Devon and Meredith
When you ask a couple to describe the tone of their wedding, “moody” isn’t typically the answer you receive. But it was for Meredith and Devon, and although unique, it’s the perfect word to describe their fall ceremony at the Watchtower Lodge in Rock Island, IL. Even the name of the venue is “moody”, and yet the whole affair was also romantic, family-centered, and exactly what Meredith and Devon envisioned when planning their big day.
Meredith and Devon met when they both attended Augustana College in Rock Island. Although they knew each other since they were freshman and had many mutual friends, they didn’t start dating until the end of their senior year. If you ask them about it, I think they’d say their relationship was worth the wait.
Writing this proposal story gives me goosebumps; it’s so well-planned, and includes personal details that show how well this couple is in tune with each other, and also how in love they are. Devon went above and beyond to make this a special moment for Meredith.
Devon knows how much Meredith loves the fall- between the crisp air and the beautiful colors, fall is a perfect backdrop for a wedding (and a proposal). So Devon made sure to include Meredith’s favorite season in his plan to propose. He brought her to an apple orchard, one they had been to together the first year they started dating. He led her over to a specific tree where he had placed a blanket and a copy of her favorite children’s book The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. When Meredith opened the book she was surprised to find a note from the author wishing her and Devon “the most miraculous journey together”. When she turned around, Devon was down on one knee asking her to be his wife.
After this romantic moment in the orchard, Devon continued to surprise Meredith by having their families and friends from college show up to celebrate with the newly engaged couple. Meredith said that Devon “surely knows all of the things I hold close to my heart and made sure each and every one was a part of this special moment.”
Meredith and Devon were married at the Watchtower Lodge, a venue in BlackHawk State Park which is also on the Augustana campus in Rock Island, IL. They wanted to get married in the Quad Cities, because it’s where their story first began. The lodge is 75 years old and was first built in 1932; it’s made entirely of local limestone and timber. With its beautiful stone backdrop, cozy fireplaces and an abundance of trees, it made the perfect setting for Devon and Meredith’s fall wedding.
They chose deep burgundy as an accent color to taupe, champagne, and grey. The bridesmaids picked out their own dresses which resulted in a variety of taupe and champagne floor length dresses of different textures and patterns. Meredith gifted them each a burgundy clutch and requested that they wear a burgundy lip to complete the look. The groomsmen purchased their suits from Express; they’re a bluish-grey and they complimented them with burgundy ties and paisley ivory pocket squares. Devon stood out from his groomsmen by wearing a taupe vest.
Meredith’s dress was a romantic, lace gown with scalloped edges and a deep v in the back. Although it was different from what she originally envisioned, she fell in love with it and knew it was the perfect dress to marry Devon in.
Meredith described her flowers as “wild, free, dark, moody…and gorgeous”. Her bouquets featured a lot of greenery, some pale ivory roses, and dark burgundy Dahlias that were locally sourced from Clara Joyce Flowers. They were all tied up with burgundy ribbons, and they contrasted with the bridesmaids pale taupe dresses beautifully. Devon wore an ivory and green boutonniere that also featured a small piece of burgundy ribbon. All of the flowers were put together by Jordan at Ever After Planning.
Their food was catered by David Jensen Catering, who also happens to be a friend of the bride and groom. The menu was fall-inspired and featured delicious brisket marinated with figs and carrots, beet and goat cheese salad, warm apple and squash, specialty garlic mashed potatoes, a beautiful still life of various cheeses, dried fruits, and grapes, along with pear and brie quesadillas at cocktail hour. Meredith said it was “seriously to die for.”
Their wedding cake was simple; one tier, decorated with greenery and flowers from Meredith’s bouquet. Guests were treated to a Quad Cities staple for dessert: Whitey’s ice cream. It’s just another example of the personal touches Meredith and Devon added to their day. Whitey’s happens to be a favorite of Devon’s and Meredith’s mom, as well as to many who attended Augustana College.
The Big Day
The day of the wedding was chilly, but Meredith and Devon decided to keep it outdoors to add to the romance of the day. Guests snuggled under blankets and listened to the couple recite the vows they had written to each other. A friend from college sang “Harvest Moon”, and both readings were chosen purposefully as they were very meaningful to the couple.
Prior to the ceremony Devon surprised Meredith with a video of loving words from everyone she cares about to try to ease her nervousness. She says he knows her so well; after watching the video and drying her tears, she felt nothing but love and excitement.
Meredith and Devon incorporated so many intimate details in to their wedding; Meredith’s brother hand-brewed beer for the reception, they used a vintage dictionary as their guest book so guests could circle words that were meaningful to them, and they also chose to make charitable donations in lieu of wedding favors. They chose 3 organizations that were important to them: World Pediatric Project, Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research, and Traveling Stories.
Additionally, Meredith had her paternal grandmother’s handkerchief from her wedding as well as her maternal grandmother’s garden from her wedding. Her mother also had lockets made for her bouquet that had pieces from her wedding dress, her grandmother’s wedding dress, her mother-in-laws wedding dress, and her grandmother-in-laws wedding dress.
Their advice to engaged couples…
Meredith says that “looking back, I was so incredibly happy that we had so many moments and details that were personal to our relationship and the things that matter to us. The details can be stressful and at certain points you want to be done making decisions, but putting time and energy into making it personalized is worth every second.”
A Note From Jordan…
Every wedding that we have the extreme honor and privilege to plan, design, and execute has a place in our hearts. Devon and Meredith though, their wedding will forever have a very special place. They hired us early on in the planning process, and in that, became so much more than clients, they truly became friends. I spent countless hours chatting with Meredith on the phone, and often those chats became about more than wedding plans…but jobs, a cross country move for Devon’s career, my children, and so much more. I can honestly say that Devon and Meredith truly emulate personalities that are one of a kind. They are kind, selfless, beautiful people, and it truly shined through their wedding. Throughout the whole wedding day you could just tell that while it was a beautiful day, that this was just the beginning of a beautiful new life for them. It was the perfect start to the rest of their lives. I can not wait to watch them grow, see them have beautiful babies, and so much more. Designing their wedding was truly an honor. From the very beginning they trusted me and my expertise and advice. You could honestly tell that they were able to fully relax and enjoy the day while my team and I went to work making sure every detail was taken care of.
Mere and Dev, I wish you the most beautiful rest of your lives together, thank you so much for including us in your wedding day. It was both an honor and a privilege to get to know you both and create this gorgeous day.
Additional Vendor Credits
Planning, Design and Florals – Ever After Planning
Photography – Pam Cooley Photography
Videography – Tinky Media
Makeup and Hair – Sara Fulrath
DJ – Luxe Productions
Linens – BBJ Linen
Bartending – Main Event Catering
Stationery – MMD Creative
Chair Rentals – Step It Up Rentals
Draping Rental – I Do Events
Hotel, Accomodations, and After Party – Hotel Blackhawk