Lindsey and Brian fell in love with a beautiful barn destination wedding venue upon first sight, and just knew that they wanted their wedding at the unique location.
When: June 4, 2016
Location(s): Hudsonville Reformed Church & The Old Wooden Barn, Hudsonville, Michigan
Photography: Allie Siarto Photography – Rachael Claeys, Associate Photographer
How They Met: Brian and Lindsey were actually next-door neighbors in Owosso, Michigan.
Brian and I had similar friends but never met before becoming neighbors, which is kind of crazy for living in a small town. I was giving the tour of my new home to my grandparents one day and while showing them the back yard, Brian was outside push-mowing without a shirt on. My grandma said, “is he single?!” I quickly rushed her back inside saying “I don’t even know the guy grandma!” A couple of months later, I was introduced to Brian at a local bar by mutual friends. We spent most of the night talking, then hugged goodbye and that was it. A week or so later, I made plans to meet up with friends and I ran into Brian. At the end of the night, I offered to give him a ride home. Not even 5 minutes after I dropped him off and walked in, I got a Facebook message from Brian that said, “my dog Tucker wants to know if he can come over and drink a beer.” Probably not the best pickup line to get invited over, but the two of us headed to a late-night party with friends. The following week we went on our first official date, and that was the start of our relationship.
Wedding Theme and Design: Woodland/Glam. Even though we had a barn for our venue neither of us are into the “rustic”. I wanted something with lots of greenery, some glam and something that felt luxurious but only at a fraction of the cost.
Wedding Colors: Gold, Ivory, Blue/Grey, Dark Green
Caterer: Adeline Leigh Catering
Officiant: Pastor Don Van Slyke
Florist: Events by I Candy
How he proposed: Brian is a romantic. He pays attention to all the little details and is always surprising me. I went on a family vacation to Tennessee when I was in high school and I talked about it frequently. So Brian surprised me with a long weekend vacation to Gatlinburg, TN. He didn’t tell me where we were going, we just got in the car and drove until we reached this beautiful log cabin nestled high up in the Smokey Mountains, overlooking the city. Of course I had my suspicions of an engagement along with all of my friends, family and coworkers. But I also knew that he just had to replace the furnace on his house and his dog had knee surgery, so I didn’t think it was in the cards. I just thought it was a well-deserved mini vacation. We spent the weekend zip-lining and horseback riding thru the mountains, attending dinner shows and enjoying nature. It was our last day of vacation and there was still no ring. Brian had rented a RZR ATV to drive around in for the day and we headed to the National Park. It was an icky day – cloudy and on and off rain. He kept trying to get me out of the ATV to take pictures and walk around but I resisted. Finally we pulled up to this really cool tree right off the main path. “I’d get out here for pictures” I said. We walked over to the stream, admired the scenery, played in the hollow of the tree. “Stay right there” Brian said to me and reached in his pocket. He pulled out a box and got down on one knee and the rest is kind of a blur. I honestly couldn’t even tell you everything he said between my adrenaline pumping and my hands over my face while I cried. All I know is I said YES!
Videographer: Becca & Kate with Coastline Studios
DJ: DJ Chewy
Cake: Connie’s Cakes
Linens: Rented from the caterer, but the runners were purchesed from Afloral.com
Lighting: Uplighting was provided by the DJ
Other goodies: Gourmet popcorn bar by from Cravings, Lansing, MI.
Honeymoon details and location: We stayed 6 days at the Couples Swept Away Resort in Negril, Jamaica.
Most Memorable moment: The first look with Brian. It was so nice to have a few moments alone with him in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the wedding day. Even though we were surrounded by the camera crew and photographer it felt like it was just the two of us. It brought me back to what the day was really about – marrying my best friend.
Wedding Dress: Allure Bridal – style 9271, in Ivory
Hair: Davina and Amanda with Pomp & Artistry
Makeup: Rachel Doyle with Muscles and Mascara
Shoes: My shoes were purchased from Macy’s for $22 – heck of a find!
Wedding Party: 6 bridesmaids, 7 groomsmen
Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal – style 4XLF15749, in Mystic.
Groomen’s Suits: Men’s Wearhouse. Groom: Light Grey suit, tan vest, white shirt, white/ivory/gold striped tie. Groomsmen: Light grey pants & vest, white shirt, Monaco Mist colored tie to match bridesmaids. Dads: Darker grey suits, black ties
Wedding Song: The bridal party walked down the aisle to Bill Murray, by Matt Nathanson, and the bride walked down to the Traditional Bridal March, by Craig Riley & Craig Austin.
Flowers/ Centerpieces used: I went to thrift stores collecting various vintage vases for the centerpieces. I used my bouquet and the bridesmaids bouquets for the main centerpiece on half of the tables and the other half consisted of a branch/flower arrangement. I found the manzanita branch with silk arrangement centerpiece idea on Pinterest and hired Events by I Candy to construct it. They turned out absolutely beautiful. They were so unique and the florist said they had never seen anything like it. I also hired the florist to provide silk arrangements for all of my bud vases.
