Photography by Alixann Loosle
High school sweethearts Erin & Ryan are such a special reminder of what it’s like to be young and in love! After their solemn religious ceremony with just 30 guests, they celebrated with 250 family and friends in romantic vintage style! Even the parts that didn’t go according to plan turned out just fine in the end… Erin told us that they were were planning on having a first look, but weren’t able to because her dress was only just ready in time for the ceremony! (Phew, right?) And be sure to check out their full budget breakdown right here!
Why did you choose this location for your ceremony? We picked the Provo City Center Temple for religious reasons. This Temple has a unique story. The original building was a tabernacle built in 1898 by the early settlers of Provo and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The tabernacle was used for many concerts, civic, and religious meetings and was very loved by the people in the area. In December of 2010, a fire destroyed everything but the outer brick walls of the tabernacle. The decision was made to preserve the outer walls of the building and convert it into a beautiful LDS Temple. The interior is beautiful and has a motif of Columbine flowers, stained glass windows, and is a peaceful place.
Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? I come from a religious family, so getting married in an LDS temple is a tradition itself. My parents were married in the Salt Lake City temple and my husband’s parents were married in the Payson temple, as were many of my other living and deceased family members.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? Right before our wedding ceremony my husband and I had the opportunity to sit together alone in the Celestial room inside the temple. It was incredibly beautiful and peaceful. Just having that moment alone to speak and ponder the events of that day was a very special moment for my husband and I. It was really our last moment alone before the busy events of our wedding day begun.
Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony? Another one of the really special parts of the ceremony are the mirrors in the sealing room. They are placed on opposite walls, directly facing each other. These mirrors reflect back and forth imagines into each other which gives the illusion of this stretch into eternity. During the ceremony, my husband and I kneeled across from each other and were able to see the mirrors and get a visual representation of the eternal commitments that we were making to each other.
Please tell us some more about the beautiful dress! While searching for a wedding dress, I had a really hard time finding something that fit my personality and really wowed me. I didn’t just want to wear any other dress on my wedding day. I had reached out to a local wedding dress designer, Natalie Wynn, and was able to get a custom-made dress. Since everything traditional that I had tried on hadn’t really given me that special feeling you hope for, we decided to go with a more non-traditional design with the colored floral embroidery.
This image stopped me in my tracks and reminds me of this vintage beauty.
Why did you choose this location for your reception? I feel like the best way to describe why we choose White Shanty for our reception are the images from our reception. There are so many beautiful yet simple elements to the venue that make it absolutely breathtaking and picture perfect. It is unlike any other reception venue in Utah and from the first time I visited it – I knew that it would make the perfect backdrop to the wedding I had been envisioning.
How would you describe your reception? The flow of the reception was a very important component to me. Because it is supposed to be a very social event, I tried to set up the reception in a way that would encourage a very social atmosphere. In the center of the venue, we had a large banquet table where all of our food was. Surrounding that table were smaller wooden dining tables that had floral garlands running down the center of them. They were set up in a way that made the reception feel very intimate. It was an open house style reception so there weren’t any seating assignments. One of the other fun details of the reception was the photo booth we had right outside the big barn doors. It provided a place for people to gather and capture the day with the people they loved. I would describe it as very open, light, warm, and social.
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? My husband and I did a lot of DIY projects for our reception. A few of my favorites were the balloon arches, the wood frame for the thank you gifts, the hand-dyed food cloths, and all of the wood boards used to display our photos.
Erin also told us “flowers have always been a love of mine, I should have probably become a florist (if you love it, there’s still plenty of time, Erin! :)). When it came to my wedding day I knew that one of the most important details were going to be the flowers. Soil and Stem who I worked with for my wedding is beyond talented and created something that was beyond my wildest expectations.”
What was your wedding menu? My inspiration for the wedding menu was French charcuterie platters, so we had an assortment of artisan breads, cheeses, and meats which were all sourced from an authentic Parisian bakery near our home. We also provided gluten-free options of each food as well. In addition to the platters, we had salads, vegetables, fruits, as well as homemade jams and hummus.
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? My mother and a few of our family and friends helped by making an assortment of Bundt cakes. They were all decorated differently and spaced thought the banquet table. We had a lot of fun picking out unique Bundt cake pans and cakestands prior to the wedding!
Did you have a signature cocktail? We didn’t serve any alcohol at the reception, but we did have a special peach lemonade that my husband and I had fallen in love with years before at a local restaurant. While we were dating, we had always said that we were going to serve that peach lemonade at our wedding, so it was a fun little detail to include that had special meaning for us.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? I wanted our reception to be an extension of our love story. The details were incredibly important to me and I spent a lot of time trying to create a visual representation of the love and feeling I have for Ryan. I knew that I wanted everything to feel very natural, and as though it was effortless (even though hours of planning and work had gone into each detail!) Even though most of my design was inspired by nature, I wanted to have a couple of big impact moments, which is why I incorporated the balloon arches. I have been incredibly inspired by Jihan Zencirl of Geronimo Balloons and all of the amazing work that she showcases on her Instagram, and I wanted to bring a little bit of that into my special day. Even though I took a lot of inspiration from elsewhere, I still wanted every element of the day to be uniquely my own, from the flowers to the cake and especially the dress. For me, planning an event isn’t just about how it looks, but about how it makes you feel. Great design can transport you and that was really what I was trying to accomplish while planning my wedding. After dreaming about this day for the past six years, every little detail really came together in a perfect way.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? I really enjoyed my reception. It was such a cool experience to be surrounded by friends and family to celebrate our wedding. I loved getting to interact with our guests. We got to share stories and reminisce with so many people who each have a special place in our life. I can honestly say that the people who attended our reception made it what it was.
There is something about this picture I absolutely love! Even on your wedding day, you can’t escape your mom just wanting to try tying your bow one more time to make you look extra lovely!
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? At the end of the day the most important this is that you are married. Wedding don’t always go to plan so it is important to remember that regardless of what happens you are starting a life with the person you love and that is bigger than any other thing that happens that day.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? To try and take a minute to enjoy the day, because it would all go by in a flash. I really took that to heart and tried to take a minute whenever I could to really breath in all of the details and try to take a mental picture of the special moments from that day.
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? Considering this question now, I wish I would have tried to incorporate some more traditions into our reception! One thing I loved that we did do was use was my great-great-grandmother’s cake knife, which has a beautiful abalone pearl handle.
Please tell us about any other funny details or moments from your reception. One of the classic ‘something will go wrong’ moments happened shortly after we left – my cousin accidentally dropped the wedding cake while trying to transport it back to our home! Luckily for me, I had a wonderful photographer who captured it beautifully, so even though I won’t get to eat it for our first wedding anniversary, I still have photos of it – and the memory of that first bite!
What was your first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance? We decided to do our first dance and the father/daughter and mother/son dances together, to a single song. For the first half of the song, I danced with my father while he danced with his mother and then they handed us off to each other to end the song. Our first dance song (and this is going to sound really funny but I promise there is a story behind it) was Nina Simone’s cover of Mr. Bojangles. While it is would certainly not be considered a very traditional or even romantic first dance song, I heard it for the first time while having tea in London with my sister and mother and it stuck with me. I made a joke that I would dance to it at my wedding and stubbornly decided to follow through. Thankfully my husband has a good sense of humor!
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? Yes and no. Looking back there are a lot of little details that I missed or that weren’t as perfectly executed as I had wished, but I try not to focus on all of the things that could have been different and remember that on that day it was the most perfect wedding I could have ever imagined.