des moines, iowa and beyond

workflow & systems strategist

University of Iowa IMU Wedding | Jenna & Ben


I have been waiting almost a year to share this wonderful wedding and these beautiful souls with you! Their sweet, elegant and detail filled day was featured earlier this week on Midwest Bride and I am so honored to finally share Jenna & Ben’s wedding day with you. Enjoy!


Inspired by the simplicity and romance of bistros, coupled with their travels, this wedding is full of personal details and focused on the simple things in life. Jenna and Ben fittingly got engaged on Love Lane in New York City. Their wedding day was one of the most emotional and love-filled weddings I’ve been a part of. From the intentional and incredibly personal ceremony and legacy table to the details and menu selection that reflected their relationship, it truly told their story.


They grew up and met in Iowa, then proceeded to travel to Paris and Wales before settling in New York City after graduation. From the day we first met and I saw the twinkle in Jenna’s eye talking about the love she had in Ben, I knew that this would be a perfect fit and truly memorable affair. They wanted to incorporate the journey they had been on so far and honor their families that have supported them to get to where they are — to share their beautiful relationship and personalities with everyone in attendance on their special day.


The family touches and personal details were in every aspect of the day. All of the paper goods were designed and printed by one of the bridesmaids. They were so very simple and elegant. Jenna incorporated a piece of her mother’s wedding gown and her grandmothers’ brooch and garnet ring in her bouquet. Ben’s dad officiated the ceremony and there was not a dry eye in the building. One of my favorite touches was a moment of prayer, just the two of them after saying their vows.


When asked about why he loves Jenna, Ben’s description of her is exactly the attitude that we took toward the design. “Jenna is adventurous yet incredibly simple. She appreciates great things without the need for flare or exuberance. She knows what is most important and puts all of her love and time into those things – and I wanted to be one of them.”


The overall design was one inspired by a shared love for farmer’s market weekends and slowing down to appreciate the beauty in everyday. The palette was kept neutral with pops of blush and gold. We also loved the texture and natural elements brought in with beautiful summer floral from Every Bloomin’ Thing, tucked in the lovingly crafted boxes made by Jenna’s grandfather. Paris bistros and the elegance of a dim-lit evening heavily inspired the head table design. The lighting was provided by Unique Events and set the most beautiful romantic glow over everyone. To make the ballroom feel more intimate, we also brought in some trees for a true garden feel.


One of the most fun elements of the night was the very personal menu. Instead of a typical entrée choice, they decided to do food stations based on their favorite foods and places. It was one of the things that guests raved about most and the IMU Catering staff executed it beautifully. We started off with a beautiful farmer’s market peach salad and then the stations opened. Guests indulged in Iowa pork and a mashed potato bar, Welsh Rare Bit to commemorate Ben’s study abroad, Pastrami and fries for NYC, childhood favorites Grilled Cheese and Fruit. All of that was topped off with a Parisian dessert table full of truffles, cupcakes, chocolate covered strawberries and of course, macaroons!


MI Studios does such a wonderful job capturing and telling the story of their couples’ wedding days. Enjoy this film of J & B’s day. I hope it makes you feel the slew of emotions we all felt on the day.


I can honestly say that this was one of my favorite weddings to date. The love, respect and pure joy for life that Jenna & Ben have is radiant. Cheers to many years of laughter, simple love and adventure!

xoxo, Jenn


{Coordination and Styling: Harper Hadley Events | Venue & Catering: Iowa Memorial Union | Photography: Katharyne Dunn Photography | DJ and Lighting: Unique Events | Video: MI Studios | Floral: Every Bloomin’ Thing | Linens: Purchased by family }




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