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Dresses for your one-of-a-kind wedding


Serving you in times of celebration, sorrow & day to day life. 785.776.7989 or 800.532.3409 www.kistnersflower.com Hwy. 177 South, Manhattan, KS 66502 8:30am - 5:30pm Mon.-Fri. • 9am - 2pm Sat • Closed Sunday

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on your upcoming wedding! Here at Kansas Weddings Magazine, we love celebrating all kinds of love, but especially love that is cultivated and honored here in the Sunflower State. Regardless of whether you are planning an intimate ceremony with only close friends and family or a wedding extravaganza with 300 guests, Kansas provides the perfect backdrop for all occasions. And we’re here to help. As you prepare all of the details of your day, we hope the weddings in this issue inspire you. Each bride or groom featured used Kansas-based vendors to bring their dreams to life—making this the ideal publication for Kansas couples getting ready to say “I Do” here at home. What makes us particularly unique is the register of weddings in the back of the magazine. This section features real wedding and anniversary announcements. It’s a perfect way for recent newlyweds to document and celebrate their weddings, as well as inspire future couples as they embark on their wedding-planning journeys. It’s also a nice way to celebrate the lasting love of Kansas couples. With that, I welcome you to circle and earmark your favorite details within this magazine, reach out to the vendors listed, and remember to savor the special time that is your engagement. It is our hope that your wedding day is as ideal as your love for your partner.

Kelly Gibson Sunflower Publishing

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Kelly Gibson

Shelly Bryant

Art Director

Advertising Representative

Nathan Peterson

Ad Designers

Jenni Leiste Amanda Nagengast

what is your best advice for newly

engaged couples?

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Production Manager Sunflower Publishing

“I’m recently engaged (so I get to take this journey with all of our readers!) but the best piece of advice I’ve received is to remember it is your day. Plan what matters to you and your partner, and savor your engagement.”

Shelly Bryant

“If someone Director has a talent and Bob Cucciniello offers to help Sunflower Publishing “If you are not you, let them! My laughing when extended family is they are crying or full of wonderful crying while Publisher they bakers who Bill Uhler are laughing, you Ogden Publications offered to make have found your our desserts, soulmate. As the including the old Dean Martin wedding cake. song says “Once It was so special you have found her to have them (him) never let her contribute to (him) go.” our day.”

Kansas Weddings Magazine is a publication of Sunflower Publishing, a division of Ogden Publications, Inc. kansasweddingsmagazine.com | (888) 497-8668


Reeves Photo Co. Reeves Photo Co. is composed of Sarah & Jake Reeves, a husband and wife duo. They’ve enjoyed capturing weddings for more than 10 years and thoroughly enjoy shooting editorial work as well.

Sara Rieth: Romantic Storytelling Sara Rieth: Romantic Storytelling is an award winning wedding photographer who tells love stories in happily-ever-after form. She’s a natural light lover, hopeless romantic and a Scooter’s coffee advocate. She and her husband have three little girls, a ridiculously fluffy calico named S’Mores and a mini poodle called Pupcake.

Nicolette Sessin Nicolette Sessin grew up traveling the world with her military family. Her favorite things include capturing stunning couples in their moment of bliss, pizza and snuggling up with a good book and her wiener dog, Maddie.

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Sarah Kelly Shannon

Meagan Young

Kelly Von Lunen

Sarah Kelly Shannon grew up in Lawrence and graduated from the University of Kansas, where she met—and married—her husband. She has written and edited for newspapers and magazines around the country and now lives in Wichita, where she chronicles the daily life of her ornery bulldog, Red.

Meagan Young believes in hot sauce and vulnerability. Not together, but like, as two (separate) precious things that add to the creative multi-tasker that she is. As a freelance writer and photographer, Meagan sees that the vulnerability of people is their power, and the pursuit of these stories— these raw, true moments—are what connects us to one another.

Kelly Von Lunen is a writer, editor, and lifelong Kansan. When she’s not working or chasing her toddler, Kelly plays roller derby and drinks a lot of coffee.

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Add color, scent and life to your wedding décor with flowers. Whether you opt for a classic arrangement or a creative bouquet, flowers are essential.

Invitations set the tone for your wedding guests and serve as a wonderful keepsake.

This is your first meal as a married couple, so celebrate! Here are a few pro tips on selecting your cake and caterers.

Floral Elegance

You’re Invited

Cake and Cuisine

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On the Cover


Dresses for your one-of-a-kind wedding


Models Sara Myers, Lindsay Jackson and Kelly Von Lunen highlight dresses courtesy of J.Lynn Bridal. Photo by Reeves Photo Co.


Dressed to the Nines Say yes to the dress with a little advice from Kansas boutique bridal shop owners. Finding the perfect fit and style will help you and your bridal party feel radiant on your wedding day.



Here are our tips for creating the perfect ceremony, writing personalized vows and sharing a heartfelt toast.

You’ll always remember where you got married, so make it special. Here are a few things to consider when selecting a venue.

Say I Do

Setting the Scene

PHOTOGRAPH Sara Rieth: Romantic Storytelling, Mojica Photography, Morgan Miller Photography, Jerry Wang Photography, April Harmon, Nicolette Sessin, Reeves Photo Co.

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Real Weddings Looking for a little inspiration? In this photo gallery, we share real Kansas weddings and real Kansas love.


Love Your Partner, Love Yourself Stories from real couples about hurdles they overcame to love themselves fully on their wedding days.




Use life lessons learned early in your relationship to develop a deeper love to last a lifetime.

Draw inspiration from unique love stories of Kansas.

Celebrate your love in the beautiful outdoors.

Marriage Lessons

To Have and to Hold

Outdoor Elegance


Bold and Beautiful Flint Hills The big Kansas sky and open prairie demand a wedding as bold as the features themselves.


One of a Kind Find the dress that embodies your love.

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2018 Kansas Wedding Register

The Wedding Register is a collection of wedding day announcements, both beautiful and unique—just like the two people who fell in love.

is a

One-Stop Shop

We cover every behind-the-scenes detail of your wedding day, allowing you to be seen!


Full Service Wedding Planning


Day of Coordination




Destination Wedding Planning


Wedding Consulting


Centerpiece Design

To plan your Dream Wedding contact: LEILA AHVARHOUSH


Based in Lawrence, serving all of Kansas leila@beseeneventplanning.com


Real People, Real Results

FREE Pre-Wedding Beauty Consultations

RadianceKS.com 5120 SW 28th St | Topeka, KS 66614 | 785.408.5800 | 844.758.0877 toll free

Wedding trends &







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Everyone is an expert on weddings, right? Your family, your friends, your social media pals, that coworker who has the “best” advice on what you should do and exactly how you should do it on your big day—they all know … right? Of course not. Your wedding day is your day, based on your tastes and values. We hope these pages inspire your imagination and fuel your individual style with ideas both classic and contemporary.

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kansas weddings

PHOTOGRAPHS Wrenn Bird Photography

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Adding a floral wall can create romance and provide a perfect backdrop for your ceremony and reception. (Floral wall design by Kistner’s Flowers.)

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Floral Elegance Add color, scent and life to your wedding décor with flowers. Whether you opt for a classic arrangement or a creative bouquet, flowers are essential.

BRING ON THE BOUQUETS Big bouquets are having a moment, especially in the “gathered and styled” look. “Brides want their bouquets to look like they were handpicked from a local garden but still have the professional qualities of being designed by a floral designer,” says Bronwyn Douglas of Kistner’s in Manhattan. Bright, bold colors amid a little greenery are taking main stage in floral trends for 2018.

CONTAINERS To complement the floral arrangement, couples are opting for mixed metal containers and geometric shapes. “Inspirations from the past—specifically the 1940s—are things that we can look forward to in the coming year,” Bronwyn says. Want to add a little nostalgia to your arrangements? Try including something “borrowed” from Grandma. “Some brides personalize their weddings by putting beautiful flowers into their grandma’s vintage crystal or china, embracing the generations of family weddings before them,“ says Pam McKnight of Flower Factory in Wichita.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX Floral arrangements don’t have to be bouquets for your bridesmaids and boutonnieres for the groomsmen. Consider floral hoops for an alternative feel. Try an air plant or some fresh herbs in the boutonniere. Floral jewelry could also be a fun spin on traditional accessories. Try to infuse living elements into many aspects of the décor.

TIPS FOR PICKING YOUR WEDDING FLOWERS Complement the vibe of your wedding. You’ll need to have a few things in place before approaching a florist. Know your venue location, overall feel of the wedding, budget and wedding colors to help paint a picture for your florist. “The location sets the stage for the finishing touches that flowers provide,” Bronwyn says. “For example, if a barn has been selected for the reception, then using textures and designs that complement that space is important.” Consider seasonal availability. Do a little research before picking any certain type of flower. Not all flowers are available yearround, and if they are, it’s important to consider when they look their best. “I have had several brides who have fallen in love with the soft textures

of peonies only to be sorely disappointed when I have to tell them that they are not available for their October wedding,” Bronwyn says. If your flowers are out of season, work with the florist. They are experts and will be able to find something equally lovely. “If your favorite flower is not available, ask for alternate flower ideas with a similar look and feel,” Pam says. Don’t get caught up in perfection. You will have enough to worry about on your wedding day. Don’t be concerned with tight, neat bouquets. “Messy, natural, and imperfect elements make your wedding less stressful, more memorable and a lot more cost friendly,” Pam says. Personalize it. Try adding elements that reflect who you are to create a lasting impact and joyful memory. “We encourage our brides to incorporate a few stems of Mom’s or Grandma’s garden flowers (if available) for sentiment.” Get to know your florist’s work. Pam suggests researching projects your florist has done in the past to make sure you have the same design taste. “Check them out,” she says. “Know that their style will match your style. Look at their online presence, their Facebook page, their website. Get to know what they have done for other couples.”

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You’re Invited Invitations set the tone for your wedding guests and serve as a wonderful keepsake.

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CHOOSING A GUEST LIST It’s not the most glamorous part of wedding planning, but selecting a guest list is one of the more important elements—one you need to tackle early in the process. Work with your partner from the beginning to select a reasonable guest list. Have a budget and keep it in mind when making a list of guests. More guests mean more costs on the big day. Decide together if you would like a large wedding or a small, intimate gathering. Once you’ve decided these things, Megan Ibarra, designer with Little Yellow Leaf in Mission, suggests you talk with your parents. “It’s such a special and important day not only for the couple, but often their parents,” Megan says. “Have a genuine discussion with parents and family members when it comes to the guest list, but also keep in mind who you want to see on your special day.” Megan notes that the guest list can be a stressful part of planning a wedding, so couples should be firm about who is and is not invited. One way to make it clear is through invitations. “Be very clear about who is invited, and this starts with how you address your invitations,” she says. If the invitation doesn’t say “and guest,” then, no Cousin John, you can’t bring your new best friend along.

DESIGNS WE LOVE FOR 2018 Bold jewel tones. Megan says bold color palettes are on the rise, fun to play with as a designer and should be part of your invitations. “Couples seem to be going bolder and incorporating strong colors into their special day, whether in floral arrangements, wedding party attire or table décor,” Megan says. “From the papery side, it’s so fun to work within these palettes.” All in the details. Anything goes when it comes to invites, but mixed metals, handmade paper, unfinished edging and wax seals are some details to consider. “Couples are really taking the handcrafted details of their suite to the next level, which I’m loving as a custom designer,” Megan says. Making it a keepsake. Brush lettering and traditional nib calligraphy add elegance and personal flair, making your invitations small works of art. Want to really customize your invitation? Add visual elements about the day. “I would love to see couples incorporating their venue into their suite through a sketch or painting,” Megan says.

