meghan lee harris

February 15, 2019

AMANDA + KODY // RUSTIC MEETS WHIMSY WEDDING AT SHERWOOD FOREST // BLAIR, WI

When Amanda & Kody first inquired with me they described their vision for their day as a blend between a rustic barn & whimsy forest wedding. “Laid back – like a back yard BBQ but a step classier.” Their venue was a hunting lodge (perfect for this hunting duo!) located in the driftless area of Wisconsin, peacefully tucked away from the world. This place basically had it all. Rustic barn & lodge. Forest, pond, rolling hills. It made for a beautiful ceremony space and endless photo backdrops afterwards. Add in Amanda with her stunning Hayley Paige gown and her whimsy bridesmaids in dusty blue, and eucalyptus and wood accents – their vision certainly came to life! Kody and the guys looked dapper in their suspenders and boutonnières with shotgun shells Kody fired off himself. Every little inch was so carefully thought out, Amanda is a wedding planning rockstar and designed nearly all of it her own! They had the most epic sunset and light, which honestly fit the description of these two all day. They just seemed to GLOW, even when the camera wasn’t rolling I’d catch them sneaking kisses. As genuine as it gets.

I was only with them 6 hours but Amanda, being an on-top-of-it bride, helped ensure we never got off track! We were able to fit in everything from getting ready details to the first dance, without ever feeling rushed. Proof that you don’t need 14 hours photography coverage 😛 – a 6 hour timeline can be done with some intentional planning!

Speaking of, make sure to scroll to the end to read Amanda’s wedding planning advice – Including great tips on dress shopping, what she might have done differently, and how their sunset photos became her favorite moment of the day! Enjoy!

 

ADVICE FROM BRIDE AMANDA:

What was your FAVORITE memory of your wedding day?

Kody and I both agreed that our favorite moments of our wedding day were afterwards when we made the time to escape everyone and spend time with Meghan, her husband Alex and our videographers taking Bride and Groom photos. We wanted to be really intentional about taking time during our day to just be together allowing all the love and all the planning to come to life around us and to let being married really sink in. As important as making our guests feel welcome was and getting to say hello, we didn’t want to look back and feel like we didn’t even spend the day together as husband and wife. We did a receiving line after our ceremony to say hello to everyone and then from there on out were focused on having fun together. When we took the time to go walk down the fields and up through the woods during the sunset we were able to escape and just focus on the candid moments between the two of us. This was defiantly our favorite part of the day and having Meghan and our videographers there to capture it made it even better. When we look back in our photos and our highlight video those moments capture perfectly what we felt and are some of our favorite images.

How far in advance did you book vendors? Which 3 did you book first?

The vendor we booked first was our venue. We booked this the September prior to our wedding in July. We were very lucky to find our perfect venue and with it being only the 2nd season of hosting weddings for them we lucked out with having dates available. When we looked at majority of the other venues around us the summer months had already been booked solid. Once we picked our venue and a date we could start planning everything else. We booked photographers second and then our food. We were very happy and felt lucky with everyone we worked with!

Any tips on dress shopping / saying yes to THE dress?

I think the best piece of advice in regards to dress shopping is take a bunch of pictures! I would try on a dress that in the lighting and in the mirror I thought I liked and then would look at photos my sisters took at different angles and would find things that I thought weren’t flattering or that I didn’t like. I didn’t want to have to worry about someone snapping a candid photo and capturing an unflattering shot, I also used the photos to look back and decide if I really still liked the dress. I found that I could rule dresses out easily this way. I also would say find a dress that you do not have to worry in! Being conscious of how I would look once I started eating and drinking or dancing was not something I wanted to be worried about so make sure to find a dress that you feel 100% comfortable doing everything throughout the day in! I went with straps as well as a more fitted top but a more flowy bottom to allow comfort as I ate, drank and danced.

What was the hardest part to plan?

I think for us being at a DIY venue a couple hours away and in the middle of nowhere essentially there came into play a lot of questions such as how to set up a bar, how much alcohol to bring in, how to keep things cold, where to store ice and where to get ice from, etc. I would not have changed the venue or the vibe that we went with, but there were a lot of questions that came to mind and it took getting into the venue a couple days prior and setting up to really figure out what was going to work for us. Being a hands on bride and having a vision I wanted to make sure translated into real life I wouldn’t have given up the control or the flexibility that our venue gave to us.

What detail (or vendor) did you NOT include but wish you had?

Our venue had one contact person, he was the owner and was there to help in any way, but by going the route we did we did not have a staff that was there being paid to clear tables, take out garbage, break down tables into a dance floor etc. So our bridal party and parents took on some extra duties. My brother-in-law actually changed toilet paper in the boys bathroom and my Mom was changing garbage bags! Clearly we have an awesome support system, but I wish they didn’t have to be responsible for those things!

What detail/expense could you have done without?

We did not need to do wedding favors for our guests! We ended up trying to find something more useful for guests and went with personalized chapstick but I don’t think guests truly care about or even all take a favor. We now have a box filled with chapstick, needless to say we will not have to worry about having chapped lips for awhile, but it was a couple hundred dollars I’d say don’t bother spending money on.

Overall, what is the best advice you can give to planning brides?

I think the best advice I could give is to really focus on the two of you as bride and groom. There is stress that leads up to the moment you walk down the aisle (nothing a shot and some champagne doesn’t help calm) and that’s okay, but once the song starts and the walk to get married happens don’t focus on anything else but who is waiting at the end of the aisle. After that make sure that you spend time together getting to fully take in your new marriage and all the planning that has finally come together! The day goes by in the blink of an eye so take everything in and enjoy every minute!

