Lynsey and Jeff focused on making their day “cozy, personal, and fun” and ultimately felt that it’s what made their day special and unique. Chaumette Vineyard & Winery set the scene providing rolling hills for the ceremony backdrop and a barn for their warm and relaxed reception. We’re loving the purple-hued palette especially in the florals by Snapdragon Studio and Lynsey’s applique, long sleeve gown by Tara Keely is a showstopper. The always-amazing Carretto Studio was behind the lens capturing all the details and moments of the couples big day.
What made the wedding special and unique?
We tried our best to focus on making sure our day was a true reflection of us as a couple. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in what you think other people will like and the newest wedding trends, but in the end, it’s a day for the two of you. When we were first looking at venues, we had to put a lot of thought into what we wanted our wedding to be and the “feel” we wanted it to have. We envisioned our day with our friends and family kicking their shoes off and letting loose. Cozy, personal, and fun. We kept this at the forefront during planning, and I think it made our day special and unique.
When we walked into The Barn at Chaumette we could immediately envision our friends on the dance floor and our families on the patio sharing drinks. It was intimate, warm, and laid back—perfect for what we had in mind. Also, it was unlike any wedding venue we had been to before.
We also tried to incorporate “us” into the details. The groomsmen lost the ties, we brought in the gooey butter cake (our favorite!), and the band covered all the hits of the 90’s. A few traditions may have been “missing”, but there was no shortage of glow sticks. The wedding party, including the bride and groom, joined our guests at cocktail hour, and dinner was served family style. If you ask us, it was special, unique, and perfect.
Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!
The dress was designed by Tara Keely and purchased from the Ultimate Bride in St. Louis, MO. After getting engaged, I started studying dresses in magazines (obviously) and fell in love with long-sleeve dresses. Specifically, I kept marking the dresses with sleeves, a sheath fit, and some lace. My “favorite” before shopping (i.e. based on pictures) was actually the dress I ended up choosing (love at first sight).
I went shopping with my mom, matron of honor, and maid of honor, and we were on the hunt for sleeves! This narrowed the search a ton. (Thank goodness, because there are so many gorgeous dresses to choose from and I needed help, as I can barely make a decision about what to order for dinner.) I actually tried on the dress and gave it some thought but didn’t really have the “feeling” or think, “this is one I need to try again.” In fact, I walked away that day having two favorites, neither of which was my dress. Because I couldn’t decide between those two on the spot, I decided to go home and sleep on it.
Thank goodness I did! A few days later, my mom suggested trying on the Tara Keely dress again. After letting it all sink in, I completely agreed, and my initial love for the dress returned. When we went back to the Ultimate Bride, they had my other “favorites” pulled. I asked them to pull the Tara Keely. When I put it on, I knew I had to have it. For the record, I wasn’t a crier when I “said yes to the dress;” I just wanted to dance around in it.
What were some special touches added to make the wedding personal?
Veil – I wore my mom’s veil from when she and my dad got married in 1987.
Band – We had a rockin’ 90’s band called the Mixtapes from Springfield, Missouri. They played everything from Britney Spears to Rage Against the Machine. The party did not stop; everyone was on their feet!
Officiant – One of Jeff’s best friends officiated our wedding. I think this was a really special and personal touch. He’s hilarious, but also extremely well spoken and thoughtful. The day of the wedding was the first day Jeff and I heard the ceremony dialogue, and it was perfect. At one point, just before Jeff and I exchanged our vows, he had our bridal party take vows where they promised to always support our marriage. It wasn’t something I had seen before, and it was a great touch, as it included all of our friends who have been so special to us.
Cocktail Hour – Cocktail hour is typically when the wedding party scurries off for pictures or a party bus. We contemplated both, but due to everything being on-site, neither was really necessary. We ultimately decided to join our guests at cocktail hour and I’m so happy we did. Everyone came in to see us, and of course, we wanted to spend time with each person on our guest list. We decided, why hide away when we can extend the time we have with all of our loved ones in one place!
What was the most memorable part of the day?
There are four moments that stand out to me: (1) the first look; (2) “I do” and the kiss; (3) the moments after the ceremony; and (4) the final songs of the reception.
A friend of ours had given the advice to pick out one moment before the big day to focus on. She explained how the whole day turns into one big blur, and encouraged us to work to remember our one chosen moment. Jeff and I talked about this prior to the big day. I had chosen the “I do” moment and our first kiss as a married couple. Jeff had chosen the first look. I really wanted to remember the moment he had chosen too, so I set out to focus on two parts of the day. I am so thankful we were given this advice. I feel like I can accurately reminisce on both of these moments, and I am so grateful.
The other moments, the time after the ceremony and the final songs of the reception, stuck with me as well. After the ceremony, Jeff and I exited the area and spent about 10 minutes in solitude before joining our guests at cocktail hour. This was a private, relaxed moment Jeff and I were able to share, which stands out amidst the buzz of the wedding day. We were able to celebrate our marriage, just the two of us, and make sure we were connected to how special the day was before beginning the reception.
The final songs of the ceremony were so much fun! It was like everyone was exerting all of the fun they had left in them, knowing the day was nearly over. I’ll always remember the smiles on everyone’s faces, and dancing with all of our closest friends and family.
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
Jeff and I met in law school at the University of Missouri. We were in the same section (i.e., we had every class together), but it took awhile for things to take off.
The first time we met we were at a law school social at a Columbia comedy club. We briefly exchanged names and small talk, but that was pretty much the extent of it. We were both meeting so many people and had just submerged ourselves into a new, overwhelming world made up of libraries and lectures.
Throughout the semester, we would exchange smiles or a casual, “how are you.” It wasn’t until the end of first semester that things started to happen. One of our professors was throwing a happy hour after class, and we finally exchanged more than a few words, including phone numbers. Things moved slowly at first, but eventually—full speed ahead. I was very independent and not looking for a serious relationship, but something was just different with him.
After meeting in our first year of law school, we were engaged by the end of our second year. On April 22nd, Jeff told me we were going out for my birthday. I had the weirdest feeling that whole day. I told myself, “No way, Lynsey. You are losing your mind!” We went to our favorite local restaurant, and then we proceeded to head downtown. He said we were going to meet some friends for drinks, but because we were running a little early, he suggested a walk. I immediately commented that my shoes were not comfortable and it was a really cold day for the end of April. He told me to suck it up, and he’d let me open my gift if I walked. Obviously I wanted whatever was in that bag, so we were off and walking! We walked around the Mizzou Quad, and took a seat (to rest my feet) on the columns. He gave me a card with the sweetest words I had ever read and then told me to close my eyes. When I opened them, he was down on one knee. It was dark and I could hardly see, but the diamond was bright enough to make my heart jump. I cried and called my parents and my two best friends before we headed to meet friends for drinks to celebrate!
Photography: Carretto Studio // Floral Design: Snapdragon Studio // Program, Menu, Table Numbers: Grace Designs DIY // Invitations: Minted // Venue: Chaumette Vineyard & Winery // Hair: Sara Stephenson // Makeup: Lauren Brewer // Cake: Russell’s on Macklind // Gown Designer: Tara Keely // Wedding Dress: The Ultimate Bride // Band: The Mixtapes // Catering: Chaumette Vineyard & Winery // Ceremony Music: Complete Wedding & Events // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: White House Black Market // Men’s Attire: Joseph A Bank