Alyssa, Music Therapy Intern and Graduate Student & Austin, Musicology Grad Student
Photographer: No Boundaries Photography
One sentence sum-up of the wedding vibe: A beautiful, laid-back celebration with lots of singing, laughing, amazing food and beer, rain and mud, and wonderful people.
Soundtrack for reading: “You Can Call Me Al” by Paul Simon
Other cool stuff we should know about
Our wedding was a community effort from the very beginning. The wedding took place at Austin’s aunt and uncle’s B&B (which used to be a dairy barn!). They put in a tremendous amount of work preparing the farm for the wedding, along with family and friends. Austin and my grandpa built thirty benches for the ceremony. Austin’s parents and my grandparents collected native Kansas grasses and hung them in their basements to dry over the winter, and then incorporated them into our bouquets, corsages, boutonnières, flower arrangements, and décor. They also planted tons of native flowers, then picked and arranged them on the day of the wedding, with lots of help from friends and family. My grandma and other family members made the cake, buns, and potato salad. We are both musicians and a lot of our friends are musicians, so we had a talent show/open mic at the reception and asked our friends to play and sing for us instead of giving us gifts. We had a huge variety of acts, from bluegrass, to love songs sung by Austin’s sister that made me weep, to extended family getting up to sing Mennonite hymns in four-part harmony.
Finally, the community came together in a way we couldn’t have anticipated when it began to rain immediately following the ceremony. Everyone pitched in to move everything inside, and stuck around through the wind and the rain to celebrate with us. We were all rewarded with a breathtaking double rainbow at sunset.
Favorite thing about the wedding
Alyssa: At some point during the planning process I read some advice somewhere on A Practical Wedding that said: “Imagine what your wedding would look like if you had never seen a wedding before.” So that’s what we did, and we ended up with an incredibly personal celebration that felt comfortable and authentic.
Austin: Well, obviously, getting married to the person I love. Having all my friends and family there. Watching the storm roll in during the ceremony. Even before the actual wedding, I really enjoyed working on the benches with Alyssa’s grandpa and helping my mom collect the native grasses and flowers.