AN INVITE TIMELINE FROM THE PROS You spent all that time selecting the guest list; now you want to make sure your guests can join you on your wedding day! Timing is important when it comes to mailing invitations, but the timeline varies depending on the type of wedding you’re hosting. “I typically suggest couples pinpoint the 8-week mark for mailing their invitations, with their ‘RSVP by’ date being within the 4–5 week range,” Megan says. “This provides guests approximately a month to confirm their calendar and send their response back in plenty of time for the couple to begin finalizing their numbers.” For destination weddings, that timeline changes a bit. “For a wedding where many guests will be traveling, sometimes mailing at 10–12 weeks out is more suitable so that guests have plenty of time to make travel arrangements,” Megan says. Any earlier than 12 weeks is probably overkill. If you have any concerns, then it might be a good idea to send Save the Date cards so guests don’t forget to RSVP.

PAPER OR DIGITAL? Think about your budget when selecting invitations. It might be important to you to send formal, handmade invitations with intricate design and detail. Those custom elements can add up. For a more budget-conscious couple, digital invitations are an option. Be sure to consider older relatives who might not be as savvy with technology if you decide to go completely paperless. Working with a designer can help you meet your budget goals while still making an invitation impact.

PHOTOGRAPHS Wrenn Bird Photography

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Hand-lettered invitations welcome guests with a personal touch. (Lettering by Lauren Heim.)

PHOTOGRAPHS Sara Rieth: Romantic Storytelling

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Cake trends range from simple to elaborate, but whatever design you choose for your dessert will be a sweet cap to the perfect day.

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Cake and Cuisine This is your first meal as a married couple, so celebrate! Here are a few pro tips on selecting your cake and caterers.

CALL THE CATERER Want to provide a memorable and hip dining experience for your guests? Mike Gehrs with Arterra Event Gallery in Lawrence suggests a fine-dining approach to familystyle service. “No waiting in lines for food and no ‘safe’ chicken dishes served from a hot box,” Mike says. “Family style is perfect for weddings if paired with fine dining service.” Classic menus such as late-night menus and comfort food are still a popular choice with couples. But Mike hopes 2018 brings healthier food options and from-scratch recipes. He suggests avoiding raw vegetable trays and cubed cheese platters, as well as serving “heavy appetizers” in lieu of a full dinner.

BE TRUE TO YOUR DAY Donut walls, fondant cakes or full dessert buffets are beautiful and memorable details to your special day. But keep your budget and wedding vibe in mind when selecting your special dessert. “Once you take a paper idea and make it a reality, the fear sets in that guests will not be happy, the budget could not afford it, or the theme becomes lost,” Carlee from It’s A Sweet Treat Day Bakery says. Sometimes clients’ eyes are bigger than their budgets, but there is nothing wrong with basic white cake with a basic design. It’s classic for a reason.

THINK OUTSIDE THE (PASTRY) BOX If you want to go big with your cake, then Carlee says be brave with your decisions. “In order to have the grand design, you need to have a flexible budget and a no-fear attitude,” Carlee says. “Buffets and donut walls are not cheap, and cake is only truly flashy when it is something no one has ever seen before.” Desserts are an important part of the whole wedding experience for both you and your guests. “We are learning that couples and guests will all remember four things: The dress, the food, the cake/sweets, and the emcee of the reception,” Carlee says.

GET A “DAY OF” COORDINATOR This person takes on the responsibility of organizing and communicating to vendors aspects of the event so you don’t have to. “This makes life easier on the couple, the guests, and the vendors so that couples can truly enjoy the experience,” Carlee says.

TO SMASH, OR NOT TO SMASH? Feeding each other cake is a long-standing reception tradition. Whether you politely feed one another a bite, or you smear sugary frosting on your partner’s face, it can be a nice way to signify that it’s time for guests to enjoy dessert. Want to try something a bit different? Carlee suggests making it a competition. “One of the best things we have ever seen for cake smashing involved one couple who decided to place two jars, one labeled ‘He Smashes’ and one labeled ‘She Smashes,’ at the gifts table. Whichever jar got the most money meant that other person was wearing cake!”

IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE FOOD Signature drinks are a nice element to the wedding dining experience. It’s a way to commemorate your day and share something special with your guests. “A signature drink passed as guests arrive can help set the mood,” Mike says. “The drink should complement the season and style of the event. I let clients know that the beverages should be as well thought out, and as festive, as the food.”

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Dressed to the Nines

Say yes to the dress with a little advice from Kansas boutique bridal shop owners. Finding the perfect fit and style will help you and your bridal party feel radiant on your wedding day.

FOR GROOMS Move over, groomsmen! Grooms in Kansas are making a statement. “Lately, it seems grooms truly want to stand out from their groomsmen and be noticed,” says Dani Heinrich from Bridal-N-More in Garden City. To achieve that pop, grooms are opting for dark gray suits while their groomsmen don light gray. Or a groom might decide to wear dark tan alongside groomsmen wearing light tan. As far as accessories are concerned, Dani says she’s noticed grooms moving back to a classic look. “Bow ties are slowly making their way out, and we are seeing more regular ties,” she says.

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HOW TO SAY YES TO THE DRESS Be serious and realistic about your budget. Pinterest is nice when you’re dreaming about your wedding day, but it can also give unrealistic expectations about what your perfect dress might cost. Keep an open mind! Your bridal boutique expert is there to make sure you look and feel absolutely flawless on your wedding day. Don’t be afraid to try on a style you didn’t think you’d like—you never know if it is the one! Listen to your heart. Your best friend’s or your mom’s tastes might be different from yours. Think about how you feel. Their opinions might matter, but at the end of the day, it’s your wedding.

OUTFITTING YOUR CREW The rulebook is out the window on styling your bridesmaids. Mix and match, floral, or full-on matching—anything goes! The lasting piece of advice, though: “Get a dress that is going to flatter everyone in the wedding party and that will enhance the bride in her pictures,” Dani says. “After all, it’s her day, and her time to shine—you just get to be a part of making her day that much more special.” Long dresses are still most popular, but consider varying length for some interesting layers among your attendants. Consider mixing and matching patterns. Floral bridesmaids dresses can add nice texture amid a sea of solids.

ADORN YOURSELF To veil or not to veil? There are many acceptable alternatives for bridal hair pieces. For the more traditional bride, veils are a common accessory. “My take on veils is that they are to complement the dress, not distract or take away from the bride or the dress,” Jena Dick, owner of J.Lynn Bridal in Lawrence, says. Particularly if the wedding takes place in a church, Jena says, a veil goes well with the more traditional venue. Jena suggests considering your venue, the time of year and level of formality of your wedding. “For outdoor weddings, brides seem to forgo the veil more and more,” Jena says. “Wind can

also be a big factor. Beach weddings or windy days are the time to not wear a veil. They fly in the wind and can be a burden.” If a veil isn’t for you, there are plenty of other options. Jena suggests a comb, headband, flower crown or tiara to add a little sparkle and glam to your overall bridal look. “There are some fun new trends such as hair wraps and reverse headbands,” Jena says.

PUTTING YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD Here are a few tips to keep you dancing all through your wedding day. Comfort is key! “As much as girls love their sky-high stilettos, they are not practical for your wedding day,” Jena says. Think about height. “If you wear 4-inch heels for the ceremony and take them off after, that makes the dress 4 inches too long,” Jena warns. She recommends a smaller heel height with a thicker heel to keep balance and add comfort. Break them in. Jena’s suggestion for breaking-in shoes without risk of dirtying or damaging them before your wedding: Wear them around the house while doing chores.

PHOTOGRAPHS Reeves Photo Co.

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Opting to forego the veil? A unique headpiece can provide elegance and flair to your bridal attire.

PHOTOGRAPHS Shutterstock

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Whether you plan a traditional or non-traditional ceremony, it’s important to consider how you’d like to share your vows.

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Say I Do

Here are our tips for creating the perfect ceremony, writing personalized vows and sharing a heartfelt toast.

WALK THE WALK Whether you opt for a traditional or creative walk down the aisle, this element is yours to choose and personalize. Perhaps you choose to walk in with both parents. Or maybe consider taking the journey down the aisle with your betrothed, symbolizing your partnership from the beginning. Or make a statement by coming into the ceremony alone! There is no wrong way to enter your own wedding ceremony. When it comes to flower girls and ring bearers, be sure to practice! Sometimes when little ones see a lot of people at the ceremony, they panic. Rehearsing helps the little ones feel comfortable in their duties.

PROCESSIONAL SONGS For couples who want an alternative to “Here Comes the Bride,” here are a few options from Kansas artists: For slow, sweet, romantic walks down the aisle: “Epic Love” by La Guerre For plucky, folksy, rustic weddings: “Magnolia Tree” by Truckstop Honeymoon Epic build-up for an upbeat entrance: “Shadows” by Quiet Corral

VOWS & READINGS Writing your own vows can be a beautiful way to customize your wedding ceremony. If you go that route, Patricia Cassellini, a non-denominational officiant in Manhattan, says couples should think about length and meaning. Get to the heart of the matter. “If you choose to write your own vows, I suggest no more than a paragraph or two short ones at the most,” Patricia says. “These are precious thoughts expressed in specially chosen words.” Patricia suggests having those vows hand-drawn by a calligrapher after the ceremony to hang at home as a reminder of your promises to one another. When it comes to selecting readings for the ceremony, Patricia says length is important to consider here as well. “Remember you are standing there listening,” Patricia says. “Standing still for two minutes in addition to the rest of the ceremony can become uncomfortable.” She suggests a maximum length of three paragraphs—just something short and sweet that embodies the love and warmth of the day.

I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU … “For many years, it has been presumed the couple is to be presented to the world as Mr. and Mrs.,” Patricia says. “In our modern society, there are options. Some women choose not to change their last name; therefore, Mr. and Mrs. would not be appropriate. And the presentation for a same-sex couples should definitely be their choice.” Be sure to discuss with your officiant how you would like to be presented at the end of the ceremony.

HERE’S TO THE HAPPY COUPLE Giving a toast? Here are a few tips to make it extra special … Keep it about the couple. “Heartfelt words, words of support and best wishes for their future will remain with them for a long time,” Patricia says. Be brief. Yours might be the only speech, or there might be a long line of other speakers who want to share their well-wishes. Be respectful of everyone’s time. Don’t get too personal. “If you want to share a memory from childhood, make sure it is not too personal,” Patricia says. “Sometimes the story can be a memory the bride or groom would rather not tell the world.” Humor is almost always welcome. Loosening everyone up with a joke is a good tactic to garner the crowd’s attention. Try to balance humor with thoughtfulness.

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Setting the Scene

You’ll always remember where you got married, so make it special. Here are a few things to consider when selecting a venue. LOGISTICS Kyle with ABODE Venue in Wichita says it’s important to keep logistics in mind for your guests. Is it convenient for your families? Is there lodging nearby if you have guests coming in from out of town?

