Alayna and Andrew Holmstrom Wedding Story
Saturday, July 29, 2017
The Holmstroms said “I Do” on July 29th, 2017 surrounded by family and friends at Our Lady of Perpetual Help. We started the day with mimosas and getting pampered at AJs Wicked Salon and Spa, followed by getting ready and having our “first look” in the beautiful Presidential Suite at the Hotel Alex Johnson. I will never forget seeing my wedding dress from LoveStruck Boutique hanging up as I walked in the door. The groomsmen, ushers, dads, and my sweet husband were dressed to the nine with the help of Halberstadts, and my bridal party (and adorable flower girls) looked stunning with their bouquets and flower crowns from Jenny’s Floral. Our wedding mass was held in the afternoon, and after many, many tears of joy we became husband and wife, celebrated by a bubble exit! Our reception was held in the breath-taking Custer State Park at their Pavilion. To get there, the bridal party had the joy of celebrating on Legendary Limousine’s Party Bus. When we arrived, Table 4 Décor completely transformed the Pavilion into our dream venue. With incredible flowers from Jenny’s Floral, and the outstanding help of Custer State Park’s staff, our reception was all we could ever imagine. The chef in Custer State Park and his staff created a menu that left each guest stuffed, and Kim from Star Spangled Batter perfected tiny Bundt Cakes that were enjoyed by everyone’s sweet tooth. Rushmore Mountain Taffy Shop helped us send off our guests with “Love is Sweet” party favors. Travis Labine from JD Productions kept our dance floor packed (I’m not kidding, my aunts were on the dance floor until 11:00 pm), and our family and friends made our entire day as they filled our hearts with joy.
Cadey Reisner was a dream as she and her team took stunning photos throughout the day, and Grant Holub and his team from Black Hills Video got every little detail on video. We will truly cherish these keepsakes for the rest of our lives.
How We Met
The St. Thomas More and Aberdeen Roncalli Cavaliers squared off in the 2011 Boys State Basketball Tournament, and the first time Alayna and Andrew met, she was relentlessly heckling him when one of her peers broke his nose on the court. From there, the rest is history. Alayna and Andrew reconnected in college when both became Coyotes at the University of South Dakota. Remembering what a charmer she was at the state basketball tournament, Andrew reached out to Alayna and they became good friends through Greek Life at USD. The rest, well, is history!
Planning for Our Day
The wedding vendors in the Black Hills make planning your wedding day an absolute dream. I was so impressed with every vendor I encountered, even those that I did not end up choosing to help us celebrate our day. For those of you who will have a long engagement like we did, you’ll have plenty of time to slowly check off things on your list. Black Hills Bride’s website was really instrumental for me when I began searching for vendors while I was living in Minneapolis. I could read about different photographers, videographers, venues, bridal boutiques, and florists from afar. I also really appreciated using their wedding timeline that helped me stay organized and on a timeframe with their various checklists. With the help of my amazing mother/pseudo wedding planner, as well as my outstanding Black Hills vendors, I was able to enjoy the entire process! Payment records kept me organized, and my to-do lists and wedding day schedule helped me ensure everything would run smoothly. I would strongly, strongly, strongly recommend all our wedding vendors and would be more than happy to speak to you about the joy and ease each vendor brought to my wedding day!
Hint for Brides
Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose. There is so much advice that will be slung your way during the process of planning a wedding, but for me, the heart-felt advice was what I needed to hear the most. I could go on and on about small helpful hints on vendors, timeframes, and contracts, but at the end of the day, the advice I am so glad I took to heart concerned only focusing on the love and sacredness of your wedding day. So from me to you, please be sure to hold your dad’s arm extra tight as he walks you down the aisle, because after all your walks together, this one will truly be your favorite. And make sure that when your mother glows of pride and joy as she helps you into your dress, you hug her tight and you recognize the profound gratitude you feel for her deep within your heart. When your friends arrive from near and far, take a minute to acknowledge the joy and support they bring to your life and why you asked them to be part of this special day. And when your brother and Maid of Honor tell too many embarrassing stories during their speeches, or your bridal party almost get concussed after falling from dancing too hard, remember to feel the laughter that comes deep from your stomach. Don’t be ashamed of your unabashed emotions that are easily recognized from the mascara on your face. Don’t you ever forget the tears you cried when you read the letter your husband writes you, the poem your father reads aloud, or the words your officiant prays over you and your new spouse. And please, before the night is through, step off to the side with your new husband and recognize the complete joy he brings to your life.
So when things get stressful, or the nerves kick in, look around you and see the elation your family and friends bring to your life, and the person you’ve pledged your heart to. Remember that no Etsy sign that didn’t arrive on time, or rip in someone’s pants could ever ruin the day you married the person you love. I hope throughout your wedding day you are filled with gratitude that your life has been so crowned by your new husband, family, and friends, and that you receive the greatest love a bride can ever sense.