When Amanda & Kody first inquired with me they described their vision for their day as a blend between a rustic barn & whimsy forest wedding. “Laid back – like a back yard BBQ but a step classier.” Their venue was a hunting lodge (perfect for this hunting duo!) located in the driftless area of Wisconsin, peacefully tucked away from the world. This place basically had it all. Rustic barn & lodge. Forest, pond, rolling hills. It made for a beautiful ceremony space and endless photo backdrops afterwards. Add in Amanda with her stunning Hayley Paige gown and her whimsy bridesmaids in dusty blue, and eucalyptus and wood accents – their vision certainly came to life! Kody and the guys looked dapper in their suspenders and boutonnières with shotgun shells Kody fired off himself. Every little inch was so carefully thought out, Amanda is a wedding planning rockstar and designed nearly all of it her own! They had the most epic sunset and light, which honestly fit the description of these two all day. They just seemed to GLOW, even when the camera wasn’t rolling I’d catch them sneaking kisses. As genuine as it gets.

I was only with them 6 hours but Amanda, being an on-top-of-it bride, helped ensure we never got off track! We were able to fit in everything from getting ready details to the first dance, without ever feeling rushed. Proof that you don’t need 14 hours photography coverage 😛 – a 6 hour timeline can be done with some intentional planning!

Speaking of, make sure to scroll to the end to read Amanda’s wedding planning advice – Including great tips on dress shopping, what she might have done differently, and how their sunset photos became her favorite moment of the day! Enjoy!

 

ADVICE FROM BRIDE AMANDA:

What was your FAVORITE memory of your wedding day?

Kody and I both agreed that our favorite moments of our wedding day were afterwards when we made the time to escape everyone and spend time with Meghan, her husband Alex and our videographers taking Bride and Groom photos. We wanted to be really intentional about taking time during our day to just be together allowing all the love and all the planning to come to life around us and to let being married really sink in. As important as making our guests feel welcome was and getting to say hello, we didn’t want to look back and feel like we didn’t even spend the day together as husband and wife. We did a receiving line after our ceremony to say hello to everyone and then from there on out were focused on having fun together. When we took the time to go walk down the fields and up through the woods during the sunset we were able to escape and just focus on the candid moments between the two of us. This was defiantly our favorite part of the day and having Meghan and our videographers there to capture it made it even better. When we look back in our photos and our highlight video those moments capture perfectly what we felt and are some of our favorite images.

How far in advance did you book vendors? Which 3 did you book first?

The vendor we booked first was our venue. We booked this the September prior to our wedding in July. We were very lucky to find our perfect venue and with it being only the 2nd season of hosting weddings for them we lucked out with having dates available. When we looked at majority of the other venues around us the summer months had already been booked solid. Once we picked our venue and a date we could start planning everything else. We booked photographers second and then our food. We were very happy and felt lucky with everyone we worked with!

Any tips on dress shopping / saying yes to THE dress?

I think the best piece of advice in regards to dress shopping is take a bunch of pictures! I would try on a dress that in the lighting and in the mirror I thought I liked and then would look at photos my sisters took at different angles and would find things that I thought weren’t flattering or that I didn’t like. I didn’t want to have to worry about someone snapping a candid photo and capturing an unflattering shot, I also used the photos to look back and decide if I really still liked the dress. I found that I could rule dresses out easily this way. I also would say find a dress that you do not have to worry in! Being conscious of how I would look once I started eating and drinking or dancing was not something I wanted to be worried about so make sure to find a dress that you feel 100% comfortable doing everything throughout the day in! I went with straps as well as a more fitted top but a more flowy bottom to allow comfort as I ate, drank and danced.

What was the hardest part to plan?

I think for us being at a DIY venue a couple hours away and in the middle of nowhere essentially there came into play a lot of questions such as how to set up a bar, how much alcohol to bring in, how to keep things cold, where to store ice and where to get ice from, etc. I would not have changed the venue or the vibe that we went with, but there were a lot of questions that came to mind and it took getting into the venue a couple days prior and setting up to really figure out what was going to work for us. Being a hands on bride and having a vision I wanted to make sure translated into real life I wouldn’t have given up the control or the flexibility that our venue gave to us.

What detail (or vendor) did you NOT include but wish you had?

Our venue had one contact person, he was the owner and was there to help in any way, but by going the route we did we did not have a staff that was there being paid to clear tables, take out garbage, break down tables into a dance floor etc. So our bridal party and parents took on some extra duties. My brother-in-law actually changed toilet paper in the boys bathroom and my Mom was changing garbage bags! Clearly we have an awesome support system, but I wish they didn’t have to be responsible for those things!

What detail/expense could you have done without?

We did not need to do wedding favors for our guests! We ended up trying to find something more useful for guests and went with personalized chapstick but I don’t think guests truly care about or even all take a favor. We now have a box filled with chapstick, needless to say we will not have to worry about having chapped lips for awhile, but it was a couple hundred dollars I’d say don’t bother spending money on.

Overall, what is the best advice you can give to planning brides?

I think the best advice I could give is to really focus on the two of you as bride and groom. There is stress that leads up to the moment you walk down the aisle (nothing a shot and some champagne doesn’t help calm) and that’s okay, but once the song starts and the walk to get married happens don’t focus on anything else but who is waiting at the end of the aisle. After that make sure that you spend time together getting to fully take in your new marriage and all the planning that has finally come together! The day goes by in the blink of an eye so take everything in and enjoy every minute!

AMANDA + KODY // RUSTIC MEETS WHIMSY WEDDING AT SHERWOOD FOREST // BLAIR, WI

February 15, 2019

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