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MOOD Know what vibe you want to give for your wedding event. If you aren’t looking for rustic, don’t select a barn as the location. Venue is one of the first decisions a couple makes on their wedding planning journey, and it’s very important to make sure the space accommodates the guest list and attitude of the event.

DECORATING DON’TS Kyle warns about the lighter color schemes. “The ‘all white weddings’ are out and don’t ever need to be brought back,” he says. “Not all of the décor needs to be white or a light color.” Mike Gehrs, owner of Arterra Event Gallery in Lawrence, suggests staying away from Mason jars, burlap and scattering flower petals.

ASK QUESTIONS! Before settling on a venue, Kyle with ABODE Venue in Wichita suggests making sure you’ve asked these three questions: • What décor restrictions does the venue have? • Are there any services that are not allowed by an outside source or vendor (open catering, alcohol restrictions, in-house DJ, etc.)? • Ask the question, “What are we forgetting to ask?”

DECORATE LIKE A PRO Pulling off a complete look means thinking about every detail. Mike suggests couples must avoid sensory overload. “Condense your vision for the ceremony and reception down to 2-4 descriptive words,” Mike says. “Stick to that style.” As far as trends, Kyle with ABODE in Wichita is seeing a few looks he likes. “Gold and emerald green are really hot right now,” Kyle says. “The tufted look of ‘soft seating’ is popular. This look is transitional and can match a wide range of décor themes. Industrial, modern, vintage and classical looks are seen most with the tufted style.” But beyond colors and fabrics, couples should consider how to bring in emotion and sentimentality. Mike says personalization is key. “Pay homage to parents, grandparents, etc., with displayed photographs—not just a digital display,” Mike says. “We’ve done everything from strategic display of red robins as a symbol of homage to those who have passed, to hiding action figures in the men’s room for guests to find.”

PHOTOGRAPHS Shutterstock

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Carry the romance from your ceremony to your reception with a tablescape your guests won’t soon forget.


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Consider this section your wedding day look book. Take a break from the checklist for just a moment and take some advice from couples who have been there. Flip through the pages and find real weddings that went off without a hitch (like yours will!). Read how one couple applied life lessons from their first year of marriage to strengthen their relationship; learn how brides and grooms are managing the stress of wedding planning; and finally, dive into our dreamy dress section, full of inspiring looks.

PHOTOGRAPH Nicolette Sessin

26 Real 50 Outdoor Weddings Elegance Your Partner, and Beautiful 36 Love 56 Bold Love Yourself Flint Hills 42 Marriage 64 One Lessons of a Kind Have and 45 Toto Hold


2018 Kansas Wedding Register

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In this gallery, we share real Kansas weddings and real Kansas love. Weddings are customizable events, showcasing the love and personality of each couple. Here are a few examples of how wedding vendors in the Sunflower State have helped couples express their love. We hope you find in these pages the inspiration you need to settle on your own dream wedding. Find a caterer you like? Flag the page. Find a beautiful arrangement of flowers? Flag the page. Let these ideas be your something borrowed.

PHOTOGRAPH Expressions Exposed Photography


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Alicia & Nick Koehn

WEDDING DATE June 18, 2016 WEDDING LOCATION Pittsburg, Kansas CEREMONY AND RECEPTION VENUE The Barn at Timber Cove DRESS SHOP Brooklyn & Co Bridal DRESS DESIGNER Maggie Sottero SUIT/TUX SHOP JC Penney MAKEUP Vixen Pinup Photography– Kansas City, Mo PHOTOGRAPHER Expressions Exposed Photography CATERER Fazolis CAKE/DESSERT Sugar Creations MUSICIAN/DJ Curtis Benelli

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WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY FROM THE DAY? Reading our vows to each other. It is a very intimate moment when you look into each other’s eyes and tell each other how much you truly love that person.

Kelsey & Carl Anderson

WEDDING DATE September 16, 2017 WEDDING LOCATION Lawrence CEREMONY AND RECEPTION VENUE Castle Tea Room DRESS SHOP David’s Bridal SUIT/TUX SHOP Men’s Wearhouse PHOTOGRAPHER Ken Doll Photography and Dave Strydom CATERER Maceli’s CAKE/DESSERT It’s A Sweet Treat Day Bakery MUSICIAN/DJ Noah Neff with Ad Astra Entertainment FLORAL Chris Page with Chinells WEDDING COORDINATION Kasey Dietrich with Maceli’s

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WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO A BRIDE AND GROOM TO BE? Spend the money for a great photographer (I would highly recommend Ken Doll Photography)! Those are pictures you will look at for the rest of your lives.

Rachel Sonia Everest & Sai Ravi Teja Kumili

WEDDING DATE October 29, 2016 WEDDING LOCATION Overland Park CEREMONY VENUE Church of the Resurrection RECEPTION VENUE Noah’s DRESS SHOP Belle Vogue SUIT/TUX SHOP Tip Top Tux JEWELRY Belle Vogue MAKEUP Maria with MAC PHOTOGRAPHER Mojica Photography CATERER Kababish for Wedding reception, Ruchi for Sangeet/Mehndi Event CAKE/DESSERT Cake Haven

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ANYTHING YOU WISH YOU COULD CHANGE ABOUT THE DAY? So many little things get missed ... but in the end ... it doesn’t really matter. I wish the night would have lasted longer!

Cinthia & Aaron Luna

WEDDING DATE May 13, 2017 CEREMONY VENUE Kingdom Hall of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Manhattan RECEPTION VENUE Life’s Finer Moments, Clay Center DRESS SHOP Oleg Cassini CHARRO SUIT charroazteca.com PHOTOGRAPHER Rick Messina Photography CAKE/DESSERT Patricia Ramirez MARIACHI Mariachi Habanero, Topeka DJ Samuel Reséndiz, Oklahoma City FLORAL Steve’s Floral, Manhattan

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WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE ELEMENT OF YOUR WEDDING? “To us, we wanted to have the traditional Mexican feel but didn’t want to overdo it. We toned down the colors, but still incorporated lots of different colors to represent our heritage.”

It’s easy to forget self-care during a time that is all about showering love on yourself and your partner. Here are some stories from real couples about hurdles they overcame to love themselves fully on their wedding days. Story by

Kelly Von Lunen

Weddings are about



PHOTOGRAPH Morgan Miller Photography

e love our partners. We love our families. We love our friends. We love champagne and many-tiered cakes. But too often, in all the excitement of love for so many wonderful people and things, we forget to love some really important people—ourselves. When people think of weddings, they think of diets and workouts to fit into the perfect dress. The wedding industry thrives on sunless tanning, teeth whitening, microdermabrasion, weight loss plans, and eyebrow waxing, all to create the “perfect” look. But “perfect” is subjective—and sometimes doesn’t reflect many of us in our beautiful diversity. If your best self isn’t represented in the wedding magazines, you might feel a bit left out or let down. Pre-wedding self-love is crucial for every person preparing to walk down the aisle. ‘It’s Still You’ Misty Arnold became engaged to her partner of four years in November 2016. The long-time volleyball and roller derby player had surgery the following month. “So I went from this strong athlete to bed-bound for a month and sick for eight months until my surgery,” Arnold says. “My engagement during the trials of being sick and not physically able to change my body makes me realize how much he must love me—not for what I look like or for what I can do but for me being simply myself.” At 42 years old, Arnold embraces her 5’9”, size-22 body. But coordinating a wedding and searching for “The Dress” are a lot to take. “Derby always gave me a sense of self-esteem no matter what size I was,” she says. “Even being bigger meant hitting harder and taking up more track. But I cringe at the idea of trying on wedding dresses. The whole idea of planning a wedding feels completely overwhelming.” Ali Fernandez married her husband in September 2017. She spent time deciding how much of her unique self and sense of style she should display on her wedding day.

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‘We Don’t Have to Do Anything By the Book’ Rachel McMurray and her fiancée joined Weight Watchers partly in preparation for their upcoming wedding. “I don’t know how much of that was because we had just gotten engaged, but I think there was the idea in the background,” she said. “Wouldn’t it be nice to lose some weight before the wedding so we like the way we look in the pictures? Wouldn’t it be nice to start our lives together healthier and happier than we are now?” For McMurray, losing weight before the wedding is not about vanity, but about being healthy together and feeling the best she can feel for herself and her partner. “I think what helps me feel good about myself, even when I’m struggling with my weight loss goals, or when I’m feeling overwhelmed, is knowing I have a partner who is experiencing the exact same thing I am, and being conscious to support her,” McMurray says. “If I’m struggling, I try to make

it a priority to tell her how much I appreciate her and how proud I am of her for trying to lose weight and for the accomplishments she has achieved so far. When I do that, she will always do the same for me, which helps, and I also feel better focusing on what I love about her body because it reminds me that she loves things about my body, too.” McMurray says she feels a sort of freedom during her engagement. Many of the traditional constraints of wedding planning have gone out the window. “One benefit to being a queer lady who is marrying a lady is that we don’t have to do anything by the book,” she says. “There are no rules for queer relationships, and we can pretty much do whatever we want for our wedding. I think that particular strain of freedom has helped tremendously with the way I feel about my body. I don’t feel as constrained by the sort of traditional gender roles or presentation of my body that I have when I have been in heterosexual relationships.” ‘It Just Wasn’t My Reality’ Katrina Perkins Combs met her nowhusband in May 2016 and they got engaged in January 2017. “We got engaged in January, February I had a myomectomy surgery on my uterus and in May we were walking down the aisle,” Combs says. “It was a quick engagement so we didn’t focus on a ‘wedding production.’” The quick engagement made planning challenging and added another level of stress. ”We picked a May wedding because it would be exactly one year of meeting each other,” Combs says. “So I literally had four months to plan a whole wedding. I had no clue what I was doing.” Combs looked online for venues, dress ideas and colors. “But everything seemed so fake,” she says. “Nearly every venue in the area had a picture-perfect white couple with matching bridesmaids dresses and groomsmen. It just wasn’t my reality. There wasn’t any mention on those sites about what I wanted in my wedding—specifically jumping the broom.” In some African-American families, couples end the wedding ceremony by jumping over a broomstick. The practice dates back to the mid1800s and was revived in the 1970s. “I wanted to incorporate my ancestors’ traditions and keep that going,” Combs says, “and I was thrilled when my husband wanted to do it, too. So it took a lot of my own research, and with my sister’s help we made a beautiful broom to jump for the ceremony.”

PHOTOGRAPHS (FROM LEFT) Kate Wood Raclin (2), Morgan Miller Photography

“I’m tattooed, pierced, and 240 pounds,” Fernandez says. “I found myself struggling for a moment over my favorite piece of jewelry, my septum. In the end I decided that it didn’t matter what everyone else thinks is the image of the perfect bride. My reward was my hubby at the sneak peek. He turned, saw me, and cried. His exact words were, ‘It’s still you.’” Liz Tiller is engaged to be married in 2018. She initially tried on dresses to get an idea of what she liked, planning to have her mom make her a dress to fit. Instead, she fell in love with a scalloped-lace mermaid-style gown. “Trying on dresses was rough. A good chunk of the dresses I wanted to try didn’t come in my size, either. I’m used to this from dress shopping in high school. I didn’t want to do the whole dressing rooms saga. I still hate doing that.” With the dress nailed down, wedding-day photography is still a source of anxiety. Tiller is working to get back in shape after a pulmonary embolism. “I had to quit my favorite sports and activities,” she says. “This means that I am much bigger than I have been in the past, so I am dreading pictures. Honestly, the pictures worry me more than dress shopping did.” Of course, even smaller-size brides struggle with dress sizing. Sterling DeAmore married her husband in May 2015. Usually a size 2, her size 6 wedding dress fit perfectly. “I didn’t need it taken in at all. That was weird,” DeAmore said. “My body issues have always been the opposite, though. I was always worried about being too skinny. People say whatever they want to skinny people.”

