Morgan & Ryan's travel-themed, vintage suitcases, and VW bus wedding

Updated Dec 26 2016
 
Photos by: Laura DeMars
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Photos by Laura DeMars

The Offbeat Bride: Morgan, SPAM.com associate (and Offbeat Bride member)

Her offbeat partner: Ryan, draftsman

Date and location of wedding: Mayowood Stone Barn, Rochester, MN — September 7, 2014

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: The first three years of our seven-year relationship were spent on long flights, and lots of late-night phone calls. Ryan is from California, and I am from Minnesota, so our love is well-traveled, as was our wedding. Everything was travel-themed and vintage. My collection of vintage suitcases included 50 different kinds. We also had a '69 Volkswagen transporter as a photo booth bus because we restore old VWs.

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Instead of a guest book we did a guest globe next to a silver tray with airline wing pins on it. And instead of the clinking of the glasses to make us kiss, we did a random act of kindness jar! I am a strong supporter of random acts of kindness and usually do them for each year old I turn on my birthday. We asked people to donate money into the jar for a kiss, and said we'd use that money to fund a random act of kindness. We raised $75 and used the money at a local restaurant where we gave the waitress the money and asked to pay for as many meals as we could. She took off $5 of every bill that day.

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Tell us about the ceremony:
We wrote our simple ceremony with the help of our officiant. We aren't religious, and didn't want to have a ceremony acting as though our relationship was new, or that this journey was new. We wanted our ceremony to be personal but to focus on the relationship that already exists, on the love surrounding us, and the journey with which we will continue to grow.

Our vows include references to allowing Ryan to stay longer working on our '69 Beetle, remaining calm and giving Morgan the window seat, and of course to always live long and prosper. Our officiant also taped his fingers together to make the Vulcan hand sign.

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Our biggest challenge:
My biggest challenge was giving myself time to breathe and to delegate jobs. All the organizing, booking, and decor I did mostly myself. I didn't ask for help, and I should have. I was so consumed with making sure everyone else was okay that I didn't take a lot of time for myself when I should have.

But everything worked out the best way it could have, and we were very grateful for every person who helped us. When you plan an event of this size you may feel alone and overwhelmed, but when the day comes you are hopefully humbled by the amount of love and help that consumes you. I will never be able to say thank you enough to those people!

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My favorite moment:
The most meaningful moment was walking to the end of the aisle, after being married and being able to take a moment for just the two of us behind the barn to breathe and cry tears of gratefulness.

We made a toast video instead of saying them because we knew we wouldn't be able to make it through them. In the video, I had recorded it without Ryan knowing what I had written. Ryan's father passed away in 2007 and we agreed we wouldn't spend too much time on those who weren't with us because we didn't want everyone's focus to be on sorrow. But in the toast, I took a moment to thank his father, to thank him for Ryan and to let Ryan know he was and will always be incredibly proud of the man he has become.

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What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
The most important thing I learned was something so silly but so powerful. Ryan and I had been engaged for four years, most of that was because we were from different states. No matter where we decided to get married, someone would be hurt or wouldn't be able to come. And frankly, we didn't need the title of "married" to change our relationship, we didn't see the point in changing something that already made us happy.

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But for me, we waited because I feared to be the "plus sized bride," I feared to have to shop for dresses and have my photo taken when I didn't love myself. I started a "love yourself" journey when I met Ryan. In the beginning of our relationship, I was at the bottom of a rough point, but I knew I could only come out optimistic and better from this. With time and a lot of understanding from Ryan, I learned to slowly love myself. By the time we picked a date, I was happy!

When we got our wedding photos back, it was the first time in my life that I saw myself as beautiful. I didn't notice all the things that had bothered me prior, all I noticed was LOVE.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. "Sign Our Globe, You Mean The World To Us"…so genius! Everything about this wedding is stunning and I am loving that shot of the boys with the animal skulls!

  2. Yay for you finally seeing yourself through a better lense! Plus size does NOT equal not beautiful! Your smiles of joy in these pics tell us all how wonderful your day was 🙂

  3. Beautiful photos! Looks like an absolutely wonderful day. You guys looks SO happy! 🙂 I love love LOVE your globe idea for the guest to sign. GENIUS!!

    Like you, I was worried about being the "plus sized bride" & how I'd feel when I looked at myself in photos. One day I asked myself "why is it that you can look at photos of plus sized brides & only see them as beautiful & happy women, but when you think about yourself in your wedding dress, you only think about how much back fat will show or how big you look?" I had to really look into my subconscious & I finally realized that all that matters is that I am happy. We just got our photos back from the photographer this past weekend & all I see is how incredibly happy I am. I love each & every one of them. In fact, the only thing that bothers me is that I didn't lower my bouquet a bit because it blocked the lovely beaded sash around my waist. 🙂

  4. Thank you for all your kind comments!

    The love I have for myself is so overwhelming, and these photos express so much adoration not only between my husband and I but for myself. Since Ryan & I first met I started a love yourself journey and in the last year I've lost almost 50lbs! But I surely didn't need to loose weight to find self love, and I hope my story inspires more people!

    Life is too short, and too beautiful to spend time disliking your body & your soul.
    Fall in love with yourself, it's so so so incredibly worth it!

    <3

    Detail photo's are by; Hattieannphotography – Rose Creek MN
    PhotoBooth Bus; Blue Bus Photobooth – Winona MN

    Love,
    The Converse's

  5. Morgan, you were not just a beautiful bride; you were an awesome, true-to-yourself, super fun bride! Loved your style, decor, attitude and so glad to read the details behind your wedding at the Mayowood Stone Barn and all the happiness. 🙂

  6. Love the delicate lace sleeves on the bride's dress, & the 'map' bow tie! And that VW bus??! I mean, c'mon, how cool is THAT??!

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