Written by Audrey Kittrell
Their story starts in close proximity, ironically living on the same street most of college before ever meeting one another. When they did finally meet, they were almost out of time. Graduation was around the corner, and each were pursuing careers that would keep them states apart. They learned as much as they could about one another to hold onto during the two and a half years they’d be apart.
That made 2013 that much more special, when the couple found their way back to each other and could relish spending daily time together again.
Sounds like a fairytale, right? Matt thought so too. Although it was his 25th birthday, they had plans in separate states–Matt in Wisconsin for a bachelor party, and Ivy in Galena with Matt’s family. Secretly, Matt planned a fairytale proposal complete with a horse drawn carriage through the park. But as fate should have it, the horse developed a lame foot 30 minutes beforehand, forcing Matt to think on his feet. With the help of his sister, Ivy made it to the park (sans horse and carriage), and while strolling along the picturesque path, a handsome man in a suit caught her eye. With tears in their eyes, Ivy ran over the bridge to Matt where he got down on one knee and asked her to be his wife.
On a perfectly fall day in Dubuque, Ivy and Matt invited their closest family and friends to celebrate their wedding. Ivy recalls, “Understanding that life holds many momentous commitments, we were so grateful that our loved ones could share in one of our happiest.”
Ivy and her bridal party prepped for the wedding in a suite at the Grand Harbor Resort, connected to the Grand River Center where they’d hold their reception. She chose a perfect fall palette in shades of red that complemented the foliage along the river… it was nothing short of beautiful.
Ivy’s niece and flower girl went from napping to photo shoot ready in no time flat! (Though you’ll see her stuffed giraffe was still in tow for this candid shot!)
Ivy, you are gorgeous. Let’s be real. This shot gives me goosebumps! Ivy blended elements of tradition and fun (see the feather detail on her dress!) in a perfect gown she found at Mestads.
Matt and his entourage started the day at the Field of Dreams on the ballpark laughing and blowing off steam before the ceremony. Their dad’s even got in on the fun with matching suits and socks.
You can tell a lot about a person based on his friends… Matt surrounds himself with some of the nicest and funniest guys!
One trend that we can’t get enough of is the Father-Daughter First Look. It’s so full of emotion, and for good reason. Ivy and her father shared a sweet moment on the steps of the church minutes before giving his daughter away.
When Tim & I first walked into the Basilica, we were stunned by how big, beautiful and grand it is! Very reminiscent of Europe, and definitely unexpected for small town Iowa.
When I asked Ivy & Matt what stood out on their wedding day, they both romantically recounted the first moment they saw each other that day:
Ivy – “Matt and I chose to wait and not see each other until the ceremony as it was a tradition I have always been fond of. As the doors in the back of the church opened, I remember suddenly seeing the sunlight stream through the stained glass windows after it had been cloudy and overcast the entire morning – it created such a majestic and euphoric ambiance. And then there was Matt, my soon-to-be-handsome-husband, at the end of this aisle. It was truly such a powerful and glorious moment, seeing him grinning from ear to ear while also fighting to hold back tears as I walked up the aisle. In that moment, I knew this was exactly where I was supposed to be.”
Matt – “Since we decided we would not see each other until Ivy was walking down the aisle, it was a highly anticipated moment and one that I knew would be full of emotions for myself. As the moment came and I saw the doors open and Ivy began walking down the aisle, it was just as I had expected. As she approached I could see the smile on her face and the tilt in her head as she looked up to me with a slight grin on her face that I’ve come to recognize and see the genuine happiness she had at that moment. As others had recognized as well, the sheer joy of seeing my soon to be wife walking down the aisle was a moment I will never forget and certainly a moment on the day of the wedding that stands out to me and impacted me to a greater extent than other moments throughout the day.”
As if the day hadn’t been scenic enough already, the couple arranged for the bridal party and families to have pictures at the amazing Park Farm Winery near Dubuque. I give Ivy & Matt major credit for choosing the prettiest time of year for a wedding!
As the sun set in Dubuque, the Grand River Center lit up. The venue transitions well from cocktails overlooking the river to a ballroom that can accommodate even the biggest parties.
A couple’s first dance is a highlight of any wedding, but Matt and Ivy added a personal detail that made it even more special. It had been Ivy’s dream as a little girl to have her oldest sister’s band reunite to play for her wedding. Her dream came true as the group Tres performed in the Basilica for their ceremony, and again as her sister serenaded the couple for their first dance as husband and wife. “She has always been the woman I looked up to the most throughout my life, and her performance was truly momentous and a song neither of us will ever forget,” Ivy recalls.
Ivy and Matt: Congratulations on a (more than) beautiful wedding. Your story is one for the books–thank you for allowing Tim & I to capture it! We wish you all the best.
– written by Audrey Kittrell
Many thanks to the creative team who made the day so special:
Tuxedos – Milroy’s Tuxedos Dubuque, Iowa
Wedding Dress, Bridesmaid Dresses, Flowergirl Dress – Mestads Rochester, Minnesota
Hair and Makeup – The Fringe Salon Dubuque, Iowa
Wedding Rings – Mark’s Jewelry Store St. Lucas, Iowa
Ceremony – St. Francis Xavier Basilica Dyersville, Iowa
Reception Venue – Grand River Center Dubuque, Iowa
Flowers – Kim’s Kreations Epworth, Iowa
Cake – First Avenue Bakery Dyersville, Iowa
Wedding Decorations – Lynne & Brittany Lueck Decorating Dyersville, Iowa
DJ and Uplighting – Alexxus Entertainment Dubuque, Iowa
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