Ryan and Ashleigh were married today!
We have been looking forward to this wedding all summer. One – because Ashleigh and Ryan are so in love it is beyond adorable…it goes past sweet and romantic into comfort and home. It is the kind of joyful warm love everyone wants. Like a cute kitten and a warm blanket. Ok, getting corny, but what can I say, I just love these two. The second reason we were looking forward to this wedding is because Ashleigh embraced her farm wedding like no one else. We emailed back and forth about ideas and she took her style to a whole new level, and did it beautifully.
The details were a photographer’s dream. Ryan and Ashleigh fixed up Ashleigh’s parents’ hobby farm in Medford, MN, for the big day. Taking down a corn crib, building benches and tables, landscaping the clearing where the wedding would be, cleaning out the shed where the reception took place, building a patio and repainting the barn were all done in the recent months. Ryan is amazingly handy, and he and Ashleigh put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into the place. Ashleigh and her mom amassed a huge collection of vintage tea cups, plates, silverware, frames and milk glass vases. Ashleigh paired up the delicate look of these pieces with sturdy burlap as the tablecloths and a bright modern navy blue on white pattern for the runners. The main colors of the wedding were a dark pink and navy with the floral pieces adding white and green to the pink. The entire farm had little vignettes tucked into corners and it was a blast going around photographing them all. Besides the large amount of pieces they built and purchased, Ashleigh also rented a few pieces from Lime Canary to round out the collection.
Ashleigh looked stunning in a one shoulder sheath gown and Ryan bought a beige suit and a bold pink tie. Ryan’s twins were also involved as ring bearer and flower girl, and looked adorable in their sweet country outfits. Even the horse, Reba, got a garland of flowers to wear around her neck. All of the flowers were designed by Ryan’s aunt, owner of Flora in Lester Prairie, that went above and beyond with her arrangements. They were so natural and fresh, and she found dark pink ranuculous that was the perfect shade. The flowers framing the ceremony site were all white, which stood out against the dark green trees. Bales of hay covered in white fabric were used for seating at the ceremony along with a few vintage chairs and hand made benches.
Ryan salvages as much as he can with the homes he works on and has an amazing collection. He hung old window panes and a crystal chandalier from the trees shading the ceremony site. He also built a bridge leading to the platform where the ceremony took place. The pastor had a wonderful analogy for walking across the bride to their new lives and joining their families together. To emphasise that point, the kids joined Ashleigh and Ryan for a sand ceremony, blending all of their colors of sand together. During the vows, Ryan stole the show with an exuberant “I DO!” that he repeated twice, and the couple was just beaming as they came back down the aisle.
The reception was under the stars. Lanterns hung between the trees and the tool shed, which served as the food staging area and dance floor. As guests walked over to this area, they signed the guest book, which was a poster of a tree that each guest put their thumbprint on to add leaves. The bottom of the tree had the couple’s names and their wedding date. At each table setting there was a mason jar tied with pink and blue yarn, both a favor and drink holder for the night. Not only was there a water station, complete with pink striped straws, but also a horse trailer that served as the bar with root beer and beer on tap. Home made pear wine was with custom labels were at each table as well, a gift to the couple from a family member.
The food was delicious and country perfect, prepared by the Owatonna Hy-Vee. The dessert table, set underneath a sign reading “love is sweet”, was laden with goodies. Ashleigh’s dad is a phenomenal baker, and his cookies and bars were devoured. Ryan’s parents run Farm on Wheels, a popular St. Paul farmers market stop for organic meats, so it was only natural that the cake Ryan’s mom baked was all organic and used from the farm products…no high fructose corn syrup here!
After dinner, the band Wide Load performed country and bluegrass music for the guests to dance to. Ashleigh hung a variety of vintage picture frames in a cluster from a tree to use as a backdrop for a photobooth, which proved to be much fun. There was also a fire pit set up, surrounded by hay bales, and all the fixin’s for s’mores. Guests enjoyed a gorgeous evening under the stars.
Ryan and Ashleigh, we feel truly blessed that you have welcomed us into your lives and had us photograph your wedding day. Here are our favorites, enjoy!