To Thine Own Self be True: Susan & Ian's Wedding Showcase (with 10 tips!)

This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day,

Hamlet by William Shakespeare


What would to thine own self be true look like exactly in the context of a wedding? Meet Ian and Susan, married in June, to see the ideas of Polonius (?) in play. It was his advice in Hamlet, right? (Enough Will Shakespeare, more weddings you say? You got it. Pictures it it shall be.)This is Ian. And Susan. They are New Yorkers. Well, maybe not always. Susan's roots are in Missouri's Ozarks, and thus, so was her wedding. Exchanged marital vows in a barn in fact. A FANTASTIC one:Later they fed their guests (and photographers because a well-fed photographer is a happy photographer! - thank you!!)the most gorgeous and delicious food. (Pictured below is just the finger food segment! And yes, it was as scrumptious as it looks!!!)


Theirs was a unique wedding day format and it was DIVINE. The idea here: Susan and Ian wanted to spend as much time as possible interacting with their guests as possible, so the order of events went something like this.

  1. garden party at arrival which the couple also attended. Susan wore a darling afternoon lemon-patterned picnic dress. (She changed into her wedding gown just before the ceremony.)
  2. vows & mozel tav in the barn!
  3. open air cocktail hour (complete with moonshine margaritas!)
  4. dinner and dancing under the tent

And some of the best, most convenient news of all for weddings guests, all of the above happened in ONE LOCATION. We LOVED it: one venue and it was REMARKABLE. Searching for an event setting? Don't overlook VENUE 481 in Marshfield, Missouri. Venue 481 includes this old corral area, a perfect spot for Susan & Ian's private moment. Private moments matter. Have one!Here's a view of the garden party!


(And yes, there were musicians and darling girls in yellow checked dresses everywhere! And double yes - those are warm homemade potato chips you see in the blue and yellow bags above.  The gazebo serving as a stage for the musicians, the Sons of Britches, has a white fence to increase the charm and you know, offers a place to rest your straw hat.)  LIVE MUSIC filled the air during Susan & Ian's wedding day. Perfection! See the joy that resulted?Some of our favorite ceremony scenes:


This next image was created during the cocktail hour. Starting to get an idea of the place?


Yum, the color (and texture!) palette included lots of vintage touches and it was carried through and through!


...all the way to handmade bunting and vintage signs!


And oh there were FLOWERS. Big bold artistically assembled WILD flowers. (And plenty of lemons, too!)


But wait, there's more to the Venue 481: a big grassy field!


There are DOZENS upon DOZENS of ways Susan & Ian's wedding was a celebration of who in this world they are. I'll come back in a few days and connect the dots and add a few links for those of you looking at this amazing wedding as an inspiration, but off the bat, here are a few more examples of how Susan and Ian hosted a wedding that was an extension of their relationship:1.  Susan collected vintage furniture, linens and place settings. The tables were oh so charming! And know what? Many of the items Susan secured for her wedding day are now available for other people's special occasions through Finley & Fifth, I believe.


2. Seersucker suits with bow ties anyone? Garden party delight! (Be on the lookout for straw hats.)Yes, this wedding was THAT CUTE. But so much more than cute, Susan and Ian found ways to make their guests extraordinarily comfortable.


3. What about love that takes your breath away? Mmmm4. Such a great place for a ceremony. And how lucky we were to have Tom Schmidt of the delectable fame (feeling hungry? click his link and you will!) help document this ceremony. And not only Tom, the delightful, talented and oh-so-lovely Whitney Buckner documented this day with artistry, too. For our where's waldo section of the post, can you find them both here?


4. You know on a day like this, why not bring in a vintage care for an album cover shot?


5. Our favorite thing though? When you say to us -- please just document the detail and the joy. This wedding is an expression of who were are, THAT'S what we want you to capture. (Well, talk about a match made in heaven!) Because that cute-just-as-you-are-ness, well THAT is our favorite thing. Confession: our clients don't want to be posed in an inauthentic scene hoping to play up the cute factor, they want us to seek, search, uncover and celebrate the real life cute that exists in your midst. Because here is the thing: YOU, JUST AS YOU ARE,  and that's what we're about. Enjoy your day, we'll capture moments for you to relive, and you'll be smiling ear to ear. Talk about CUTE:6. Food matters to Ian and Susan. Ian is an incredibly well respected chef that Susan lovingly nicknamed Mr. Yummy. And even though some may recognize him from the Food Network (and be able to buy cookware he's endorsed soon) Ian was very hands off on his wedding day. The take-away message here: hire good people and enjoy your party. Here's the truth: never again in your whole life will this many people who love you be in the same place at the same time. And THAT is the whole point. Savor these moments. So what's your recipe for love? (That was one of the wedding themes. Guests young and old offered advice and put it in the vintage mailbox.)7. And speaking of recipes, this is perhaps the most meaningful and personal wedding favors we've ever seen. Family recipes shared on hand illustrated cards. AMAZING:8. So many special touches, like the socks that waited the groomsmen (a gift from Susan)


9.  And back to that vintage furniture Susan has now made available for rent. This green settee and over-sized ottoman above are particularly scrumptious:


10. And oh the themes and vintage touches: lemons, linens and summertime celebration.BONUS #11. Want great pictures on your wedding day? Laugh! Merry-making makes not just for a good marriage but a good marrying day indeed.