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Real Weddings: Josh & Serena | Baker Park, MN

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Photographer:  Jeannine Marie Photography

Ceremony Location:Baker Park Near Wilderness Settlement//Musicians:Blue Drifters Acoustic Quarter//Dress Store: Posh bridal couture//Submitted via Two Bright Lights


 

FROM THE COUPLE:

How did you two meet?
We met through an online dating site – Christian Mingle.

How long was your engagement?
7 months. The decision was made based on wanting an outdoor wedding, lease considerations, and was ultimately decided by the fact that the venue we wanted had only one date available for the whole summer!

What inspired your wedding theme?
Rustic Chic was our wedding theme. We are both very creative types and love the outdoors. Our initial ideas for a location were either an art gallery in an urban setting or a farm with trees and green space. We wanted to keep things very simple and classy.

What inspired your wedding color palette?
Our wedding colors were navy, green and charcoal. I picked colors that Josh and I naturally gravitate towards and wear a lot, so I knew they’d create an “us” environment. Blue and green and colors I wear a lot. The charcoal color is a total Josh color, and one that I also love.

What was special about where you got married?
Finding a venue was at first a really overwhelming project! There are so many really amazing options out there. We knew we were going to have a very small intimate wedding, with about 60 guests, and we wanted to find the right Rustic Chic backdrop for our wedding day. I had been visiting my parents and talking with them about the pros and cons of the venues we’d  researched and seen up to that point. My dad suggested the Baker Park Near-Wilderness Settlement, and had even visited the venue to collect information for us! That was really meaningful in and of itself. When we saw the venue, the nature backdrop and rustic lodge looked like a million dollar setting!

Practically speaking, the other factors that made the Near Wilderness Settlement standout to us were that we had so much freedom with the food and beverages we could serve (we were originally thinking Food Trucks!) and it also kept things very simple by allowing us to have the ceremony and reception at the same place. Having an outdoor wedding meant having a rainy day back up plan, and the Lodge had it all!

What do-it-yourself projects did you do?

Pretty much everything was DIY – I’m pretty blessed to come from a very creative and crafty family. My immediate family and Josh were a huge help with pulling things off. The ceremony archway was constructed by my dad. One of my sisters was very busy making all the burlap flags and artfully handwriting all the chalkboard signs (and more!!). The table runners, lace wrapped jars, place cards and fern vases were created by myself, my mom, and sisters.

My generous landlord at the time gifted us the ferns, which were harvested by Josh and our best man the morning of the wedding.

A unique element to our wedding day was that the food was all homemade as well. My parents and friends (who have apparently done this before) were amazing at pulling off our requested menu. My sister and mother made all the chocolate tortes!

Having the wedding at the settlement meant everything we provided needed to be biodegradable, which was a big draw for us initially (and turned out to have its challenges!).  We chose bamboo plates/flatware and custom-stamped biodegradable napkins (from Etsy). The mason jar mugs served as place settings and our guests were able to take them home with them.

The bouquets and boutonnieres were where we had to draw the line on what we could do ourselves. Dundee Nursery did an amazing job – I was blown away.

Another thing made by hand (but certainly not by us) was my engagement ring. Josh and I love participating in the local art shows and supporting local artists. We found a gorgeous ring made by a local jeweler, Susan Crow of East Fourth Street Jewelry.

Advice From The Bride:

You can’t really over plan. Though we did so much of the wedding DIY, we delegated a lot. Josh is a great manager, and put together “wedding packets” for everyone, based on their duties. This still brings a smile to my face, because I honestly thought it was a little nerdy – but everyone loved knowing the plan and who was doing what and when! Another  turning point for us was the decision to hire a wedding planner. It made all the difference having someone besides Josh or myself deciding on task lists and running the day!

 

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