Pre-wedding self- love is crucial for every

person preparing to

walk down the aisle.

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chronic genetic illness,” she says. “There is a possibility that he may be too ill to participate. His last doctor’s visit showed the best pulmonary function test results that he’s had in years, so we are hedging toward a good health status. He’s doing his best with the goal in mind of being at the wedding.” But Singh is taking care of herself as she takes care of those she loves. “When feeling offtrack, frustrated with progress or people—and possibly on the verge of giving up all together—I recollect how cool this human is that I’m wanting to build a life with,” Singh says. “Making each other laugh when it gets tense is always a good default for us.” ‘We Were All Comfortable In Our Skin’ It’s not just brides and grooms who might struggle with body images during the wedding process. Consider the bridal party. Dress shops and manufacturers work to make bridesmaid dresses that fit a variety of sizes and body shapes, but finding the right dress can still be a struggle. “One of my bridesmaids had to have weird pins that looked funny on her dress because she’s 85 pounds,” DeAmore says. “And my sister had to pay a lot extra because she’s a bigger girl.” Fernandez quickly realized that her bridesmaids not only had varying body types but also had a range of comfort levels with those bodies. “One girl was pregnant and confident and loved her body,” Fernandez says. “The other was 5-foot-6, 100 pounds, and hates hers. Allowing my girls the freedom to pick whatever dress they felt beautiful in helped us all feel amazing. We were all comfortable in our skin. Caela was able to show off her bump. Heather’s legs were covered and she had straps. Raven got to show off her long legs and amazing shoulders. And Christy was able to feel amazing regardless of being 15 years older than the other girls.” What Makes You Happy? Why all this self-love talk, anyway? Well, you’re likely preparing to shop for the most expensive outfit you’ll ever own. The dress, tux, shoes—what makes you happy? What makes you feel good and reflects your personality? What special cultural touches will mean the most to you? You’re not interested in the current fashion trends of wedding attire? Find something else! Embrace those things that make you unique, and you’ll never be too tall, short, fat, thin, light, dark, pierced, tattooed, or otherwise nontraditional to feel beautiful on your wedding day.

PHOTOGRAPHS Kate Wood Raclin


Combs also struggled to find a local wedding hairstylist within her budget who had experience with natural hair. “The frustrating part about black hair is it can literally be on point one day and a hot mess the next,” Combs says. “Thankfully, I found a woman the day before my wedding that my coworker referred me to and she took care of me.” Regardless of frustrations, surgery recovery and setbacks, Combs and her fiancé made time to remind each other of their love. Now happily married, Combs is still frustrated by the lack of representation in the wedding industry. “I feel like the Midwest really doesn’t cater to black or interracial marriage wedding ideas,” she says. “Photographers that have only white couples on their site or flyer make me feel left out. Almost like my reality wasn’t even real. Where is the reality in these pictures? Ken and Barbie were in every picture.” Combs says being kind to herself and her partner was key to keeping calm during the process. “Be unapologetically you from day one,” Combs says. “Don’t let a planner or wedding expo turn your wedding into something that is not you. Knowing that in the end you’re marrying your best friend and none of the superficial details matter is the best advice I would give. Who cares if the cake gets tipped over during transportation and frosting is everywhere or the flower girl left her basket of flowers at home (which both happened on my wedding day) ... in the end it’s about the union of two people and two souls becoming one. Just laugh and move on; your significant other will love you just as much.” Shuchi Singh got engaged in March 2017 and is planning a wedding for June 2018. She is having similar trouble finding attire to suit her Indian Hindu wedding. “Most bridal shops readily available to me are focused on Western-Christian dress types—white wedding dresses and veils,” she says. “Finding wedding dresses has been hard in the sense that there are no stores that I can just pop in to see a dress in person. Part of wanting to visit a place is to get an idea of how a dress may fall on me and my fiancé. It makes me nervous to give measurements and let someone create something custom without trying some version on prior.” In addition to typical wedding-planning stress, Singh is helping her fiancé, who has taken a leave of absence from his job to focus on his cystic fibrosis treatments and overall health. “My family, aside from my sister, have deep concerns with me marrying someone with a








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Your wedding is a huge milestone because it marks the beginning of a new season of love with your partner. Use life lessons learned early in your relationship to develop a deeper love to last a lifetime. Story by Sarah Kelly Shannon | Photos by Jerry Wang


y wedding wasn’t perfect. A last-minute switch from heels to flats meant my treasured Enzoani gown was now too long, and I had some trouble getting down the aisle. The baker forgot to make the groom’s cake we’d ordered, so a family friend snuck off to replace it with grocery store cake. The DJ played a song that was definitely on the “do not play” list. My new brother-in-law knocked a Dr Pepper into the holy water a few minutes before the service. The priest forgot my name. But my wedding day is still among my favorite memories, a beautiful day in October spent in my hometown of Lawrence when I was surrounded by my favorite people in the world. When the wedding was over, we returned to regular life. For my husband and me, our days of finding joy while everything went wrong were just beginning. Six months into my first year of marriage, well-meaning friends and relatives loved to ask us, “How’s married life treating you?” Eventually we had to tell the truth: We were miserable. But the challenges of marriage were the least of our problems. My husband, unable to find a teaching job, was working five days a week as a paraeducator in a local school, then putting in three or four days a week making pizza at a local gas station. Our cars were falling apart. My chronic health problems were flaring up. We were experiencing a historically cold

winter (wind chills were literally -40 degrees). I gained 60 pounds. We were hundreds of miles from our nearest relatives and struggling to make friends in our new city. Our first year of marriage was the worst year of our lives. But we survived, and— miraculously—our marriage survived. I’ll never feel like it was a necessary or reasonable way to build our relationship skills, and I hope it doesn’t happen to you. But you don’t go through hell without learning something. Here’s how we survived: Empathy. So much empathy. Remembering that my husband was dead on his feet (and usually covered in sweat and flour) when he arrived home from work every night made it harder to snipe at him about leaving his dirty socks in the bathroom. In turn, he refrained from criticizing me the three or four (or maybe more) times I locked my keys in my car and called him for help. Teamwork. Any time one of us had some time or energy to spare, we used it to pick up slack for the other. On days I was too depressed to get out of bed, my husband did the cooking. When he worked 12 hours on a Sunday, I did the grocery shopping and the laundry. We learned to stop trying to make everything equal in our home and instead focused on doing what was best for us as a unit—without keeping score. Celebrating. We didn’t have the vacation time or the money to visit family for Thanksgiving or Christmas, so we spent those days

together. We scraped together just enough money for turkey and pie, wrapped $5 gifts from the convenience store, and remembered that we were our own family. Little things. The day we moved in together, our brand new king-size bed arrived. It was comfortable and roomy and so stately, almost indulgent. Later, on days when we couldn’t pay our rent, or when I prayed that a quarter tank of gas would get me to work until payday, that bed felt like all we had. But it was something, a fortress to protect us from the world crumbling around us, a reminder that things used to be good—and that they would one day be good again. Shortly after our first anniversary, I was laid off from my job. With nowhere else to go, we moved back to Kansas and into my motherin-law’s basement. And things got better. Within days of moving, my husband found a great teaching job. A few months later, I found a job of my own. We adopted our first dog together, moved into our own place, then bought a new car. We finally took a honeymoon, more than three years after the wedding. Now that we’re not in survival mode, the skills we developed under duress help us navigate the everyday challenges of being married. We still practice empathy. We still think as a team. We still celebrate together. And that king-size bed we clung to like a raft in the great Shannon Hurricane of 2014? We still sleep on it, and we wake up stronger each day.

Now that we’re not in survival mode, the skills we developed under duress help us navigate the everyday challenges of being married.

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S t o r y

b y

M e a g a n

Y o u n g

to Have

and to

Hold PHOTOGRAPH April Harmon Photography

Draw inspiration from unique love stories of Kansas

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lmost four generations of the Walker family have some of their very best memories in a barn. The Walker barn near Fowler was actually built twice: once in 1938 and again in 1949 after a tornado almost destroyed it. Wesley Walker and his sons used the barn for their registered, polled Hereford operation, hay storage and a shelter in the winter as cows were calving. Kenneth Walker, Wesley’s son, was born in the house on the property in 1930, and his son Steve has many happy memories involving the family farm. “I can remember playing in the barn with my younger brother and friends before putting in many years of work on the farm,” Steve Walker says. But the Walkers never imagined the barn would be completely renovated and used for a wedding. Kayla and Logan Walker are the most recent of the family to form lasting memories when they got married in the barn

in Fowler, just south of Dodge City, on September 24, 2016. Shortly before their engagement in March 2016, Kayla and Logan set out to begin the remodeling process of the nearly 80-year-old barn. “The barn renovation was a whole family affair,” Logan says. “It took several dump-truck loads to remove all the hay from the loft.” The family removed a foot of dirt, rebuilt a staircase, and replaced the entire electrical system. “Our relationship really grew in the small town of Fowler … it was somewhere very meaningful to both of us,” Logan says. And as their relationship grew, so did the beauty of the barn. As they patched the roof and painted the fences, Kayla and Logan were building their love. The idea to get married in the barn stemmed from the certainty that Kayla and Logan would be the fourth generation to inherit the farm. Steve says it’s important to keep the farm in the

family in part because Fowler has played a role in so many of their family’s love stories. In the very barn that was a host to so many generations of memories, Kayla and Logan made their covenant before God and their families. “Our ceremony was unique in that we had the story of the generations before us told and how their legacy and prayers got us to where we are today,” Kayla says. This intimate wedding took place in the company of close friends and family with the ceremony in the barnyard and the reception in the hayloft. “We both really value our faith and family and knew we wanted our wedding day to convey that,” Kayla says. Logan’s uncle, the county judge, performed the ceremony. Everything from the floor to the ceiling was picture-perfect for the day of their wedding because they were surrounded by the love and hard work of generations.

