You can’t help but fall in love with today’s sweet summer barn wedding from Eric M Schwanke Photography. Relaxed and understated, this wedding focused on what was important to the couple, like using locally sourced food and sharing the beauty of their hometown with guests. I also love that they donated their flowers to a local Good Samaritan home. Such a wonderful way to share the joy your marriage with others!
At the time of planning our wedding, Ben and I were living in Austin, Texas. We’re both small town Wisconsin natives so we really wanted to get back to our roots for our big day. Because of that, we really wanted to bring out the beauty of Wisconsin (its landscapes, food, flowers, etc) so we decided that a farm/barn venue was perfect for us. We also went with locally sourced food (via Driftless Cafe) and tried to stay with local, small companies for all of our vendors (snug haven bringing flowers grown at their farm, bloom bake shop and their delicious treats sourced from local market purchases).
To compliment our locally-sourced wedding theme I wanted to keep everything muted, soft, and natural. Our color palette was full of creams, blush colors, pale greens, whites, and navy blues. Additionally, our decor played up the rustic, not too formal theme we were going for. We had rocks for our guests to sign (Ben is a geologist) rather than a guest book. We decided to do a cupcake/treat bar rather than a cake, and we decorated the room with whiskey barrels, chalkboard signs, and fun whimsical odds and ends.
Like our personalities-we didn’t want our wedding to be too formal. We are both pretty laid-back and like to have a good time, so we envisioned a relaxed celebration with great food and drinks and awesome music – we wanted the food to be the main event (even if it was our wedding day). We talked about going to too many weddings where the food left you wanting for more-we refused to go that route and wanted to make our guests feel like the foodies Ben and I describe ourselves as. So we focused on the flavors, what was in season, where it came from (we had a menu with all of the local farms listed at each spot) and let our chef work his magic. To this day, we get compliments on how great our food was at our wedding-so to me I guess it was a personal success!
One of my favorite parts was our procession. After having Ben’s older brother marry us (which is also a favorite of mine), Ben and I walked away from the ceremony to snapdragons flying in the air (Snug Haven provided snapdragons that we gave to every guest as they sat). I remember feeling like I was in a movie, seeing everyone’s smiling faces and the flowers falling all around us is a feeling I’ll always remember.
We didn’t have any family heirlooms included in our wedding, however, I wanted our look to be old, rustic, and heirloom-esque. I wanted things to look like they were well loved-not brand spanking new. To achieve this, we incorporated old, mismatched dishes and silverware, as well as glassware into our table settings. We did a family-style meal, to make everyone feel more at home, instead of at a formal outing. We also included some of Ben’s parents antique furniture as decorations for various places in the barn.
Being budget conscious we had a lot of DIY details in our wedding. Ben’s Mom made all of the burlap table squares (that had the table numbers printed on them), the card box, and brought a lot of antique home-furniture for the decor. Ben and I collected rocks for the guest book in Austin, TX so we would always have that little part of our lives with us no matter where we went. Another favorite thing of mine that we did as a result of our day was we donated all of our flowers to a local Good Samaritan home. I still feel glad that we did that, so allow someone else to enjoy some of the flowers from our big day-if even for the week.
My last favorite moment was the dinner table, instead of a traditional head table, we went with a kings table that allowed us to sit and face our wedding party-our closest friends and family. It let us laugh and smile and enjoy the meal while not being on full-display in front of all of our guests like a traditional head table offers. It made that small part of the day feel intimate, like a small celebration in the middle of a much bigger one-to talk about the days events with the people we’re closest to was just what we needed to re-energize for the party ahead!
Photography | Eric M Schwanke Photography | Venue | Gatherings on the Ridge | Planning | Lavender Hill Events | Florals | Flora by Jamae & Snug Haven Farms | Desserts | Bloom Bake Shop | Catering | Driftless Cafe | Entertainment | Kuhl Entertainment | Hair | Miranda Allen at K Salon and Spa | Makeup | Jade Jacobson