Lots of new college students are meeting lifelong friends right now in schools across the country. Hope’s bride Sara met her husband her first week at Iowa State! Sara and her roommate were having trouble with their internet, so they set out with some freshly made scotcheroos to find some tech support on their floor in Friley Hall. “Lucky for me, we stumbled across Ian’s room – he was a computer science major!” Sara says.
A year later Sara and Ian began dating. Throughout their time at ISU, Ian had two internships in Seattle and Sara had one in NW Iowa. She also spent a semester studying abroad in Rome. Ian managed to visit her during that time, and they were able to spend nearly two weeks in Paris, Rome, and Florence!
On April 7th, 2017 Ian proposed in the courtyard of Lagomarcino Hall at Iowa State. Ian had stationed their future wedding photographer, Megan, and one of Sara’s friends in the bushes to capture the entire thing. They ended up taking their engagement photos right then and there!
The couple took a laid-back approach to their wedding planning. Since they were going to be moving to Seattle a few weeks after graduating, they had to make decisions quickly. “We didn’t really pick a theme, just a color palette of black and white with rose gold and lots of greenery. We just wanted a laid-back, relaxed, ‘backyard party’ kind of feel to it. Just a low stress, go with the flow, everyone just have fun and enjoy themselves. Ian and I love to play board games and yard games, so we knew we wanted that to be a part of the day as well,” explains Sara. After they moved, all the other planning took place 1500+ miles away.
Sara had shopped at Hope’s for a homecoming dress and two prom dresses while in high school, so she headed back for her gown. (Enjoy a flashback of Sara in one of her prom dresses from Hope’s below!) She purchased a Sherri Hill dress for her wedding and had it customized to make the tulle skirt detachable.
Sara says of her experience with Hope’s Bridal, “Hope’s had a good selection of dresses to choose from in our price range and the customer service has always been fantastic. The alterations I asked for were fairly extensive and they were done beyond our expectations. They were also very accommodating with fittings outside of the usual time line because I was living in Seattle and travelling back to Iowa only twice before my wedding. I also used Hope’s after the wedding to send my dress in for cleaning and storage – the service was once again excellent! My mom actually delivered the dress back to Hope’s so they could help send in the dress, etc. She was greeted at the door, and helped immediately. They stepped her through the process and she was back out the door and on her way home in probably 15 minutes!”
Sara and Ian went with what felt right for them while planning their Maquoeta, IA wedding, and Sara advises other brides to do the same. “Don’t be afraid to try something that you haven’t seen at someone else’s wedding. Other than signing the legal papers, there is absolutely nothing that a wedding HAS to be! Do whatever sounds fun and good to you!”
For example, Sara and Ian are not big dancers. After the traditional “first dances” at their reception, they headed outside to play games! Sara’s dad made five sets of cornhole boards for their big day, and everyone had a blast playing games well into the evening. By the time Sara and Ian made their way back inside, there was a small group of people dancing, and some of Sara’s favorite memories ended up being on that dance floor!
For dinner, the pizza lovers opted to have a wood fired pizza buffet! Ian says the pizza was one of his favorite parts of the night! They also served cookies for dessert instead of cake, although they had a small cake for the traditional cake cutting photos. Throughout the night, guests were able to make their own trail mix for a snack.
For a sentimental touch, Sara had the stems of her bouquet wrapped in a handkerchief that belonged to her great-grandma. Then she pinned a lavalier necklace to it that belonged to her great-great grandma. The necklace had been worn by Sara’s Grandma at her wedding in 1963 and her mom at her wedding in 1990.
The newlyweds are enjoying a honeymoon in New Zealand. We are looking forward to seeing some pictures from their big trip when they return. While Sara wouldn’t recommend planning a wedding from across the country, a job change to a different company, a move to a new state, and a foreign honeymoon all in a three-month time frame, she looks back and sees that it all worked out just fine!
Sara, thank you for being a true Hope’s Girl! We’ve been honored to help you through the years, and are so happy for you and Ian! Congrats, and blessings on your marriage!
Maquoketa, IA Wedding Vendors:
Photographer: Megan Lynn Creative
Venue: Midnight Farm, Maquoketa, IA. The small private ceremony was held in the corn crib, and the reception was held in the barn.
Pizza: Maggie’s Farm Wood-Fire Pizza
Cookies: Hy-Vee in Dubuque
Flower Arrangements: Sara’s aunt and cousin with some homegrown flowers and balance purchased from Meant to Be in DeWitt.
Hair: Kay Otting from Anova Style Lounge in Dubuque
Bride’s Make-up: Kailee Seward from Eden Salon and Spa in Kalona
Wedding Dress: Hope’s Bridal & Prom