Real Wedding | Liz & Andrew

I love the white flowers and white bridesmaid dresses from Liz & Andrew’s wedding.  The flowers and decor and beautiful in and of themselves – but they are such a perfect match for the venues.  Honestly, check out the church.  Is it not stunning?

Liz & Andrew | September 4th, 2009 | Des Moines, Iowa

How he proposed
We had been dating long distance (me in Chicago, Andrew in Des Moines) for a year when we decided I would move to Des Moines. I was very sad to leave Chicago, but absolutely certain it was the right decision.  I had two weekends in the city left, and I made a list of all the things I wanted to do (and couldn’t believe I’d never done in the 4.5 years I lived there) before I left.  One of them was to ride the Ferris Wheel and watch the fireworks at Navy Pier.  After dinner with friends at Gibson’s, the 4 of us headed to Navy Pier.  We rode the Ferris Wheel, watched the fireworks, and walked up and down the pier enjoying the night.  Our friends walked away and “pretended” to be having a serious talk, and Andrew and I parked it on a bench at the very end of the pier.  He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him in the sweetest way possible.  To this day, I still can’t believe he risked being that close to water with the ring!  I was shocked and could have very easily knocked it out of his hands in excitement!  Andrew said he wanted to propose in a place we would always be able to go back and visit – and I love that he did it that way.

The ceremony
We had a traditional Catholic ceremony at the historic, gorgeous Saint Ambrose Cathedral in downtown Des Moines.

The moment Liz will never forget
As my gift to Andrew, I suprised him with a four piece brass band that played the Iowa Fight Song as we exited church (not many things in life are more important to him than the Iowa Hawkeyes).  I will NEVER forget the look on his face when we walked out the church doors.  We were married, all of our friends and family were surrounding us, and the Fight Song was playing in the background – it was perfect.

The reception
I normally navigate toward a very modern/contemporary style, but with an event like a wedding, I prefer a more classic look.  I’d say classically modern would be an accurate description of our wedding 🙂 The reception was held in the Grand Hall at the Temple for Performing Arts – a historic building in downtown Des Moines.  Cocktail hour was followed by a dinner of crab-stuffed shrimp and steak, and, in lieu of a traditional wedding cake, my grandma made 600 bite-sized white “cake balls” that couldn’t have been a bigger hit.  The dance floor was jam packed until 1am!  It was literally the wedding of my dreams.

What made her wedding dress “the one”
I tried on 5 dresses, but when I put this one on I immediately knew it was for me.  The detail on the neckline was unlike anything I had ever seen, it definitely adds a “wow” factor and sets the dress (and bride!) apart from other gowns.  I cannot even tell you how many people told me it was the prettiest dress they had ever seen 🙂 I felt exactly how a bride should feel in their dress.

Advice for other brides
Go with your gut.  There a million choices out there, and it is easy to get caught up in all of them.  Create a big picture in your head, and focus on that when you are deciding on the details.  Details are extremely important – but finding the “perfect” detail will exhaust you.  When you find something you love, go with it!

Liz’s wedding dress:  Pronovias Rania
Photographer: Mark Kegans