Looking through Abby + Korey’s wedding photo reel from Corey Gross Photography even a year later I can still remember the crisp air and warm sun beating down as I arrived at the reception venue. Even at 8am, it was warm for October 21st. The leaves were in their final stages of changing and the yellows, golds and ambers on the oldest trees in the city filled the downtown streets and skies. It was the perfect day for a wedding.

I have the butterfly feeling I do every morning of a wedding. Nervousness mixed with excitement and anxious to get going on decorating, I’m going over the timeline inside my car before heading in, setting my alarms for the key points in the day to check in with the bridal party’s progress, thinking about all the details we’d covered in the last 9 months. Still working full time, I’m not able to take on as many clients as I’d like to in the year, but it’s a blessing in disguise; I get to spend more time with the clients I do have. I learn them, I watch them interact closely during meetings, I figure out what makes them, them. I follow each of my bride’s Pinterest boards for months and in the end, I get to design to my clients, instead of the other way around. I love this job as planner. The greatest reward of all comes after long months of decisions, meetings and emails, seeing my couples finally stand at the alter, saying their vows, dressed as bride and groom. I still haven’t gotten through a wedding without a tear. But for now it’s time to focus. I still have 7 hours of decorating to do before the ceremony starts.  

The bridal party is in good hands with Corey and Dan from Ludeman Productions, and I get going on the styling and décor design. I work quickly with my team, knowing we’ve got a lot to get done and two locations to hit despite the 7 hours to do it. This couple was the easiest going I’ve worked with. They provided me their color palette of forest green, gold, raspberry and burgundy, and fall/woodland theme, and said ‘run with it.’ I’m both intimidated by and in love with these types of clients. It’s a compliment and a dream to have such free reign (and trusting clients) to be able to piece together a design you think the couple will love. It also has you checking everything you do the day of, sometimes more than twice, wondering if you interpreted their vision correctly and hoping the look they described and had in their head is manifested when they walk through the doors for the first time. Their 20-person bridal party sat at a U-shaped configured head table with a sweetheart round middle. Their forest green settee from Prairie Lane Vintage Rentals sat prettily between two huge fall floral filled gold floor vases. For the guest tables, I mixed colored glass, gold pedestal vases, pieces of birch, and hanging floral from gold manzanita trees. We used birch trees to frame the couple in front of the church for the ceremony, my attempt to pull the grand ceiling in First Lutheran Church ‘down’ as much as possible.

I loved that Abby and Korey were comfortable with leaving a majority of the decision making up to me. It left so much of the ultimate look a surprise to them. It gave them the freedom to plan the truly meaningful details they incorporated throughout the day. Abby had a painting commissioned of Korey’s late father, the matching bridesmaids shirts to get ready in, the DIY’ed guest book globe, signs for the guest book table - these are the type of details couples should concern themselves with for their special day. Not how to logistically fit 12 vendors into a timeline or how to manage family and friends setting up 25 tables for your special day.

Still looking through their photos, it’s so easy to see Abby + Korey’s love story. Their kind of happiness you don’t have to work for. Their easy, simple kind of love comes naturally. They’re adventurous, outgoing, the life of the party, the best friends you could hope for, the good people you wish you knew. Abby waltzed right through those dirty leaves in her ivory wedding dress without a second thought, Korey chased down geese with his guys, they laughed hard with friends and cried happy tears with family. Special moments un-posed, out-of-focus shots that still somehow seem to work impeccably, stark black and whites that ended the night on the most romantic note. On this day their love story turned the page on a whole new chapter, and Corey so accurately captured it all.

Happy Anniversary, Abby + Korey!

See below for industry professionals.