A Rustic Botanical Garden Wedding at Mayowood Stone Barn in Rochester, Minnesota

Elizabeth “Elle” Walter (30 and an emergency medicine physician) and Bryce Fogelson (30 and a firefighter) met at the Rochester, Minnesota, fire stati

Elizabeth “Elle” Walter (30 and an emergency medicine physician) and Bryce Fogelson (30 and a firefighter) met at the Rochester, Minnesota, fire station where Bryce worked when—as part of Elle’s first-year residency EMS rotation at the Mayo Clinic—she was required to do a ride along. The two bonded while responding to medical calls, and by the end of the day they knew there was a love connection. Bryce called her the next day. While dating, they traveled to Montana and Vancouver, British Columbia, to visit Elizabeth’s family—a true test of their relationship. A year later, they were engaged (with an aquamarine-and-diamond ring that Elle had designed with a custom jeweler, who works only with conflict-free diamonds and gems). They hired a planner to keep them on track with meetings and vendors and deadlines for their April wedding at Mayowood Stone Barn in Rochester, five minutes from the couple’s house. A beautiful rustic barn surrounded by fields, “it provided the perfect backdrop to our botanical-themed wedding.” The design motif was botanical, organic and rustic, with sea glass as the primary color and coral, blush and gold accents to “glam it up a little,” Elle says. Their ceremony took place in the barn's spacious loft—complete with exposed wooden beam rafters—and personalized with flowers, satin ribbons and a garland of greenery. A harpist played the Celtic harp, and a folk trio performed original compositions during the ceremony, incorporating bluegrass and traditional Irish music with a modern, fresh twist. During the reception, Mayowood's rustic feel was repeated with reclaimed barn-wood boxes filled with flowers, stunning centerpieces that left an impression on guests. Guests enjoyed signature drinks of a “Minnesota Mule” (Moscow Mule) and a “Missoula Mojito” (blackberry mojito), representing Bryce's and Elle's home states; an eclectic meal of Thai, Indian and American foods; a three-tier cake and a dessert bar; entertainment provided by a DJ; and a fun surprise performance by the “Byron Moms” (Bryce's mother and her friends)—who sang an original song about the couple's meeting at the fire station. At the end of the night, the couple received a romantic sparkler send-off, then interested guests took a trolley to the Doggery bar for after-party popcorn and cocktails. Looking back on her celebration, Elle’s advice is to let go when the day comes. “Everything will come together,” she says. And even if things don’t go exactly as planned, it will be all right. For example, she says, there was a thunderstorm on their wedding day, but “in the end, there was also a rainbow, so it worked out okay.” —Chrissy Sorenson

Elle used a small printing company to create her letterpress invitations with a botanical-themed template. She selected “dusty aqua” as the ink color, purchased two-pocket paper enclosure folders, then dressed up the enclosures with gold and white embossing, reminiscent of an English garden rose stamp. On the inside, she stamped “Eat Drink and Be Married.” Botanical blush peony envelope liners were purchased online, then the liners were cut to fit the envelopes. In the end, she says, the cost was about $5 per invitation, plus more than 20 hours of construction time.
Mayowood Stone Barn in Rochester, Minnesota, features traditional barn doors, stone walls and arches, brick floors, wood ceilings and expansive windows. A wedding at Mayowood includes access to the outdoor grounds, carriage way, loft (used during inclement weather), restrooms and private rooms for getting ready.
Elle’s bouquet was a hand-tied, architecturally shaped bouquet consisting of mink proteas, pincushion proteas, blushing bride proteas, thistle, rosemary, dusty miller, roses, anemones and succulents wrapped in satin.
Elle found her dream wedding dress with a fit-and-flare silhouette, a sweetheart neckline, Chantilly lace and tulle, and an illusion back with buttons cascading down. Her jewelry was kept simple, so as not to distract from the gown.
The five bridesmaids wore silk chiffon bridesmaid dresses in dusty shale and chose the styles that suited them best.
Bryce wore a dark gray Joseph Abboud suit with a white shirt and a black tie. “He’s not a fancy guy, so he wanted to wear something simple,” Elle says.
The ceremony took place in front of a large open window decorated with a cascade of ribbons and hanging flowers. “There was just enough of a breeze floating through the window to bring some movement to the hanging ribbons and flowers,” Elle says. “The effect was beautiful.”
A chalkboard encouraged guests to take their succulents home and “let love grow.”
Elle printed and constructed the little flags to go in the succulents, serving as the escort cards. She bought the digital template on Etsy.
The same backdrop that was used upstairs during the ceremony was moved to above the head table during the reception at Mayowood Stone Barn in Rochester, Minnesota. It included a cascade of snapdragons, larkspur, spray roses and lisianthus hung from satin ribbons with a garland of greenery draped across the top.
The three-tier cake featured a layer of chiffon cake poppyseed with raspberry filling, semisweet chocolate with blackberry buttercream filling, and an Italian cream pecan cake with coconut-burnt buttercream-maple syrup filling. The cake was frosted in a ruffled buttercream and decorated in greenery and a “Best Day Ever” topper in gold cursive. 
A wooden “Love the journey” sign was placed near the favors: bicycle-shaped bottle openers.
Guests received little whimsical metal bicycle bottle openers stating “Let the Adventure Begin.” According to Elle, “We chose these favors because of our love of the outdoors and biking together.”