It won't surprise anyone who knows me to hear that I did not buy any wedding magazines before the big event. I did not visit any wedding sites online to prepare, get tips or plan for the date. I did check on a few etiquette items so I wouldn't make a fool of myself.
My role was simply to host to the most important party that I had ever thrown. We invited all our best friends and our family. What could be more fun than hosting a party with your family and friends?
We had people from all corners of the country - many in South Dakota for this first time. The Millards catered a fantastic dinner to our home. We had the perfect evening to showcase South Dakota at the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding. The picturesque sunset over the Missouri River was complimented by a cool northerly breeze. It was the just kind of night you would order, if you could, for such an event.
But South Dakota summer could not be contained any longer. The hot, dry southeast 25-30 mph winds roared like a blast furnace on the day of the wedding. The 100+ degree temperature, not atypical for late August in Dakota, reminded us that the elements can be extreme on both ends of the spectrum in "God's country" as we like to call South Dakota.
But we celebrated a beautiful wedding ceremony followed but a momentous reception, dinner and dance that put the weather extremes out of everyone's mind. The bride and groom had fun. I believe our guests had fun. (I had a great time!) And that would be my ultimate test of a successful wedding.
Summer Street Photography did a tremendous job with the photos. Kendra, who was 8+ months pregnant at the time of the wedding, was a real warrior, especially in that heat on the wedding day. Despite the fact that we scared Matt a bit with our sailboat shoot, he rallied to get some great shots. Their comments and some of the photos can be found here.
Rachel and Andrew collaborated with Amy at Envision Event Planning to plan (what this father of the bride believes to have been) a truly great wedding. Spending a couple years on the wedding circuit at friends' weddings and having an eye for detail paid off for Rachel and Andrew. Amy's comments and more photos can be found on her blog here.
An online wedding magazine called "Dainty Obsessions" featured Rachel and Andrew's wedding in its Spring '14 issue here. Rachel's remarks highlight the magazine piece. (It was interesting to see the family dog, "Snickers", on the first page of the magazine feature.)
Each of these three spotlights suggest to me that I wasn't the only one who thought that it was an exceptional day and that Rachel and Andrew are a special couple. A great canvas, a photogenic couple, some great planning, wonderful execution (a little cash) and, most importantly, magnificent friends and family as guests will yield a great wedding every time (even if Mother Nature doesn't fully cooperate)!