This wedding is extra special to me. You may be wondering why. The groom is one of my brothers and I FINALLY have a sister now! I'm also sharing this on my FOURTH business anniversary, so it is definitely going to be a ton of pictures :)
I can't remember the first time I met Katie many years ago. If I was going to give it a guess, it would probably have been on our family boat. She fit into our family from the very beginning so our first meeting doesn't stand out in my memory.
Katie's family has always been welcoming to me. They live about 2 blocks away from me so I see them when I'm out walking the dogs. I've texted Katie the morning of the Turkey Trot and ask to run with her family, they've invited me to family dinners - all around great people that I'm glad to be connected to forever.
I DO remember the day I found out they were engaged! I got a text early in the morning with a picture of the two of them showing off a gorgeous new ring. Michael's caption told me he "finally locked it down," After 5 years together, I'm sure they were getting nagged a lot about when they would finally tie the knot. A few weeks later, Katie texted me late on Thursday night asking if I wanted to run the Bix with her on Saturday morning because her partner backed out.
We were running along the course and we were talking about various wedding related things. I remember asking if she had thought about how many bridesmaids and who they would be. There was a long pause before she said, "well, you, hopefully." I was so thrilled, suddenly the last half of the race was a little easier.
I was lucky enough to be included in the planning process, even getting to visit their venue before they booked it. Because I was doing the flowers as well as being a bridesmaid, they wanted me to be able to ask any questions I may have about being able to use the space. The Iowa Events Center is a huge room that we added lounge furniture in part of the space.
On Thanksgiving, Michael and Katie asked all of us to be a part of their wedding. Brothers Nick (middle) and David (left) got fun "socks to help me tie the knot" and were asked to be Best Man and Groomsman. I got a little bottle of champagne and a Michelle koozie officially asking me to be a bridesmaid. We were all so excited to be asked to join their special day.
Katie carried a bouquet of white roses, free spirit orange roses, orange asiatic lilies, mango calla lilies, and orange ranunculus. I'm kind of obsessed with the free spirit roses so I hope more brides choose to use them!
The week of the wedding, my mom and I loaded up a fully packed SUV to head to Des Moines to work on the flowers. When I say fully packed, I mean my passenger seat was fully forward and there was a box in my lap.
The venue was gracious enough to give us a studio room right across from the reception hall to be able to work in. Having my mom there to help made everything run smoothly and quickly. We were both surprised that we didn't bicker or anything the whole weekend! Having an "assistant" who used to run her own floral shop was a HUGE blessing. Even though I was in the wedding and doing the flowers, I don't think I have ever felt so relaxed about a wedding weekend.
When David flew in, we put him to work too. He even made the toss bouquet! The boys loved their duties of filling vases with water beads. If you've ever run your hands through a bucket of water beads, you know it is a weird feeling (and definitely something boys would love messing with). David even mad the toss bouquet - it took him almost an hour because he is such a perfectionist, but he did a great job! If the whole doctor thing doesn't work out for him, he has a job waiting for him at LLF.
After the rehearsal dinner, we recruited the cousins to help us put all the centerpieces out. This is when the male cousins learned that holding a vase of lilies (that has bloomed after arranging) close to their bodies leads to pollen on their shirts. They weren't super happy to learn that info, but recruiting a big group of people saved us a ton of time setting up centerpieces on Saturday.
Friday night, after helping me set up centerpieces, we decided to go out for a couple drinks with all the cousins and my parents. It was a lot of fun to let loose with family for a little bit before the big day!
Saturday morning, we had to be at the salon bright and early. Mom and I were first to get our hair and makeup done. From there, we left to put the finishing touches on the reception and then meet the rest of the bridal party at the church.
When Michael and Katie asked the groomsmen, with fun socks, to be in the wedding, their intent was for the guys to wear them on their wedding day. Everyone understood that, except Adam. So Adam proudly rocked his Nike socks, while everyone else was wearing fun socks.
After the ceremony, the bridal party had a blast frolicking around downtown Des Moines for group pictures.
The bridesmaids had bouquets of free spirit roses, orange asiatic lilies and mango calla lilies. Who looks better with the bouquets? I think the boys rocked the bouquet shot!
Of course, we had to recreate the classic Bridesmaids pose. It was harder than you might think to put your knee up and bend over awkwardly like that. The photographer, Alex, from The Bearded Studio had the movie cover out on his phone and made sure we were exactly right. That is some serious dedication!
We were late for our Grand Entrance into the reception because we spent a ridiculous amount on time on these escalators. But it made for some pretty cool pictures!
Our Grand Entrances were worth the wait. I wish I had seen my mom's face while I walked in with a grown man on my back, because I'm pretty sure it was a heart attack face. I didn't drop him and I didn't throw out my back!
The whole weekend was a blast and I'm so happy to finally call Katie a member of our family! I feel extra blessed that I could be such a big part of their day on so many levels.
Michael trying to dip was one of the funniest things I've ever seen! I hope they spend the rest of their life laughing as much as we all did on their wedding day.
A little LLF update because it is my business anniversary! I gave up sweets for Lent so I'll be celebrating tonight with some wine and Texas Roadhouse takeout and wait to buy myself a cake until Sunday.
My goal for the year was to book 30 weddings and I am proud to say that I have 32 on the books for the year! 3 of them I am a bridesmaid (or MOH) and a florist! It's going to be a wild year! I do still have some available dates for July - December if you're still looking for a florist.
Many of your have met my assistant, Kelsey, over the years. LLF is both overjoyed and sad that she is going to be welcoming a new baby in June so that means she won't be around for the majority of wedding season. With that, I am training some newbies to help me out this year!!
Lexi helped me out at the Bridal Expo this year so some of you may have met her already. Jordan and Megan are former brides of mine that are also going to join the LLF team. All 3 new minions will not only be training to help with day of wedding set ups, but also will be learning how to make corsages and boutonnieres so they can help with some design work. They are the reason I am able to take on so many weddings this year!
Year 4 is going to be full of new challenges, some really cool designs and a ton of amazing weddings! I've had one wedding in January of this year, but wedding season really kicks off the last week of April! If you don't have me on Snapchat, add me to see behind the scenes footage of weddings (and usually some cute dog pictures). I'll of course continue to post bouquet pics on wedding weekends and blog posts after I get images, but Snapchat is a great way to see the whole messy process. Snapchat name is liveloveflower (no S on the end because that was too many characters).
I've been so blessed on this journey so far and I can't wait to see where the next year takes me!