Jo and Noah

September 2, 2018, Arapaho National Forest, Colorado

NOT JUST FRIENDS Jo Skoda and Noah Montanye had been involved in the same youth ministry for years but didn’t connect until Jo had moved home from college and a friend invited her to a prayer and worship night. “It didn’t take long for us to realize there was a lot more planned than just friendship for the two of us,” Jo says. Noah proposed on the same downtown rooftop where they first became a couple. Their families celebrated with ice cream afterward.

CHANGE OF HEART Jo envisioned an intimate celebration, with an ethereal, romantic theme. “The idea of eloping to the mountains had casually been tossed around in a late-night conversation only to realize that this would be our perfect day.” They trimmed the guest list to about 30 loved ones who had played key parts in their lives and especially their relationship and invited everyone to an outdoor ceremony in Copper Mountain, Colorado.

Jo and Noah

ROCKY MOUNTAIN WOES During the rehearsal dinner, one of the groom’s brothers collapsed. An ambulance was called, and he was treated for altitude sickness. “It was actually kind of terrifying,” Jo says. On their wedding day, an impromptu photo opp with a horse turned comical. “He tried to eat my dress.” It was supposed to rain that afternoon so they pushed up the ceremony time, escaping with just a few sprinkles. It rained every day after, though.

FLOWER POWER Jo and her mom are the florists behind Blooms in Omaha’s Rockbrook Village, so the flowers were one of the standouts of the day. Jo grew up in her mom’s first flower shop, and flowers are their passion. “It was so special for the two of us to be able to create my bouquet together. It overflowed with orchids; it was my absolute dream.” Her mom and brother worked together on the florals for the ceremony location. “These were a surprise for me. I got my first look walking down the aisle.”

Jo and Noah

BEST ADVICE A friend told Jo to be mindful and intentional and to soak in every minute of the planning process, especially the week of and day of the wedding. “This way, when you close your eyes you’ll always be able to remember how it felt to wake up on your wedding day, to get ready with your loved ones, to put on your wedding dress, to see your groom waiting for you. I’m so grateful I took this piece of advice to heart. If I close my eyes, I can remember all of it so clearly.” A special moment came when she had both her mom and her dad, who are no longer together, walk her down the aisle. “My entire family felt whole and complete again.”

NEW LIFE TOGETHER Living together has been an adjustment. Noah says he didn’t realize how hard Jo worked, and she loves how thoughtful Noah is. One of their gifts, a throw blanket made by Jo’s grandmother, sits on the couch in their new home. “It’s a prize possession that gets lots of use and compliments from friends.”

Jo and Noah

Essential details

THE COUPLE Jo Skoda and Noah Montanye

PHOTOGRAPHER Erin Ren Photography

WEDDING DATE September 2, 2018

REHEARSAL DINNER Rental property in Copper Mountain, Colorado

CEREMONY + RECEPTION Rental property in Arapaho National Forest, Colorado

BRIDAL GOWN Lumiere by Ivy & Aster, Ready or Knot {wedding chic}

ACCESSORIES Heirloom jewelry belonging to the mother of the bride

HAIRSTYLIST Bride and sister Riley Schreiner

MAKEUP ARTIST Riley Schreiner

MEN’S ATTIRE Calvin Klein, Johnston & Murphy

RINGS Pretty in Patina, Borsheims

FLORIST Blooms

CATERER Personal chef Jenny Levasseur/The Happy Cuisiniere

RENTALS Colorado Tents & Events

MUSIC Tristin TeVelde

INVITATIONS/PROGRAMS Miranda Griffiths/Miranda Writes

HONEYMOON Family vacation in Colorado

Marjie is a writer for The World-Herald’s special sections and specialty publications, including Inspired Living Omaha, Wedding Essentials and Momaha Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @mduceyOWH. Phone: 402-444-1034.

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