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Real Essense of Australia Bride

December 8, 2015

From the proposal to the first dance (and the gorgeous Essense of Australia strapless wedding dresses she was wearing!), everything about Real Bride, Sarah’s, wedding experience was sentimental and thought out. The laid-back day full of laughs and love was photographed by the bride’s long-time friends, Tim and Amy Mispagel.

From the bride: I’m unable to pick just one special moment from our wedding day that stood out. It was full of special, touching, and hilarious moments. I suppose if I had to pick just one, single moment out from the many, it would have to be our first dance as husband and wife. My husband and I enjoy dancing… two-step, swing, twenty-step… the list goes on. But that one dance, as husband and wife after almost seven-and-a-half years of being together was truly magical. The music playing, family and friends gathered round, and all the pressure and stress of the day was over. We were able to relax and enjoy the moment as if it was just the two of us there; husband and wife at last.

Essense of Australia Bride Sarah

Our wedding was designed to be FUN. After being together for almost seven-and-a-half years, the wedding was really a formality and an excuse to gather all our friends and family together for a beautiful evening and a fun party! We did almost everything ourselves as far as the decorations go, and we were fortunate enough to be loaned a few of the other items we weren’t up to the task of making.

It was a cool, crisp fall day with plenty of sunshine… after three days of gloom and rain, the sun came out and truly blessed our wedding day! With all the rain we had gotten, the fall colors were fantastically brilliant- as evident in the photos. It seemed as though the weather cleared up just for us to enjoy our day!

My husband proposed at a scenic overlook near Manhattan, KS – where we met while I was in college. I had always said I would have loved to get married there – however it would be a logistical nightmare to pull off as it is just a few yards from a rather busy highway. On the pretense of taking “family photos” with our dog Dixie, he took me and a photographer out to the location. We took a lot of pictures of he and I, as well as our dog, and I was truly enjoying the session. After a few photos of him on a knee with me sitting on his other knee, I got up for the next photo set… but he stayed where he was. He took my hand and asked me to be his wife. I immediately said yes, teared up, and gave him a huge hug – all of which was caught in some stunning photos by the photographer. Even after being together for so long at that time, he still pulled off quite the surprise!

Essense of Australia Bride Sarah 2

Essense of Australia Bride Sarah 3

We found our venue through friends who had gotten married there a year before. They were in the final months of planning their wedding when we got engaged, and when I expressed my concern about finding the right venue, the then bride-to-be encouraged me to check out Stony Point Hall. I was concerned she wouldn’t want to share her venue just one year later with many of the same friends attending, but she assured me she did not mind in the least. Shane, my mother and I went out to tour the facility and after seeing a few other places, we instantly fell in love. We picked the date, signed the contract, and began the planning process about 15 months prior to the wedding date! I wouldn’t do it a bit differently. By giving ourselves plenty of time, we were able to save, budget, and ensure that our day was exactly what we wanted it to be.

A fun tidbit is that I have known our photographers, Tim and Amy Mispagel, for about 15 years. Tim was my art teacher in high school, and his wife, Amy, worked at my high school, as well. They took my senior photos all those years ago, and then were able to shoot my wedding photos, too. Having them there, knowing our style and personalities, truly made all the difference in the world. Many of our photos, especially the candid shots, are truly wonderful memories that they captured – just because they know us so well. I know not every bride has the chance to work with a photographer they know so well- but tell your photographer about you and your fiance! The more they know, the more they can capture!

We wanted our friends and family to come together to enjoy the evening. The groom and groomsmen wore jeans, and guests were welcome to wear jeans, too! The entire vibe of the whole day was just what we wanted- relaxed, calm, and enjoyed by everyone! By delegating tasks, setting up reminders, ensuring that times and expectations were communicated, the day was essentially stress-free for everyone!

Essense of Australia Bride Sarah 4

Essense of Australia Bride Sarah 5

Brides should stick to what they want- don’t let anyone talk you into, or out of, something that you truly want! An example — we opted for a child-free wedding, except our nieces and nephews. Plenty of people told us we couldn’t do that, or that it was rude. But we were polite, and did our best to accommodate our friends that have children, and sent out invites very early so they could make plans for sitters. We also had our dog, Dixie, as our ring bearer. I had a few people tell me that was crazy, too- but it turned out to be fantastic! She did great, and was so good for the whole day!

Don’t get caught up in the teeny, tiny details! While details can absolutely make or break the day, don’t stress out about every, single one. For example, I had planned on adding small, scattered pearls and rhinestones to my veil. A week before the wedding, we were getting ready to begin adding them and I was feeling very stressed by the prospect. I googled for images of veils just like what I was envisioning, and realized that in all the photos that unless you were very close up, you couldn’t even see the details of the veil. I nixed the idea, and left my veil plain. And it looked AMAZING. I’m glad I didn’t stress my mother and I out with adding the details and running the chance of ruining the veil. There are a few things you just have to let go of… Don’t be afraid to do it!

Our wedding was truly amazing. We had so much help, and love, and support throughout the entire process. My mother and I had several people come up and tell us it was the most beautiful wedding they had ever been to; including several $50,000+ weddings. Ours was done on a budget for somewhere just under $10,000. It was spectacular, amazing, and I wouldn’t change a single thing.

Congrats to Sarah + Shane!

Essense of Australia Bride Sarah 6

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