and five-foot round bales of hay, then fixing the floors and electrical wiring to make it a safe environment for the reception. We used materials from around the farm wherever possible. We covered a few holes and gaps in the floors with the old license plates my grandpa had collected decades earlier, and created chandeliers with six huge drill wheels and Christmas lights. We washed dozens of old house shutters to use as décor, and painted milk cans and ancient window frames to add color. Most of the flowers (including those used in the bouquets) came from my mother’s flowerbeds.
I loved every detail about my wedding, so it’s hard to pick out a favorite—but I really enjoyed putting together the table décor. I used old books from my collection and a bunch that I borrowed from friends to create centerpieces, and found rustic candleholders for each table. I chose fabrics with vintage prints and colors to add a fun element. Joel ordered personalized golf pencils for guests to use to fill out the madlibs he created, and my sisters and I sewed burlap bags to hold coffee beans (favors for the guests).
My favorite part of the wedding is something so completely intangible that it’s hard to describe. There was a feeling in the air that not even the fireworks set off by my youngest brother could explain. It was the feeling of togetherness, of kinship, between our families and friends that made the evening feel fitting, right, and blessed. After so much effort and so many prayers, our wedding day was the welcome culmination of God’s perfect timing.