barn wedding

Real Wedding: Katie & Dustin

Katie & Dustin opted for a beautiful barn wedding. This couple combined rustic tones, wildflowers and a rock band perfectly to represent their own style on their special day.


Dustin and I have been together since 2011 and were engaged in 2012; however, the original engagement fell through for various reasons.  This time around we did not have a formal engagement.  We both knew we wanted to be together and didn’t feel it necessary after we had already done it once.  We decided in April of 2016 to get married that September.


Our wedding was September 3, 2016.  We both wanted our wedding day to just represent who we were and our personalities. It was important to me that day that I slowed down enough to just be in the moment. We invited 100 of our closest family and friends so I suppose it was a more intimate feel which we loved.  We didn’t really go for a theme, but more chose décor, food and music based on our own likes such as wildflowers, a BBQ style buffet, and a live band.

If I could describe our wedding in three words it would be: everything was perfect.


We both grew up in small towns in Western PA so we wanted to choose something local because a majority of our families and friends were still in the area. We stumbled along Mitchell Ponds Inne in Knox, PA, which is a gorgeous bed and breakfast with a barn and pond and lots of space set back away from everything which made it feel that much more intimate (and quiet!).  We are not barn type people (i.e. rustic) but wanted an outdoor ceremony and liked the idea of the shelter in the case of rain. We were able to set the barn up for the reception in a way that completely represented us.


I bought my dress online from Modcloth.  I fell in love with it the second I saw it.  I was looking for a more non-traditional dress (could you have guessed?) and Modcloth has a ton of options.  The dress I ordered was champagne in colour and a straight fit.  It came in the mail and fit almost perfectly!  I am 5’2” so I had to take it to a family friend to hem the bottom for me. No bridesmaids to dress!


We actually did not have a wedding party, so there were no groomsmen to dress.  The groom ordered his pants and button up from J. Crew and ordered his matching bow tie and suspenders from The Tie Bar.  He also bought a new pair of brown dress shoes from Johnston and Murphy.  I gave him colour ideas for his outfit, but pretty much let him choose what he wanted to wear.


So even though I didn’t have bridesmaids, I wanted my two younger sisters and my mom to get ready with me.  One of my sisters hired a friend to come do everyone’s hair.  She put curls in my hair, but my youngest sister actually put a braided crown in for me, and it turned out wonderfully. I did my own makeup because I know how I like it and didn’t want anything outrageous and “not me.”


My mom and I put together faux wildflower centrepieces and also used faux flowers to decorate a grapevine arch for the ceremony.  I bought real flowers from Trader Joe’s and made my own bouquet and the groom’s boutonnière.  We used the extra real flowers in vases to accent the bar, and by different signs.


For our food, we went with a local catering service called A La Carte, and they pretty much let you run with whatever you want.  I also ordered from a restaurant called Double Wide Grille because I am vegan, and I had a few guests coming that were also vegan, and they offered many vegan options. We wanted to do picnic style buffet, so we went with the following menu: BBQ chicken, BBQ pulled pork; BBQ pulled seitan (vegan), cheesy potatoes, rigatoni, fruit salad, and grilled vegetables. For the desserts, I wanted an extensive selection to include cookies, cupcakes, and a cake.  I designated cookie making to willing family and friends, and my mom and I made eight dozen (vegan) cupcakes! (Thanks Duncan Hines!) Our non-vegan guests didn’t even know the difference.  My cousin volunteered to make us a cake and made a beautiful three tier naked chocolate cake with vanilla icing and faux flowers as a topper.


I ordered our invitations and RSVP cards from Vistaprint because they had a lot of designs to choose from that were unique.  I went with an invitation with brown cardstock and had bright wildflowers that framed the wording.


We contacted a local band, Go For Broke, to play our wedding as we had previously heard them play at a friends party. Two of the guys set up an acoustic set for our ceremony and then played classic rock covers for the evening.


Our photographer was a local teacher who does photography as a side business.  I’ve known Jen at least 8 years now and she does amazing work.  So I contacted her and explained we didn’t really want a crazy amount of photos and that the most important thing was photos after the ceremony with family and each other (since we didn’t have a wedding party). She was so willing to book us on really short notice (a few months) and gave us an unbelievably good rate. I recommend her to anyone.


The entire day was just absolute perfection from start to finish. Totally laid back, chilled and amazing.  The weather was absolute perfection, the ceremony was absolute perfection, the food, the music, and the people were unforgettable! It was amazing being surrounded by people celebrating your day. And the family and friends that volunteered to help in any way at all to make everything seamless was so appreciated and wonderful.  We just felt so loved all day.  From our dear friend being ordained just to marry us, to my cousin making our cake, to the laughter and photos, the sunshine, the live band, and our first dance to Led Zeppelin’s “Thank You” – seriously every single detail was perfection and everything we wanted.


My advice to any bride would be this: just be yourself.  When it comes to any aspect of planning, just be who you are and what you like, don’t make decisions based on what others may want or expect of you.  It makes the actual day that much more special when it represents you and your groom.


Ceremony & Reception: Mitchell Ponds Inne
Wedding Dress: Modcloth

Groom & Groomsmen: J. CrewThe Tie Bar & Johnston and Murphy
Flowers: Trader Joe’s  Stationery: Vistaprint
Go For Broke

Photography: Jen Beachem

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