Jenny & Evan's wedding feast of love

Updated Oct 12 2015

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The offbeat bride: Jenny, artist/program coordinator

Her offbeat partner: Evan, woodworker

Location & date of wedding: Pergola at Lake Shawnee, Topeka, KS — August 29, 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: It was offbeat because we did what we wanted. When we envisioned our wedding, Evan and I saw all of the people we love sharing in our celebration of love and commitment. Anything traditional that fit into that could stay–anything that didn't was out. We had a family friend/minister marry us. All of our favorite people stood up there with us.

I have long loved the wedding crane tradition-and we felt compelled to incorporate that into our wedding. The tradition is for the bride or couple or guest to fold 1000 paper cranes–if accomplished, they are able to wish for a thousand years of happiness together.

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1000 paper cranes!

I was nervous about so many people not knowing each other so we tried to invoke a fun and lighthearted atmosphere. So we made mustaches. Seeing my grandparents laugh at each other while holding up theirs, made everything feel right.

In fact, the best thing about our wedding–besides being able to marry my husband–was how much of a family affair it was. My friends all helped with the flower arrangements, my grandmother/aunt and mother made all the table runners, Evan's mom made all the candies and waterbottle labels, my aunt made hairpieces for all the flower girls, Evan's dad even brought us his famous iced tea!
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Tell us about the ceremony: The ceremony was outside under a pergola at a park. Right in front of a lake. We wrote and read our own vows. It was short and sweet.Evan&JennyWedding226

Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge was planning a wedding in Kansas when we lived in Pennsylvania. We wanted it there, because most of our family lives in Kansas and we wanted everyone to be able to come. Learning to let others help was a sincere struggle for me, but it became a necessity as our wedding inched closer. We learned to rely on others quite a lot through the wedding planning process.

My favorite moment: Reading the vows that we wrote.

Hot air balloons have always been a lucky symbol for Evan and I–when two rose into the air across the lake right as we took our vows–it was a perfect moment.
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Celebrating with everyone we love in the same room. Evan&JennyWedding174

My funniest moment: The minister said "I would like to present for the first time as a married couple, Jessica and Evan"! But my name is Jenny! It was pretty funny.

My advice for offbeat brides: Plan a wedding that is reasonable for who you are as a couple. Evan&JennyWedding099

It does not have to be huge or expensive to be special.

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? From the overall process of planning a wedding, my husband and I have truly learned to communicate well–in a different way than when we were just dating. We learned to communicate even in disputes.

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. Beautiful wedding, absolutely love!! The bride is beautiful, the cake is so cute I almost died, and I love all the paper cranes. This is for sure one of my favorite weddings on OBB.

    Also, too funny about the minister getting your name wrong! At my parent's wedding the minister called my mother "Sympathy" when her name is Cynthia lol. I always loved watching that on their VHS tape of their wedding when I was a kid, still cracks me up.

    Congratulations on your marriage!!

  2. Ok, first, gorgeous wedding. second, you have to let me in on the dress. i have been looking for that style for so long. I have tried drawing it for friends to see if they have ever seen a dress that like! So where can I find that??!!!!

    BTW, you looked perfect in it!

  3. Thank-you so much to both of you! It was a perfect day.

    On to the dress…this will be a difficult one to find-I got it on this website called peridress but when it came–it was horrible. I took it to a seamstress and we just…re-envisioned it. It actually used to button in the back at the nape of the neck. I recommend finding one with the essence of what you want and finding an excellent independent seamstress and going to town.

  4. My good friend and her husband had paper cranes at their wedding. She is Japanese so it was completely expected from her:) It was almost like a seek and find with all the cranes. She made a lot of varying sizes from big "dove sized" paper cranes to tiny ones that were smaller than a dime.

  5. I love your cranes! They're stunning, hung all over the hall like that. I'll have 300-odd origami cranes, and various other animals/flowers/etc., at my wedding next week. (Next week omg!) FH and I are English teachers in Japan, so we had our students, coworkers, and friends fold things for us. Many of them have messages on the wings, some in Japanese, some in slightly strange English. ("Happy wedding, Kate-teacher! I love you!") We'll have origami cake toppers, and I've done origami bouquets. Such fun!

  6. This wedding is gorgeous, simply gorgeous. That pergola takes my breath away, as does the copper wire awesomeness you had in your beautiful hair.

    And the whole thing sings with authenticness – this is a huge inspiration to me, being 2 months away and starting to avoid everything wedding-related! Thanks for re-inspiring me!

  7. Who made your dress? It is so beautiful! I love the location and the cute little cake etc.. what a great wedding.

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