BY THE LIGHT OF THE GAS STATION Mutual friends played matchmaker by arranging an impromptu late-night introduction at a gas station. Drew rolled out of bed and showed up groggy and sporting a hoodie festooned with a Canadian flag pin. Melanie was less than impressed. “Drew was the complete opposite of every guy I had ever swooned over. He was too short and too skinny, his hair and eyes were too brown and what was the deal with that hoodie? Is he even Canadian?” She told her friend, no thanks. DREW’S TOP 10 Undeterred, Drew messaged Melanie via Facebook. Despite her cool response, he tried again, this time listing 10 random facts about himself ranging from his first hamster, Smokey, to his traumatic introduction to the movie “Jurassic Park.” Melanie was hooked. Their first date was to Vala’s Pumpkin Patch, where they got lost in a corn maze but found each other. NOW FOR THE SWOONING “I never thought that I would end up marrying the boy I didn’t initially swoon over,” reflects Melanie, “but when I first saw him on our wedding day, there was so much swooning! He was so handsome. He was everything I’ve ever pictured in a groom.” THE MISSING MATRIARCH Instead of a bouquet toss, the couple opted for an “Anniversary Dance” with Drew’s grandparents – the longest-married couple in the room. When the dance started, though, Drew’s grandmother, Marla, was nowhere to be found. A cousin filled in while the rest of the family scrambled to locate grandma. “The DJ had to drag out the song,’’ Melanie says, laughing at the memory. “Finally, Marla was located (in the restroom) and rushed to the dance floor to join her husband of 58 years and receive the bouquet.” SYMBOLIC SCRAPS The bride used leftover pieces of her gown (which had been altered) to wrap the stems of the bridesmaids’ bouquets and the mothers’ corsages. “It was a great way to personalize the flowers and let each woman know she was a very special part of my wedding day,” says Melanie. SILLY SIGNAGE The couple needed signage to direct guests to the ceremony, reception, lawn games, bar and restrooms. “Drew came up with ‘We Do. We Dance. We Dine. We Play. We Wee,’” Guests especially loved the latter sign, says Melanie. POINT OF INSPIRATION Melanie, using a Pinterest photo as inspiration, made a guestbook “tree” by cutting leaves from scrapbook paper for guests to sign. After the wedding, the bride glued the leaves onto a canvas and added a coat of Mod Podge to seal the collage. Today the keepsake hangs in the newlyweds' living room. GOTTA LOVE THE GRANDPARENTS Because the couple has a 2-year-old son, they don’t always take time for themselves. Melanie’s dad and stepmom came up with a clever solution. Each month on the date corresponding with their wedding, the newlyweds receive a gift card from them redeemable for date-night babysitting services. Melanie's reaction: “Best. Gift. Ever!” MORE S’MORES, PLEASE! Guests had a fun dessert option: S’mores around a roaring campfire. “It was perfect for an outdoor wedding as the sun set and it started to get chilly,” notes Melanie. WHAT HE SAYS ABOUT HER “I knew I was going to be stunned, but there was no preparing for it. I saw my entire life in front of me, yet everything was focused around that single moment. As soon as I saw her, every bit of nervousness went away. I thought, ‘Okay, we can do this. We can do all of this because we are together.’” PLAN YOUR PINS Melanie wishes she had collected her wedding inspirations in a more organized manner on Pinterest. A single inspiration board made it difficult to find specific pins. “It would have been much less stressful to have categorized my pins according to ‘DIY ideas,’ ‘table decoration,’ ‘flowers,’ ‘wedding gown inspiration,’ etc."

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ESSENTIAL DETAILS

BRIDE & GROOM: Melanie Lurry & Drew Horstman

PHOTOGRAPHER: Daniel Dunlap Photography

REHEARSAL DINNER: Chop's Bowl

CEREMONY & RECEPTION: Danish Vennelyst Park

BRIDAL ATTIRE: Suburban Bridal

HAIR STYLIST: Kayla Getzschman 

MAKEUP ARTIST: Tricia Prososki 

BRIDESMAID DRESSES: Zulily

MEN'S ATTIRE: Flying Worm Vintage, TargetThe Tie Bar

RINGS: Sockel Inc., custom design 

FLORIST: Northwest Florist & Nursery

CAKE: Goldenrod Pastries, Lincoln

RENTALS: Rental City

MUSIC: Image Entertainment

PAPER GOODS: KN Kreative

CATERER: That Place Eatery

TRANSPORTATION: Ollie the Trolley

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