Monday, October 29, 2012

Wedding recommendations

I'm baaaa-aaaaack! That was said in my most scary haunted house-ish voice, just so you know. Happy Halloween week, all! Oh, and happy new last name week to me...we just got the marriage license in the mail so I am headed to get de-Kratoska'd at the DOT today. Going to be strange to change things up after almost 30 years (especially since Kratoska was not an easy one to learn), but I'm pretty pumped to have become a Stensland! Just in case you're doesn't feel any different to be married. I still make dinner every night, and Main Man still takes out the trash. I catch glances of my updated ring with the wedding band on it once in a while, and that's about the extent of the change so far. I'll keep you posted on any new developments in that department though...
This post was meant to be all about the jewelry...I had it all set up with the best pics of my jewelry and the bridesmaids jewelry, so you could see the details of it and love it like I do. But then I couldn't choose my favorite photos, so I thought I would showcase the photographer here too...and then I saw one photo that perfectly showed the flowers and the jewelry together, and thought I should add the flower lady in here too. So this just turned into an "if you're getting married in Iowa, use these vendors because they rock my face off" post. So here we go :)
My mom's long time friend, Laura Comito, handmade all the fabulous jewelry for me and the wedding party. I've known Laura since I can remember, and I used to babysit her kids when I was a teenager, so when I thought about jewelry, I knew I had to talk to her and get some one-of-a-kind stuff that was not off the shelf like everyone else's stuff. I couldn't be happier with the results! She owns Artworks Studio (click on the link to hit her facebook page) in Carroll and she put together the most stunning jewelry I could've dreamed of for my big day! See my antique broach with dual pearl strands??  See the the yellow, grey, and silver beading for my bridesmaids? See it?? *Sigh* I hope I have another fancy occasion to wear this piece again, and also hope for a daughter to pass it down to someday.

Laura packed the necklaces in a gift box for the bridesmaids and I made these thick holders for the earrings to gift them to the bridal party. I was given the .pdf from a friend who saw that I had pinned something like this on Pinterest...she had just made something similar for her sister's wedding and sent me the file so I could make my own. How awesome did they turn out!? I'm not sure how to include a .pdf in a blog post (mama needs to practice blogging more now that wedding planning is over) so if you would like this file, you can email me at and I will send it to you.

These were the photos I thought showcased the jewelry the best, but these are also some of my favorite photos from the photographer. The veil effect turned out beautiful...
For those of you that didn't see my blog post with the engagement photos, you haven't heard me singing Paul's praises from the rooftops yet. I've been in a lot of weddings, folks...and I mean a lot. Paul is by far the best photographer I've ever seen in action, between getting guys to do Pinterest poses they really don't want to do, to working the flower girls and ring bearer into smiling when we needed them to, to getting Main Man and I to look so natural in some extremely awkward poses that feel anything but normal....Paul is the man. If you are in need of a photographer for family photos, senior pics, newborn sittings, or especially for weddings...tell Paul I sent you to and get ready to see yourself turn into a real life model before his camera lens. I'm telling you guys...I do not look this good in real life!
The next person I need to let you know about (and believe me, you want to know about her) is Naomi at Iced by Naomi (which is a subset of Cache Bake Shop in Clive, IA). We had three different flavors of cakeballs, and I literally saw people stuffing them in their pockets as they walked by the cake table. This is not an exaggeration. I told them they can have as many as they want, and they continued to stuff them in their pockets like little kids. These things were to. die. for. No joke. And this is coming from a chick who didn't care if they had cake at the wedding at all...we weren't even going to do a cake cutting ceremony at all. Main Man and I have always been the type to have another plate of food rather than hit the dessert table. You guys, we ate that cake down to the box...we licked the frosting off that sucker. It was a little embarrassing. I just want you all to know how serious I am here...we shall never order cake from anyone else again. Ever.

Besides, Naomi came and set the whole table up, leaving us no work to be done involving the dessert table. Awesomesauce. If you want to contact Naomi, you can email her at and tell her I sent you!