PHOTOGRAPHS April Harmon Photography

Everything Kayla and Logan did to remodel. • • • • • • • • • • •

Replaced the stairway to the loft Filled hay chute in hay loft Removed livestock panels from lower level Power washed the interior Painted all the fences in the corrals Added doors to allow airflow Repainted exterior of the barn Planted grass in the barnyard Rebuilt the barn doors Added handmade mason jar lights Removed over a foot of dirt and replaced the floor

© Marissa Cribbs Photography

Kelly troy henningson F

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or Kelly, taking care of foster children and giving to others are easier than being taken care of herself. For twelve years she opened her home and gave every resource available to foster children, even starting her own nonprofit to help teens in the foster care system. All of her time and money were spent helping others, with no expectation of anything in return. Then she met Troy. “Dating as a foster parent was always difficult,” Kelly said. “When a prospective suitor found out, they didn’t last very long. [But] Troy was different, as it didn’t faze him.” Troy recognized and appreciated Kelly’s heartfelt generosity—and found a once-ina-lifetime way to give back to her. Before proposing to Kelly, Troy nominated her for “The Ultimate Wedding Gift,” an all-expensespaid wedding provided by the Manhattan Wedding Collective, a group made up of one vendor from each wedding industry. Lauren Heim of Lauren Heim Studios first proposed the idea for the Ultimate Wedding Gift, and her wedding-vendor colleagues were immediately supportive. The goal was to determine the most deserving Manhattan couple and deliver the ideal wedding for free. “[We wanted] to give back to a couple that genuinely sacrifices themselves for the community as well,” says Bronwyn Douglas of Kistner’s Flowers. The Collective’s decision was unanimous; Troy and Kelly were the

perfect couple to receive a day that honored their devotion to each other and to the Manhattan community. Troy collaborated with vendors to pull off a flawless proposal. “Kelly had waited her whole life to get married and never thought it was in the cards,” Troy says. “She had taken care of so many youth; finally she was being taken care of.” For months after their engagement, vendors met with Troy and Kelly to plan each detail, from flowers to photos to even picking out the rings. The Manhattan Collective shared their time and talents to create many unique touches in what would be a priceless wedding experience. The project profoundly affected many of the vendors as well. “Looking around at my fellow vendors and realizing how selflessly each one of them had given of their time and personal resources for a deserving couple in our community literally brought me to tears,” Bronwyn says. No detail was spared, and vendors pitched in extra to ensure the day was perfect. “Extra hours were given to not only shoot but to help other vendors set up and make the day perfect for Kelly and Troy,” says Wrenn Pacheco of Wrenn Bird Photography. She arrived at 7:30 a.m. to meet Bronwyn to both load and unload arrangements to the Blue Sage Barn at Prairiewood Retreat and Preserve, set up chairs in the meadow with a large

group of other vendors, and begin shooting for the day. Working directly with one another also allowed the vendors creative freedom and collaboration not found in more typical wedding planning. “It was amazing getting to work with all the top vendors in Manhattan on this day,” Wrenn says. “Usually, I get to work with or photograph one or two talents on a wedding day, but this day we all worked together.” On November 11, 2016, Kelly stepped into the reception hall at Prairiewood Retreat and Preserve for a sneak peek before the wedding. Tears filled her eyes as she looked around at all that each vendor had provided, but a flower wall in particular caught her eye. “The flower wall was planned to be a wall of gradient colors … [but] the night before the wedding I was inspired to design it based off of the flower prints that Lauren Heim had created for the invitations,” Bronwyn says. “[I] have never had the opportunity to truly surprise a bride with a flower creation that she had no idea about, and it was so thrilling to be able to channel my inner artist and create a flower work of art.” Wrenn agrees. The act of being able to give back to such a selfless, giving couple was the experience of a lifetime. “I can’t write in words how grateful we were for this great gift,” Troy says. “It was the most memorable day of our lives … the vendors are some of our favorite people in Manhattan.”

PHOTOGRAPHS Wrenn Bird Photography

Manhattan Wedding Collective


Attire: Celebrations of the Heart kansas weddings Cake: 4 Cakes Calligraphy and Stationary: Lauren Heim Floral: Kistner’s Flowers Hair and Makeup: Platinum and Company Jewelry: G Thomas Jewelers Photography: Wrenn Bird Photography Planner: Abby Wempe, Along Came Abby Reception Entertainment: Dave Lewis Entertainment Systems Travel: CARE Travel Venue: Prairiewood Retreat & Preserve Videography: Porch Light Videography

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Celebrate your love in the beautiful outdoors. Photography by Sara Rieth: Romantic Storytelling

Kansas landscapes range from intimate to epic— allowing couples to find the perfect spot for their perfect day. And while rustic is great for some couples, others look for ways to incorporate the beauty of the Kansas prairie in a more refined way. Here are some tips on ways to host an outdoor wedding without overdoing the shabby chic style.

Jan Sattler & Hannah Clark Dandelion Wine Design,Derby Trends:


• The Sparkle Factor • Watercolor • Rustic or vintage

Keep it simple. Online providers use a template, but it’s a nice touch to have something unique or custom for the couple. We cater to them and help them establish what they want and what they don’t want in invitations and signage. All invitations are different; there are no two that are similar.

The earlier you start on invitations, the better. Ideas:

A welcome sign suspended by fishing line. Use verbiage for open seating to let the guests know they are welcome anywhere. Here, we combine rustic and elegant.

& Loretta Kay

Caylee Newell Premiere Designs Jewelry,Wichita



• • • •

Chloe and Isabelle,Wichita

Vintage Florals Gold and rose gold Blush

• You can’t go wrong with gold. • Have a voice and get what you want for your day. • Consider jewelry as a gift for your bridesmaids. It’s something that will last.

Wear what makes you feel beautiful. Ideas:

Always have a backup plan and an awning on hand in case of weather.

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Money can be a challenge. Asking family to help can be complicated. Make a budget. Go with what you feel and you’ll have a stress-free day. –MONTANNA HARROD PALMER, real Kansas bride

Damen Page

Damen Page Artistry,Wichita Trends:



• Light colors • Nude lips

• Avoid smoky eye. It can wash you out. • Be sure to use waterproof mascara and eyeliner. • You want makeup that won’t run and won’t wear out.

In the summer, in Kansas, it’s hot. Be ready to have a blotter and touch ups.

Working with the bride and getting to share that special moment with her is my favorite part of the big day.

Jessica Smith Hairstylist,Wichita Trends:


• • • •

Half up, half down. Moving away from using veils. Using jewels in the hair. Flower crowns for country weddings.

Practice the hairstyle and familiarize yourself with formal event hair. Can you make it stay? It’s a long day, and you’ll need to look fresh for every second of it.

Keep the weather in mind when choosing a hairstyle.


Sara Rieth

Sara Rieth Romantic Storytelling Photography,Wichita

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• Fresh florals • Capturing actual love through candid shots

• Make sure you have a vision. Pinterest is nice, but the photos should reflect you and your style. • Think outside the box—not everyone wants the same thing. Do something that reflects your personal interests.

Be comfortable and feel beautiful! Ideas:

For outdoor weddings, make sure you have something to stand on—a stage, a platform, anything. Think about where the sun will be during the ceremony. Avoid the hottest months. Evening is nice for good lighting.

Getting engaged makes the relationship feel new. Getting married makes the relationship feel new. If you keep things fresh, you’ll always look like a new couple and hold on to that newlywed feeling. –MICHAEL FREUND, real Kansas groom

It’s not often you have everyone you love around you celebrating the whole day. So don’t stress the small stuff and enjoy it. At the end of the day, it’s your day. Not your grandparents, not your mom’s. –EMILY FREUND, real Kansas bride

Kristen Alexander

EnvisionYour Dream Event Planning,Wichita


• Consider the time of year for the weather, but also for the best time of day to take photos. • Consider your shoes. If it rains the night before, it could be muddy and your heels would sink. Consider including a solid walkway to avoid this.

Why hire a wedding planner? Having a wedding planner alleviates stress for everyone—the bride, the groom, their families, and even wedding vendors. A wedding planner will coordinate details both large and small so that everyone else can enjoy the day.

Get the Look ATTIRE Dress Gallery CAKE Wichita Cake Creations COORDINATION Kristen Alexander, Envision Your Dream Event Planning FLORAL Flower Factory HAIR Jessica Smith INVITATIONS AND CALLIGRAPHY Dandelion Wine Design JEWELRY Premiere Designs and Loretta Kay’s Chloe and Isabelle MAKEUP Damon Page Artistry RENTALS Rustic Timbers PHOTOGRAPHY Sara Rieth Romantic Storytelling Photography

Bold & Beautiful

flint hills Photography by Nicolette Sessin

The big Kansas sky and open prairie demand a wedding as bold as the features themselves. Make a statement with a strong color palette and vibrant details—something as bold as your love.


Consider a long, full, flowing look. Incorporate fresh flowers or crystal elements for some color or sparkle.

Makeup Striking lip color on the bride or bridal party can add drama and elegance.

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Intricate beading and delicate lace bring romance and a Victorian feel to your aesthetic. Incorporate deep slits in bridesmaid outfits for a playful and trendy take on long dresses.

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Bride’s gown designed Casablanca Bridal, bridesmaid dresses by Allure Bridesmaids, tuxes by Jim’s Formal Wear.

Tablescape Candles can add softer lighting and more dramatic shadows as the evening progresses. Pull in mixed metals with softer fabrics and striking textures to leave a lasting impression on your guests.


Try something different with a floral hoop or cufflet instead of a bouquet. You can still use those flowers to decorate at your reception by hanging the hoops. Cufflets keep hands free and can be a more delicate way to incorporate flowers.

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Flint Hills photoshoot made possible by: Hair: Cynthia Naughtin Makeup: Evelyn Johnson Dress: Brooklyn & Co. Floral: Kistner’s Flowers Setting: Along Came Abby Venue: Lazy T Ranch Photographer: Nicolette Sessin


Lazy T Ranch has several vistas, native prairie meadows and event venues for your day!

MANHATTAN, KS | lazytranchadventures.com | 785-844-0274

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Photography by Reeves Photo Co. Dresses provided by Calamity Jane’s and J.Lynn Bridal


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Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and colors. You are unique and deserve the chance to express yourself on your wedding day. Pick a dress that speaks to who you are and makes you feel gorgeous inside and out.

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LOOKS PROVIDED BY DRESSES provided by J.Lynn Bridal & Calamity Jane’s CUSTOM DRESS DESIGNS by Calamity Jane’s JEWELRY provided by J.Lynn Bridal, Featherspring Arts, and Spell of the Meadow FLOWERS by Bittersweet Floral and Design and Owens Flower Shop

Wilkerson Sobanek The Wedding Register is a collection of wedding day stories, both beautiful and unique—just like the two people who fell in love.