What was your old, new, borrowed, blue? Old: pictures of loved ones passed on my bouquet. New: my jewelry/shoes/dress. Borrowed: the pearl necklace from my mother. Blue: undergarments.
Vows: Brian and I wrote and recited our own vows. They brought the whole room to tears.
First Dance Song: My Dear, by Bethel Music
Did you hand-make or DIY any wedding items? Yes! I even had the hubby in on some DIY-ing. I personally did all of the chalkboard signs and easels for the dinner menu, put together our guest book via Shutterfly, spray painted the frames for our table numbers, and glittered everything! That included some of the gold mason jars, the letters for the BAR sign, and the Mr & Mrs signs on the head table. Brian helped me construct the wood portion for the BAR sign and helped me build the seating chart display.
You and your husbands’ wedding advice: My advice: things will go wrong and your day will not be 100% perfect. Try to relax and go with it. Also, try to delegate responsibilities so everything is clear on who needs to do what and who needs to be where.
Brian’s advice: Stay out of the way and let your fiancée create her dream wedding. But stay strong on the menu- if you want meatballs, damn it get meatballs.
What was the biggest roadblock that you ran into while planning the wedding? I think the biggest challenge was just planning a wedding out of town. We found the barn on Facebook and on a whim decided to drive the two hours to check it out. We fell in love with it instantly. We had looked at barns and indoor hall venues closer to home, but they all left us lacking. This one gave us chills, and seeing it with the lights and the beautiful wood, the high ceilings with the old hospital windows…Brian knew before I did it was the place. It was such a unique setting and nothing like we’d ever been too. We immediately booked it but we didn’t know much about the surrounding area, so it took a lot of time researching, reading reviews and lots of emails back and forth before we found the perfect vendors for our day.
Who/what gave you the most help in the planning process? I pretty much did all of the planning myself but if I ever needed help I would bounce ideas off of Brian.
How much influence did your family/ fiancé have in the planning process? Everyone was really supportive of what we wanted for our wedding day. I talked over any major decisions with Brian and asked his input often but he was pretty laid back about the whole thing. He was willing to help when needed, but also was ok with letting me plan the wedding I wanted.
Which part of the process gave you the most stress? We had a few hiccups with our reception vendor and our photographer. We were required to have a certified bartender for our reception and when we asked for a copy of the certificate, she realized it was expired. After jumping thru the hoops to immediately renew her certificate, we sent over an electronic copy to Mike & Diane with a big sigh of relief. Then, our family photos after the ceremony did not go as smooth as we would have hoped. Once we got our photos back we realized that in the midst of the chaos we never even got any pictures of just Brian and me at the church. I reached out to Allie the business owner, and she sincerely apologized and to make it right she offered us a product credit as well as photo-shopped a picture of us at the altar!
What did you do that you found helped out with stress the best? In the case of our two major wedding-day hiccups, I think honesty was helpful as well as sticking up for myself. I also think we picked some really great vendors who were willing to work with us. Mike & Diane, the venue owners, were extremely helpful the day before and the day of the wedding to make sure everything ran smoothly. And as far as the photos – I contacted Allie and was honest with her about our experience, and she was prepared to make it right. She stayed up late on a holiday weekend photo shopping our happy little heads so we had ONE photo of Brian and me at the church. I’m still very happy we chose to hire Allie Siarto Photography – she and Rachael have been truly awesome to work with!
Is there anything that didn’t go as planned? Oh probably tons of stuff! It’s the little things that you think about in your head but you don’t tell anyone to do, like lighting the memorial table candles or giving the grandparents their corsages & boutonnieres. You think it’s a “given” or that you’ll have time to do it yourself but you don’t. And if you don’t delegate that task to someone, it doesn’t get done. The grandparents didn’t get their flowers and the candles weren’t lit until after the ceremony but hey, as long as they had them for pictures right??
What was your favorite part of the experience/ event? Our ceremony was by far my favorite part of the experience. Pastor Don performed a beautiful ceremony and every word resonated with Brian and I. We have a 22 month old little girl named Carlie. She wasn’t planned and came early on in our relationship. It was a scary and trying time but it has also brought us together and she has been the best thing to happen to us. We decided to write our own vows which was very special to both of us. I think the whole church was crying and Pastor Don said that in the 7-800 weddings he has performed, he’s never witnessed something so beautiful and heartfelt.
If you could go back in time, what would you have changed? I would have been more vocal about what I needed from my bridal party and my vendors. This day only happens once and you don’t get to go back and redo it.
What did you do to save money? I negotiated with some vendors like my florist to get my budget where I wanted to be but also get the quality and items that I wanted. I also did all the décor myself – I waited for sales, DIY’d some of it, and bought some things really cheap from China. It was a long wait to get them, but I purchased with plenty of time so I didn’t mind.
What was your biggest splurge? My biggest splurge was the videographer. I wanted one ever since I started planning but knew that it wasn’t in my budget. Unfortunately my grandpa passed away at Christmas, but my grandma gifted me some money from him. I thought that would be the perfect gift from my grandpa – a video to remember my special day forever and to know that it wouldn’t have been possible without him.
Congrats to Lindsey and Brian! Your venue was truly unique and beautiful. Thank you for sharing your wedding story!