Small Town Kansas Carnival Wedding: Samantha + Travis

kansas carnival wedding

Samantha + Travis are the most fun couple! They love festivals, music, yummy food + laughter. They each even describe themselves as a big kid stuck in an adult’s body! So it goes without saying that a traditional wedding just wasn’t for them. They have fond memories of trips to the Kansas State Fair each year, so that became the theme for their day. Think pennants, food booths, cupcakes, pinwheels, and lights – all of which were handmade by the two of them and their adoring small town Kansas community. Talk about the best group effort. And a super fun-sounding day!

Ladies, Samantha shares some great advice for future brides at the end of the post, so be sure not to miss it! We love, love, love how she and Travis prove that there is no right or wrong way to celebrate love! Now who’s ready for the gorge photos by The Shalom Imaginative?

balloon first look

balloon first look

bride

bow tie

guest book


How cute is this string art piece? Check out our DIY to create a string heart of your own for your wedding or home! :)

string art

carnival refreshments

carnival hat

hot dog stand

bride

jam favors

jam favors

carnival bunting

carnival desserts

carnival desserts

carnival wedding

There were a few moments that day that we both find the most memorable. The first was when Travis walked down the aisle and everyone started cheering, yelling and clapping. That is when we knew that we had achieved the environment we wanted to create for our wedding; one where people felt relaxed, happy and comfortable.

The second memory was when we said our vows to one another. It felt like it was just the two of us standing up there even though we were standing in front of hundreds of people. It was just us, telling each other why we wanted to spend the rest of our lives with each other and that is all that mattered at that moment. It was perfect.

The third most memorable moment was seeing all of our friends and family there, some of whom traveled from far away to this little town in Kansas, including Travis' cousin who surprised us by flying in from Australia.

carnival ceremony

carnival ceremony

carnival ceremony

carnival ceremony

carnival ceremony

kansas carnival wedding

kansas carnival wedding

sparklers

Processional: Sea of Love – Phil Phillips (Catpower version, sung by Shantel Grace, a friend of the bride and groom)

Recessional: Signed, Sealed, Delivered – Stevie Wonder

First Dance: Stand by Me – Ben E. King (sung by Memphis Soul, the wedding band)

kansas carnival wedding

kansas carnival wedding

1. Don't let other people influence your decisions. There is no right or wrong way to do it when it comes to your wedding. It is your wedding and it should reflect that. If you want to get married in a church do it and if you want to stand on your head while saying your vows that is fine too. It is all about the two of you and what you want your wedding day to be like.

2. Hire someone or appoint someone to be the point of contact for your big day. I never would have thought we would have the money to do this but we were lucky enough to find a reasonably priced wedding coordinator who we hired for both the set up day on Friday and the entire wedding day on Saturday. Before we found our day of wedding coordinator we considered paying a friend with some event planning experience to do it. It really took a lot of stress and pressure off the two of us when a couple of bumps were encountered. She was a huge help.

3. Don't settle for photographers/videographers that you do not love or feel comfortable with. They are recording your entire day for you and trust us, you will appreciate having someone who takes amazing photos and video because the day goes by so quickly. Samantha: I spoke with almost 15 different photographers before finding Amanda + Nate Howard with the Shalom Imaginative. We both feel so lucky to have found them because they didn't just document our day in an incredible way but they were like our partners and guides at different points during the day. They were with us every second and at times were the calming and reassuring presence we needed.

4. It is never too late to change your mind but it might make it a little more stressful. Samantha: I wanted a short, 50's style wedding dress. I bought a wedding dress that I didn't love from David's Bridal because I felt pressured by the sales people. They told me I was running out of time and would not be able to get a dress if I waited any longer so I bought one. I never actually loved it. About a month before the wedding I decided to try to find a dress I loved and started working with Dolly Couture and Whirling Turban, two dress companies who make custom vintage dresses. The companies were both amazing to work with and tried everything they could on very short notice to find me or make me a dress. In the end, neither company could make me the custom dress I wanted with such short notice but Dolly Couture found one that someone had returned that could be altered to fit me. It was the exact style I wanted and I loved it. The lesson is that you should not settle for something that you don't love.