Wilkerson Sobanek Jamie Wilkerson and Ronnie Sobanek were united in marriage on Sept. 15, 2017, at 6 p.m. at Stone Hill Barn in Augusta. Jamie wore a gown and jewelry from Dress Gallery in Wichita. Dress Gallery also provided the groom’s outfit, as well as dresses for the bridesmaids. Stormi Potucek with Tory Brooke Salon provided hair and makeup. Bridal bouquets and additional floral elements were designed by Primarily Plants and Floral in Oxford, Kansas. Courtney Potucek with Owl That Glitters decorated the event. Ronnie walked Jamie’s mother, his sister and his stepmother down the aisle. His father followed behind. The bridesmaids and groomsmen then walked down the aisle to the song, “Find Out Who Your Friends Are” by Tracy Lawrence. Groomsmen included Kyle Troxler, Casey Reed, Connor McCune, Koal Gibson, Colton Eck, John Brenner and John Nicholas. Bridesmaids included Moly Mackinnon, Lauren Weave, Leanna Brenner, Melissa Boggs, Katelyn Gooch and Maddie Howe. The ring bearer and flower girl shortly followed the bridal party. The bride and groom waited until the ceremony to see each other for the first time for a dramatic entrance. The bride walked down the aisle to the song “Mean to Me” by Brett Eldredge. The song was important to the couple as it seemed to be playing on the radio every time they got in the car while they were dating. As the officiant was reciting the couple’s vows and they were repeating after him, the couple felt it was truly a surreal moment, as though they were the only two people in the whole building. The couple gave their whole attention on making their commitment to their very best friend. While the wedding party, bride and groom were taking pictures with Josie England Photography, guests were invited to enjoy a catered dinner courtesy of Cracker Barrel. The meal included ham steaks, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, salad, green beans and rolls. After photographs, the couple and their bridal party were announced to their guests. They enjoyed their meal and speeches. The couple shared a vanilla cake, as well as chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, provided by Gina Hoffman. Guests enjoyed watching a few couples’ games and first dances. Lawrence DJ Services provided entertainment throughout the evening. At the end of the evening, guests departed with a koozie that said “Having a Brew for the Sobanek’s Saying I Do,” created by The Rustic Buckle. kansas weddings regi ster

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Berry Hernandez

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Charlotte Berry and Daniel Hernandez were married at five o’clock on September 9, 2017, at Wesley Covenant Church in Leawood. The ceremony was officiated by Pastor Cheryl Jefferson Bell. The bride is the daughter of Diana Dodge and Richard Berry of Overland Park. The groom is the son of Yolanda and Rogelio Hernandez of Hugoton. The bride was accompanied by Sophie Dodge, her cousin and maid of honor; and Claire Dodge, her cousin and bridesmaid. The groom was supported by Christopher Hernandez, his brother and best man; and Luntea Her, the groom’s best friend and groomsman. It was a beautiful service that combined traditions from both families. The pastor performed a lasso and coin ceremony, which is a Mexican tradition, in honor of the groom’s family. The pastor also facilitated a ring exchange, which is tradition for the bride’s family. It was the perfect union of all traditions and the couple’s vision for the ceremony. Barbara Eichenberger performed the musical selections for the service. Alexa Escalera, the cousin of the groom, was the flower girl. Floral arrangements were created by Craig Sole Floral Designs in Overland Park. The bride wore a Madison James dress from Mia’s Bridal in Olathe, and her hair was styled by Aveda Salon. The groom and his attendants wore tuxedoes from Men’s Wearhouse. David’s Bridal provided the bridesmaids’ dresses. The reception began at 5:45 p.m. at Pinstripes in Overland Park, where guests mingled at the bar and were able to play a few rounds of bowling or bocce while waiting for the new couple’s arrival. Dinner was served around 7 p.m., and then the party began. The five-course meal was served family style and included salad, grilled asparagus and garlic mashed potatoes, meat lasagna and fettuccini Alfredo, and maple-glazed salmon and peppercorn crusted pork loin. Blue Thistle Cakes provided a lemon cake with lemon zest buttercream and a chocolate cake with white chocolate buttercream. After the meal, guests were able to bowl, play bocce or “get down” on the dance floor, thanks to the musical stylings of LC3 Entertainment. All the festivities were fun and easygoing, and the entire night was filled with amazing memories. At the end of the night, the two families gathered around the fire pit and shared stories, sang, laughed and became one complete family. Guests were given handmade treat boxes filled with the bride and groom’s favorite candies. Josie Pix, a Kansas City-based photographer, documented the event. Celebrating their union after eight years together Daniel and Charlotte had a wedding that was a beautiful tribute to their love. The couple is excited to see what the future brings them. kansas weddings regi st er

Mathis Elliot Erin Mathis and Tom Elliot were united in love on May 6, 2017, at 6 o’clock at Prairiewood Retreat and Reserve in Manhattan. The bride is the daughter of Jeff and LeAnn Mathis of Manhattan. The groom is the son of Bill and Jan Elliott of Manhattan. Erin’s maid of honor was her best friend, Kirsten Eyestone. The bride was also accompanied by Molly Sharett, sister; Megan Mathis, sister; Liz Kennedy, best friend; Nina Raimo, best friend; and Sara Scofield, best friend. Tom’s best man was his best friend, Jake Thiere. The groom was also accompanied by close friends Arte Loub, Bubba Schoenfeld, Bryant Petty, Tyler Thornton, and Kyle Harman. EmmaKate Sharrett, niece of the bride, served as the flower girl and was escorted by Mitch Elliott, cousin of the bride. Luke Johnson escorted the mother of the bride. Casey Elliot, cousin of the bride, officiated the service. The bride and groom enjoyed the beautiful venue where they were allowed to be themselves and make the day their own with the help of the Prairiewood staff, the wedding party, family and friends, and wedding planner Abby Wempe with Along Came Abby. Abby also designed the couple’s invitations. The bride wore a Watters dress from J.Lynn Bridal in Lawrence, with jewelry from Kendra Scott and shoes by I.N.C. Her bridesmaids wore dresses from Bella Bridesmaids in Leawood. To honor her twin sister, Katie, who passed away in June 2013, Erin and her family wanted to incorporate Katie’s memory into the wedding in some way. Tom surprised his bride by having a ladybug sewn into Erin’s dress and veil—a nod to Katie’s childhood nickname Kate Bug. Makeup was provided by Evelyn Johnson with The Beauty Project by Ev. Hairstyles were provided by Jill Smith with The Glam Room + Beauty Bar in Kansas City. The groom wore a Ted Baker tuxedo from Dillard’s. Gorgeous floral arrangements were created by Kistner’s Flowers in Manhattan. The reception was hosted at Blue Sage Barn at Prairiewood Retreat and Reserve. Guests enjoyed a home-style dinner of salad, rolls, roast beef, rosemary-brined rotisserie chicken, mashed potatoes and havarti green beans with sweet red peppers and toasted almonds, all made by Wahoo Fire and Ice. Bartenders Bradley Denton and Ashlyn Johnson served custom brews courtesy of Little Apple Brewery. Guests had the choice between a Blueberry Radler and the Bourbon Pecan Brown Ale. The cake was created by 4 Cakes in a classic wedding cake flavor and style. The groom’s cake was a rum cake. Reeves Photo Co. documented the day, accompanied by second shooter Meagan Young. Mikey Needleman Band provided music and entertainment throughout the evening. kansas weddings regi ster

77 kansas weddings

Vargas Vow Renewal

78 kansas weddings

After 10 years of wedded bliss, Pastors Isaac and Willfrancys Vargas renewed their vows with a countrywedding themed ceremony on September 30, 2017, at Kingdom Encounter Worship Center in Topeka. Initially married at the courthouse, Francys was overjoyed to have the wedding Isaac had long promised her in their family’s place of worship. As the candlelit ceremony commenced, the couple was surrounded by close friends and relatives, each playing a vital role in the wedding. Mutual friend and spiritual son of the Vargases, Apostle TaZaras Isom performed the ceremony, which was planned and photographed by family friend, Brittany JoRae’ of Freedom Fotografix. Additionally, each of the Vargases’ children had a distinct part to play in their parents’ big day. Younger daughter Jada was a bridesmaid along with elder daughter Iesha. Elder son Daniel was his father’s groomsman, and younger son Isaac Jr. stepped out as ring bearer. The unique ceremony was composed of romantic gestures, family traditions and special guest appearances. As a part of the service, family friend and associate Pastor Romae Isom lit a special candle to honor the bride’s late mother. Francys also serenaded her groom during the ceremony with a Spanish love song. As a very special punctuation to the ceremony, the Vargases were treated to a surprise visit from their spiritual father in the ministry, Pastor Victor Concepcion, and his co-pastor, Benji Concepcion, from Defenders Faith Center in Lake Station, Indiana. The two pastors performed a special blessing for the vow renewal. The bride’s attire was also detailed by unique and loving touches. In addition to designing the flowers for the event, close family friend Sarah Templeton created the bride’s elegant train. Sarah also served the couple their favorite brownie as a cake alternative and crafted pearled, laced cupcakes for guests. Francys herself upcycled her Ann Taylor ceremony shoes as well as hand crafted the couple’s ring pillow their son carried down the aisle. A memorable moment between the ceremony and reception happened when Apostle Isom became a one-man show while the bridal party stepped away for photos. Many laughs were had as he sang karaoke and danced to entertain the guests. After a short reception at Kingdom Encounter Worship Center, which included a sparkling cider toast, the wedding party joined the couple for dinner at Kiku’s Japanese Steakhouse. kansas weddings regi st er

Smylie Kueffer Hannah Smylie and Caj Kueffer were united in marriage a 4 o’clock on September 30, 2017, at Rev City Church in Lawrence. Hannah is the daughter of Darren and Ranee Smylie of Sedan. Caj is the son of Steve and Pam Kueffer of California, Missouri. The traditional Christian ceremony was officiated by Pastor Eli Brooks. The couple wrote their own vows. Caj sang a song to Hannah as she walked down the aisle. She was given the lyrics earlier that day, but it was the first time he played the song in front of her. Hannah looked stunning in her wedding dress from The Dress Gallery in Wichita. She wore her hair half up and bangs falling down the side of her face, a style provided by the bride’s cousin Hillary Smylie. As part of the ceremony, the couple braided three strands of rope together, the two outside brown and the middle white, to symbolize Christ being in the center of the relationship, inspired by Ecclesiastes 4:12. Hannah was accompanied by Kaitlin McDonough, maid of honor and friend; Kelsey Richardson, maid of honor and friend; Sarah Kueffer, bridesmaid and sister-in-law of the groom; Claire Kueffer, bridesmaid and sister of the groom; Chloe Kueffer, bridesmaid and sister of the groom; and Morgan Kueffer, bridesmaid and sister-in-law of the groom. Caj was accompanied by Chet Kueffer, groomsman and brother; Dawson Smylie, groomsman and brother of the bride; Clint Kueffer, groomsman and brother. After the ceremony, the couple and guests enjoyed fellowship at the outdoor reception. Hannah’s father prepared a grilled chicken meal, and the weather could not have been any more perfect. Mass Street Soda provided a variety of drinks including cream soda and root beer. Hannah made a beautiful wedding cake, and the couple had a few desserts catered by Dillon’s. After sunset, Hannah and Caj danced on the church basketball court, which had been decorated with streaming outdoor lights set up by Hannah’s family. Meagan Young of M.Young Photography captured the spirit of the event. Morgan Steward served as the videographer. Hannah and Caj also placed disposable cameras on each table so guests could contribute in capturing moments of the evening. They also had a photo booth and Polaroid picture booth. The couple met at Rev City Church in Lawrence in January 2017. Hannah worked up the courage to talk to Caj, who was on the church worship team. In April, the two started dating. Just shy of three months together, Caj and Hannah were engaged. Their marriage has allowed them to continue to grow their relationship with God. kansas weddings regi ster

