A Rain-Soaked Central Kansas Wedding

With a talent show!

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.


Featured Sponsored Content

  • Emma Klues


  • McKenna

    So beautiful, in every way! It made me homesick for the plains and the storms and that great sky.

  • 39bride

    Oh, my! Stunningly beautiful. So wonderfully Kansas in every way–having spent parts of my life in Indiana, Illinois and Southern Michigan, this is close enough that it speaks my language, speaks to my heart. So beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Lisa

      I’m a Hoosier through and through, and this wedding really pulled at my heartstrings. How absolutely beautiful!

  • Molly


  • Anna

    The combo of music by my favorite artist and the picture of you two walking down the dirt road makes this one of my favorite APW weddings ever. Love the relaxed, happy vibe the pictures capture. Congratulations on your marriage!

  • Becca Love-Johnson

    We used
    AppyCouple for our wedding website and app. http://www.appycouple.com/ It was great!!

  • BD

    Holy cow this wedding looks amazing! I don’t normally comment on real wedding posts but this one rocked my world.

  • Lindsey d.

    Beautiful. I love the native grasses!

    • Elena

      Seriously. Can we make this a thing? So lovely.

  • Erin K.

    Thank you thank you thank you! As beautiful as the California coast and urban East Coast weddings are, this Kansas girl is so appreciative of the chance to see a wedding that is actually close to home.

  • Kayjayoh

    The B&W photo of the wheat field is amazing. As a Wisconsin girl, I’m used to sweeping farm vistas, but nothing quite like that. And holy cow, that double rainbow photo! (cue double rainbow dude)

    Every picture displays a sense of community and strength. Congratulations to you both!

  • StevenPortland

    Amazing, beautiful, scenic! We got our rings from Raven’s Refuge as well!! I hadn’t heard of that great advice: “Imagine what your wedding would look like if you had never seen a wedding before.”

  • MisterEHolmes

    The first time that a photo in a beautiful field makes sense! Looks awesome. Love the amber waves of grain!

  • Kirstin

    Three cheers from a fellow bride-to-be with a pixie cut! : )

    • Alyssa

      I’ll cheers to that! Rock it, my friend! :)

  • Theresa S.

    I’ve been reading APW ever since I got engaged over a year ago and this is the first post that caused me to comment. Many times I love a featured wedding and then realize there is no way I can use any of the vendors, because I live in the midwest. I have to second the fact that it’s so nice to see a local wedding! I’m
    from Kansas City and using No Boundaries for my photography as well.
    Such a beautiful couple/wedding! Congratulations!

    • Alyssa

      We love No Boundaries! They did an amazing job and were great to hang out with all day! I’m glad to hear that other Kansas and Midwest people are enjoying our submission. I noticed the lack of good Midwest weddings (all over the wedding blog world) when I was planning, which is why I wanted to submit our wedding to APW. Thanks for your lovely comments!

      • Laura

        Thank you. You don’t know (or maybe you know better than anyone) how happy it makes me, and how encouraging it is, to see your wedding on this site. Congrats!

  • Rebecca

    Mennonite four part hymn singing is the best. Your wedding looked lovely! Congratulations to both of you.

  • Laura

    Kansas wedding! Congrats to Alyssa and Austin! So many thanks to you for submitting your wedding to APW and to APW for featuring. We kansas (and other midwest) people in the room are squealing with delight. A banjo, native grasses, and a Kansas sunset to boot! There really is no sunset like a Kansas sunset.

  • clairekfromtheuk

    the wheatfields, the rainbow… I die.

  • Pingback: let’s get professional | a hundred objects close by()

  • creativedwelling

    Having a talent show/open mic is such a great idea!! How fun.

  • troopie

    LOVE this! Everything is beautiful and looks so full of love and joy.