I’ve told you all the story about the first time I met Kate and Owen at their engagement session – the way these two high school sweethearts met me in the driveway of their renovated home on the farm, and the chickens that were scurrying around us and the memories they shared with me about growing up together and falling in love in their small town. One of the things I immediately loved about them was the way in which they spoke so fondly not only of each other, but also the loved ones that were helping them plan their hometown wedding and bring the vision for their day together. The adoration they shared for these people already felt palpable for me, but one of the best things about weddings is getting to see all that love at work right in front of you – and if Kate and Owen’s wedding day isn’t the perfect example of that, I don’t know what is.
Kate and Owen began their wedding day in separate rooms of the church – Owen surrounded by his big group of guys, and Kate surrounded by her girls, and her grandmothers, and aunts and her mom and anyone else who wanted to slip in to say hi. Kate had mentioned to me prior to the wedding day that there were over 500 people coming to the reception, and I quickly realized that the extended size of their crew was no exaggeration – I watched as their family and friends not only filled the regular pews of the church, but also the room behind that where temporary chairs and benches had been set up. Someone made a joke at one point about the entire town being there, and it didn’t seem far off from the truth. And yet, Owen and Kate greeted each and every one of them with the same amount of excitement and appreciation, which I would soon gain a greater understanding of after entering the reception.
When Kate and Owen had originally mentioned at their engagement session that their friends and family members were helping them transform her parents’ shed into their wedding reception venue, I don’t think I could have fully grasped what that would end up like prior to seeing it for myself. I entered the gigantic shed to find wall-to-wall décor – personalized pieces and photos and bits of trivia about Owen and Kate on each table and shelf and wall, lights strung all around, family friends standing in as bartenders and food servers and coordinators, a beautiful head table display, and a massive wall of desserts, each labeled with the original family recipe it was made from. I watched as these people set up and tore down tables and chairs and cleared way for a dance floor, and understood that the love and appreciation that Owen and Kate felt for these people was beyond reciprocated. I found myself thinking about the way in which growing up in a small town with so many people in your corner loving and lifting you up is it’s own special kind of community, and how each of these people have their own little way of helping you become the person you grow into, and I realized exactly why from the moment when I first met them, Kate and Owen seemed to understand their own blessedness so greatly.
Dress: Storybook Ending Bridal Salon
Chair + Linen Rentals: Cook Party Rentals
Videographer: Avenue Studios
Donuts: Sweetheart Bakery
DJ: Aaron Dail
Cake: Tami Dillin
Cupcakes: Angela Jacobs
Dessert, Catering, Lighting: Kate’s family