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This midwest wedding redefines the traditional destination wedding

chic ranch wedding

So many couples dream of having a destination wedding, but the cost of international airfare and hotels, not to mention the added difficulty of planning a wedding abroad, can make things unnecessarily stressful. Well, this lovely wedding in the Midwestern countryside proves that a "destination wedding" doesn't have to be international. All you need is a destination and there are plenty to be had right in your backyard if you just take a look. 

Devon and Kaden hosted 190 of their friends and family members at the scenic River Bottoms Ranch for a wedding weekend that none of them will ever forget! From the welcome party to the rehearsal dinner and everything in between, De La Planning made sure that Devon, Kaden, and their guests felt like they were on one big shared vacation–and isn't that what a destination wedding is all about? Keep reading to hear more from De La Planning and get inspired to create your own destination wedding weekend.

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love at first sight

classic wedding looks

Kaden and Devon's love story started at Principia College in 2019. After catching eyes and passing each other on their way to their separate sports practices, Kaden announced to his friend, "I am going to marry that girl". After a slow start and many determined attempts, Kaden finally got Devon to go on a date with him. Their love for each other grew quickly as they found every opportunity to get to know each other. After living shortly in California for two years, the couple knew it was time to head back to their roots in the Midwest.

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a family engagement

first look with dad ideas

They packed up their things and began the road trip to St. Louis. Unknown to Devon, Kaden was planning an elaborate secret proposal in Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota, where they shared many of their favorite memories. Kaden told Devon they were going for a special work trip. So they flew to Minnesota and while Devon thought Kaden was in work meetings all day, he was really preparing for this special proposal. Kaden's family and Devon’s family traveled in to surprise Devon. That night the couple walked up the dock stairs and were greeted with a walkway lined with Devon's favorite flowers. At the end of the walkway was a little black box. Devon was SHOCKED and couldn't have been any happier. They walked the path and Kaden got down on one knee and asked Devon to spend the rest of her life with him right at sunset. SHE SAID YES! The two families spent the rest of the weekend celebrating and enjoying the beautiful lake together.

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beautiful mother of the bride dress

a wedding weekend to remember

ivory and champagne wedding invitations

From the first moments of their engagement, the couple dreamed of a destination wedding on a spacious ranch with lake views. Devon and Kaden’s destination wedding was a weekend packed with events. Friday afternoon, the couple hosted a welcome party where each guest received welcome bags filled with custom wedding newspapers, hangover kits, and custom cookies with the destination’s city iced on them. Devon and Kaden also rented a large house near the venue and hosted the wedding party all weekend. After a full day of activities, they had their rehearsal dinner at the house on Saturday night. The rehearsal dinner’s design accented the nature of the property and was catered by a private chef. The couple were surrounded by their loved ones the entire weekend which made their wedding day even more special!

custom wedding newspaper for welcome bag

a flower-lined aisle with a picture-perfect view

flower lined aisle for outdoor wedding

With mountains layered in the background and a variegated green horizon, Devon made her way down the flower-lined pathway where her groom was waiting. We love that they opted for a floor-level altarpiece for their florals. Not only does it look incredible, but it ensures that everyone has a great view of the couple no matter where you're seated. Kaden adorably held back tears as he watched Devon grace the aisle.

wedding with a lake view

groom tearing up at wedding bride walking down the aisle

just married photo ideas

the fashion

bridesmaid robe gift ideas

Devon wanted her bridesmaids to complement the neutral colors of the venue by dressing them in champagne dresses from Bec + Bridge. The bride’s beauty team kept their looks simple and clean. Devon’s hair was in soft beachy waves that beautifully accented her backless dress. Meanwhile, Kaden and his eleven groomsmen dressed in sophisticated black suits and neat bowties.

soft bridal waves

minimalist a line wedding dress embroidered tuxedo shirt for groom

adorable bridal bow for hair

little white wedding dress for reception

every last detail

ombre envelope escort card display

During cocktail hour, all 190 attendees found their names on a large wall with envelopes containing the couple’s 3 favorite qualities about each guest. Everyone was raving about this wall and you could really tell it meant the world to them that the couple thought of them!

unique escort card display ideas

custom wood welcome sign custom wood cocktail menu

an airy countryside reception

white linen and glass wedding centerpieces

Fresh muslin-colored tablecloths and all-white plates and florals kept the design for the reception crisp and light. Instead of large centerpieces, we like that the couple opted for many smaller arrangements from Little Lady Floral, who used a variety of flowers to keep things interesting and to allow for better cross-table conversations.

white and champagne wedding ideas

open air reception in the midwest

some advice from the pros

cute countryside wedding

Our advice to everyone is to reinvent your ideas about destination weddings! Destination weddings do not have to be outside of the country or far away for guests to travel. Tying the knot in a new state surrounded by loved ones can be a very special and unique way to change things up. Embrace the culture of another city with fun welcome parties at local gems, or host a fun post-wedding brunch with your wedding party! Destination weddings also don’t have to be intimate with smaller guest counts. Devon and Kaden celebrated their love with 190 of their friends and family–and it was SUCH a fun experience!

Check out the full gallery below to see even more of these stunning photos by Ashley Teresa Photo.

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