This military couple planned their wedding from many states away and had a long distance relationship during the process. Although this poised a challenge, the bride’s family played a vital role in planning the wedding in the bride’s hometown of Rochester, MN. Keep scrolling to see the gorgeous documentary style photos by Riggott Studios and more details about how the couple personalized their elegant wedding.
From the Bride: With my groom, our families, and wedding party scattered across the globe and away from me, I knew planning our wedding in less than seven months was going to be a logistical challenge, to say the least. At the time, I lived in Washington, DC and Justin was based in San Diego, travelling often for military training. Since neither of us had long-term connections to the places we lived, we decided to marry in my hometown of Rochester, where my parents were eager to help with wedding plans. Justin and I only got to see each other a few times before the big day, so most of our wedding decisions and even our premarital counseling occurred over phone calls, e-mails, and Skype. We left many of our “on the ground” decisions to my mom, who did a fantastic job choosing our Rochester vendors.
On our wedding day, the thermometer read 100 degrees and rising. As I got ready and imagined Justin climbing into his woolen Marine Corps dress blues, I thanked God we chose air-conditioned venues. Our ceremony was held at Rochester Covenant Church, where I had attended youth group activities. Our officiant helped us design a wedding ceremony that reflected our devotion to one another, our gratefulness for God’s unending grace, and our desire to have our marriage be a ministry to others. We were blessed to have friends, wedding party members, and my family lead us in worship on guitars, piano, jimbe, violins, and vocals.
Since our guests didn’t all know each of us well, we tried to inject as much of “us” into our reception as possible. Guests sat at tables named and decorated with photos of places we had lived or travelled together. The flower arrangements had kiwis in them as a nod to my father’s nickname for me. We entered the reception to the Star Wars “Throne Room” music from our favorite movie series. In accordance with Marine Corps tradition, we cut our wedding cake with Justin’s officer sword. Instead of a traditional wedding favor, we made a donation to a Christian organization that provides spiritual and emotional support to military couples affected by the scars of war. I love to dance, so my dad, Justin and I took ballroom dance lessons to make the first dance and Daddy-Daughter dance memorable and fun.
There were many aspects of our wedding I loved, but the toasts were especially meaningful. Listening to my father’s toast, I remember scanning the room and being amazed and overwhelmed with gratitude for the love emanating from the faces of our dear friends and family. We will forever remember our wedding with thankfulness—having been blessed to celebrate with so many wonderful people.
Photographer: Riggott Studios | Ceremony Venue: Rochester Covenant Church | Reception Venue and Catering: Somerby Golf Club | Beauty: Lasata Salon | Bridesmaid Attire: David’s Bridal | Tuxedos: Anderson’s Formal Wear | Dance Lessons: Dahl Dance Center | Catering: Somerby Golf Club | Dessert: Hy-Vee Barlows | Floral: Everyday Bouquets | Music: JPS Entertainment | Rehearsal Dinner: Victoria’s Ristorante and Wine Bar