IOWA CITY, Ia. – Since meeting Lily and James more than a year ago I felt incredibly happy just thinking about them and what their day would be like. Their paths intersected after years of much living and learning on their own. But no matter what kind of wedding they had, it would have been perfect because they are such wonderful people.
Lily was already on cloud nine as she began her transformation at Coralville‘s Europa Salon & Spa. Her excitement was infectious as she and her matron of honor, Yuri, shared in her joy after arriving at Iowa City’s historical Old Brick Church… and then seeing her bouquet for the first time.
In the meantime, James was getting ready at his friend Jake’s house, where the rest of the boys – James’ nephew, brother and Lily’s son Alex – also had gathered.
Old Brick is both easy and challenging to work with given its white walls, wooden floors and cathedral ceiling. Erected in 1856, it the second oldest public building in Iowa City and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. But oftentimes it’s the simplest things that make the biggest difference, like Lily’s use of muted coral ribbon on the curtains. Her bouquet also encompassed an array of colors to fit with the coral theme.
The design was set up so guests would move their seats after the ceremony to one of the roundtables for the reception. Each table featured its own cake for guests to feast on after dinner.
Lily and James opted to do a First Look on the stage they would get married on. … and James turned around just before she got to him. He couldn’t wait to see her!
They soaked in this moment for a while…
… and then went to the front entrance of Old Brick for a few inside photos.
A short time later it was time to get married, and Lily’s son Alex proudly accompanied her down the aisle.
Even after the First Look, Lily, you’re beaming with joy as if seeing James for the first time… I love it!
The couple had a Tree Lighting ceremony in which their closest loved ones took part in to symbolize the unity of the families. Each person lit a candle to place on the iron casting before meeting James and Lily to say a few congratulatory words.
Afterward, the couple shared a few moments alone on stage, serenaded by Don Williams’ My Heart to You.
Seeing this photo makes me happy – for Lily and James, and that I get to do this for a living.
Sealed with a kiss… and walking away to the tune of Happy Together.
After mingling with guests, the reception got underway with dinner, toasts and finally their First Dance.
Lily and James also had a CrazyBooth, run by my assistant Garrett. Here are a few highlights:
The entire day for me was so enjoyable, creative, fun … and that has been indicative of my time with this couple.
James and Lily, congrats to you both! Have a wonderful time during your honeymoon in Italy… you SO deserve it!
Ceremony & Reception: Old Brick Church & Community Center, Iowa City, with Brigittine French officiating
Catering: Bread Garden Market, Iowa City
Photographer: Accent Photographics (me!) assisted by Garrett Adrian
Entertainment: D. Anthony Music, Iowa City
First Dance Song: “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)” by James Taylor
Flowers & Cakes: Hy-Vee, Iowa City
Wedding Gown: Celebrations (formerly in Coralville)
Bridesmaid Dresses: Dillard’s
Tuxes: Ewers Mens Store, Iowa City
Tree Sculpture, Linens & Candles: Aero Rental and Party Shoppe, Iowa City