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Real Weddings: Melissa + Ben

Melissa and Ben’s wedding is so heartfelt, it’s truly wonderful to see how in love they are and how deeply they love their families and honor their traditions.

The fabulous Erin Johnson captured all of the details of their Wisconsin wedding, held at Windbeam Farm.  Trudi and Paul Schaefer, the owners of Windbeam Farm, went above and beyond for the event – Trudi created all of the amazing floral you will see and Paul ran the barbeque!

I adore Ben’s boutonniere!  His family is from Canada, so Trudi incorporated a maple leaf from a tree on the farm in with the wildflowers.

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All of the portraits are just too cute… especially this one with the scarecrows!

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Melissa’s family is from South Africa, so three proteas (the national flower of South Africa) were included in her bouquet.

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Melissa says:

“Rather than having table numbers we named each table after a vegetable. Each person’s place card was a little envelope with a seed packet of their particular vegetable, and each different table was decorated with the vegetable. Our guests found the appropriately decorated table that correlated with their seeds. “

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And what unbelievable tables they are!  The centerpieces were created by Trudi, all with flowers grown on the farm arranged in mason jars and finished with rope ties – the result is pure perfection.

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The silverware at each place setting was tied with twine and a pun was attached.  Melissa and Ben love puns and the guests had a great time sharing their puns with the rest of their table!

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The catering was done by Chow Girls, who used ingredients sourced from local farms.  Melissa says:

“We wanted the food to represent the time and place of our marriage. We had four different cheeses during the cocktail hour that were each from midwestern artisan cheese makers, served with local lavender honey and homemade jams and chutneys.

We served wine from my hometown in California, San Luis Obispo, and beer from Minneapolis, Ben’s hometown. We really wanted every aspect of our wedding to have importance and meaning, representing us, individually and as a couple.

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About their wedding cake, Melissa shares:

“From the start, I was adamant that I would make my own wedding cake. Traditionally in both South Africa and Canada, wedding cake is fruit cake. My mom made her own wedding cake, and I used the same cake pans that she used to make her wedding cake to make my own. The recipe was my great Aunt’s recipe. She made it for her wedding and for her daughters’ weddings.”

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Favors were six flavors of biscotti, baked by the bride, and a CD of the couple’s favorite music, compiled by the groom.

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In lieu of a band or DJ, Melissa and Ben had square dancing! Ann Carter was the caller and the remainder of the band was put together by a friend of the couple.  Ann quickly taught everyone the basics of square dancing and had everyone on the floor in no time!

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A favorite…

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Melissa and Ben, thank you for sharing your wedding day with us!  Your ceremony and reception was uniquely yours and is so inspirational for everyone looking to incorporate meaningful and personal details into their weddings.

More photos of Melissa and Ben’s wedding can be found on Erin Johnson’s blog, which is just full of lovely images!

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