5. Remember to take a deep breath at some point and take a look around just to take it all in. Your wedding day and wedding night will fly by and before you know it you will look at each other and wonder, "Did that just really happen?". At times we feel like it was just a dream, but if it was then it is an amazing dream that we hope to have forever.

photography + videography: The Shalom Imaginative Documentary Media // venue: Preisker Park in Ellsworth, Kansas // event design + planning: Samantha Finke-Johnson (bride) // wedding dress: Dolly Couture in Los Angeles, CA // hairpieces: Vintage // hair + makeup: Julie Connolly at The Hairstream // catering: Rollin Taco’s Food Truck // music: Memphis Soul // wardrobe stylist: Malina Heinemann, Kansas City, KS // day of wedding coordinator: Jesterbird Events // rehearsal venue: Kanopolis Drive-In Movie Theatre

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Bohemian Glam Wedding Inspiration on a Tipi Farm

tipi wedding inspitation

Over the years we’ve seen some incredible shoots in some really fun places – like this one, set in an old glass factory + this pretty, which took place in the middle of the desert! But today’s wedding inspiration, staged at tipi and llama farm in Georgia, just might be the most fun location yet! The concept for the shoot, bohemian glam, was dreamt up by the lovely Lindsay Coletta and was inspired by the happy-go-lucky gypset lifestyle, juxtaposed with more glamorous touches. Think a sparkly BHLDN dress, lush, romantic florals and bits + pieces of glittering metallic design elements. We’re pretty sure you’ll be able to find a thing or two that jumps out at you as a fun idea or perhaps is just the inspiration you need for your upcoming wedding!

So glad Our Labor of Love was there to capture the magical and enchanted vibe of the shoot! Let’s take a look…

rock slab

bride

tipi wedding bouquet


We’ve already gushed over the gown, but what about that gorgeous head piece + marabou wrap? So perfect, right? They were scooped up at Kelly’s Closet, a funky little bridal shop in Atlanta.

bride

bride and groom

feathery wrap

beaded dress

hands

loose bow tie

bride and groom

tipi wedding bride

garland tipi door

braided crown hair

invitation


Is this styling unreal or what? A whimsical garland decorating the tipi’s entrance, a railroad cart table adorned with gold-leafed geodes + the prettiest place settings and casual, pillow seating all helped perfectly highlight the boho theme.

tipi wedding inspitation

tipi wedding inspitation

wooden slat table

gold flatware

rock decor

gold bow heels

llamas with wreaths


Oh hello cute new friends! We think llamas should be invited to more weddings! :)

llamas with wreaths

tipi farm bonfire

tipi farm bonfire


And a cozy bonfire feels like the perfect end to the perfect day! Big thanks to everyone below for sharing their talents with us today!

photography: Heidi Geldhauser of Our Labor of Love // florals + design concept: Lindsay Coletta // styling: Mandy Kellogg Rye, Waiting on Martha // paper goods: Jamie Jimenez, Yours is the Earth // table: Blue Eyed Yonder // hair + makeup: Claudia Mejerle // head piece + marabou wrap: Kelly’s Closet, Atlanta GA // dress: BHLDN // men’s attire + jewelry: Bloomingdale’s // llama farm: Atlanta Lamas,  North Ga canopy tours

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Cozy Fall Hudson Valley Wedding: Veronica + Shawn

hudson valley wedding

Veronica + Shawn are wedding photographers by trade, which made them dream clients for Jenn and Derrek of Flora + Fauna. Fellow shutterbugs seem to have an intuitive way of understanding the importance of the little details and, of course, giving their wedding photographers lots of face time for stunning portraits!

