Ryan & Jo Story City, Iowa

We've said it before and we'll say it again. When you take something you love, teach it to others- empowering them to spread their wings. The BEST THING in this life, is seeing them fly! How many are with me? I am so honored to have the BEST team on earth. Although, I am bias, I'm not wrong. My planning team blows me away with their attention to detail. Their unwavering customer service, and dedication to loving EVERY SINGLE PERSON THEY MEET. If there is an example of how Mostly Becky strives to serve others, take a look at my wedding planners.

They teach me something everyday. 

So it is with GREAT HONOR to introduce another blog by our very own, Elizabeth. She planned this event of 270 ON HER OWN, Executed flawlessly, and trained up a team of assistants. Being proud is an UNDERSTATEMENT! Elizabeth is not one to take charge, being the youngest of 4. She tends to hide in the background. But, times have changed! Congrats to you Elizabeth, we are excited to watch you fly! 

Remember her here

By Elizabeth Thomas 

Ryan & Johanna Jolivette


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Meaningful and sentimental; those are the two words that kept coming to mind as the wedding plans and day unfolded for Johanna and Ryan in rural Iowa. 


Let’s start with the venue; Riverside Lutheran Bible Camp. On the surface, this quaint camp, snuggled next to the river is the perfect place for a day of celebration with loved ones. The rustic A-frame chapel with massive amounts of natural light to the beautiful old oak trees all around camp make the whole scene feel beautiful and cozy. For the couple, however, Riverside Bible Camp meant so much more.

It was the first place they met while playing soccer as campers.

Camp was the place they both grew closer to Jesus through time set aside at camp to meeting people who encouraged and challenged them in their faith. Not only was camp beautiful, but it was infused with memories from every step of their relationship. The sentiment did not end their either.



The main meal was catered by a family friend from the bride’s hometown. Florals and baked goods were all done with local vendors.This was one of my favorite parts of the day. All the vendors this day brought a relaxed hometown feel to all they did. Their attention to detail and genuine care for the couple was evident in the services they provided.

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Specifically, the photographer, Less Traveled Photography, took the rustic and quaint backgrounds of camp and created beautiful backdrops for the gushing with love couple. Having met the couple at camp as camp counselors, he knew exactly the personalities and desires of the couple. This genuine relationship brought out the vibrant photos the couple will have to remember their special day forever.

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Early on in the planning, the bride made it evident she wanted to eat a hearty meal with loved ones and dance the night away. The bride and groom were able to keep the traditional aspects such as a father-daughter dance and mother-son dance while also incorporating their families famous polka dance.

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With this being my first solo wedding and a guest list projected of 300, calling in backup and an extra set of professional hands was a must.


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My assistant Kari for the day, a communications major from the University of Northern Iowa, blew me away. Many people think of being a wedding planner as a glamorous job when actually it is a lot more. From getting a table dropped on her toe early in the day to dealing with worst case scenarios, Kari handled the day with as much grace as an experienced assistant. The day would not have happened as smoothly if it was not for her proactive personality and genuine care for all those she encountered.

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The day was beautiful filled with so much joy! The vendors and guests raved about Elizabeth and all her hard work! We couldn't be more proud to have her on our team. 

Elizabeth was extremely professional, but also extremely friendly. Would recommend her to all of my friends. Elizabeth and the Mostly Becky team were so supportive to not only us, but to our families and friends.

Thanks for an amazing day!
— Ryan


This day would NOT have happened with out these AMAZING Des Moines area vendors who made the magic happen! 


Flowers: Story City Floral

Photographer: Less Traveled Photography

Catering: Hy-Vee

Rentals: Celebrations

Planning: Mostly Becky Weddings


5 Questions to Ask When Booking your Wedding Venue

Have you ever toured a home that was for sale just because? I KNOW I HAVE! What is it about snooping in where someone else has made memories and a life that we just want to see?

Human nature kicks in and I think we all, if we are honest, at one time have snooped where we should not have. I think of the best parts of searching for wedding venues is being able to take a look around. See what each space has to offer, and then asked. Can I see myself here? 

Besides all the FUN it is to venue shop. There are 5 important questions, every searching couple needs to ask!


This may seem like common sense, but take time to read it at home when you are not distracted by the view. There may be stipulations that just wont work with you and your event. If you can send a copy to your wedding planner, DO IT. They will be able to read through things and help guide you to the next questions. This may even save you time AND money!


Make sure to get in writing the time that every personal item has to be out of the rented space once the event is over. There are TWO things I want to bring up here. One, a longer night creates a longer day of drinking for your friends, and usually if the night is too long there is more to handle at the end of the night than just finding an Uber home. Second, define what "end time" means to the venue. Does that mean the time everything and person has to vacated? Or does that mean last call and last song? This makes a HUGE difference to the vendors that you may chose to work with you on your big day and this question clarification will allow you to give your contributing vendors accurate information for the proposals they will be sending you. No one likes surprise fees!


Probably, at the time of your initial visit you may not even be close to thinking of details this small. But, there will be plenty of logistical things that solely depend on your power sources. That perfect layout may not be as perfect with a large extension cord running through the middle. Ask, make a mental note and even write it down for reference. 


Most wedding venues may have a designated event coordinator onsite to make sure the doors are locked up at the end of the evening. But, there are plenty of venues that we create into wedding dreams that do not have this staffing option. This can cause a lot of headache if things are not where they are supposed to be upon your arrival. There are plenty of times an extra table or chair is needed last minute and if your wedding planner does not have access to the storage of these items it can cause a big nightmare over a small thing. If the venue of your dreams does not provide a onsite event coordinator, tell your wedding planner as soon as you can. They will help you navigate the needs of this space and help book professional vendors who will be well worth the investment!


Most venues will want to tell you all the options their day of pricing includes. But, just having access to chairs and tables does not mean it wont be a ton of work to use these all inclusive items. Ask if the venue not only provides the those items but ALSO sets up and tears down. If your venue includes this service; you have a great start. If not, make sure to speak with your wedding planner about what options you may have. Their expertise on the logistics of your big day will be invaluable to you. 

There are always things that may come up when visiting your wedding venue. So don't be afraid to ask questions! Even after your initial visit, follow up and get things in writing from any wedding vendor or venue. This could save you a lot of stress later on!

Happy venue viewing!