“I knew when I met you an adventure was going to happen.” In the last two months, this sweet quote from the legendary Pooh Bear has resonated in my heart. The moment I met my husband, I knew that we were meant for adventure. I waited so many years to get married because I was incredibly fearful of living a mundane life. Something about singleness brought a sense of excitement and an element of surprise that I was not willing to give up. Then I met, HIM, and I was off to the biggest adventure of all. In a matter of 6 months, we have moved, started a business and have crashed a handful of weddings. Crazy, I know! We always get asked, “Do you really crash weddings?” Yes. Yes, we do.
These last two months have been our greatest adventures in wedding crashing yet. I like to call them adventures because I hate to call them failures. But can I be honest with you? They were absolute wedding crash fails! (This is the unedited, tell it like it us, messy version. For an even sweeter read and more pictures, head over to COMO Living Magazine to read our April issue of this super fun wedding crash!)
The first wedding crash attempt started in St. Charles. We had to be in St. Charles for a wedding show and fell in love with the town. Seriously, if you have not been to St. Charles you are missing one of the great treasures of the Midwest. We got to our hotel, put on dancing shoes, and hit the town. We scoured the entire city from venue to venue, only to be greeted by empty parking lots. We finally landed at the HSC Ballroom. Jackpot! A big, exciting wedding. We confidently entered only to discover our worst wedding crashing nemesis… arranged seating. It could have been worse – dinner had been eaten – but we had no place to sit down and meet other guests. I could literally feel myself clam up. I suggested to Jon Marc that we go around the back of the large – and mostly seated – room of 300 guests. Lesson learned! Never walk around a wedding reception or go to the back of the venue. Never. Go straight to the crowds and own the place. We felt like we might as well have been wearing bright orange. Well, there we were, in the back of the room without a seat and avoiding the awkward glances. Yikes!
Fortunately, The lights dimmed, the couple was invited to have their first dance, and eyes shifted to the front of the room. Time for us to move! We bolted to the bar, got a glass of wine and headed to the crowds around the dance floor. We spent the rest of the night dancing, laughing and becoming part of the newlyweds’ big day. When they watch the video by the groomsman with the GoPro (what a great idea!), they might wonder about that couple who pulled him aside to share a selfie. Or (who knows!), they might feel like they know us. On our way out, we grabbed the photographer’s information, so we could contact him about the happy couple. Somewhere between the venue and the hotel room, we lost the contact information. Fail. My pictures were awful. We had no way of writing a full story without all of the pictures and details, but we had the time of our lives. So we pressed on!
The second wedding crash was short and sweet. We were up against a deadline and decided to check out Instagram. Instagram can be a wedding crasher’s best friend. Sure enough, someone had posted about a wedding happening at the Peachtree Event Center in Columbia. I love their catering services, so I was eager to go. It was 8PM. I talked my husband into getting out of his sweats and into a suit. This man! I am sure there are days that he wonders what he got himself into when he married me. We arrived in less than 30 minutes to the discouraging sight of several cars leaving. We chalked it up to guests who go to bed early and started looking for a parking spot. Around the corner was a limo, a line of guest with sparklers, and a couple getting ready to make their grand exit. What did we do? We hit the gas. We pealed out of there before anyone could see us. No crash; just burn. But I loved the feeling of being a teenager again with my favorite partner in crime.
The cliché was true; third time was the charm. We met a lovely photographer in St. Louis – Rhonda Favor from Rhonda Favor Studios – and casually asked her if she had any weddings coming up. She had a wedding that weekend in Hermann, and we were ecstatic. We adore her photography and have wanted to crash a wedding in Hermann. In fact, all of the photography seen here is hers. She explained that the couple met though mutual friends, and they were smitten from that day forward. We dug a little deeper to find out a little bit more about the happy couple. Liza Hackman and Matt Paulsmeyer were getting married the weekend before Valentine’s Day at Valentine’s Hall. Is that not perfect? Liza was a registered nurse and worked for the Emergency Room of SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital in Jefferson City. Matt worked for his family-owned business, Paulsmeyer Farms Inc..
Liza grew up in Hermann and dreamed of a wedding in the town she called home. This lovely German town with incredible history is where I hoped our real wedding crashing adventure would begin. According to one of the ushers, the entire wedding party spent the night having fun and playing games at a local Bed and Breakfast, Up Up & Away B & B, overlooking Hermann. The next day, the men stayed to get ready for the wedding, and the women headed over to Impressions Salon and Tanning to get all dolled up. Their wedding style included rustic wreaths, natural wood accents, and a sharp color scheme of navy blue and a vibrant red. It was a magnificent way to add color and sophistication to a country wedding.
The ceremony began at 1PM, at a quaint country church in Morrison called, St. James United Church of Christ, just a few minutes from Hermann. It was packed to the brim and dressed in the most beautiful greenery, thanks to Hermann Florist. It was the church where her parents got married over 20 years ago and where she attended since she was a little girl. Is that not the sweetest thing you have heard? My parents were married in a courthouse, and we were married in a converted bowling alley. You can probably see why I found it touching.
Liza and Matt were married by two officiates. Guests explained that these were incredible mentors to Liza in her youth. We were moved by the small traditional touches that often get overlooked in today’s fast-paced world. We watched them light a unity candle that is a longstanding tradition in marriages long ago. By the time they exchanged vows and shared their first kiss, my mascara was running. I really can’t crash weddings without shedding a few tears. Watching couples commit their lives to each other is so moving, especially surrounded by their closest friends and family members.
Did I mention they were traditional? Yeah, those of you who have attended very traditional weddings know what is coming next – the receiving line, of course. We had to think fast and found a side door to sneak out. The reception did not start until three so we had an hour to kill. We may or may not have stopped by Stone Hill Winery. One of my favorite places in Missouri.
By three o’clock, we made our way to the reception hall. Everyone was super friendly, and we just said we were college friends of the groom. Why not?! We loved hearing stories about the bride and groom. It was clear that they were loved, cherished and teased throughout their lives. Stone Hill Wine was served in abundance. Apparently, the maid of honor is Liza’s lifelong friend, and her family owns the winery. AMAZING WINE! Who needs Napa Valley when you have Hermann.
The bridal party arrived at 4:30, and we began eating soon after. We were finally attending a wedding where there were no seating arrangements and a buffet line. The hubby was in heaven, and the cutting of the cake sealed the deal. Catering was provided by Trailside Catering, and the cake was made by Sugar and Spice Laura’s Delight. It was – ready for a pun? – a slice of heaven. I think it takes a lot out of my husband to get out of his shell and crash weddings, but great food helps him forgot. In fact, I think if
he were writing this article it would evolve into a food critic of wedding catering.
We stayed, danced, and continued to suggest our favorite songs to the DJ. We even participated in the dollar dance. Somehow, by the end of a wedding crash, we can forget that we are wedding crashers and begin to think we know the couple. We believe our own stories and gain new friends. Life is full of highs and lows, success and failures. But it’s all apart of the adventure.
What about the happy couple, you ask? They are in Australia for the next month. Adventure on! From all of us at The Ink Café and COMO Living, we wish Liza and Matt a lifetime of romantic adventures!
‘Til the next adventure- Jon Marc & Christy
Up Up and Away B & B
Impressions Salon &Tanning
Around the Clock Mobile DJ- Bill Farr
Sugar & Spice Laura’s Delight
Montgomery City, MO
Savvi Formal Wear
Rhonda Favor Studios
St. Peters, MO