Oh my my my my my MY!
Our bride, Amber in Petra is just a VISION on her wedding day! Amber is both beautiful inside and out and we are thrilled to see her so incredibly happy! Her big day took place on October 17th, 2020 at The Hutton House in Medicine Lake, Minnesota. Yes, during a pandemic, but like so many brides, truly made the best of it and we would say, it was a success! Celebrating love is what keeps us all going and the smiles Amber and her now husband, Jake possess in these photos by Ali Leigh Photo, are everything!
Amber is also no stranger to the wedding world! As a bridal stylist in Minnesota, she shared her excitement with brides during her engagement and wedding planning process. We are sure she gave them an extra special experience because of it. As a member of our community, it truly means so much to have her choose a Rebecca Schoneveld gown.
How did you two meet?!
"I had first met Jake back in 2012. I had been talking to one of my friends about wanting to get back into softball and joining a team. She said she had a friend Chris (our groomsman standing after the best man) who ran a team and that they're looking for girls to join. My friend and I picked a day to go watch the team so we could meet some of the team and see if I wanted to join the team next spring. She had said that her friend Chris (groomsman) was the captain, so that's who I was expecting to meet.
My friend and I got there and met a nice man helping run the team, and watched the game. This nice man I had assumed was Chris, even though he probably introduced himself but since he was running the team that is what I assumed. The nice man helping run the team that game was Jake! Not Chris! Chri was out of town so Jake,being on the team, had stepped in to help be captain while Chris was gone. It is now a long running joke that when I first met Jake, I thought he was Chris who is now one of our groomsman and dearest friends.
The following spring I ended up joining the team with "Chris" aka Jake, and actual Chris. At first I didn't really remember Jake much. We even had a team practice early in the season at the batting cages where Jake was there, but I don't remember him being there!
As we all started playing on the team together, I started getting to know everyone. My friend who introduced me to the team, myself and Jake would start to hang out after games. And eventually it turned into kind of double dating. Then intentional double dating. Then Jake and I became "official" June of 2013."
Tell us about your ceremony. Was it religious? Did you choose your own readings, music, or write your own vows? Pick a detail or two to share about.
"Our ceremony was so sweet. Our officiant Dann, really told our story. How we met, what our strengths are as individuals and as a couple. He spoke a lot about us and what we value in each other. We each gave him 5 reasons why we love each other that he read during the ceremony.
We also had Jake's (Groom) Grandpa Art do a reading of "The Art of Marriage" which was also very special."
Congratulations, Amber! Can't tell you how radiant and lovely you are! We wish you and Jake so much love and many many years of beautiful wedded bliss!
How did you choose your venue/date?
"We knew we wanted a fall date. Autumn in Minnesota is pretty short but it is the most beautiful time of the year! We picked our date because we wanted peak colors with the leaves changing for our photos! Four our venue, we wanted something near the Twin Cities. We knew we wanted to have an all in one location as well, four our ceremony and our reception. I had heard about The Hutton House when they started building it a couple years ago. Ever since I saw the blueprints and the photos of what it was going to look like, I was in love. Once we got engaged, we went and toured it that same week. It was perfect. The vibe fit our aesthetic perfectly. Sophisticated, Modern, Minimalistic, Chic. Indoor/Outdoor so we could have our ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception all right there. The bride and groom's getting ready suites are also so gorgeous and charming!"Tell us about your dress shopping experience. Where did you find your gown?
"Since I have been working in bridal the past few years, I thought it was going to be really difficult for me to decide on a gown. To be honest, I think it really made it a lot easier for me! Going in knowing how I wanted to feel and look as a bride really helped me. I knew I wanted something sophisticated, chic, romantic and timeless. I wanted something with an effortless "Wow". Before I had gone shopping for myself, I was drawn to two styles, clean and classic, and patterns (specifically floral). I thought to myself, How am I going to get both?!"
I had figured that if my dress was at my shop I work at, then I would have already known. So I started my search. My first appointment (not at my shop) I found styles I liked, but not the one. When I went to the second shop, we went through and looked at the inventory. I still remember the first time seeing my dress hanging on the rack, and was immediately obsessed. We started trying on dresses and when I got to Petra, it felt different. We tried on a coupe more but nothing compared. I remember putting Petra back on a second time, and I instantly felt everything I had imagined wanting to feel like. I felt sophisticated, chic, romantic and timeless. As I stood there looking at myself in this dress, I started envisioning our wedding. Our venue, Jake at the end of the aisle, the colors. It all cliqued. It literally felt like my personality and styled, all wrapped into this perfect dress."
(a and bé bridal - Minneapolis
What was your favorite part of the day?
"The day was such a whirlwind. It went by so fast! I honestly think our favorite moment was just Jake and I alone together waiting for our grand march/grand entrance. We were waiting together at the top of the staircase and one of our favorite songs came on, and we just held hands and sang along while we waited. We barely had any time alone together the day of so it was so sweet that we got this moment together.
My other favorite moment was probably the last hour and a half of our reception. It was our closest friends left. We had drinks and pizza. We got to play our favorite music and just take it all in. Spinning around in my dress with pizza in my hand was a mood!"
