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 evening at Beyond Van Gogh Omaha at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs.
The only thing similar to the backyard event that the Greenwood couple originally had scheduled for October was the flower images that covered every surface of the immersion room where the ceremony was held.
“It wasn’t your traditional throwing the garter, throwing 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 got a month’s notice of the event date, which Walz said 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 hard part: cutting the guest list to the requested 50.
Purple Orchid Flowers provided the flowers, catering was done by Tish’s Restaurant and Sugar Makery made the cake. Their wedding finery came 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 bathtub in their room.
“The vendors were wonderful,” David said. “We didn’t pay for it, and they worked very hard.”
As it was the second wedding for both, David said they might not have been the couple organizers expected. Deanna has three children and David two. All were at the ceremony.
There was no chance for a rehearsal, which David said he actually liked. A friend officiated and others did readings.
“It was sort of impromptu,” he said. “It didn’t have to be planned out and formalized. It was sort of a loving feeling. Knowing we were making it up as it went along actually took some of the pressure off.”
The couple brought a blank canvas and had all their guests paint a mark on it, creating an original piece 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 record for long-lasting relationships. But when you are old, it works just fine.”
She said the coolest part of the day was seeing the reaction of the guests to the exhibit, which has been extended until Sept. 9.
But guests who didn’t make the ceremony don’t have to worry.
“We’re going to plan to have a big party at our house on the original date,” Deanna said. “We’ll eat all the salads; Jell-O salad, potato salad, macaroni salad, like you do at a backyard wedding.”
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