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Julia & Jacob's Historic Church Wedding // An elegant June day with bright florals

The stone chapel at St. Donatus was first built in 1858 by catholic immigrants from Luxembourg who settled along the picturesque Mississippi river bluffs throughout the 19th century. The church was rebuilt after a fire in the early 1900s and has stood in this place, overlooking the lush green hills of its namesake town in Northeast Iowa for over 100 years. A flock of sheep graze under massive old growth oak trees behind the chapel. Here sits a mowed trail with markers symbolizing Christ's journey to the cross - predating even the first iteration of the church building - its the oldest outdoor Way of The Cross in the United States.

Here, on a rainy day in early June, two people mark their love and commitment to one another - as likely hundreds of couples have done before them and will afterwards. A unique love story connected through faith, history, and tradition with so many others. Julia and Jacob's own love story spans nearly seven years - from a first date in high school where Julia accidentally met (and impressed, mind you) Jacob's entire family when they ran into them at the restaurant. What started as a first date for two turned into a family dinner. In their years together since that fateful date they have graduated high school, gotten their degrees at Iowa State, started new jobs in different states, planned a wedding long distance, and now, finally, they're back in Iowa, together, and MARRIED.

They managed to pack this historic parish to the brim with all of the friends and family who gathered around them, a steady rain coming down outside, and a gentle mist rolling through the valleys. After a beautiful ceremony, the newlyweds made their exit in an iconic '55 chevy, complete with tin can bells, dragging behind.

Their reception was the party of a lifetime in nearby Bellevue, overlooking the mighty Mississippi where Julia and Jacob have many fond memories of jet skiing and spending summers together. Between fantastic live music by Felix & Fingers Dueling Pianos and a surprise appearance by their college mascot, there was not a dull moment.

Congratulations to the Looneys!

Days like this would not be possible without the amazing team of vendors that make them happen:

Hair: Kodee Mital and Paige Kueter Bellevue, Iowa

Caterer: Off Shore Catering

Bakery: Angela Boelens (wedding cake)

Décor Rentals: Inside Decor Dubuque, IA

Chalk Art: Courtney Janaszak (IG: @chalkby_courtneylayne)


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