Pictures from Taylor and Jhorel’s romantic winery wedding left us breathless! They had an intimate, elegant celebration in April that we were so happy to be a small part of!
The couple met through mutual friends during their undergrad at the University of Iowa. The two were acquaintances through heartbreaks in other relationships for several years. When they both became single in the summer of 2014, they realized their mutual attraction and that they were right for each other!
Taylor set out to create a simple, elegant wedding, and her great organization helped her stay calm as the wedding drew closer. “Do a little bit every month, so that you don’t feel overwhelmed with little details the month of the wedding. Also don’t think that you need to spend a fortune to get all of the tiny décor pieces just right. Choose a venue that is beautiful enough on its own, so you only have to add some small touches to make it personal,” Taylor recommends.
When it came time to shop for her dress, Taylor came to Hope’s based on the recommendation of one of her bridesmaids, who had a good experience as a Hope’s bride. We had a great time helping Taylor and her bridesmaids find their elegant dresses and perfect the looks. “The amazing staff always made us feel welcome (even when we overwhelmed them by coming as a big group for every fitting). My sister’s dress did not fit her right at all, so they rush ordered a new dress in an appropriate size and then did all the alterations the week before the wedding. They never let us feel like a burden, even though we were pretty particular about what we wanted.”
To prep for the winery wedding, Taylor made signs using reclaimed wood from her dad’s old fence and a borrowed Cricut machine. She ordered bulk greenery from Sam’s Club and enlisted the help of friends and family to put the venue together the morning of the wedding.
“I put together a binder with all of my vendor contracts as well as a section with pictures of exactly what I wanted the venue to look like. That way I had no problem leaving to get ready and knew that I could trust my friends and family to put everything together just right!” She even organized décor items into boxes and labeled them by where they would go the day of the wedding to help ensure everything went smoothly. She felt confident leaving the venue in the hands of her attendants!
Taylor and Jhorel were able to get ready peacefully and soak up every moment. “I made a point to live in every moment throughout the day!” Taylor says. She cherished spending time with everyone who was there to celebrate with them, how much her bridesmaids loved their hair and make-up, and her first look with her father, when the tears really flowed! She then shared a wonderful first look with Jhorel, and the couple agrees that writing their own vows is one of the best choices they made for their wedding.
The couple wanted to do something unique for their unity ceremony, so they had a wine blending ceremony to go with their winery wedding venue. As another special touch, Taylor pinned one of her late grandmother’s broaches to her bouquet. Amazingly, it matched her bridal jewelry perfectly!
Taylor and Jhorel remember that one of the best parts of the celebration was the packed dance floor. The couple stayed on the dance floor most of the night, encouraging their 70 guests to come talk and dance with them to keep the party going. Taylor advises brides to wear flats! “There is no reason to not be comfortable on your big day; you’re on your feet a LOT.”
A little more than a month after the wedding, Taylor and Jhorel are happily in love. “The two big pieces of advice we would give other couples are to CHOOSE to love each other every day and to also TRUST each other with everything you have.”
Taylor, thank you so much for choosing Hope’s. You had such a beautiful wedding, and we are so thrilled to see how it came together! We truly love seeing how happy you are and wish you and Jhorel and lifetime of love and joy!
Iowa Winery Wedding Vendors:
Venue: Cedar Ridge Winery and Distillery “Ashton is the senior event coordinator at Cedar Ridge and she was amazing to work with. She is the reason why everything went so smoothly on the day of the wedding!”
Photographer: Jamie Tobin Photography “We feel so lucky to have met such amazing people and we can’t recommend them highly enough to anyone who needs a wedding, engagement, or life photographer.”
Catering: Cedar Ridge “It was wonderful, many people took second helpings!”
Flowers: Coralville Hy-Vee. “I cried when I saw the bouquets because they were exactly what I wanted.”
Cake: Coralville Hy-Vee “All our guests raved about how delicious our cake was.”
Officiant: Pastor David Andrews. “He was the sweetest man, and he made our ceremony so special and personal.”
Hair and Makeup: “The amazingly talented” Carleen and Michaela of Eden Salon and Spa in Kalona.
Wedding Dress and Bridesmaids Dresses: Hope’s Bridal & Prom “We loved working with Hope’s Bridal and would recommend them to anyone looking for the perfect bridal shop in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area!”
Men’s Suits: Purchased at Holley’s Shop for Men “They were wonderful to work with.”
Robes, bridesmaid gifts, jewelry: Etsy vendors
Cedar Arbor Ceremony Backdrop: Built by Jhorel’s friend Bryan