Surrounded by 23 of their dearest friends and family, Nora & Dane got married in the incredible backyard of a lake-side home near Minneapolis, Minnesota. JAKE ANDERSON was on hand to capture their wedding with his beautiful timeless fine art style. He tells us, "Their day was one of the most heart-felt and honest events I have had the honour of attending. Nora's dream was to have a simple, intentional, and inviting wedding, and she absolutely achieved it through personal details and hand-made items throughout; Dane (the groom) even made the succulent bowls!"

The couple decided on a charming lake house that had just enough space for their ceremony, reception and dancing and as a bonus offered them a breathtaking view. That in itself was enough inspiration for them to base the style of the wedding on.

HOW DID YOU MEET? We met in art class during Nora's freshman year. We stayed friends with our paths crossing on and off over the years. Then during our senior year we finally really found each other.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPOSAL: Nora pretty much knew a proposal was in the works so I had to get a little creative. I put together a nice picnic and took her to a quiet spot on the lake. We had dinner, laughs, and listened to music and the sounds of nature. It was such a nice evening, but then I had noticed the bugs were out in full force, suggested we leave, and packed everything up. Pretty mean I know. We headed home and proceeded to play scrabble, as we do at the end of all of our date nights. We carried on playing as usual; only what Nora did not know is that I had strategically pulled out some special letters beforehand. So, as her turn ended and she got up to get a drink, I pulled out the secret tiles, which spelled MARRY ME. As she returned I asked for confirmation on the spelling. It took a minute, but when it clicked I got down on one knee and pulled out the ring. After that I said something, but it is all a blur to both of us, however we do remember the most important part, "will you marry me." With her hands over her mouth, she speechlessly nodded her head. Best. Game. Ever.

TELL US ABOUT FINDING YOUR WEDDING DRESS: I knew that I did not want to spend a lot on a wedding dress that I would only wear once, so my mom and sister brought me to a resale shop near Milwaukee while we were in town visiting for Thanksgiving. I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted, so we just grabbed anything in my size that seemed like it had potential. There were a few that I liked more than I thought I would, but they just weren't quite the right look. Then there were a few that I said no to before my mom and sister had even finished lowering it over my head. And then I tried on this simple, yet elegant ivory dress that fit just right and as soon as they zipped me up, I knew we had found the right one.

DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING FLOWERS: We knew that we wanted to keep our colour palette pretty simple and that succulents, ferns, and eucalyptus would play important roles in the décor. We used seeded eucalyptus and silver dollar eucalyptus layered with candles to create an elegant table runner and chose to plant a succulent in each ceramic pot handmade by Dane to double as both a place card and a personal gift for each of our guests to take home with them. The extra potted succulents and eucalyptus were used to decorate the drink and snack tables. The bouquets and boutonnières consisted of both kinds of eucalyptus, as well as feather leaf fern, huck, and coffee foliage.

ANY DIY ELEMENTS? Besides the food and the photography, we did almost everything ourselves or with the help of our family. We both took part in the brainstorming of overall design and everything was fully realized on the day of our wedding. Nora took the lead on the tablescape, layering seeded eucalyptus and silver dollar eucalyptus with a variety of candles creating pure and simple elegance. Nora's sister, Molly, having previous floral experience, used that same greenery along with a few other types of foliage, to assemble the bouquets and boutonnières, which were remarkable. Being a ceramicist, I created small pots in which we planted succulents, put in name cards, and added those to the place settings. Nora's mother, Julie, was instrumental in making sure things got done, assembling the place settings, helping with all the little random things and most importantly making her famous sangria. The DIY did not stop with simply the design. We enlisted the talents of Nora's father, Mike, to perform the ceremony and Nora and I wrote our own vows. The magic of this was that, until the ceremony actually took place none of us knew what the others had written, which made it that much more exceptional. From the design, to the ceremony, it was all done by our loved ones, some not credited here, and ourselves. It made for a uniquely personal, intimate and emotional evening that was even better than we could have hoped.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT? The whole evening was a dream! One of our favourite moments was a secret for our families that we had been keeping for a while. We are both extremely close with our sisters, and as life progressed we found ourselves living further and further apart, which has been rather difficult for us all. After the first dance and the father-daughter and mother-son dances, we announced that there would be one more. We each took our sisters hands, walked them to the dance floor, and the song Rivers and Roads, by The Head and the Heart began to play. The song talks out the struggle and continual love for family despite the distance between them. The four of us, as well as every other person in attendance, were in tears as we danced. We were so happy to share that special moment with two people who have been so influential in our lives.

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WOULD CHANGE OR DO DIFFERENTLY? Not a thing. Even the few unexpected twists and turns that came about helped to make the day what it was...magical and unforgettable.

A huge thanks to JAKE ANDERSON for sharing this gorgeous backyard wedding with us. If you want to see more backyard weddings you might want to check out this OREGON BACKYARD WEDDING or THIS BEAUTIFUL CANADIAN ONE.