Nov 23, 2011
Sam and Andy!
This is the wedding of my sweet cousin Samantha (Sam) to my sweet new cousin-in-law Andy. Sam and Andy are high school sweethearts from Joplin, MO. They got married in Joplin less than two weeks after the tornado. That means that between May 22nd and June 2nd when we rolled in, virtually nothing had been done, wedding wise. Although the entire town was grieving and exhausted, it was time for a break. This wedding was accomplished through a LOT of quick thinking and a little preparation. It could not have been pulled off without the love and help of many resourceful people (both families and lots of friends). The result was the most heartfelt, happy celebration you’ve ever seen.
Both Sam and Andy were walked down the aisle by their parents, then Sam’s dad, Karl, performed a ceremony peppered with personal anecdotes, poetry and traditional readings. The point at which I totally lost it (because I know you were wondering) was when Sam and Andy began to recite their vows. At first I found it oddly familiar but quickly realized they were the vows my husband and I wrote for our own wedding seven years ago. Karl performed our wedding too, and Sam and Andy had selected the vows without knowing where they’d come from. Hearing those words spoken out loud again was the most amazing moment for me… but probably not for anyone else. :)
After the ceremony, guests engaged in lawn games, a photobooth wall, a cotton candy station and a sweets table featuring cupcakes, cakes and cookies provided by the ladies from the Mt. Hope Church of Christ. The woman who was to make the actual wedding cake lost her home in the tornado. Do you know that she dug through the wreckage, pulled out her cake pans and baked that cake at her sister’s home? She absolutely insisted.
Guests danced to music provided by Sam and Andy’s musician friends and visited at tables draped with borrowed linens under a canopy of lights provided by us and strung using the bucket lift truck belonging to the groom’s family (well, one of the bucket lift trucks that they own).
The end of the night brought a fireworks display and a sparkler send off. Sam and Andy made quite an exit on Andy’s motorcycle, with the bride tossing her bouquet as they roared through the crowd.
Sam’s vision for the wedding was for it to feel like the most perfect church picnic/county fair imaginable. I think all involved would agree, we exceeded expectations!
Congratulations to my sweet Sam and Andy, may you find as much love and happiness in your lives as you’ve brought to your families!
Venue: The estate of some church friends. It was formerly a park where the uppity folks came in their horseless carriages to feed swans (so I hear).
Catering: The lovely ladies of Mt. Hope Church of Christ. FYI… I have a fabulous way to make sun tea by the gallon. Buy a gallon of water, pour out just a little, then shove tea bags in it and sit it in the sun. We needed to make 20 gallons of tea and I certainly wasn’t going to sit over a kettle for half the day. It worked perfectly!
Rentals: Tables and chairs from church, benches from the next town over’s Parks and Rec dept, linens from church, Poppy Lane Design and Gibson Events.
Dress and veil: Aunt Lola (that would be my own sweet mom)
Boys Bow ties and Suspenders: Gibson Essentials
Photography: The incomparable Whitney Scott
Floral: Poppy Lane Design - who gets an extra special shout out for driving all the way to Joplin to help pull the whole thing off.
Labor: The Wendt, Ames and Garman families and numerous friends.