Now for the flower...ohhhhhh, the flowers!! For those of you that don't know, my mom went to horticulture college and used to own her own flower shop. She was a bit nervous letting me hire someone to do the flowers for the big day, but I didn't want her worrying about a job that large the day of the wedding...and I had the perfect person in mind. Jessica did the wedding flowers for a good friend of mine who got married last Fall and I was in love with them. They were gorgeous shades of purple I hadn't ever seen before, put together so perfectly that I kept trying to snap pictures at all angles to get the best angle to capture their beauty...but to no avail. Absolutely breathtaking.
So naturally, I got Jessica's contact info from my friend, and met with her to see what she thought about my colors. I showed her some Pinterest photos, talked to her a few times, and she delivered the flowers without me even seeing her the day of the wedding. Totally hands off, totally beautiful, totally what I wanted, and totally reasonable pricing. She was the easiest vendor possible, and I couldn't have asked for a better result. If you need flowers for any occasion, Jessica works at the Botanical Center in Des Moines, so she's very knowledgeable if you have questions. You can contact her by email at
As you know if you saw the post about our save the dates, my cousin Emma is an extremely talented graphic designer and just opened  her own business called Doodle Poodle Designs. She designed and assembled all our programs for the day of the wedding, from a couple ideas I sent her. I don't even have words to describe how great she is at what she does, her meticulous eye is evident when you see the finished product. I have some very talented family members, I'm telling you!
OK, I can't stop, here are a few more of my favorite photos of Main Man and I on the big day...I could look through these all day. Each of these photos gives me the lovely feeling of being there in the moment all over again, and allows me to continue to enjoy all the wonderful details that went into planning for it all.
He's perdy handsome, huh!?

Just announced...Mr. and Mrs. Main Man
The picture above and the picture below both show the gorgeous venue we were so lucky to find when searching for the place to hold our big day. Prairie Moon winery in Ames was one of the first places we visited, and we both fell in love with it immediately. There's such a laid back but classic ambiance there...and I can't think of a better place to have gotten married, than in a vinyard. The owners are fantastic people, and were more than helpful with planning questions, suggestions, and vendor ideas since they do have weddings there most every weekend...they've had some practice at this stuff! If you have any need for an event venue, even business meetings, be sure to keep them in mind....Janet saved my life a few times with her planning help, you can contact her at so she can save yours too!

We had actually used our DJ before the wedding, so he wasn't hard to find! Ty-Tunes is owned by a young dude from Main Man's hometown who started his own business at a young age, and really gets a person excited to do something with themselves when hearing his story. He's been working as a DJ since he was in high school, giving up his weekends to work parties and now weddings, and just has the entrepreneurial spirit that I love to see in a young guy! We had Main Man's 30th birthday party a couple years ago in our shop, and Tyler was there with all his sound and light equipment to make sure the party went off without a hitch...and it did! We will continue to use him and recommend him to friends for any DJ needs, if you would like to get ahold of Tyler you can email him at to see if he is available for your needs. Tyler even set up the music outdoors for our ceremony, and then moved his equipment inside for the reception so we could use him for the whole event. Everything was perfect, and he kept the night moving at the right pace too...we will be calling your for our next big shindig, Tyler!

Pinterest shot :)
Seeing each other for the first time before the ceremony

Three generations of ladies...Bingaman, Kratoska, and now Stensland

The dress I won in a Facebook contest from Simply Bridal

Yes, I had a bridesman. My oldest friend Chris stood up on my side for the wedding.
Since this is a food blog, I should definitely mention how wonderful our caterer was (which you already know if you're from the Carroll area). We used Lidderdale Country Store for our meal the night of the wedding, and although I don't have photos of any of the food yet, you betta baleev they're coming! I've grown up going to weddings using Lidderdale so it was a given to use them for our celebration, knowing they would be completely hands-off for me, and the food would be phenomenal per usual. We served poppyseed chicken, pork loin in au jus, and lasagna (Main Man's choice) for our mains as well as baby red pototoes in butter and garlic, corn, 7 salads (including their famous caesar and my favorite taco) and not one person left hungry, I would put money on that! They are extremely reasonably priced too, which sweetens the pot even more.
Anyway, I'm sure all of you are excited to hear that we will be back to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow...and I will actually give you recipes the rest of the week! It's been a nice little hiatus but I have some yummy things to share with you so stay patient, and we will be back in full force tomorrow!
Mrs. S :)

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  1. Your day was perfect! I got a little teary-eyed looking at your photos. So happy for you!

  2. All the wedding photos shared in this post were amazing and wonderful. This post may inspire the engaged people in planning their dream wedding. They need a proper assistant like a wedding planner iPad app for planning and organizing the wedding.

  3. Great recommendations. And I stumbled upon these just in time. My sister is getting married this weekend. The guest list is quite long and the reception is at the event space San Francisco. We are just giving some final touch to the arrangements and I’m glad I read this article before the wedding.