79 kansas weddings

Wise Eltschinger

80 kansas weddings

With God as their focus, London Kay Pearl Wise and Paul Leonard Eltschinger were united in marriage on Saturday, May 27, 2017, at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Their covenant before God, their parents, family and friends was made at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lawrence, officiated by Pastor Cal Kapals. London is the daughter of Rick and Jackie Wise of Lenexa. Paul is the son of Mike and Debby Eltschinger of Lawrence. Escorted to the altar by her father and given in marriage by her parents, London wore a Lazaro ball gown in ivory with ombre blush hues at the bottom. The bodice was adorned with Swarovski crystals. London carried her prayer bouquet, designed and made by her sister, Grey Wise, using broaches from the women in the bride and groom’s families. London was attended by her sister, Grey Wise, as her maid of honor, and nine of her closest family and friends. She had a junior bridesmaid, flower girl, and four proclaimers. Grey wore a soft pink gown by John Paul Ataker, and the bridesmaids wore champagne and cherry blossom gowns by Hayley Paige. Morgan James served as Paul’s best man. Paul’s closest friends served as nine groomsmen and four ushers. Jack Diediker served as the ring bearer for the couple. The couple was surprised during their recessional from the altar by professional bagpipers, who lead them down the aisle as husband and wife. Following the ceremony, their 300 guests were welcomed at Abe & Jake’s Landing for cocktail hour. Dinner was served by Brian Ingalls

of Brancatos, and everyone danced the night away along the Kansas River. Guests were greeted with music, a video montage of the bride and groom and a photo booth full of fun. A “Sweets and Kisses from the Mr. & Mrs.” candy bar treated all the guests throughout the evening. The reception space was decorated in a woodland elegance theme, with trees and fairy lights as well as willow and birch branches adorned with crystals and candle lights. The tables were decorated with a variety of lavish white, blush and blue floral and greenery, designed by family friend Anne Wille of Sweet Annie’s. Each table was uniquely set with antique lanterns, vases, cedar planks and custom linens. The couple made their grand entrance, taking the dance floor for their first official dance. Guests were welcomed by the bride’s father, and the blessing was given by Pastor Kapals. Toasts were given by both fathers, as well as the maid of honor and best man. The couple cut their five-tier buttercream creation designed and created by Kay Benjamin of Taste of Cakes KC. The bride surprised the groom with a scuba-themed groom’s cake. The groom surprised the bride by performing a song he had written for her to commemorate their journey as well as their future. Not a dry eye could be found. Their day will be remembered forever because of the artistry of Scott Reynolds, a photojournalist who captured the entire wedding weekend. Cinematography was provided by Complete We Do Kansas. The bride’s mother and sister designed the wedding and reception.

kansas weddings regi st er

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kansas weddings regi ster

Voorhees Miller

82 kansas weddings

Allison Marie Voorhees and Remington James Miller were married at two in the afternoon on June 3, 2017, at St. John the Evangelist in Lawrence. Officiating was Fr. Barnabas. The bride is the daughter of Jim and Amy Voorhees of Shawnee. The groom is the son of Brad and Cathy Miller of Claflin. The ceremony took place in a church just off the University of Kansas campus where Remington and Allison met and fell in love. In a completely full church, guests admired the altar set with two large arrangements of white hydrangeas accented with fragrant garden roses in shades of pink. Escorted by her father and given away in marriage by her parents, the bride wore a stunning Emily Hart lace mermaid gown. Her bouquet was full of garden roses and calla lilies adorned with the bride’s rosary and bound with light ivory ribbon. The bride was attended by her maid of honor and sister, Courtney Voorhees, and bridesmaids Ashley Dietz, Kiley Bauer, Laura Miller, Bailee Miller, Baylee Clifton, Sarah Voorhees, Julia Merlo, Kaitlyn Benjamin, Bri Hanson, Erin Elmore, Chelsea Zillner, and Kelsey Strube. The bridesmaids wore floor length gray cross shoulder dresses and held bouquets of garden roses and hydrangeas. Braden and Bryce Miller, brothers of the groom, served as the best men. Tom Voorhees, Michael Latinis, Trent Musgrove, Benn Kirmer, Karl Miller, Matthew Morrison, Will Kerdolf and Tanner Strube served as the groomsmen. Following the ceremony guests traveled a couple blocks to The Oread Hotel where they were invited to the rooftop of the hotel. Guests enjoyed drinks and appetizers with a full view of the KU’s campus. Immediately following cocktail hour, the guests were invited downstairs to the Hancock Ballroom for dinner, drinks and dancing. The venue stunned the guests with each table set with various floral arrangements, which were designed by Jennifer’s Flowers and Events of Lenexa. The bride and groom cut their cake and sipped champagne out of personalized Jayhawk champagne glasses. The maid of honor, best men, and father of the bride gave toasts while the guests enjoyed cake from It’s a Sweet Treat Day Bakery of Tonganoxie. Once guests finished eating, the party began with the traditional Grand March, which brought everyone to the dance floor to enjoy entertainment by the band KC Flo. The couple’s special day was captured by cinematographers Kashmir Wedding Films and photographer Tracy Routh. Kimmy Klipsch of Kate & Company coordinated the ceremony and reception. For their honeymoon, the bride and groom traveled to the French Polynesian where they spent a ten wonderful days at The Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and The St. Regis Resort in Bora Bora. kansas weddings regi st er

Webster Johnson Tahnya was uncertain love would find her after she gave birth at the age of 14. But very soon, she would set her eyes on the man who would love her forever. “DJ and I met before I had my daughter but didn’t date until a year or so after her birth. Even though we were young, he showed me that he’d love me no matter where I was in life.” Topeka natives Tahnya Ann Webster and Dennis “DJ” Johnson were wed Sunday, August 6, 2017. With a weekend excursion planned to Manhattan, Kansas, the wedding games began August 5, with a day of pampering and makeovers. Topeka’s Nail World and MAC Cosmetics set the stage for relaxation. “Misty and Antonio did such a wonderful job with us! I couldn’t have been happier with my makeup! And no one touches my nails but Zoey at Nail World!” With Sunday approaching, the bridal party hit the road for a night of fun in Manhattan’s Aggieville—a downtown strip of restaurants and lounges—located a short drive from the wedding venue. Though the skies were cloudy, downtown Manhattan looked beautiful with hanging purple flowers lining the streets of the college town. Upon entering the more than 100-year-old Wareham Opera House, guests were transported into an age-old romance thanks to the venue’s dark walls, antique wooden tables and an exquisite foyer chandelier surrounded by modern linear lighting. Rounding the theater-style concession stand, attendees were ushered into a prestigious grand ballroom with high ceilings, wide walls and chic tables and chairs. Tahnya hand crafted her silverstoned chargers and designed her own purple, lavender and blue floral arrangements. Guests were escorted to their seats and the 2 o’clock ceremony began. The altar, centered on the theatrical stage, was set between silver shrouded branches in large platinum vases, atop a short staircase. The bridal party walked down the aisle to Nathan Sykes’, “Over and Over Again.” You felt the romance in the air and saw peace in DJ’s eyes as he waited for his bride. Then, with lights turned low as John Legend’s “You and I” began to play, Tahnya, escorted by her father, paused at the entry, illuminated by the glow of a singular stage light, which followed her down the altar. Reflecting the couple’s originality, the ceremony detailed personally scripted vows, a sand unification ceremony and a special surprise from DJ to his new daughter. And just after jumping the broom, Tahnya and DJ became one forever more! While guests enjoyed delicacies by Nanny’s Soulfood, the bridal party followed photographer Brittany JoRae’ of Freedom Fotografix, outside for photos in the nearby Carnegie Library square, beginning with photos of Tahnya in her custom self-designed gown. After the cake and guests were gone, the romance lingered and carried Tahnya and DJ to their honeymoon in the Bahamas. “My wedding was the best day of my life, from beginning to end!” kansas weddings regi ster

83 kansas weddings

Soto Webster

84 kansas weddings

Lydia Soto and Kevin Webster were united in marriage at 5:30 p.m. on September 15, 2017, at the Heritage Center at Mahaffie in Olathe. Shealyn Holland served as Lydia’s maid of honor. Lydia’s bridesmaids included Melisa Gulotta, Laura Guenther, and Jacque George. Wes Akin served as Kevin’s best man. Kyle Webster, Jesse Gulotta, and Andrew Guenther were groomsmen for the event. The bride’s father is Terry Palmer, of Overland Park, and the groom’s parents are Kathey and Bob Webster, also of Overland Park. The bride wore a beaded Venice lace trumpetstyle gown from David’s Bridal. She also carried a family heirloom handkerchief, which had been carried by Kevin’s mother, grandmother and several aunts and cousins at their weddings. The men wore tweed vests with plaid shirts from Men’s Wearhouse, along with dark blue jeans from Levi and cowboy boots. Each of the bridesmaids wore a unique lace dress. The bride gave each of her attendants rose gold earrings and a rose gold bracelet. Paige Dains provided makeup, and Bobbi Kay Youngman at BluSky Salon in Leawood provided hairstyles. Molly Witker officiated the ceremony. She served as the couple’s pre-marital counselor and put a lot of personal touches into the ceremony to create meaningful and intimate moments. DJ Jolly provided music throughout the ceremony and reception. The couple wrote their own vows, and they also asked their families and friends to promise to support them in upholding their vows.

The reception began with a very special blessing given by Kevin’s uncle, Bruce Keplinger. Everything was special to the couple, the speeches given by their family and friends, the flowers provided by the bride’s cousin-in-law Hannah Heinz, the decorations, the smiles and the tears. The couple’s first dance and the father-daughter dance were particularly meaningful. Everyone was in tears as Bonnie J. Barbey’s song “A Mother’s Prayer” accompanied the groom and his mom. Lydia and her father joined Kevin and Kathey on the dance floor as the lyrics describe the little boy’s “busy hands at play” while “somewhere other tiny hands that will join with his one day.” Lydia and Kevin united on the dance floor as the song concluded. Tonya with Expressions Exposed Photography documented the day. Fireside BBQ from Overland Park catered the meal for the reception. Red velvet and carrot cake, made by Morgan Holy with KC Creations, were served for dessert. Guests enjoyed signature drinks, which included beer and a cocktail of sweet tea vodka and lemonade. Decorated in rustic elegance, each table included family vintage china plates, books, doilies, pearls, teacups and silver pitchers. The groom’s father made wooden slabs for each table, as well as a backdrop for the head table carved with a “W” for Webster. Sugar bowls were filled with hydrangeas, roses and eucalyptus. Guests were encouraged to use the hashtag #HappilyEverWebster to document the day.

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85 kansas weddings

kansas weddings regi ster

Snyder Smith

86 kansas weddings

Ragan Snyder and Greg Smith of Wichita shared an intimate wedding ceremony in their backyard on September 2, 2017. They were accompanied by their children. The bride was attended by Adelynn Snyder, daughter of the bride, and Heath Snyder, son of the bride. The groom was accompanied by Madeleine Smith, daughter of the groom, and Nathan Smith, son of the groom. Flower girls were Hadleigh Snyder, daughter of the bride, and Samera Overstreet, niece of the bride. The ringbearer was Baer Overstreet, nephew of the bride. The outdoor morning ceremony was a nondenominational service officiated by Dorlan Bales and included a few Quaker elements. Madeleine Smith offered words as part of the service. Guests were asked to put their cell phones away for an unplugged experience. After the ceremony, guests were invited to stay and enjoy brunch, complete with a waffle bar from Mama D’z catering and a mimosa bar. The ICT string trio provided entertainment, and guests enjoyed lawn games, including jenga and croquet. As this was the second wedding for both the bride and the groom, they kept both the wedding and reception small but elegant. It was especially important for them to include all of their children on the special day, so all five played a role. Ryan Tindle Photography documented the day. Wichita Cake Creations provided a sour cream amaretto cake. Johnna Burnell designed the warm fall floral arrangements as well as the programs. The groom wore a suit from Dillard’s, while the bride wore a Mori Lee dress from Dress Gallery in Wichita. Burnell’s Creative Gold provided jewelry, and Class Act Beauty Makeup by Cara Sizemore did makeup. kansas weddings regi st er