Although they had a bit of a struggle finding a location at first, Veronica + Shawn knew they wanted to tie the knot in a rustic, wooded outdoor setting that would feel representative of their collective love for crisp autumn air, the smell of burning firewood, being outdoors and the Catskills mountains. When they stumbled upon Copake Country Club, in New York’s Hudson Valley, they knew they’d found just the spot. So with the help of Paige with Gilded Lily Events, they got to work crafting their cozy fall celebration…

flower crown bride red

dusty miller bouquet

t strap heels


Veronica’s pink tiered BHLDN dress is a big A+ in our book!

layered wedding dress

bow tie

first look

first look

hudson valley wedding

hudson valley wedding

hudson valley wedding

horses

hudson valley beauty

navy blue groomsmen

hudson valley bridesmaids

ceremony programs

apple cider bar

apple cider bar

hudson valley ceremony

hudson valley flower girls

old pick up truck

The ceremony was beyond emotional. Up until the day before, I was on a serious hunt for an old ford pick up truck for my father to drive me to the ceremony with. I had envisioned it for months, and every person who I had been in touch with fell through. The day before my wedding, my mother received a call from someone from my town, who had the PERFECT truck for me. It was just meant to be. He flat bedded it up (3
hours away!) and it arrived 20 minutes before my ceremony.

Once my father pulled up to the site, and I heard my song begin to play, it became very real and I somehow lost my breath and the tears became nonstop. I had listened to that song while driving, picturing the moment my father would walk me down the aisle, and now it was happening, and it was me in the dress, not with a camera, walking down to see Shawn. It is a very surreal feeling to be in that spot, where I have photographed it hundreds of times before. I walked down the aisle, on a chilly October day, overlooking the mountains, the smell of burning firewood in the air, with my favorite people in the world, to the man that has been my heart for over 10 years. I thought of every struggle we overcame to be there, how much growing we each did, and how now we had made it. I hope every bride feels that magnificent on their wedding day. I hope every bride becomes that overwhelmed with emotion. It's truly unforgettable.

hudson valley ceremony

hudson valley ceremony

hudson valley ceremony

hudson valley ceremony

hudson valley ceremony

hudson valley ceremony

Processional: Bridesmaids: You'll Never Walk Alone – Gerry + The Pacemakers; Bride: Big Red Machine – Justin Vernon + Aaron Dessner

Recessional: Postcards From Italy – Beirut

First Dance: I want to know your plans – Say Anything

hudson valley ceremony

vintage pick up truck

vintage pick up truck


From Veronica, We wanted rustic, birch, hot spiced apple cider, warm quilts + roaring fires. Food was so important: We envisioned local, organic and seasonal dishes, and they were executed perfectly by the chefs at our venue. There was good wine, the beautiful backdrop of the Catskills and a few fire pits to keep our guests cozy.

tree slices

guest book

rustic tablescape


Favors were mini jars of dulce de leche, as a nod to Veronica’s Argentinean decent.

jam favors

desserts


Be sure to check out Veronica + Shawn’s wedding film, also by Flora + Fauna. It’s just the sweetest!

Be yourselves. It's so easy to get caught up in Pinterest and dozens of wedding blogs, but stay true to who you both are as a couple. Planning will be much easier once you conquer that. And enjoy it! It is so easy to say, because it was said to me, while I was up all night trying to decide if I wanted burlap or ivory table cloths, but in the end, it doesn't matter. We kept our wedding small, and I am so happy we did. I got to enjoy everyone and didn't feel like I had to spend my night talking to my old boss's wife's cousin's aunt. Or whatever. Invite the people who matter the most. Hire amazing professionals. Oh, and hire a planner. Seriously. Best decision I ever made.

photography + videography: Flora + Fauna // venue: Copake Country Club Copake Lake, New York // event design + planning: Paige with Gilded Lily Events // florals: Solflower Farm // wedding dress: BHLDN // hair Pieces: Veil from Twigs & Honey, Floral Head Wreath from Solflower Farm //shoes: Fendi // makeup: Daria Debiak // groom’s suit: Martin Greenfield // groom’s bow tie: General Knot & Co. // vintage rentals: Trunk Vintage Rentals // cake: Momofuku Milk Bar NYC // desserts: Macaron Cafe NYC, Cutie Pies BK

This wedding features rad artists fromThe GWS Wedding Artist GalleryTwigs & Honey is a Featured Artist in the GWS Artist Guide! Find more rad artists for your day in our Gallery

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