An outdoor wedding on a family farm.
For any nature-loving adventurer, an outdoor wedding wouldn’t take even five minutes to consider. And for rock climbing junkie Theresa Hughes, it took very little to realize her then-fiancé’s family farm would make the perfect wedding venue.
Now Theresa Seitz, the Dayton-native was tired of seeing so many restrictions tied to some of her possible wedding locations: closing times, required caterers, expenses and more. So on Aug. 25, she married Donald Seitz at his parents’ 50-acre Kentucky farm. “He was partial to the farm just because of all the nostalgia,” Theresa says. “He had always grown up going down there.”
But getting married on the farm isn’t the only way the couple feeds their cravings for the outdoor world. Now residing in Cincinnati, Donald and Theresa, frequently go hiking, camping, backpacking and rock climbing, which made Caldwell Nature Preserve the perfect location for their April 2011 engagement. “He really wanted to propose outdoors because that’s kind of who we are,” says Theresa.
A designer at Interbrand, Theresa was adamant about using her own skills to get creative and start planning her wedding, even though it meant a hefty amount of work. She developed a mood board and went Pinterest-crazy to discover what type of feel she wanted to emulate. She designed her own invitations — printed with the texture of tree bark and their initials (T + D) carved in a heart — as a way to reference the oak tree they planted on Donald’s farm to symbolize their love, and she made her own lantern and grape vine table arrangements. She had a photo booth at the reception, which acted as a party favor for the guests. When it was dark enough, they lit purple and green “wish lanterns” and released them into the sky. With the help of her husband, family and friends, she built the altar they got married on, furnished the barn and built a fence to keep the horses from roaming during the ceremony. “Between family and friends, they’re the whole reason everything worked out,” she says. “They took the extra time to help us set up everything.”
And instead of having her guests drive to a hotel for the night, they camped out under the stars at the farm.
Theresa’s V-neck wedding dress had sheer straps, lace appliqué, crystals and a scalloped bottom. “I’ve always wanted a lace dress,” she says.
But Theresa didn’t buy her dress at a bridal shop. “I went down to Reading and I was trying on all these dresses. I always heard that when you found the right dress, you would just start crying. And I wasn’t getting that,” she says. So she turned to the internet.
“I went to the vintage section and I saw this dress and I just absolutely fell in love with it,” she says. “I was definitely nervous, [but] I have this attitude about everything: If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.”
Theresa’s bridesmaids wore green dresses and carried white and purple bouquets. Her four-layered, white and chocolate-flavored cake was decorated with ivory icing, leaves, flowers and purple ribbon. Along the aisle, flowers overflowed mason jars, but other than that, Theresa says there weren’t many decorations. “I just thought the farm was beautiful on its own and I really didn’t think we needed to add a whole lot to it,” she says.
Looking back on her special day, Theresa says everything was surreal. “It was almost like I was in a dream,” she says. “Everything was just going by so fast.”
Her favorite part of the day? Walking down the aisle with her parents. “Both of my parents were a huge part of my life and I wanted them both to walk me down the aisle,” she says. “You can see everyone’s faces when you’re walking down the aisle and you can just tell that you’re loved.”