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Our wedding ceremony will forever be one of the best 30 minutes of my life. From my dad walking me down the aisle to Chase reading me his vows to the hugs in the receiving line, I will always remember how truly overwhelmed with happiness I felt in those moments. It was perfect (even though I heard there were bees flying in my veil during the whole thing).

THE LOCATION & DECOR

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The wedding ceremony took place in the gardens of Rollins Mansion. While I always said I would never get married outside (Iowa’s weather is super unpredictable), the second I saw the mansion’s outdoor space, I decided to take the risk. I will note, though, having a legitimate backup plan was a must for us, and I’d recommend the same for anyone. The whole week of our wedding, the forecast called for rain. Luckily, the rain held off until the indoor reception (PHEW!), but I was always grateful we had a backup plan.

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Perhaps the best part (and one of the main selling factors) of Rollins Mansion is its natural beauty. Chase and I decided not to add decorations for fear of taking focus away from the house and outdoor space. Saving money on ceremony decorations? I’ll take it!

THE BRIDESMAIDS 

the-stylish-print_wedding-day-35 Pink is my favorite color, so I’m sure it was no surprise I chose blush pink for the bridesmaids’ dresses. I loved the idea of each woman having the opportunity to pick her own style, so I picked the fabric, length and color I wanted them to wear and let them decide the rest. We spent an afternoon at Weddings by Design picking the perfect dress for each bridesmaid.

THE GROOMSMAN

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We wanted the men to look classic and formal. We rented black, Bond-inspired tuxes with black bow ties and shoes. Our dads wore the same style with black neckties instead of bow ties.

THE GUEST LIST 

Chase and I wanted the wedding ceremony to be intimate. For us, that meant inviting close friends and family. And although creating a guest list of around 170 people wasn’t easy, we loved being able to hug each person in our receiving line, genuinely happy to have him or her there to celebrate with us.

THE CEREMONY

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We were married by one of Chase’s long-time mentors who has been part of Chase’s life as a teacher, coach and role model. Having such a close family friend get ordained to marry us was one of the easiest decisions we made for the ceremony. It made it personal and intimate, which is exactly what Chase and I wanted.

Along with our officiant sharing advice and fun memories of Chase and me, we had two of our bridesmaids, Shelby and Kate, read poems during the ceremony.

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One of my favorite parts about our ceremony was reading the vows we had written for each other. {Click here to see our matching vow books from Etsy}. Though we didn’t share our vows with each other before the ceremony, we did come up with an outline for us to use so our vows would be cohesive when read together. We also had our officiant review them before the ceremony.

THE MUSIC

the-stylish-print_wedding-day-28 Picking the music for our wedding ceremony was one of the most fun yet challenging parts of the planning process. Some song choices were easy: I knew I wanted to walk down the aisle with my dad to {this violin cover} of “Marry Me” by Train. But others, not so much.

I listened to wedding playlists at work, in the car, in the shower — you name it — until I found the perfect songs. Chase escorted the moms into the ceremony to the song “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts. The bridal party entered to “Love Someone” by Jason Mraz. The recessional was to one of my favorites, “Gone, Gone, Gone” by Phillip Phillips. We didn’t have music play during the ceremony, because we didn’t light a unity candle (or do a similar tradition).

THE RECEIVING LINE

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We hosted a receiving line following the ceremony, which turned out to be the best way to take a step back and enjoy the moment with our bridal party, parents and guests. Trust me, the wedding reception goes by way too fast and it can be hard to greet everyone. A receiving line is a perfect solution for those who want to see all their guests.

THE DETAILS 

The receiving line led into our wedding’s cocktail hour and reception, which I’ll be detailing in tomorrow’s Wedding Week post. For now, you can find more details about the products and vendors mentioned today in the post below.

Photography: Elizabeth Carrie Photography | Floral Design: Boesen the Florist | Wedding Dress: Essense of Australia | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bill Levkoff | Bridal Boutique: Weddings by Design & Tux Shop | Hair & Makeup: Penelopie Beauty Bar | DJ: BCP Live | Venue: Rollins Mansion | Catering: Gateway Market | Cakes & Cupcakes: Kim’s Cakes