Dorsey Ausherman Dana Dorsey and Taylor Ausherman were married on October 14, 2017, at 4:30 p.m. at Ausherman Farm in Baldwin City. The bride is the daughter of Ron and Kathy Dorsey of Wellsville. The groom is the son of Bruce and Shelley Ausherman of Baldwin City. The ceremony was truly a family affair. The couple did not have a traditional bridal party. Rather, the bride was attended by her son, Keldon, and the groom was attended by his son, Kayden. The groom’s father provided music for the service, and the groom’s mother provided wedding planning and coordination for the day. The bride wore a Maggie Sotero dress from Mia’s Bridal in Olathe. Amy Young, cousin of the bride, provided makeup. The groom wore a tuxedo from Jim’s Formal Wear. Floral was provided by the Cranberry Market in Baldwin City. Meagan with M.Young Photography documented the event. There wasn’t a single post in the barn without lights. Every corner was glowing as a close friends and family gathered in the barn. Tears fell down the bride’s face as she walked toward the groom. Outside, a deluge of rain fell just seconds after the bride stepped into the safety of the barn. And the storm hit even harder as the officiant, Scott Swanson, started speaking. Nobody could hear a thing, but guests all smiled and nodded because they could feel the love in the room. The couple took turns pouring blue and orange sand into a picture frame, symbolizing forever combining the couple’s two lives. After the breathtaking ceremony, the rain let up and a double rainbow appeared in the sky above the barn. Guests were invited to enjoy a barbecue meal courtesy of Moose’s Backwoods BBQ in Baldwin City. Michelle Ferguson with Cakes by Michelle created a vanilla swirl cake and vanilla cupcakes with peanut butter frosting for dessert. Everyone’s feet were wet from the storm. Hems of jeans and dress pants were ombre with rain water, mud, and good times as guests danced away the evening. kansas weddings regi ster

87 kansas weddings

McClain Engle

88 kansas weddings

Megan Elizabeth McClain and Kurt Alexander Engle were married before God and their families on May 20, 2017, at 2:30 p.m. at St. Isidore’s Catholic Church in Manhattan. The bride is the daughter of Mark and Barbara McClain of Lakin. The groom is the son of Alan and Laine Engle of Belleville. Megan was accompanied by Krystal Hay, her maid of honor and friend, and Jackie Cottone, bridesmaid and friend. Kurt was accompanied by Scott Engle, his best man and brother, and Eric Walker, groomsman and friend. The ceremony was officiated by Father Mike Demkovich, who delivered a full Catholic mass and a beautiful, personal homily. The couple sat at the altar with the ability to look out over their guests for the service. Pianist Frank Schmeidler and soloist Ralph Diaz shared songs that each had a special meaning to the couple. The bride is Catholic and the groom is Methodist, so they chose to give each other a blessing at the time of communion. They also offered a blessing for each of their guests to include everyone. The bride wore a champagne Madison James dress designed by Allure from Bridal Isle in Loomis, Nebraska. Her antique drop diamond earrings and pearl bracelet complemented her navy satin Badgley Mischka shoes. Her bridesmaids wore marine blue dresses by Bill Levkoff. Makeup was provided by Megan Deters of Platinum and Company Beauty Bar in Manhattan. The groom wore a Mantoni suit from Borck Brothers in Manhattan. Kistner’s Flowers in Manhattan provided the bouquets and floral arrangements for the evening. Tara Grubb of All About You Event Planning and Rentals coordinated the day. After the ceremony, the bride and groom drove the bride’s father’s Corvette to the K-State Alumni Center for an evening of light snacks provided by Coco Bolos in Manhattan and dancing with the help of family friend and DJ Rick Stanley of Rick Stanley Entertainment. The cake was designed by 4 Cakes. Jake and Sarah Reeves of Reeves Photo Co. documented the day through photography, while Chris Barker of Porch Light Video produced a video of the wedding and the couple’s love for one another. As part of the reception, the couple featured a memory table, which displayed pictures of all the wedding photos of their families dating back to their great-great grandparents. Instead of a bouquet toss, the couple opted for an anniversary dance and gave the toss bouquet to the couple married the longest, which happened to be the bride’s grandparents. The couple’s relationship was founded on love, respect, and faith, and they knew very early on what they had found in each other. They strive to remind each other of that each and every day. kansas weddings regi st er

Conner Kaufman Brenna Conner and Christian Kaufman were united in marriage on May 27, 2017, at 6 o’clock at the Clay Center United Methodist Church-Family Life Center in Clay Center. Christian had received a marriage blessing from Brenna’s parents in the summer of 2015, but was preparing to study abroad in Orvieto, Italy. He flew out of the country, leaving the ring in the care of his parents. Christian’s mother worked with Brenna’s parents to fund a trip for Brenna to visit Christian in Italy. Christian had his mother place the ring, along with a few other items, in a container as a “care package” for “him.” He spent the next weeks planning the proposal. Brenna arrived in Italy with the hidden ring, which she handed off to Christian. He proposed overlooking a sweeping view of the surrounding valley. The bride is the daughter of Brad and Marabeth Conner of Clay Center. The groom is the son of Jason and Jane Kaufman of Wichita. The bride was accompanied by Payton Conner, maid of honor and sister of the bride, and Carolyn Kaufman, bridesmaid and sister of the groom. The groom was accompanied by David Kaufman, best man and brother of the groom; Daniel Kaufman, groomsman and brother of the groom; and Peter Kaufman, groomsman and brother of the groom. The bride spent the year prior to the wedding designing and making her wedding dress, which included separate top and skirt, and a romantic cape. The ceremony was officiated by Reverend Justin Jamis, who served as the couple’s campus minister with K-State Wesley during their time in college and watched their love grow. Tiffany Wertenberger played piano throughout, and the bride’s grandfather Herb Mugler shared Scripture passages. During the ceremony, the pastors who had influenced Brenna and Christian came forward and laid hands upon the couple during the commissioning prayer while the congregation participated in a community candle lighting, symbolizing the spiritual unity and link to the entire church body. The ceremony’s focus was to join the couple’s families as well as their church families. After the ceremony, guests joined the couple at Life’s Finer Moments in Clay Center for the reception. Brenna and Christian shared their first dance as husband and wife outside during the sunset as friends and family watched from the balcony. Ray’s Apple Market catered hors d’oeuvres for the event. The bride’s aunt Jill Mugler made the white cake with butter cream icing. The bride’s sister Payton designed and provided floral arrangements. The casual atmosphere allowed guests and their kids to feel free to walk around and enjoy the evening. Matthew McMunn, the bride’s cousin, set the lively tone of the reception by serving as the DJ for the night. The couple was sent off at the end of the evening with a path of sparklers—a magical end to a wonderful day. kansas weddings regi ster

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Floyd Lila Kemph Floyd and Lila Kemph of Newton celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in March 2017. The couple were wed on March 4, 1967, among dear friends and family at the Salem United Methodist Church in Newton. They held their reception in the church basement. Lila remembers it as a very special day. Lila and her family moved to Kansas from Iowa the day after she graduated high school. She didn’t know many people in town, so she spent a lot of her time riding rented motorcycles around town. Floyd worked for a full-service filling station in town. Lila would be sure to go there after her rides to fill up and Floyd would help her. Floyd finally gathered the courage to ask her out on a date, and after one month of dating, the couple were engaged. Their wedding was held six months later. Floyd and Lila made their lifelong home in Newton, where they raised two daughters, Christy and Shelly. They both have recently retired, but remain very busy traveling and volunteering. The couple celebrated their milestone by enjoying dinner at YaYa’s Euro Bistro Restaurant in Wichita. They shared the meal with their children and their spouses, Dennis and Christy Stoots, and Todd and Shelly Bryant, along with four grandchildren, Evan, Grayson, Ethen and Elizabeth. Lila says the key to a long-lasting marriage is to have patience with one another and to love each other no matter what. kansas weddings regi ster

91 kansas weddings

Rottinghaus Siblings

92 kansas weddings

Four of the Rottinghaus siblings celebrated their 50th wedding anniversaries in 2017. Francis and Judy (Mueting) Rottinghaus were married June 3, 1967, followed closely by James B. and Elizabeth Rottinghaus, who were married July 8, 1967. Robert Rottinghaus and Diana Ronnebaum were married August 19, 1967, and on November 25, 1967 Robert Runnebaum wed Rosemary Rottinghaus. James and Elizabeth described the year as interesting, exciting and busy, with lots of gatherings and bridal showers. Francis and Judy were married first. Francis had to select the date to accommodate his work. Two of couples (Francis and Judy, then Robert and Diana) were married at Sts. Peter & Paul Church in Seneca, Kansas. Robert and Rosemary were wed at St. Bede’s Church in Kelly, Kansas. James and Elizabeth were married at Sacred Heart Church in Baileyville, Kansas. Each couple celebrated their anniversaries individually, but they were able to meet together at the church in Kelly to share family time together. Judy and Francis celebrated their anniversary on June 4, 2017, with all of their children and grandchildren. The family participated in the Mass ceremony, and the couple was fortunate to have the entire wedding party—three bridesmaids, three groomsmen and the flower girl—in attendance for the 50th celebration. The family also rented a 1968 Mercury Monterey, similar to the one the couple had when they married, to drive them from the church to the Knights of Columbus, where they shared a meal with friends and family. James and Elizabeth celebrated on July 8, 2017, with children and grandchildren attending Saturday Mass at Church of the Ascension, in Overland Park, Kansas. Dinner with family followed. A family vacation to the Berkshires and New York City followed two weeks later. Robert and Diana celebrated their 50th anniversary with a family trip to Hawaii in June 2017. They cruised the islands for six days and spent five days on the north shore in Oahu. The couple says the best part of the trip was having their children and grandchildren with them for two weeks making wonderful memories. Their children made the trip extra special with a photographer on the beach for family pictures and wine bottles with the couple’s wedding picture on them served at dinner. They also had their wedding picture posted on their cabin door of the cruise ship. Robert and Rosemary had a quiet celebration surrounded by their children and grandchildren. The four couples celebrating their 50th in 2017 became the eighth among the Rottinghaus siblings (there are 12 total) to reach the 50th milestone. Two of the other siblings will be celebrating their 64th and 60th anniversaries in 2018. kansas weddings regi st er

John Berniece Myers 94 kansas weddings

John and Berniece Myers celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on September 9, 2017, in the company of their children. The family enjoyed a meal and cake, then took photos. The couple were married on September 8, 1947, at Assumption Church in Topeka, Kansas. They did not have a reception, but did enjoy dinner with friends Jack and Mary Perry. After dinner, their friends took them to the airport to catch a flight to Colorado for their honeymoon. When John and Berniece were dating, they loved to go dancing, especially to the big bands in the ’40s. The music and memories remain special to them today. John and Berniece are of the lucky few who can say they have spent a lifetime loving someone. Their lives revolve around one another. When one is sick and has to go to the hospital even for a short time, the other one is lost. Their four children are Nancy (married to Bob), Lois, Tom (married to Kay), and John (married to Jeanne). The Myerses have 9 grandkids, 3 step-grandkids and 9 great-grandkids (with one on the way). They have traveled the world and nearly every state in the United States. Their love for one another still grows each day. kansas weddings regi st er

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Kansas Weddings, 2018  

Our 2018 issue features inspiration for all couples as they plan their perfect Kansas wedding.

Kansas Weddings, 2018  

Our 2018 issue features inspiration for all couples as they plan their perfect Kansas wedding.