Lesley and Matthew Luymes Wedding Story
Saturday, October 8, 2016
October 8, 2016 was the best day of our life. Matthew and I still look back and realize how perfect it was and there is nothing we would change. Even though we both live in Illinois, Matthew was from South Dakota. Ever since I visited the Black Hills area a couple years ago I fell in love and realized this is where we need to have our wedding. Our ceremony and reception were both at Terry Peak Chalets. The ceremony was in the “grassy knoll” of birch trees and the reception was in the pavilion.
We were lucky with a beautiful sunny day in the 50's. We had breakfast together and met up with KC to go over details for the day then after that it was time to get ready in our own chalets until pictures. A family friend did my hair and makeup with my mother and bridesmaids while Matthew was left to the men. Jenni showed up with her assistant to start taking pictures and from then on it was a blur, but a blessed blur. After all the stress of planning and decision making, today was the day we didn't have to worry about a thing.I started getting excited when the flowers arrived. Much of my budget and decorations relied on the flowers and i was blown away with how wonderful they were.
Jenni told us it was time for First Look and pictures out in a nearby field and I started getting butterflies. We exchanged gifts and we went on to take pictures. I The bridal party made the pictures so much fun and the field was the perfect backdrop. Afterwards we did touch-ups, met up with KC to get us in ceremony mode and get the ceremony started.
When I began walking down the aisle with my father all I could think about was how real yet how surreal it was to have it all come together. Matthew's father Kirk made us a homemade trellis to stand under for the ceremony and eventually have at our home. When my father passes me off to Matthew, he whispers in Matthew's ear, "Good luck, you are going to need it." Pastor Andy, our pastor from Illinois, began our ceremony. The ceremony was full of good feels, every time i looked into Matthews eyes it was like I felt at home and at peace. Andy announced us and went in for the kiss. Apparently I didn't kiss long enough because Matthew pulled me in for another big one!
We excused the guests ourselves row by row and then went ahead with our formal family pictures. Those were so fun because we wanted Jenni to capture even the informal moments and there were so many laughs during that time. It was so relaxing and fun to just be with with family and take fun pictures.
We began to get ready for the reception and was soon announced. It was so neat to see the reception's decorations for the first time. The tables were lined with colored bottles and colored wildflowers, gears of many sizes and tall taper candles in shiny candlesticks, all white linens. The food was soup, sandwiches, salad, and many tasty desserts. Our cake was a plain white with vanilla frosting decorated with our Willow Creek cake topper and flowers.
After wonderful speeches and yummy food the dancing began. Our first dance song was "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Claption. Matthew sang it to me like he always does when it comes on and it was the best dance of my life. My dance with my father was one of my favorite memories from that day. My dad had just gotten his knee re "You Are My Sunshine" by Johnny Cash was perfect and Matthew's dance with his mother was "SImple Man" by Shinedown. After that things got into full swing. Drinks were flowing, music was groovy and we also had a photo booth with many fun props to make the guests have their own moments.
The best part was the fact that the wedding looked and felt exactly how we expected it and even more. The love that was in the air that day and all the warm feels just made it a day Matthew and I will never forget.
How We Met
It was the end of the world, well according to the Mayans. 12-21-12. Brickstone Restaurant in Bourbonnais, Illinois was having an "End of the World" party and unknown to both of us we decided to attend.
Lesley walks in and looks for an open seat at the bar and eyes a bright blue and orange plaid shirt at the bar. She exclaims to her friend, "Let's grab those open seats! You are already dating someone so I get to sit next to the plaid shirt guy." After a couple of drinks she orders the infamous "winebomb", takes it, and puts down the glass. She must have put down the glass a little harder than normal because plaid shirt guy aka Matthew heard the clank and said, "Well! What was that you just drank there?" So begins the journey for the night. Matthew shows her this "awesome" engineering app, he gets her number, he eventually gets a text asking him to come back and dance, and the favor of giving a girl a ride home after the party.
The first date came about with a text saying, "Bet you dinner you text first." She said, "You lost." and he replied, "Did I?"
Many craft beers, new friends, and road trips to South Dakota later he still owns the blue and orange plaid shirt and she still sits next to him.
Planning for Our Day
Planning was the most and worst fun I have ever had. I had less than a year. I got engaged Nov 2015 and planned for Oct 2016. We didn't decide on a date until Dec so spaces started becoming limited as well as vendors! We chose South Dakota, because the areas we looked at in IL weren't fitting our vision. I ended up looking in Rapid City area and found Terry Peak Chalet. The wedding package was perfect. All 4 chalets and pavilion for 4 days was great for all the out of town guests. We could decorate however we wanted, sleep 56 people, no driving from ceremony to reception and we could bring in whatever vendors we wanted. After booking the venue we decided to hire a planner in the area. KC from Esteemed Events by KC was a godsend, she was great from the start. She recommended so many vendors she worked with and really made planning from far away a breeze. After vendors were booked, the hunt for decorations began. My main look was natural with industrial touches. I am very artsy and my husband is an engineer so we wanted a look that married both. I began thrifting and antiquing like a boss. Collecting so many colored bottles, brass candlesticks, gears, photo frames, etc. Also since being an art teacher I am very much a fan of DIY touches. Dying tablecloths, paper products printed and stamped by hand, and assembling photos of past family members in creative ways. Since we spent so much money on the venue, it was important to save money anywhere we could. DIY was the best way to do that. Picking colors was tough, at first it started out with neutral and metallic accents, but being an artsy person why not have colors. So dark jewel tones was the key. Royal blue, emerald green, maroon, plum, and mustard yellow and black iron accents. My flowers needed to be wildflower and natural like and some native to South Dakota. My bridesmaid attire went from floral dresses, to solid color and they find their own to the final choice. Each bridesmaid was assigned a color and the skirt would be in that color then find their own white top. My maid of honor had a printed top to be extra special. It was easy for the men. Navy suits, to make the groomsmen different they didn't have to have a jacket. All of them had the same accessories, brown shoes, belt and suspenders. Matthew picked out the ties. I had the mothers find their own dresses. Invitations were the most fun because I feel like they set the mood and feel of the whole event. My sister in law found a website for me and i spent hours searching until i found it. The perfect watercolor floral with all the wedding colors just so whimsical, yet elegant. All the RSVPs had their own color from the 5 mentioned before and i then created the details card myself in Publisher. The envelopes were hand stamped with trees and arrows to give it a South Dakota feel. It was a lot of work, but so worth it. All the DIY made me feel very connected to my day and to the vision we had.
Hint for Brides
What we learned the most from planning was to not sweat the small stuff. Some details you think people are going to notice or decisions that seem big really are not in the big picture. For example, the font of my envelopes for invitations. People throw those away as soon as its opened so why was I wasting 30 minutes picking it out. Or the menu, I talked with my sister who got married 6 years ago and she didn't even remember her own menu. Thats why we went simple with soup and sandwiches. When you start stressing about the small details too much it makes you dread your planning even more and set your self up for disappointment. Second, make sure to involve your fiance in decisions, sure men aren't as opinionated about details, but REMEMBER it is not just your day, it is a day about the both of you so your decorations, location, and style should reflect the both of you. That is what people remember, how much the day reminds them of the two of you. Lastly, really utilize the relationships you have for help, My younger sister got married earlier in 2016 so i called her for tons of advice, my photographer was recommended by one of Mstthews groomsmen, and my bridesmaids made getting ready so relaxing and fun that I had no jitters the entire day!