Ceremony space with backdrop arch and aisle flowers with fall flowers and fall leaves for a fall wedding in Minnesota by Sonnenblume Flowers at Rum River Barn and Vineyard

Grace + Jeffrey

My biggest wedding yet, and the last of the year, was Grace and Jeffrey on October 19th at Rum River Barn and Vineyard.

Photos marked with an asterisk (*) by Behind the Beard Photography. Decorating and planning by The Celebration Box Decor.

These two were an awesome couple and I loved working with them and making their vision of a wild, autumnal wedding a reality. They gave me a lot of creative freedom to interpret their color palette and floral materials, so I really enjoyed creating the different designs for the day.

We wanted to really reflect the amazing fall colors of the day, so I used deep red and copper flowers paired with yellows and oranges. I mixed in some lovely dried hydrangea from a friend’s garden, and dried grasses from the field around the flower garden. I was worried that there wouldn’t be any nice fall leaves left by that time of the year, but as it turned out there were plenty of branches left bearing colorful autumn leaves, so I set out into the woods with a pair of loppers to get the best ones to incorporate into the designs.

The ceremony space for this wedding was a dream. The mother of the bride wanted to add an extra element to the ceremony, so we dreamed up these arrangements that would line the aisle at the ends of the hay bale seats. It was a challenge to develop the arrangements for this outdoor ceremony, because I wanted to have a full, airy design, but they turned out to be fairly top-heavy. Combined with the gusty autumn wind, they tended to tip over… so I engineered a little system of placing landscape staples, usually used to hold my landscape fabric on the flowerbeds, around the bottom of the vases to provide support. The 2 larger aisle markers, which had even more flowers (including that lovely touch of blue), were secured to their barrel stands by surrounding them with large screws. The effect was quite magical and totally worth the futzing.

One of my absolute favorite elements of this wedding was the ceremony backdrop arch. I loved covering it with an abundance of fall-colored flowers and autumn leaves, smilax, dried hydrangea, and hanging strings of carnation heads.

I constructed this without using any floral foam… it was October, around 60* and a little humid from a recent rainfall, so I simply stuck the flowers into a Holly Chapple pillow (a mechanic developed to mimic chicken wire balls but easier to maneuver and reuse), that I wired and stapled to the arch. The flowers lasted through the ceremony and through the end of the night after being repurposed as a photo backdrop. No single-use plastics involved.

For her bridal bouquet, Grace wanted something quite loose and organic, with a hand-gathered, fresh-picked look that allowed each flower to be seen and shine. I wasn’t sure originally if the little touch of blue that she wanted to incorporate would really “work,” but after adding the three stems of light blue delphinium, I knew it was the perfect touch to the bouquet. I finished it off with a hand-dyed, olive green cotton ribbon.

Boutonniere with fall flowers and fall leaves for a fall wedding in Minnesota by Sonnenblume Flowers at Rum River Barn and Vineyard

Jeffrey, the groom, wore an awesome burgundy suit with a floral tie and pocket square. His boutonniere included a couple pieces of precious bunny-tail grass that I’ve been hoarding, since I didn’t get too much of it from the garden this year.

We weren’t originally planning on covering the WHOLE wall behind the head table in smilax, but once I arrived onsite and realized that I had enough greenery, and there was a 15-foot ladder available, how could I pass up the opportunity?⁠

It turned out to be a bit more difficult of an undertaking than I thought, as I’d never done anything like that before. There was a lot of moving ladders and tying smilax pieces together and to the wall, and sorting the vines out amidst all of the tables and chairs that had already been placed and set. But, as you can see, it was all worth it in the end for the amazing effect it created.⁠

Each table was decorated with a cluster of random bud vases, some provided by myself and some by the bride’s mother. I filled each one with flowers, greens, and dried grasses, and surrounded them with smilax greenery.

The reception space in the basement of the barn was kept simple… a small hand-tied flower bunch hung from each pillar, and each of the cocktail tables had a dainty jar of baby’s breath to adorn it.

All in all, a gorgeous wedding and a great day for my biggest wedding yet… I learned a lot from the experience of putting the whole thing together and setting it up.

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