COVID wreaked havoc on Kyla and Mike's wedding plans as the world shut down their dream of getting married in Costa Rica. They were understandably annoyed but still hopeful to reschedule their tropical destination wedding. Well. As things became less certain, especially international travel, Kyla and Mike became more certain that they just wanted to be married.
With lots of planning, DIY arts and crafts, help from friends, and a generous offer from Kyla's brother to host the wedding in his backyard in Council Bluffs, Iowa, K & M were able to put together a gorgeous wedding. Full of fairy lights, colorful flowers, and mid-west charm (read: humidity) the day was perfect... down to the very last donut.
The day started off in downtown Omaha in the corner suite at the sophisticated Farnam Hotel. Kyla and the girls (including mini Aussie Cali!) enjoyed charcuterie and champagne and prepared for the day in their pink and blush floral robes. Kyla actually wanted to do her own hair for her wedding day and had her talented best friend, Mary, do her makeup. Kyla looked absolutely stunning in her bridal portraits, backlit by the mid-day Omaha sun in her custom made wedding dress. Tell me this dress was not ABSOLUTELY made for her. We sent the girls off to the venue and it was the groom's turn to get ready. Mike sported his Reebok kicks and the guys enjoyed a glass of wine before heading across the river.
Kyla's brother's backyard was an eden. Flowers, green plants, lights, vines, and bricks galore! However, the biggest surprise of the day was not in the backyard but just outside the gate. I found an alley of cobblestone and overgrown plants and trees. It was a photographer's dream. Here we did our First Look and Bridal Party pictures.
The ceremony took place in the backyard underneath the arch of the gate and the green of the trees. It was decorated with white chairs with burlap bows and surrounded by colorful flowers that matched Kyla's bouquet. Kyla's brother officiated the ceremony and K & M said their I-do's in front of their closest family and friends who travelled to Council Bluffs, Iowa... which they so thoughtfully named "Council Rica."
After the ceremony, guests headed over to the other side of the backyard where a gorgeous farm table, 50 seats long, was waiting. Decorated in thousands of fairy lights, brightly colored flowers, and covered by huge wooden arches created by a family member, the table was the decorative masterpiece of the wedding! This table assembled in less than 24 hours by a group of very dedicated friends and family and really made the wedding feel like a gathering for celebration.
The reception was lit beautifully by the fairy lights and it was a perfect, Iowa evening. Live, acoustic guitar from "The Voice's" Austin Ellis set the intimate ambiance for toasts and dances and the dessert table had almost everything you could want as a sweet treat, including homemade pies and locally made donuts. Then, the music started and the dancing went all night. Just kidding, it went until 10. We sent off Kyla and Mike with a tunnel of glow sticks.
This wedding was amazing! The creativity never stopped. I was able to watch the setup from the very first hour (9am), all the way to the start of the ceremony. The teamwork, the detail, and the craftsmanship, were all a testament to how much Kyla and Mike's friends and family love them.
Maybe it wasn't the wedding they had originally imagined, but it became the wedding they dreamed of.
Congratulations, Kyla and Mike! Thank you for trusting me to capture your day.