Metropolitan Weddings

A Non-Traditional Traditional Wedding

James & Sierra Schuchard
July 1, 2023
Written By | Meg Daniel
Photographer | Shelby Chanté Photography

Who says there is a timeline of how engagements, weddings and honeymoons are supposed to happen? Apparently, Sierra and James did not get the memo.

Sierra and James met through mutual friends while they were both in college at Missouri S&T. After a first date at a concert, the two dated for about three years and knew they were right for each other, wanting to spend the rest of their lives together. James landed a great job with good health benefits, but Sierra could not participate in his health plan if they were not married. So in April of 2022, Sierra and James had a small, intimate ceremony where his sibling-in-law legally married the couple. Their union was now official, so bring on the insurance plan and the honeymoon!

In May of 2023, the couple went on a magical honeymoon to Scotland. Yet, Sierra and James knew they still wanted a small, traditional June wedding to celebrate with family and friends. She had always dreamed of having it at Greenhouse Two Rivers wedding venue. The only date available at this gorgeous, popular spot was July 1, 2023, which gave the couple about a year to plan their event. But, as is often the case, the more the wedding was discussed, and who and what they wanted to include, the event grew much bigger. Helping Sierra plan the shin-dig was her mom, Dawn, and wedding planner extraordinaire, Misty Willinger. Between these two dynamos, they were able to suggest trusted vendors and dream-worthy ideas to make this wedding come to life.

Next Sierra picked her perfect photographer, Shelby Chanté. She loved the brightness in her photos and her style meshed perfectly with the couple. They also used Pat Phillips with the Flower Merchant to create amazing floral arrangements and decor with light blue, purple and yellow accents. Pat was instrumental in creating a cohesive decor plan, suggesting design elements like tablecloths, ceiling drapery and more. The vision was coming together!

Sierra and her friends found a dress that was pretty, puffy and princess-like, which is what she thought she wanted. But later her mother noticed, “You just do not seem sold on this dress.” So they called Normans Bridal who had just received a gown that was embroidered with beautiful, colorful flowers both on the dress and the veil. With just mom and sister in tow, it was a quick decision once Sierra tried on the dress – it was perfect.

James knew he did not want to be in a traditional black suit, and wanted something different. He found a light blue suit that fit the bill.

Even though the ceremony was outside in July, there were plenty of fans and misters to help keep everyone cool. Mom and Grandmother walked Sierra down the aisle, barely keeping the tears at bay. But what was not expected was how emotional both the bride and groom became at the ceremony. Sierra says, “Getting married in April did not feel like a big deal, but being in front of our family and friends, saying our vows in July was just overwhelming. Most of our guests did not even hear our vows. We were both crying so much!”

Carrying on the botanical theme, James and Sierra had met with the jewelry designer at Cornerstone Jewelry and created a one-of-a-kind wedding band that wrapped around Sierra’s finger with emerald leaves. To top it all off, they rented a beautiful necklace and earrings from Cornerstone to wear on the wedding day which perfectly complimented her dress and wedding band.

After the “I dos,” the reception moved indoors and Misty suggested having the announcement of the newlyweds and cutting the cake before the dinner. This allowed for everyone to see and enjoy this special moment, and not have to wait for dessert later. Simply Delicious catered the dinner and knocked it out of the park! Sierra says, “We asked a lot of them. We had to have a completely vegan and alpha-gal safe meal. Alpha-gal is a tick-borne disease that multiple people in our family battle and they cannot have any food from mammals without severe allergic reactions.” Chef Patty and her team at Simply Delicious created yummy burrito bowls for dinner with tofu. Many guests later complimented them on the tasty “chicken,” not even realizing they were eating a completely vegan meal. Simply Delicious’ attention to detail gave the couple peace of mind, knowing that the dinner was going to be safe and enjoyed by all.

While during the meal, the newlyweds had a guitarist creating relaxing, background music. After the food, the DJ Nic from All that Music cranked up the party. They also had a live painter, Kristine Westwood, who completely captured the essence of their wedding day. Sierra and James are thrilled with this beautiful piece of art that they can proudly display in their home. For all the little ones attending the wedding, the couple hired As You Wish Entertainment. As You Wish will bring your choice of superheroes or princesses to your wedding and keep the young guests entertained and safe, while the parents enjoy the reception. Having Frozen’s Elsa at the wedding was a huge hit!

Before the couple made their exit, all the guests were ushered outside while Sierra and James had one last, private dance. Then they exited through a shower of cold sparklers to enjoy a fireworks finale with all their friends and family.

For her advice to engaged couples, Sierra says “Know your style and use that in your wedding. You do not have to do all the traditions! We left out the garter and bouquet toss, but kept the first dance and we are really thankful we had that moment together.”  
XOXO, MetWed

Sondra Dent
Hair – The Cutting Edge Salon
Makeup – Gloss Makeup & Hair
Bridal Gown
Normans Bridal
Cake & Desserts
Cake – Charity Fent Cake Design
Vegan Cupcakes – Frosted Fox Bakery
Simply Delicious Catering
Child Care
As You Wish Character Entertainment
Ceremony – Neal Evans
Cocktail Hour – Whorlow Entertainment
Dinner – Shaun Munday
Reception – All That Music
Event Rental & Decor
Champagne Wall – Signature Event Rentals & Coordinating
Room Draping – Shannon’s Custom Floral
Signs – Melissa Casey Designs
Specialty Lighting – Ozarks Creative Productions
Table Decor Rental & Dance Floor – Eventful Rental
Flyin Lion
Floral Design & Decor
The Flower Merchant
Gifts & Favors
Succulents – Hale’s Harvest
Live Painter – Kristine Westwood Art
Men’s Formalwear
Groom – Savvi Formalwear
Ushers – Paul Phillips Formal Wear
Shelby Chanté Photography
Photo Booth & Cold Spark
Live Events Missouri
Couple – Gotta Getta Limo
Guest – Fisk Transportation
Venue & Bar Service
Greenhouse Two Rivers
Complete Weddings + Events
Wedding Planner
Misty Willinger Events
Wedding Rings & Jewelry
CornerStone Fine Jewelry

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