Real Wedding: Kristen & Caleb- A lovely garden wedding at Boerner Botanical Gardens

October 12, 2015

It was two weeks before college started when Caleb met Kristen at bible study. Kristen was off to North Central University in Minnesota and Caleb to Cedarville University in Ohio. “It’s a miracle that we’re finally married,” Caleb says. “Our entire dating relationship (other than summers, school breaks, and the times we flew to see each other) has been completely long distance. In fact, we still have school left to complete! But God pretty much set us up from the beginning, and He will see us through this time, too!”

When the two got engaged, Caleb took Kristen to a restaurant they went to when they first started dating, then the couple walked through Whitnall Park. “I had a photographer hiding in bushes and a beautiful spot where I planned to propose,” Caleb says. He had designed a custom ring in a style he thought Kristen would love — and he hit it out of the park! She, of course, said “yes.”

Kristen and Caleb’s immense faith was the cornerstone of their entire wedding. “We truly wanted the day to be fully devoted to celebrating God and His gift of uniting us together as a team.” The ceremony, held in the Blue Garden at Boerner Botanical Gardens, opened up with an organic time for worship. “Our pastor then asked the Holy Spirit to move within the ceremony, and He wonderfully manifested as a gust of wind right at that moment.” It was an otherwise still day. Other spiritual moments came from family and friends laying hands and extending their arms in blessing over the couple, as well as the musical selection.

The ceremony and reception musicians hailed from North Central University, and the entire evening was full of their jazz, worship, and light background music. To top it off, Kristen and Caleb closed the ceremony by performing an original song of Kristen’s with the band. “What a pleasure to tear up a ripping gospel tune and worship and celebrate with some of the best musicians,” says Kristen. “So fun!”

Because of the more organic nature of the ceremony, Kristen and Caleb had warned their caterers, the Zilli Hospitality Group, that the reception (also at the botanical gardens) might not start on time. “The Zilli Group was so gracious about it! They had the food hot and ready at the right time despite the hour-and-a-half-long ceremony.” Dinner was buffet-style, and the couple says: “The food was amazing. Zilli remembered all of our special details, like freezing the root beer mugs for toasting.” There was also a chocolate fountain with strawberries, pretzels, and other yummy treats, as well as a traditional wedding cake.

“We did not have alcohol or dancing at our reception, so it really was a time for people to just sit back and enjoy incredible music. We had the same musicians at the ceremony and reception. Kristen also performed another song she wrote.” As for special, home-made touches, two things really stand out. First: “A bible for people to highlight a verse for us and write their name/a note in the margin. That bible is now our family bible.” Second: “Kristen’s dad designed, built, and stained the trellises that we were married under. They were stunning and we actually got to keep them as part of the landscape in the new home we just bought!”

Looking back on their wedding, what stands out to Caleb and Kristen is the way they kept their faith at the center of the day. “The prayers and songs stood out to us most. We are both very glad we prayed as much as we did leading up to the wedding. Two of our mentors even prayed around the property the night before. Our faith was supremely evident during the entire day and people were deeply moved by it.”

Venue ~ Boerner Botanical Gardens
Venue Coordinator~Lori Reesman
Wedding Dress ~Christy’s Burlington
Bridesmaid Gowns~ Savvy Bride
Caterer~ Zilli Hospitality Group
Wedding Cake ~Sweet Perfections
Photographer ~ Babboni’s
Florist~ Twins Flowers and Home Decor
Ice Sculptures~ Art Below Zero Inc
Videographer~ Alma Films
Rehearsal Dinner ~Bravo
Rings ~Tobin’s Jewelers
Ceremony Location~ Boerner Botanical Gardens (Blue and Silver Garden)
Church ~Pastors John Davis & Ted Robinson/Poplar Creek Church


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