According to some beliefs, the walnut is said to represent strength and endurance. Aaron and Shaun’s wedding is one that is representative of this symbolism. You see, Aaron (dark hair) and Shaun had their wedding on their 80-acre farm which, with their own hands and the help of friends and family, renovated, leveled earth, re-mortared stone foundations and installed solar panels to a perfect location for the their simple, rustic and eco-conscious themed wedding. “It was literally a labor of love and we worked our asses off to finish it in time for the celebration.” Not only did their friends and family help with the farm, but they also lent a hand on the entire wedding.
Aaron and Shaun’s farm is located in the “Driftless region of Southwest Wisconsin, situated in a valley surrounded by rolling hills, forest, pasture, streams, and natural springs.”
But first, a little about Aaron and Shaun and on how the proposal went down…
“We met online, Shaun keyword searched “canoe” and Aaron was one of a dozen men who appeared as a match. Aaron was the only person in that search that Shaun contacted, and the online courting began. We have been together for four years.”
“I took Aaron on a weekend vacation to Door County, Wisconsin for his birthday. Since Aaron is a diehard craft beer drinker, we visited the Door County Brewing Company to enjoy some brews. While perusing the beer choices on the brewery chalkboard, Aaron was shocked to find a beer called “Will you Marry Me?” which was immediately followed by a formal proposal from me, who was down on one knee.”
“Most of our choices were non-traditional. We wanted to keep the wedding as simple and personal as possible. We feel that wedding extravagancies can sometimes take away from the meaning of it all. There was no bridal party, no showers, no bachelor parties, none of the excess that can sometimes lead to more stress and financial strains.”
“We walked together hand-in-hand to the ceremony site after everyone had been seated, while a friend played soft melodies on the guitar. After a few announcements from the minister, we started the ceremony by each personally thanking our family and friends for being there and for the roles that they played in our lives. The tears of happiness were flowing almost instantly.”
“The ceremony was near our garden, in a circular space arced with walnut trees, wildflowers and mums [flowers]. At the ceremony, everyone was seated around us in an arc. Walnut trees made a natural arc behind us, and the area was bordered by wildflowers, mums, and was close to our vegetable garden and pastures. It was peaceful and serene, with the rays of the late afternoon sun beaming through the branches, and a light wind carrying an occasional leaf gracefully descending from the trees. Everyone was seated close, it was cozy, personal, as well as casual.”
“We exchanged our walnut rings, kissed, hugged our parents, and walked down the aisle and into the garden with the sunset in the horizon. Many commented that it was the most real, raw, and emotional ceremony that they had ever witnessed.” Hands up who has something in their eye right now?
“We were all seated at long tables, many of which were connected which made it feel like we were all sitting at one huge dinner table. We were in the middle of it all because we wanted as little separation as possible from our family and friends. Dinner was served family style with entrees brought to the table and guests passing dishes back and forth to one another.”
Sumptuous food, served family style in the middle of the tables, consisted of “local and organic greens and vegetables and homemade dressings, as well as loaves of local organic bread. As well as pulled pork, various homemade dipping sauces, slaw, German potato salad, and Mexican corn salad, cashew ginger carrot cake and Italian rum butter cream cake… AND “late night munchies were provided in the form of a nacho bar and sweet nutty popcorn.” YUM!!!!
“What we loved most about Brian was his guidance and intuition. He knew precisely what to say to us, when to say it, how to lead us, and how to capture the most perfect moment possible. He had an eye for detail, but he was quick and efficient, while being creative, kind, and gentle with us. He made us feel special, relaxed, joyous, and giddy. He was a dream of a photographer.”
“The highlights were the raw and emotional ceremony and the surprise choreographed number that we performed as our “first dance” (a routine to, “I’m so Excited” by the Pointer Sisters, inspired by a performance on Dancing with the Stars)”
“Communicate, listen, and compromise. Be able to relinquish control and allow your partner to have equal say in making decisions. However, allow each other to take the lead in certain aspects of the planning. If one person has a stronger eye for detail, allow that person to take control of those details and support him or her in the process.”