A Rainy Spring Wedding | Cody+Mandi | Milford, KS
Cody and Mandi’s wedding was supposed to be an outdoor ceremony on the Bitterlin Farm in Milford, KS. Cody and Mandi planned hay bales for seating and decorated an endearing arbor for their ceremony. Little did they know, Mother Nature had a [very] rainy spring wedding in mind for them. They started watching the forecast about a week ahead of time and we chatted about various alternatives and back-up plans for their ceremony. Then just a few days before their wedding, they made the decision to move their ceremony to an indoor location — Zion United Church of Christ in Junction City. I think everyone was a little upset initially, but Mandi and Cody certainly weren’t about to let it damper their wedding day. I was bummed for Mandi and Cody because as I’ve gotten to know them, they are definitely an outdoorsy and adventurous couple, so an outdoor ceremony was a perfect fit for them. But, I was very thankful that they are a relaxed, roll-with-the-punches kind of couple to deal with this kind of forecast for their wedding day:
Cody and Mandi met through a mutual friend at Rusty’s Outback in Aggieville. Cody was with his best friend, Vic, and the two of them kept Mandi rolling with laughter all night long. She remembers feeling like she was hanging out with her best friends even though she had just met both of those guys that night! Mandi must have left a good impression on Cody that night, because he tracked her down through Facebook and asked her out on their first date that weekend to Milford Lake.
Their proposal story is one I absolutely swoon over as I can relate to it on so many levels! After 5 years of dating and many adventures together, Cody and Mandi traveled to Jackson Hole, WY to have a fun vacation with a few friends, Vic, Madelyn, Jared, and Julie. Jared and Julie were travelling separately, but when Mandi, Cody, Vic, and Madelyn arrived, it was one of the hottest weeks of the year and their cabin did not come equipped with an air conditioner. Vic hilariously threw a fit about the sweltering cabin which led to the solution of Mandi and Cody going fishing while Vic and Madelyn “looked for fans”. Mandi and Cody didn’t have a single bite while they were fishing, and they returned to the cabin.
It was starting to seem like nothing was going right. They decided to change and watch the sunset from the back porch of the cabin. They ended up walking down the backyard to take in the view and as they were walking, Mandi noticed a HUGE morel mushroom. She hit Cody and excitedly notified him of the morel. As they walked towards it, they realized it was fake. Mandi assumed it was someone house key holder, and picked it up. As she opened it, she expected to find a house key, but instead, she saw a shiny new diamond ring! She slammed it shut, jolted up, and thought she was ruining someone else’s engagement proposal. Then she saw Madelyn and Vic with their phones out, and turned to wide-eyed Cody, who asked her what was wrong. She was so confused, so she picked up the morel again to double-check she wasn’t imagining the ring. And when she bent down to get it, Cody got down on one knee and asked her to marry him! She later learned that while Vic and Madelyn were “looking for fans”, they were actually getting the morel set in place. And to top it all off, Cody had hand-carved the morel mushroom! (It is seriously impressive — photos below of course!)
Their wedding day started at Platinum & Co. in Manhattan where the ladies were getting hair and make-up done. Mandi was amazingly calm, and her and her bridesmaids kept me laughing from the moment we met. After hair and make were complete, they headed to the farm in Milford to finish getting ready and dressed for the wedding. Mandi was happy to brave the misting rain and wind for a few outdoor bridal portraits. I’m so glad she wasn’t concerned about her dress getting a little wet because her bridal portraits are absolutely stunning!
Then came the groomsmen and ushers. Once we had Mandi hidden again, we called them away from their game of pool in the basement for a few photos. The guys were totally hilarious right off the bat. I don’t think I can find the words to describe them…But I think the pictures describe their personalities well!
Mandi and Cody had opted for a first look on their wedding day, and Mandi envisioned it by one of the gates on the farm. Their first look was so sweet!! After their first look, Cody and Mandi took a few bride and groom portraits on the farm, and then we invited the wedding party out for a few fun photos as well! Although it was cold and windy, the rain stopped for about 20 minutes and it was just enough time to get a few outdoor photos!
Afterwards, we headed to the church for family pictures, and then the ceremony. Even though it wasn’t their original plan to have their ceremony in a church, everyone was comfortable, warm and dry, and able to focus on Cody and Mandi’s sweet and yet hilarious wedding ceremony.
Following the ceremony, everyone was ready for the party bus! Unfortunately, the speaker was non-existent, so they decided to stop at the local Wal-Mart and pick one up. [Did I mention yet that Cody and Mandi are easy-going and able to roll-with-the-punches?] And as Mandi said, “it’s hard to party on a party bus with no music!”. So of course we had to document the classy-ness of visiting Wal-Mart on their wedding day!
Once we were back in Manhattan, we stopped on KSU’s campus for a few more bride and groom photos since we knew we wouldn’t have any other opportunity throughout the rest of the day.
We were then ready to arrive at the reception where guests were enjoying snacks and the selfie station prior to dinner being served. They had the traditional toasts from the best man and maid of honor and the bride and groom’s first dance, but then they did a donut bar instead of a cake cutting! And they weren’t just any donuts — they were VARSITY donuts. [And if you still can’t relate to the perfection of Varsity Donuts, you need to make a special trip to Manhattan to try them.] Then, Cody and Mandi spent the rest of the night talking with guests and enjoying their reception!
To Cody and Mandi — I am beyond thankful that you chose me to capture your wedding day. It was wonderful to witness the beginning of your next big adventure. Thank you a million times over for being so incredible! Your joy is contagious and I absolutely loved being surrounded by it on your wedding day!
Here are the amazing vendors who contributed to their perfect wedding:
Ceremony Venue: Zion United Church of Christ | Junction City, KS
Reception Venue: Houston Street Ballroom | Manhattan, KS
Caterer: Dieck’s Catering | Clay Center Locker Plant
Donut Bar: Varsity Donuts | Manhattan, KS
Dress Designer: Galina Signature | purchased from David’s Bridal
Bridal Shoe Designer: Betsy Johnson
Hair Stylist/Salon: Megan Deters @ Platinum & Co | Manhattan, KS
Make-Up Artist: Platinum & Co | Manhattan, KS
Transportation: Royal Purple Transportation | Manhattan, KS
Florist: Kistner’s Flowers | Manhattan, KS
DJ: To The Max DJ Entertainment | Lenexa, KS
Videographer: Silver Creek Creative | Manhattan, KS