Amy & Cameron

Blended Iowa Park wedding

* Amy, Software Analyst & Cameron, Dentist * Photographer: Eric Schwanke * Soundtrack for reading: “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers *

One sentence sum-up of the wedding vibe: A sunny summer afternoon, surrounded by family, friends, great food, flowers, and love, in the park. 

The Info—Photographer: Eric Schwanke / Location: Decorah, Iowa / Venue: Phelps Park / Amy’s Dress: Ruche / Amy’s Hat: River Junction Trade Co. / Cameron’s Shirt and Tie: Macy’s / Lilliana’s Dress: Forever 21 / Flowers: Purchased from a friend and arranged by another friend / Bouquets, Corsages, Boutonnières, and Lilliana’s Hairpiece: Done by Amy / Amy and Lilliana’s Hair: Rachel and Steph from The Salon / Food: Mark from Ede’s & The Angry Pickle / Cupcakes and Cake: Pinter’s Garden and Pumpkins

Other cool stuff we should know about: We wanted to have a day that was fun, informal, and shared with our favorite people. My fiancé was ready to get married at the courthouse right away after we got engaged in April, but I insisted on a wedding that we could share with our loved ones. (Plus my mom would have killed me if she hadn’t been included!) I definitely didn’t want a big traditional WIC wedding. I had three months to plan and wanted the lead-up to our wedding to focus on our upcoming marriage, not just the wedding day. Plus it was important to me that the wedding planning be fun and not stressful (no stress please!). To keep it small and intimate, we decided to each invite thirty people. I have a blended family and it was really hard to keep my invitation list small and include all the friends and family that I wanted to share the day with. Unfortunately, there were friends that I wasn’t able to invite, and looking back, I wish we had just made room for them.

We bought our invitations from an Etsy artist (Amy Heitman), I made the corsages and boutonnières, my mom and I scoured antique and thrift shops for cake platters and embroidered table scarves and doilies for the table settings, and we found boxes of old mason jars in my parents’ barn. We found the most beautiful location at a local park overlooking a valley with a stream, and were lucky to reserve the location all day for $10! A friend brought buckets of flowers, and I had a posse to help with decorating the morning of the ceremony—they were amazing and it looked so beautiful. Cameron’s brother sang “Better Together,” by Jack Johnson, during the wedding, and my sister read a great excerpt from “When a Woman Loves A Man” by David Lehman (thanks to APW for that suggestion). Afterward, we played our own iTunes music mixes—one for cocktail hour and dinner, and one especially for dancing… ’cuz—dancing!

Coming from a blended family, and now starting a new one, I really wanted to find a way to include my future stepdaughter, Lilliana, in the ceremony. She was my Maid of Honor, and the only member of our wedding party. After my husband and I completed our vows, I also said vows to Lilliana, promising to love and respect her, to listen to her, and to support her in her relationships with her dad and mom. She was eleven at the time, so I’m not sure of the impact on her, but it was important to me, and my husband found it touching and appreciated the gesture.

Favorite thing about the wedding: Looking back, it was a breezy, golden, love-filled afternoon and evening. Sharing the day with family and friends, and feeling their love and support, was truly wonderful. And the cupcakes were amazing!

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  • That. DRESS.

    Gorgeous, unique, fits and flatter yous perfectly. Damn, girl!

    • Exactly what I came here to say.


  • I like the intimacy that was captured in the pictures,nice colours,beautiful wedding theme!Congrats

  • Sarah NCtoPA

    I love that vows were made to your husband’s daughter–that’s a great idea.

  • Emily

    I love this wedding!

    I was the maid of honor at my mother’s wedding when I was eleven. It’s a nice memory. Lilliana looks like she’s having a blast.

  • Emmers

    Love the idea of vows to your step daughter, and the part about respecting her relationships with each of her parents. Kudos to you!

  • Megan

    Such a simple and absolutely lovely celebration! Congratulations!!

  • The fact that you also made vows to your step-daughter just made me tear up – such a special gesture to make.

    And I love all the colored paper lanterns – so pretty!

  • What a beautiful wedding. I <3 the making vows to your new daughter. Lovely!