When some couples think of their ideal wedding, they envision white sandy beaches and turquoise waters. Others dream of a big city wedding in a huge cathedral.
Not so for Kevin and Tracy Ward of Ankeny. They wanted something a bit less complicated that showcased everything important to them — family, friends and hometown roots.
When Kevin proposed to Tracy on Dec. 10, 2011, Tracy instantly knew where she wanted to get married. There was no doubt she wanted a hometown wedding in the place where she was born and raised.
Tracy, a 1996 graduate of Carroll High School and a 2002 graduate of Grand View College, is a daughter of Steve and Karen Olberding of Carroll. She is a senior account manager with McGraw-Hill, Higher Education textbook publisher. Her husband, Kevin, is a sales representative for Heritage Crystal Clean. He graduated from Valley High School in 1995 and is a son of Terry and Sue Ward of Cumming.
Tracy’s hope for their spring wedding in the Carroll area was to use as many local vendors as possible.
The couple began by registering for gifts at True Value.
Tracy said, “I worked at True-Value all through high school, and I vividly remember helping couples register for their weddings. It was so exciting to go back many years later and register for gifts. They have everything from A to Z.”
Tracy was quite pleased with True Value’s selection. Kevin especially liked the Weber Grill accessories and was very excited about registering for them. In fact, the grill cover was his favorite gift.
To get ready for their big day, the couple reserved rooms for their out-of-town guest at the Carrollton Inn and Days Inn.
The night before the wedding, the wedding party and close family gathered at Santa Maria Winery for dinner.
“Kevin and I have been to the winery for dinner several times. They have great food, an awesome building and a great Riesling,” said Tracy.
Tracy had her heart set on getting married at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Templeton as her late grandpa Bud Irlmeier grew up going to church at Sacred Heart, and the church reminds her of him.
To prepare for their special day, Kevin and Tracy didn’t look far to find exactly what they needed and loved.
Tracy’s mother, Karen Olberding, found a dress she thought her daughter would love at Bridal Country, and she was right. After the dress arrived, Tracy was thrilled to find out her bridal gown was a perfect fit, no alterations needed.
The black tea length bridesmaid dresses and colorful shoes for the bridal party were also found at Bridal Country. Tracy and each of her five bridesmaids wore colorful shoes, each pair a different color to go with Tracy’s theme of a fun and colorful wedding. Each selected an eye-popping color of her choice. Bridal Country dyed the open-toe strappy, satin pumps blue, hot purple, pink, orange, yellow and green.
The flower girls’ dresses, mother-of-the-bride’s dress, Tracy’s veil, and the boys’ and men’s tuxedos all came from Bridal Country as well.
The bridal party’s black dresses and brightly colored shoes were accented by floral bouquets by Designs by Bernie.
Tracy said, “I wanted something simple and bright and she did exactly what I asked.”
Tracy’s bouquet was a white mix of flowers, framed with big green leaves. Her bridesmaids carried a mix of brightly colored flowers. The mother of the bride and mother of the groom carried small bouquets of white flowers.
For the big day, appointments were made for Tracy to look her best. Amanda Meister at A Head of the Times swept Tracy’s hair into an soft updo. Tracy had her nails done at Salon on 6th, and Alice Simons at Merle Norman completed Tracy’s picture-perfect look by applying her wedding make-up.
On May 26, the couple were married by Father Tim Johnson surrounded by their family and friends. The couple selected a large wedding party to represent the importance of love and support of friends. Five bridesmaids, five groomsmen, three flower girls, and six ring bearers were on hand for the ceremony.
Before the ceremony took place the couple snapped some photos near rows of flags along a road running through the cemetery. The flags were on display for Memorial Day.
During the ceremony, Kevin and Tracy’s guests were treated to music sung by The Templeton Men’s Choir, accompanied by Tracy’s family friend, Trish Roberts, on the piano. The couple left it up to the choir to select the music for the ceremony, and they were pleasantly surprised with their choices. Tracy describes the men’s choir as, “perfect, amazing and priceless!”
After the ceremony the wedding party took a detour to Templeton Rye distillery to have more photos taken by Tracy’s cousin Ashley Hill, a professional photographer. Scott Bush, president of Templeton Rye, was a wedding guest and is a friend of the couple. He agreed to allow the couple to swing over to the distillery for a few pictures. They took pictures outside the distillery near the barrels and in the back of the rye fields.
The wedding party and guests headed to Arcadia to the Legion Hall to celebrate the couple’s nuptials. Their wedding reception was large, about 300 people, but Tracy wasn’t concerned about serving that many people. She had faith in their caterer, Hy-Vee, to serve their guests a delicious dinner. Tracy said Dave Hill at Hy-Vee, was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. He helped the couple plan their meal and even made accommodations for wedding guests on a gluten-free diet.
Hy-Vee didn’t disappoint with the cake either. Kevin and Tracy’s traditional white wedding cake was delicious, and it received rave reviews from guests.
The newly married couple cut into a cake made just for them. It was a simple, single layer cake, covered in white frosting, wrapped with black satin ribbon and displayed on a cake plate, nearly 100 years old. It was first used in 1918 by Tracy’s great-grandparents, Jacob and Elizabeth Peters, who were married in Carroll.
At the reception, guests spent a lot of time on the dance floor. Music was provided by Scott Masching of Time of Our Life DJ Service of Breda. Before the wedding Kevin and Tracy asked their wedding guests to write song requests on the RSVP cards they returned in the mail.
Tracy said Scott did a great job of playing their requested songs. The couple asked that Scott play a combination of new songs and oldies. After many nights listening to iTunes and Pandora, the couple selected a classic song for their first dance — “L-O-V-E” by Frank Sinatra.
To help transport the wedding party to and from the day’s busy scheduled events, a bus was rented from Frank and Vicki Jorgensen. Their daughter, Kris, was a bridesmaid, and Tracy has known the Jorgensen family most of her life. Tracy was very thankful for the bus rental. The wedding party was brought from Templeton to Arcadia for the reception, and after the reception wedding guests were shuttled back to Carroll.
Wedding guests traveled from near and far to attend the wedding and reception. Kevin was born in Cleveland, and much of his extended family came from Ohio for their big day. Guests traveled from as far away as New Jersey. The couple were so thankful to those who traveled so many miles to share their special day.
The couple are glad they are able to remember their special day as it was captured on video by Tracy’s cousin, Terry Jensen, of Carroll.
“I am so thankful for Terry, the wedding went too fast, and because of Terry I’ll always be able to remember our wedding,” said Tracy.
The day after the wedding, the newlyweds flew to Las Vegas to stay at Aria Resort and Casino for a few days. Then they returned home to pick up their springer spaniel, Amis, and drove to Lake of the Ozarks to Kevin’s parents’ vacation home for the rest of the week.
Tracy said, “Our wedding was truly perfect and more than we could have ever imagined.”
On that day Kevin and Tracy were able to stand in front of those they loved in a place close to the heart to make memories to last a lifetime.