Hope’s bride Jennifer met her groom Zach back in 2012 through a friend of her sister who worked with him. After exchanging numbers and texting for almost a month, they closed down the restaurant on their first date! He proposed in December 2013 by leaving a series of clues that eventually led to him sitting by a sign lit by blue Christmas lights asking Jennifer to marry him.They planned their wedding for October 4th, 2014 in Morrison, IL, and held their reception in Clinton, IA.
This unique Real Wedding by Hope’s had a theme of FISHING! While there were some typical rustic touches, they made it their own by featuring fish and moose on their invitations, offering guests stress ball fish as wedding favors, decking out their wedding party in camo colors, and featuring fishing details throughout the reception decorations. They even had a fishing bride and groom (made by Zach’s brother) on top of their cake and goldfish on their cupcakes!
Jennifer said “YES” to a sample Maggie Sottero wedding gown at Hope’s. She accented it with a headpiece and veil. “Celia and Katie were fantastic. They both helped my sister find her wedding dress a year before, so it was great to have familiar faces helping me. They gave ideas and suggestions how to dress up or dress down the gowns I was trying.” Her three bridesmaids each had a different color of a Sorella Vita chiffon dress with lace bodice.
Even though both her gown and veil were sample pieces, Jennifer says they looked brand new when she picked them up. Plus, she was able to score a good deal on both off the rack, and she appreciated the free storage up until her wedding. “Alterations were quick and easy. All I needed was a bustle added and some length taken off. One round of alterations was all it took, and the dress was perfect.”
Jennifer has a few pieces of advice that she found were true for her big day. “No matter how much you plan, there WILL be last minute issues. Expect them and roll with them! It’s not worth ruining your day over.” She also recommends finding little ways to show your personality. “The little details are totally worth it! They are what make the day uniquely you and so special.” Finally, she points out that a 10 month engagement was plenty of time to plan the wedding she dreamed of, so don’t stress yourself over having a too-long engagement.
After waking up to the magical fist snow of the season, her very favorite moment from her wedding was the reveal. “Zach first saw me on the covered bridge in Morrison and developed a sudden case of ‘allergies.’ He had tears in his eyes!”
To remember her aunt and great-aunt who passed away in March, Jennifer incorporated their wedding rings into her bouquet. Such a special way to honor women you love and miss!
The couple and their family made a lot of the unique fishing details you see in their pictures, from the spinner bait boutonnieres (made by Zach), to the “boat” the flowergirl and ringbearer rode down the aisle, to the cake stands, card basket, chocolates and mints, and all the wedding stationery created by Jennifer.
“The whole day was surreal. It was a perfect day spent with amazing family and friends,” she remembers.
Since they both lived alone prior to the wedding, Jennifer says they’ve done a lot of adjusting as they get used to sharing their living space, but married life is great! Her advice is to always communicate, and Zach reminds couples to be patient with one another.
Congratulations, Jennifer and Zach! Thank you for sharing your special day with us. Glad you snagged the right “fish in the sea!”
Location of Wedding: Ceremony – Emmanuel Reformed Church, Morrison, IL ; Reception – Vista Grande, Clinton, IA
Photographer: Simply Aesthetic Design
Caterer: Corner Deli, Clinton, IA
Florist: HyVee, Clinton, IA
Photobooth: QC Facebooth Hampton, IL
DJ: Gateway Mobile DJ, Camanche, IA
Hair/Makeup: Salon 84, Rapids City, IL (Amber – hair, Ariel – makeup)