An Elegant, Natural Wedding at The Florian Gardens in Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Teal (24 and a University of Minnesota student of agricultural education communications and leadership) and Leonard (25 and a University of Wisconsin--Winnebago County youth and science educator) were introduced at a banquet for the Agricultural Education Society at their university. A few days later, Teal found Leonard on Facebook and asked him on a movie date. They dated long distance for a while, as Leonard went to Ghana to work for Africa Atlantic Franchise Farms, but Teal was able to make the trip to see him. Leonard took her on a safari, and when they went down to the watering hole to see the elephants, he proposed with a sea shell they found on the beach together earlier in the week. They got married close to Leonard's hometown in Eau Claire, Wisconsin at The Florian Gardens, a conference center that provided all the catering, rental equipment, and even a wedding coordinator! Since Leonard was so familiar with the area and the local community, it was important that they supported local vendors, from a cake baker who took over Leonard's great uncle's shop to hair and makeup professionals who were close friends of the couple. They also incorporated natural and antique decor from Down to Earth Garden Center, a local vendor owned by the couple's family. Miniature strawberry rhubarb and cherry cream cheese pies served as both place cards and guest favors. After the first dance, Leonard surprised his new wife with a very special wedding present--a vintage pickup truck from the 1950s! Leonard and Teal's wedding went on without a hitch because they were such a meticulously organized couple. "During the planning process, we made sure that every detail reflected us and those we love. Having backup plans for as many different situations as possible helps to make your event 'Murphy Proof,'" Teal advises.