Real Bride: Alli D.

Bridal Party

From the Bride

How we met: Merrit and I knew of one another through a mutual acquaintance, but this mutual acquaintance never actually introduced us. Back in 2015, Merrit was a personal trainer at a private gym. This is where he had trained my dad. My dad had mentioned his personal trainer several times, telling me how much he liked him and how much he and I had in common. I asked my dad to hook a sister up, but it somehow never happened. My guess is that since I was in an accelerated nursing program at the time, my dad wanted me to keep my focus (nice try, dad!).

One night during my holiday break, my friend Molly and I went to a bar across the street from my apartment. Ever since learning all about Merrit from my dad, I had done my research on social media and knew exactly what he looked like. He looked like the same guy who was also at the bar we were at that night with his buddy. Apparently he had done some research as well, and to his credit, Merrit made the first move and initiated conversation that night. We already knew so much about one another and we hit it off right away. Plus, it didn’t hurt that he was already in good graces with my dad. A few days later during one of my dad’s training sessions, Merrit asked my dad if he could date his daughter. Needless to say, my dad was pretty excited for us.

How he proposed: Merrit and I enjoy going to Manhattan, KS for weekend getaways when we can. One of our favorite things to do while we are there is to take our dog Jaxy hiking. On October 28, 2017, we hiked at a place called Top of the World. The trails sit at a higher elevation and overlook both the city of Manhattan and the Flint Hills. The views are gorgeous! It was during this hike that Merrit dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him. It was the most perfect setting and an easy “YES!” from me, as I had wanted to marry this man for quite some time.

The Wedding Day: We began the day at Hotel Indigo. The girls from Posh KC came early to do hair and makeup for the bridal party while the boys got ready in one of the hotel rooms. With the risk of tears messing up my makeup, I decided I wanted my first look with my dad and with Merrit to be before the ceremony at the hotel. Merrit and I decided not to exchange letters during this time, but I should have known that he was going to write me a beautiful love letter for me to read before seeing one another on our wedding day.

We got married in the afternoon at small country church in Bucyrus, Kansas, which is about 10 minutes from our home in Louisburg, Kansas. The farmland nearby made for a beautiful backdrop for photos afterwards. Our bus also made photo stops at the Kauffman Center and West Bottoms. I had always dreamed of beautiful weather on my wedding day. After a gloomy week of rain, August 25th was perfectly sunny and warm, and I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

We had both agreed that we wanted our wedding day to be laid back and relaxed. We wanted our guests to enjoy themselves and feel comfortable in the environment. When we came across Feasts of Fancy, we fell in love with everything the venue had to offer. We loved the historical interiors, outdoor patio, and renowned catering. We wanted to have a happy hour on the patio before the reception began, where guests could socialize, play yard games, take photos on the Photo Bus, sign the guest book, enjoy the jazz musician, and find their name/table number from the escort card display.

Our colors were primarily from a neutral and blush palette. Each bridesmaid had a different color and style of dress, while the groom and groomsmen wore navy suits, white shirts, ivory ties, and brown shoes.

The table setting was very simple with ivory linens and napkins. I wanted the floral arrangements to be the primary focal point of each table. As Merrit and I wanted to incorporate our hometown into our reception, we chose to have a cider doughnut from the Louisburg Cider Mill with a thank you note tucked inside the napkin at each plate setting.

I also wanted to incorporate originality into the day as much as possible. Two of my favorite “original” pieces were handmade by my parents. My dad made our card box and my mom made both of my garters. She made Merrit’s toss garter Chiefs-themed, as Merrit is a huge Chiefs fan.

Our band, Lost Wax, was a hit. I can’t say enough how talented these artists are. They kept our guests dancing from the first to the last song. I highly recommend this group!

After we danced the night away, there was a sendoff in the courtyard for us as we entered our limo as newlyweds.

A big shoutout to our coordinator Lauren Ditty with Weddings by Hannah. Lauren was a life saver. She coordinated all the details, on-scene and behind-the-scenes to ensure that our day flowed smoothly, and we could simply enjoy our day without worry.

Last but not least, we are able to reminisce on our special day through our photography. Mary Beth Russell with epagaFOTO captured our day perfectly and we could not be more grateful.

Top 3 Favorite Things List:
1. Dress
: I am still to this day in love with my dress. I knew I wanted my dress to be comfortable and I wanted to l feel like myself with it on. It was the third dress I tried on, and I knew it was the one. I loved that the dress was two pieces and not all white. The corset top was beige/blush and the skirt was ivory with LOTS of body. It was exactly what I wanted. The dress was stunning and I felt so beautiful.

2. Escort card wall: Our stationer Megan from Little Yellow Leaf helped me design our escort card display. I knew I wanted to utilize the metal wall on the patio of Feasts of Fancy, and Megan helped bring my vision to reality. We alternated matte beige and metallic nude envelopes that became pockets for the eggshell colored escort cards to sit in. These envelopes had magnetic backings, which made it easy for guests to grab the escort card out of the pocket. The matte beige, metallic nude, and eggshell colors looked amazing on the navy/charcoal metal wall.

3. Florals: Andrea from Branches & Twigs is a floral goddess. I trusted her vision and creativity and told her to run with it. She knew I wanted neutral colors, primarily ivory and blush with a touch of greenery, and gold table accents. From the table arrangements to the flower girls’ flower crowns/wands, and especially my bouquet, Andrea nailed it. All the pieces were so elegant and timeless.

Alli & Merritt

August 25, 2018

Venue for Ceremony: Queen of the Holy Rosary – Wea in Bucyrus, KS

Venue for Reception: Feasts of Fancy at The Hobbs Building

Lula Corset and Effie Skirt from Wtoo by Watters

Rae Veil by Sara Gabriel

Hair & Make-up: Posh KC

Photography: Mary Beth Russell with epagaFOTO

Floral: Branches & Twigs

Planner: Lauren Ditty with Weddings by Hannah

Stationer: Little Yellow Leaf

Band: Lost Wax

Cake: McLain’s Bakery

Rentals: Ultrapom

Photo Bus: The Photo Bus KC

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