Do you have any advice to offer future brides?
"Do a little bit at a time. Don't drive yourself crazy over wedding planning. Once you love something, move on! I spent SO MUCH TIME on pinterest looking at specific flowers and centerpieces instead of just picking what I liked and moving on to other things. Also, think about the things that matter most to you and put your money and time towards that. There are naturally going to be some things you don't care as much about, and that's ok! I would also highly recommend a wedding planner or day of coordinator. For a lot of brides, we haven't planned a wedding before. So we don't know what we don't know. It was so nice to have someone to help us with logistics, questions, organization, and communication with vendors She helped us more than I would have ever thought!
As for your dress, pick the gown you love and that is "you"! You want your dress to be an extension of your style and personality. Trends will come and go, so don't always go off what's trending because in 20 years there will be a totally different style that is "in" anyways. You want to look back at your pictures in future years to come and really feel like your beautiful, bridal self."
Did you choose to wear anything sentimental on your wedding day?
"I chose to not wear anything sentimental on my big day. My look was entirely "me". I did end up using my parents cake cutting set from their wedding to cut our cake!"
Did you have any major surprises on your wedding day (or weekend)? Good or bad?
"Unfortunately, yes. Planning a wedding during COVID was extremely hard. It was a lot of changes and replanning. From logistics, and floor plan to the guest count. We had a lot of guests cancel on us the week of the wedding, and a few people even "no show" on our wedding that had RSVPd yes."
How did your dress feel during the day? Anything you would have done differently or anything you feelworked out perfectly?
"IT WAS PERFECT. I looked exactly how I wanted to. When I finally saw myself in my dress with my hair and makeup, it felt so real I felt like a bride. The dress was altered to perfection! I added buttons down the zipper of the dress and had the prettiest french bustle! I chose Steve Madden block heels for my shoes. They were super comfortable with being only about 2" high. They were simple and white to match the vibe of our wedding."
"IT WAS PERFECT. I looked exactly how I wanted to.
...it felt so real, I felt like a bride."
"You want to look back at your pictures in future years to come and really feel like your beautiful, bridal self."
How did Jake propose?
"Jake had mentioned we should go to Taylor's falls, where we had gone on one of our first dates years ago. We got there to hike around, but I wasn't feeling well. So Jake and I went to the car to sit and rest. For Jake, this was a good thing because we had gotten there earlier than he had planned and his mom was still setting up the proposal. So Jake was totally fine with relaxing and chatting in the car for a while. Once I felt better, we decided to go walk around the rocks and trails. After about 15 mins or so of walking, I realize there's a picture of Jake and I hanging from a tree down the path. That's when I realized IT WAS HAPPENING. We walk over to that first picture and Jake talks about why he picked it and it's significance. I see down the trail another 15-20 feet is another picture hanging from a tree. And another. And another. There were about 15 pictures of us and our friends and family, all leading us down a trail. Then I saw three framed pictures of us, meat and cheese, and a ring box all set out on display. Jake talked about all the pictures he had chosen and all the wonderful adventures we have shared and how many more we will share in years to come. Then he asked me to marry him. Once I said yes, I heard cheering. That's when I realize both my mom and his mom cheering and running down the steps to congratulate us. After crying and hugging both our moms, we snacked on meat and cheese and did a mini proposal shoot. It was truly an unforgettable day!" (10.22.18)
Tell us about you two!
"Jake and I are both born and raised in Minnesota. I have worked as a bridal consultant and team lead at The Wedding Shoppe for the past four years! It was exciting to be helping brides that were going through the same things with engagement and wedding planning as I was. My brides helped me so much and really gave me some good advice throughout the wedding planning process. It was really surreal to go from helping brides find their dream dress everyday, to picking out my own dress. Jake works as a machinist at a factory. So very different from my job! That's part of what we love about each other and our relationship is how different we are as individuals, as well as our strengths and weaknesses. We are both very into volleyball, concerts, traveling and food!"
Where did you find your dress and how many gowns did you try on before you said Yes?
" 3! Working at The Wedding Shoppe, I had tried on a lot of gowns! So I'll count that as one. and then I went to two other shops. At the last shop I found my dress! I am a firm believer of quality over quantity when it comes to dress shopping. It's all about finding the right dress, versus trying on the amount of dresses. As long as you feel like it's "you" and it makes you feel like a bride and you love it, Then go for it! I am so glad I bought my dress the same day as I found it. So many brides kill their magical moment with logic and over shopping. Pick your dress with your heart! It doesn't matter how many dresses you try on as long as it's the right one."
Was the gown you said yes to what you imagined you'd pick when you started out?
"Ok, so this is a hard question to answer! Since I have worked in bridal for over 4 years, I have tried on TONS of cool dresses. It has been fun to see different styles on and appreciate different styles, vibes, and designers. I think dresses I seriously tried on for my style and my dress was probably about 20 or so. My dress was exactly what I had envisioned! I had actually pinned it before shopping, which i didn't even notice until later! I think knowing what styles aren't you is really helpful. This can help you and your consultant narrow down styles. There is SO much variety in bridal right now, it really takes a lot of narrowing and focus to get your style down."