There was no Jell-O salad, as they had originally planned for their backyard wedding.
Instead, Deanna Walz and David Hudson enjoyed a ceremony they never could have imagined Wednesday night at Beyond Van Gogh Omaha at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs.
The only thing similar to the backyard event the Greenwood couple originally planned for October was the images of flowers that covered every surface of the dip room where the ceremony was being held.
“It wasn’t your traditional way of tossing the garter, tossing the bouquet,” Deanna said. “It was fun. It was a whirlwind. It was beautiful.”
They won the all-expenses-paid wedding after submitting a video two months ago. They were given a month’s notice for the event date, which Walz says wasn’t as stressful as it sounds since Beyond Van Gogh Omaha staffers Deborah Neary, Julie Lally and Nancy Slade did all the organizing.
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They just had the hardest part: narrowing down the guest list to the requested 50.
Purple Orchid Flowers provided the flowers, catering was provided by Tish’s Restaurant and Sugar Makery prepared the cake. Their bridal sets were from David’s Bridal and Generation Tux. Photos were taken by Britton Hacke Photography.
They spent their wedding night at the Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel. Deanna just wishes she could have had another day to enjoy the clawfoot tub in their bedroom.
“The vendors were wonderful,” David said. “We didn’t pay for it, and they worked really hard.”
As this was the second marriage for the two, David said they may not have been the couple planners had been expecting. Deanna has three children and David two. All were at the ceremony.
There was no chance for a repeat, which David said he really liked. A friend officiated and others did readings.
“It was kind of an improvisation,” he said. “It didn’t need to be planned and formalized. It was kind of a loving feeling. Knowing that we were inventing as we went actually relieved some of the pressure.
The couple brought a blank canvas and asked all their guests to paint a mark on it, creating an original work of art from their wedding.
Deanna, who is director of development for Habitat for Humanity of Lincoln, and David, who works for Cedars Youth Services, had been dating for 6½ years.
“We met on Tinder, which is funny,” Deanna said. “Tinder doesn’t necessarily have the most positive track record for lasting relationships. But when you’re old, it works just fine.
She said the coolest part of the day was seeing the reaction from guests to the exhibit, which has been extended until September 9.
But guests who did not attend the ceremony need not worry.
“We’re going to be planning a big party at our house on the original date,” Deanna said. “We will eat all the salads; Jell-O salad, potato salad, macaroni salad, just like you do at a backyard wedding.
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