Real Bride: Katie W.

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From the bride: Steffan and I met during a snowstorm in the lobby of the apartment building in which we both lived.  My friends and I knew we didn’t have to work the next day (as did most of the city), so we decided to have a party in the lobby. We invited people to join us as they walked by and Steffan was one of those people.

We dated for a little over two years before he proposed. We love to be outdoors together. We love brewery tours, sporting events, road trips, and playing sand volleyball together. While we appreciate time on our own, we usually prefer to experience things with each other.  Steffan is from southwest Iowa, a graduate of Iowa State, and a project engineer with JE Dunn Construction. I am a native of Prairie Village, a graduate of UMKC (undergraduate and M.A.), and an instructional coach in Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools.

Proposal: We took a week-long camping trip to Colorado in June. We decided to climb Mt. Elbert (the highest mountain in Colorado) because it has been on my bucket list since I was in middle school and Steffan had never climbed a 14er (or any mountain) before. We tried climbing on a Tuesday morning, but got above tree line and had to turn back because the wind and rain became unbearable for us and our dogs, Salvadora Perez (Dora) and Mufasa. We tried again the next day and it was perfect for the climb. Steffan completely surprised me by proposing at the top. Rocks from the top of Mt. Elbert were actually a part of our ceremony (picture included). A part of our ceremony was a burning bowl ceremony. We each wrote that which was no longer serving our relationship and committed to replace it with something new. On one side of our paper were feelings and circumstances we wish to release. On the other side of their papers were feelings and circumstances we want to invoke.  During the wedding ceremony, we burned our papers in the purifying fire of the burning bowl filled with the rocks of Mt. Elbert.

Our wedding was absolutely perfect. We were going for casual elegance with an homage to Kansas City (venue in our Westport neighborhood, Boulevard bottles in our table arrangements, Shatto milk and McClain’s cookies for dessert, cake from Jasper’s where Katie worked through high school) . The Augusta Jones dress and Sara Gabriel skirt fit perfectly with our concept. We were most excited about having all of our closest friends and family together to celebrate and have a great time. We wanted to honor our love each other and the support that others have given us and then have one heck of a party.

A way that we honored the support of our friends and family was through a presentation of letters during the ceremony. Steffan and I built a letterbox together and asked each member of our bridal party and each immediate family member to write us a letter with words of love and encouragement. During the ceremony, they each placed their letter in the box. Steffan and I will open the box and all its letters on our fifth wedding anniversary (pictures included).

 Steffan and Katie

September 17, 2016

Venue for Ceremony and Reception: Californos

Gown: Amanda by Augusta Jones

Overskirt: Hayley by Sara Gabriel

Hair: Maisie Thompson (styling); Molly McPheter with Roots and Branches Salon (color)

Make-Up: Grace Designs and Esthetics

Photography: Kinsey Mhire

Floral: Poppy & Clover Floral

DJ: All Ears DJ (Colin Halliburton)

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