Shelby Sutherland and Jeff Lambert
September 24th, 2016
Shelby and Jeff had a beautiful fall wedding in Apple River, Illinois. Appleby Photography captured this rustic country wedding and are sharing its highlights for inspiration for you.
Where/How did you first meet?
We met at a going away party for a mutual friend in Cedar Rapids. At the time, I (Shelby) was relatively new to Eastern Iowa and Jeff was living in Monticello. Jeff made a last minute decision to attend the party, and we are both glad he did!
Though we hit it off the night we met, we did not immediately exchange numbers. Jeff asked his friends for my number and tracked me down on social media. About one month later, we agreed to meet for drinks and football on a Sunday afternoon. Then we met for dinner on Monday, and Tuesday, and…you get the idea. Jeff commuted to Cedar Rapids after work about four times per week for nearly two years. I think it’s safe to say, we both had a feeling we had met “the one” after that first Sunday football date.
We had an incredibly busy summer in 2015 with weddings, parties, concerts, and various trips. We had virtually no off-weekends to just relax. In October, we finally found a weekend with no events planned and decided to book a mini-vacation for ourselves. We decided last minute on a trip to Door County to enjoy the fall festivities. Despite my friends ongoing inklings all summer that he was going to propose (because no, we had not talked about timing or rings or anything!), I didn’t expect it on this trip since it was so last minute. We arrived in Door County on Friday night and immediately scoped out a local pub in order to watch the Iowa game the next morning. Anxious to enjoy the sites, we awoke early Saturday and decided to do some sight-seeing before game time. We spent a few hours driving around the area visiting various parks and overlooks. We had time for one more stop, and according to Jeff, he knew this was the spot as soon as we pulled up. I was off gawking at the edge of a bluff, while unbeknownst to me, Jeff was conspiring with a complete stranger. While I was distracted, he approached a fellow tourist and explained he was about to propose to his girlfriend. He handed the man his phone, and asked him to record the whole thing! Jeff then called me over to let this gentlemen ‘take our picture,’ and as I was coming back, Jeff dropped to one knee! I immediately fell into delighted panic and didn’t even hear/comprehend most of what Jeff was saying. Somewhere in between the tears and gasps for breath, I said yes! By that time we had attracted a small crowd of onlookers, and they fell into applause when I said the words. Many of them shared pictures they had taken to capture the moment, and luckily I was able to re-watch the video in order to hear all the wonderful things he said. Needless to say, the entire weekend was like a fairy tale, and is one we will always remember!
Our wedding theme was kind of rustic barn / country, very fun and easy. We decided on a stormy color palette of cool gray, blues, and purples.
After the fact, we both agreed we were surprised at how overwhelmingly emotional, and therefore memorable, our church ceremony was. Our day was somewhat non-traditional in that we did a first look and took lots of pictures before the ceremony, which was held inside a small, one-room country church. Since we had already spent time together with our family and closest friends that day, I thought the church ceremony would fly by with the day. It did not! The nerves and excitement leading up to my entrance and stroll down the aisle were incredible. I will never forget the feeling.
Easier said than done, and completely cliche, but my advice is: do not sweat the small stuff. If you love wedding planning,and have been picturing this day your whole life, then go for it! However, if you are like me, and you don’t want to get caught up, then don’t. Focus on what’s most important. We set priorities at the onset: 1) be married at the end of the day! and 2) throw a great party! We focused on those two things and tried not to stress about all the other stuff: colors, flowers, attire, food, linens, table settings, etc., etc. Grooms, if this sounds like your gal, PLEASE help when asked! If she is bringing you three options to gain your opinion, then that means she has spent hours narrowing down the hundreds of options for that particular item. If she’s asking for your opinion, then please provide one even if you don’t care!
Oak Hill’s Officiant: Sandra Wolfram
Hair piece from Etsy
Keleher’s Jewelry, Monticello, IA