Andrew and Kristen's story began at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. They first met during a class at Iowa State. They started walking together to that said class and Andrew would start to walk Kristen to her next class. Then Kristen was the one to ask Andrew to a coffee date and he agreed - even though Andrew hated coffee at the time.
A little back story from my perspective, I have know Andrew since kindergarten and I actually met Kristen at an FFA event freshman year of high school then we met each other again in a class at Iowa State followed by many other classes together. When they first started dating, I remember sitting next to Kristen in a class in Curtiss Hall and talking about it! It was lovely to see their relationship grow and then receive the honor to photograph their engagement and wedding day!
I have to give props to the couple for navigating a wedding during 2020. Planning a wedding in a pandemic is no easy thing and I think Kristen's own words illustrate the emotions best.
"As every 2020 bride knows, this year has been unprecedented. When COVID-19 hit in March, we were all faced with decisions no engaged couple has ever had to face before. There was no ‘formula’ to follow, no blogs with all the answers. Every couple had to do what was best for their unique situation.
The months between March and September were tough. I watched as close friends had to make heart-breaking decisions. I didn’t know what to expect come September. I stopped all wedding planning for several months to try to wait and see what to expect come fall, and to support those brides in my life who were dealing with their own tough choices during the spring and summer.
There are a lot of emotions that come up when planning a wedding - and especially when planning a COVID wedding. For future brides who will likely have to deal with these similar circumstances, my advice is to feel all the feelings. Acknowledge them, and let them run their course. It is a wild rollercoaster of joy, worry, excitement, and doubt. Remember the ‘why’ of the day, don’t wish the engagement away, and take lots of time to marriage-prep instead of wedding-prep. Some of my favorite memories from our wedding are the special moments that occurred days and weeks before our big day, and the wonder and awe of the life-long commitment we were promising to one another."
Now to the story-telling of their wedding day...
Kristen opted for a first look with her dad and her bridesmaids. A "first look" is a moment where someone sees the bride or groom for the first time on the wedding all dolled up. She commented how that moment with her bridesmaids was incredibly special. The ladies also had written letters the evening before the wedding for Kristen to read and I love that meaningful touch from Kristen's ladies. What an amazing group!
Andrew and Kristen also decided to see each other before the ceremony for a first look moment. A first look for a couple allows them to relax, have a private moment, and have other photos taken before the ceremony so they can celebrate directly after the ceremony!
After the ceremony, Kristen and Andrew set aside an hour to hang out with their bridal party on a party bus. Kristen said how it was so nice to spend one-on-one time with their bridal party and to have a little fun!
Kristen shared with me that another one of her favorite parts of the day was "..soaking in the atmosphere of the reception! I barely ate - I couldn’t stop appreciating how many people showed up to support Andrew and I, and the hard work of so many of our friends and family to help our day come together."
Dress: Finery Bridal (Waterloo)
Suit/Tux: Michaels Clothing (Monticello)
Floral: Clovergold Flower Farm (Sac County), Pine Hill Farm (Walker), Grace Rose Farm (California)
Floral Design: Kristen and her bridesmaids!
Decorations: Lynn Lueck (tablecloths/backdrops, out of Dyersville), Krista Briggs (ceiling drapery and lights) and Kristen and Andrew's family and friends
Desserts/Cake: Bridesmaid Sarah Tecklenburg (wedding cake)
Catering: McElroy’s Catering
Venues: St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Delaware County Fairground Pavilion
Bridesmaid dresses: Azazie.com
Videographer: Dakota Karthan, Hannah Mortensen Photography, & Kristen editing
Hair/Makeup: Oasis Salon and Spa (Monticello)
Rings: Siebke Hoyt (Marion)
Band: Danny Grause Music