We're staring at a blinking cursor because it's hard to believe, well, a few things. That I/we are even writing the words wedding day when referring to ourselves, because we still feel like the 5th graders we once were when we met. Also, it's so hard to believe that this has come and gone and we are speaking about it in past tense. There's simply so much build up and efforts and just like that, faster than Lu can sew on a button (which is record time, mind you) it's done.
Lucky for us, we can relive it time and again through the breath-taking images that were snapped by none other than the incomparable Paper Antler. You all know that when we love something or someone, we're unapologetically loud about it, and Paper Antler is one of those prime examples. Sarah was not exactly what you would call a Bridezilla (or so she hopes) but the one thing that was a non-negotiable from the moment she got engaged was who would be documenting her day. Come hell or high-water, she was adamant about the eyes of Jonny + Michelle being the pairs to document the story, and they delivered in a way in which no one could ever plan for. They froze emotion that will leave us with perpetually misty eyes and a lump in our throat.
The day of the wedding, also dubbed as #dutkapalooza, can and has been best described by it's sheer, raw emotion, and elements occurring that can only be chalked up to a generous universe. (Bald eagles over the ceremony, a double rainbow over the barn setting up, a delicious sunset, and tears from those who didn't think they had them.) We knew, because of who the bride + groom are, as well as those who attended, that it would be an emotional affair regardless. Those sorts of things you have to throw your hands up for and let unfold organically.
Where we did have some control was, of course, in the aesthetic story that was woven throughout it all. Almost two years ago, Lindsay purchased a piece of vintage lace that was calling her, for reasons unbeknownst. She had saved it, placed it on one of our oak shelves to live, and intuitively knew it would be saved for something personal and special. Without Sarah ever knowing about it or the meaning, it was the very first one she pulled down from the collection and confidently uttered "this is it". They both laughed and teared up, because the serendipity of it all was simply too appropriate. Both Sarah's mother and grandmother's dresses were primarily made out of satin, and the doily from her Grandparent's dining table felt too precious to cut up just yet. So while her own heirloom's were not necessarily in the gowns themselves, the story behind the lace felt just as special. (She was also able to use the vintage handkerchief that her Great Grandmother Frances made and that she used as a child, so the heirloom piece still felt ever-present.)
Taking the same approach that we do with each of our clients, no different, we sketched out a loose idea of what the dress would look like. However, because Sarah trusts Lindsay so much, she knew that the lace would begin to take on a life of it's own. After each fitting, it transformed in a way that only a cloth can truly evoke -- telling it's own story.
Along that same vein, we knew that Sarah, who loves to cut a rug, would need a dress conducive to such actions. That is why Lindsay so kindly created a second dress that would allow ample movement, while continuing with the theme and suiting the aesthetic. This allowed Sarah to continually feel like a bride, without jeopardizing the delicacy of the first dress.
Along with two dresses for the bride, we made 7 more dresses in addition. A color pallet was given to the bridesmaids and from there they were given free reign to chose a dress that made them feel best. With 9 bridesmaids, 2 honorary bridesmaids, and 3 junior bridesmaids, there was no way or reason to try and find one solution for that many styles and spirits. In that bunch, 4 of the bridesmaids and all 3 jr. bridesmaids had linyage create their pieces, and we could not have been more elated. (However, this depends on who you ask. By the end of it, Linsday had literally put all three blood, sweat and tears into these.) Though you would never see it by looking at her. She did so as she always does : with passion, vigor and patience. We met with each one individually, and even sketched out dream ideas with the little ones over a tea party.
We approached each dress as it's own and as unique as the individual that would don it.
And in true form, it wouldn't be a linyage-touched affair without some flower crowns, eucalyptus, and other organic materials. We even included hops along the arch and in the crowns, compliments of Fox Glove in St. Paul.
The purpose of the day, aside from the obvious matrimony of Sarah + Dustin, was for everyone to feel loved, supported, and comfortable. Not only did the gracious weather allow for all three to happen, but truly every aspect was intentional and well thought out. Instead of aiming for Pinterest, we aimed for personal. Instead of conventional, we aimed for considerate. The amount of people that rallied to make these things stand true and at the forefront is quite remarkable. And as we look back, it's beyond special to see all of the ways in that our loved ones, especially the fierce lady tribe, left their touch.
Lindsay truly made Sarah's vision come to life, but before she even knew what her vision exactly was. Paper Antler then captured it in a way that only the heart can see, yet they somehow translated it to imagery. The day, in and of itself, was one that forever changed us in more ways than one.