A Backyard Summer Wedding in Bemidji, Minnesota
For their summer wedding along the banks of the Mississippi River, to-be-weds Marin Williams (26 and an elementary music teacher) and Dustin Oldenburg (29 and a vocal music teacher) didn't have to look far to secure their dream venue. "We got married in an outdoor ceremony in my family home where I grew up," the bride says. "The setting was both sentimental and scenic." Dressed in an ivory sheath dress complete with a sweetheart neckline, Marin outfitted her bridesmaids in charcoal gray chiffon dresses paired with yellow statement necklaces that she handmade herself. "We chose gray and yellow to complement our natural backdrop rather than compete with it," Marin says. "We were also careful to make sure we wouldn't regret our color palette ten years down the road." A variety of daisies and wildflowers lent a romantic, yet rustic feel to the day after the couple's florist handpicked the blooms the morning of the wedding. "One variety of flowers that she ordered weren't up to her standards, so she went outside and picked some that were so beautiful and fit right in with our vision!" the bride says. After exchanging vows in an outdoor ceremony in front of nearly 200 guests, Marin and Dustin celebrated with lawn games on the beach and a photo booth prior to their pontoon recessional to the reception. The music teachers even set out buckets of classroom instruments for their sendoff in lieu of rice or bubbles. "Because music is such an integral part of our lives and story, it was important that it was present throughout our ceremony," the bride says. "Having friends sing and play both the guitar and piano made our wedding day extra special."