As soon as you approached the intimate venue of the Wenger-Kempin wedding, a rich sense of nostalgia hung in the air. The bride, Claire, had dreamt of her wedding day taking place at her beloved grandparent’s home in Sabetha, Kansas. It wasn’t just a house; it was a reservoir of cherished family memories and traditions, a place warmly referred to as ‘Wengerville.’ This endearing name found its way onto the wedding invitations, setting a familial tone for the forthcoming celebration.
As guests approached the estate, they were greeted by a quaint iron gate that held overhead an old bell. The entrance was adorned with beautiful florals and a sign, inviting guests to announce their arrival with a resonant ring of the “Wedding Bell”, echoing throughout Wengerville.
The Wengers – known and adored by the local community – have always prioritized family. Claire, with her mother and sisters, runs Pink Antlers, a renowned party and gift shop in Kansas City. Their lives are steeped in celebration, hospitality, and tradition, elements that were thoughtfully woven into the wedding design. Personal touches of Pink Antlers whimsy found their way into the stationery, and family roles were deeply integrated into the ceremony – sisters as bridesmaids, a brother-in-law officiating, and the youngest generation embodied in a flower girl and ring bearer.
One sentimental detail that stood out was the story of Claire’s grandfather, Lavon. During an adventurous trip abroad, he had a close encounter with a hippo, a story that had been regaled for generations. So much so, that a stone hippo had found a place of honor in the courtyard fountain. To celebrate this family legend, we incorporated a fun, illustrated hippo holding a “cheers” pennant throughout the wedding design, marking it as a playful wedding mascot. On the wedding day, Claire’s grandmother, Erma, surprised everyone by wearing a hippo broach, a nod to the family’s story.
One tender tradition that particularly tugged at our heartstrings involved Claire’s father. Every time Claire would depart from home, he’d stand in the driveway, displaying the sign for “I love you” in sign language until her car disappeared from sight. In tribute to this loving gesture, we used an illustration of the same sign on the pizza boxes, accompanied by a note from the couple: “We love you more than pizza, and we really love pizza.”
As evening descended, the wedding’s ambience grew even more enchanting. The tent design, a stunning fusion of romantic, soft ruched draping and a clear gable, allowed the captivating sunset and tree canopy to become a part of the wedding’s backdrop. The centerpieces on the tables came to life with candlelight, casting a soft glow on neutral-colored floral arrangements. The high petal-count blooms added an ethereal touch to the entire scene, making one feel as if they were part of a fairy tale.
Thus, every detail of the wedding, large or small, was lovingly designed to embody the essence of family – warm, playful, deeply bonded, and steeped in tradition.