An Autumn-Themed, Vintage-Inspired Wedding at Mayowood Stone Barn in Rochester, Minnesota

Nicole Mills-Novoa (32 and a designer) and Randy Orvis (31 and an information security analyst) met on St. Patrick’s Day, dated for two years and knew

Nicole Mills-Novoa (32 and a designer) and Randy Orvis (31 and an information security analyst) met on St. Patrick’s Day, dated for two years and knew they were meant to be. Randy proposed on Thanksgiving at a romantic spot on his parents’ property, while standing on a bridge over a creek. Over the next year, they planned and saved money for their wedding day, “working with friends and family to bring the celebration to fruition,” Nicole says. The couple wanted a harvest-themed fall wedding, and since Halloween was the only available date at Mayowood Stone Barn in Rochester, Minnesota, they were “over the moon with possibility.” As a designer, Nicole pulled inspiration from photographs to create a palette, draw from the bright and bold color of fall leaves, added candlelight for a romantic touch and peppered the celebration with “Halloween touches,” including an extensive candy buffet, an illuminated flower crown, romantic and mysterious portraits and a masquerade ball. Unconventional ceremony music included covers by Nina Simone and Cat Power. Readings were from I Ching (ancient Chinese classics), E.E. Cummings, novelist Louis de Bernieres and the Song of Solomon 9:6-7. The couple wrote and read their own vows. “It was so meaningful and delightfully personal,” Nicole says. “We are so proud of how perfectly our ceremony represented who we are and who we intend to be.” Her advice to other couples? "Let your wedding celebrate the life you choose to live,” Nicole says. —Chrissy Sorenson

Nicole designed the invitations using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.
Mayowood Stone Barn in Rochester, Minnesota, was designed by Charles William Mayo (Dr. Chuck) and his wife, Alice Mayo, in the early 1900s, reflecting European equestrian-style barns.
Nicole knew she wanted a romantic vintage feel for her dress and found the perfect long-sleeved bell cuff dress with a V-cut in front and delicate buttons cascading down the back while shopping in Hopkins. A long cathedral-length train “surrounded me in a halo of elegance,” Nicole says. She accented her look with Swedish clogs, diamond earrings and her mom’s vintage beaded clutch.
Nicole incorporated a white fur stole that she had bought at an estate sale and made her flower crown, embedding tiny moon lights inside so it would glow after dark, “giving me an ethereal look.”
The florist, a good friend of Nicole's, was given free reign with the flowers. The deep autumn tones added a warm and rich feel, with pine mixed in to create a natural, aromatic, earthy essence.
Nicole's mother created vintage button boutonnieres for a charming, one-of-a-kind look.
The guys in the wedding party wore classic gray suits with Chuck Tailors, plaid bow ties and funky socks.
The bridesmaids wore fall colors that worked best with their complexions, Nicole says. She honored their individual styles by encouraging them to choose whatever dress they felt most beautiful wearing. “In the end, each lady brought a different vibe of elegance that honored my love of the eclectic,” Nicole says. She made each girl a pair of earrings from golden lace trim resembling wheat florets, the heart of the harvest, flower crowns or hairpins and ordered sterling-silver Etsy necklaces inscribed with the expression, “May love be your true north.”
Nicole walked down the aisle to Cat Power's version of “Sea of Love.”
From the venue to the music and the readings, “we are so proud of how perfectly our ceremony represented who we are and who we intend to be,” Nicole says.
The overall feel of the banquet hall was eclectic autumn harvest. “The atmosphere was pure magic,” Nicole says.
Nicole's mother spent all summer crafting and collecting vintage lace, vases and table decor at thrift shops and garage sales.
Chipotle catered the wedding buffet—a delicious, casual and affordable meal option. “Our guests were so enchanted at the idea, like ‘Oh my gosh, I didn’t even know you could do that!” Nicole says.
The tablescape decor was reminiscent of a fall harvest, with rich leaves, mason jars and seasonal flowers.
Nicole and Randy’s first dance was to a live version of Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon,” performed by the band Hot Date.