So for today’s post things are going to get a bit gushy, and a bit mushy, and you’ll soon see why. Kelly e-mailed me back in early spring about having her wedding featured on Middle of the Map. I checked it out, and instantly fell in love with their event while looking at pictures on her blog 26east. Further investigation led me to the realization that not only was their wedding awesome, their house was so fun, and they’re a super cute family, but are also our neighbors (just one block away), and I had admired their house from afar. I was excited for this discovery, and fortunately Kelly was too. We’ve since gotten to know Kelly and Evan, and I’m so happy that they are our neighbors, and new friends. I only wish I’d met them sooner!
But back to their wedding…They did tons of DIY projects, including all the flowers and decor, and chose a classic black and white color palette with lots of graphic patterns and letters. Their personal style for the day was amazing, with Evan in a light grey suit, and Kelly wearing an assortment of fantastic headbands, plus their daughter Alex’s beautiful dress which perfectly tied in with the whole event. I can’t say enough good things about this event, so I’ll just let you take a look (told you I was going to be gushing). A huge thank you to Kelly for sharing their amazing day, and all the details. It’s a longer narrative than I usually share, but their whole event was so unique from start to finish. If you’re looking to plan an outside the box, casual event it’s a must read. Also thank you to We Are the Parsons for their beautiful images. Enjoy!
Who, What, Where ~ Ceremony&Reception: River Market Event Place. Photography: We Are The Parsons. Flowers and decor: DIY by Kelly and Evan. Food: Deco Catering. Cake Pops: Chips Chocolate Factory. Brides Attire: BCBG dress, Betsy Johnson shoes. Grooms Attire: Express Men’s.
And even more loveliness…
From the bride, Kelly…
Evan and I met on Craigslist. We like to start the story that way because it gets people attention and we get crazy looks. We like to pretend we’re comedians, so we’ll do anything for a cheap laugh. But it’s true – Craigslist brought us together, just not in the way you’d imagine. There are a million details to the story, but the Cliff Notes version is that I bought a bookcase off Craiglist and that’s how we met. No sparks. No romance. Just $25 cash, and a home for books. Three months later he found the motorcycle he was looking for on Craigslist and it just so happened to be my next door neighbor who was selling it. And that my friends is the short story of how we met and met again and realized it was fate and threw caution to the wind. Love soon followed.
We are a very hands-on, DIY obsessed couple so we knew right from the beginning we would make this wedding our own. Our main goal was to plan something unique to us, we kept referring to it as out of the box, but not foreign. The idea was to do make it different, yet still incorporate a little tradition so our guests could relate to it and manage everything on a pretty modest budget. We made almost every piece of decor and even decorated the space, along with some amazing friends, on the morning of our wedding.
We decided we didn’t want a traditional wedding party so we selected a group of our friends and family who were extra special to us, asked them to dress in our color theme (black/white/gray) and stand near us during the ceremony. It was very “come as you are and be who you are” type of thing. Since I have one sister and Evan has one brother, we selected them as Matron of Honor and the Best Man. My daughter was the flower girl/ribbon bearer.
One thing that is really special to us is our home. The year before the wedding we bought and renovated a 100 year old house in the Brookside neighborhood of Kansas City, Mo. With all of our family coming from out of town, most of which had never been to our home, we knew we wanted it to be a central location. We loved having a house full of people coming and going all weekend. We even hosted our rehearsal-less rehearsal dinner at home so we could have both families and all of our friends in our home together, a once in a lifetime experience for sure.
On our wedding day, we opted to host a cocktail hour before the actual ceremony. We wanted to create a laid back mood and get everyone ready to party! When guests arrived at the venue they were greeted by our parents along with signature cocktails that we had selected. While our guests were served passed appetizers and drinks below, we gathered in a loft space just above the actual event space, with our wedding crew. This was a time for us to come together with our closest friends privately, relax and reflect.
I wrote our ceremony “script” because we wanted to be sure it really represented all that we were thinking and feeling. We wanted to be sure to include special recognition for the family that was being formed with my daughter and for the unique circumstances that brought us together. We incorporated a hand fasting ritual, which involved both moms presenting the ribbons they received and tying them together around our joined hands. We did this to represent the joining of families and to symbolize an old Italian and Polish tradition of “tying the knot”. This was done in place of a unity candle and along with a beautiful poem that was read during it.
We wrote our own vows and had my brother read a poem called “Destiny” in place of traditional readings. This was such a touching moment during the ceremony because this poem alone summed up everything about our lives, things we had been through before and how we had found each other. As we exchanged rings and were finally announced as husband and wife, our wedding party showered us with hundreds of rose petals and we were embraced by all of our friends and family.
The moment that stands out the most to me was having my dad play guitar and sing to us for our first dance together as husband and wife. I will never forget that moment with him or with my husband.
All in all we both credit our wedding day with being the most fun we have ever had in a single weekend. We 100% believe that taking a more casual approach to everything is what it all boils down to. There was no pressure on us to fall in line with tradition or live up to anyone’s expectations. We definitely got funny looks and nervous laughs from our parents and friends during the planning, but in the end everyone saw and understood our vision. We knew all along what we wanted and by keeping the focus on our love and personalities, we had the best wedding possible – for us.
In the end I give my amazing husband so much credit. From the very beginning he was a part of the planning and he wanted me to know we were in this together — even with all my crazy ideas and plans. Along with the dress, the food, flowers and everything in between, I walked into the process with a true partner and as we go forward in life, I have realized that is the most important detail of all. Looking back through our incredible photos, what sticks with us is how naturally everything evolved and how incredibly relaxed and happy we were that day.