Updated: Jul 1, 2020
First questions we get asked……. What?! Why’d you do it now? What about a big wedding?
Simple answers really, lol we’re crazy and fly by the seat of our pants with every decision we make. You can ask our friends and family we’ve always been different in how we operate but we are always a damn good time. We always manifest what we want and strive to make that happen. The ones close to us have learned to trust us and just sit along for the ride. They’re all in now. LOL.
In all honesty we just wanted to be married. plain as that. We had been going to wedding after wedding recently and as fun and beautiful and amazing as they all were, a traditional wedding just didn’t feel right for us. We knew we wanted a quaint, small, intimate ceremony with only our immediate family because that’s the sacred part of it all. Trust me we have no problem throwing a rager of a bash for our friends and family, that part is just happening a little later in the calendar.
We had been joking about just getting married at the courthouse for months while we were in Nashville and then back in Iowa. I had always looked up to those people who ran away and eloped or just walked right up to the courthouse and left married. Thought it was so cool! We knew football was starting up again and Lord knows nothing but football gets done during football season. So we pulled the trigger and planned this wedding in a week! LMAO. Again, call us crazy. Trust me our family did! But again they just laughed at us and said great let’s make it happen, and man did they make it happen!
We initially chose the location to be the rooftop of M.C Ginsebergs jewelry store in dt Iowa City. But due to nasty rain cold weather we had the ceremony inside on the main floor, their jewelry show room. This place is special to us because Jane and all the ladies at Ginsebergs have been family friends for years and every time George and I were back or in college even we would stop in, have some wine with them, look at stunning diamond jewelry and just have a ball really. George had gotten me jewelry from them since we were in college.
I remember the weekend he got drafted in 2017, man was that a whirlwind. After three stressful days I wake up the next morning to him (still in his pajamas) with a ring box in his hand. I freaked out because I literally had bed head & dragon breath & sleep in my eyes thinking holy shit he is not proposing right now. I didn’t panic long because the first words out of his mouth were this isn’t an engagement ring! In an effort to calm me down lol he said it’s a pre-engagement ring! So stinkin cute! I about died and never in a million years did I think he would do this after the biggest night of his life & a few days before taking off on the biggest venture of his life. He said something along the lines of ” I have to leave in a few days and this all happened so quickly and California is way different than Iowa, lol.” ” I couldn’t have gotten to where I am today without you & I need you to be right there with me every step of the way, you’re my rock and you hold me together.” (CUE TEARS. DONE) Well I couldn’t have said it better myself my love, & I will do just that. He pulls out this stunning gold band with little diamonds all around it. I have worn it on my left ring finger everyday since then & it was on that finger the day we got engaged and it sits next to my wedding band now. So yes, M.C Ginsebergs just gets us.
We stopped in the store a few days before the wedding and I’m having a conversation with Jane and she goes here, you could all be draped in diamonds for the evening! So nonchalant! Like what, who says that first of all, second of all is this real life? Sure enough she starts pulling out necklaces, bracelets, earrings, more necklaces. Not only for myself, but for Emma ( G’s sister) Jan, (G’s mother), and Shelley (my mom) ! Before you know it I had more bling on than I could’ve ever imagined. So yes these people, they take care of you and they’re genuine and again they are all in!
Jan had a friend who recently opened up her own floral shop so we paid her a visit as well. The cutest little store Willow & Stock also in down town Iowa City. We tell her our plan and she laughs but loves it all at the same time. I told her I don’t want anything crazy maybe two green plants to be on either side of us during the ceremony. She said I don’t have any plants but I can make you an arrangement with any flowers and greenery you like! Welp ok! Let’s do that then. I really gave her creative control over this situation because I just call flowers by their color and have no idea what their real names are. I said I wanted simple green and white flowers and that is exactly what she made. I wasn’t even going to have a bouquet until she convinced me otherwise. So glad she told me what I needed lol and made G a matching boutonniere.
For my jumpsuit and blazer well those were God working in a funny way! Jan and I trek over to the Iowa City mall, Dillards in particular after visiting Von Maur and a few local boutiques in the area coming up empty handed. Usually I cant just walk up and buy pants suits or jumpsuits because i’m tall and my legs are so long, the pants never fit. I have to find one store that works and order all my pants from there in an extra long. Well what do you know, we walk right in and there in front of me, literally the first piece of clothing I lay my eyes on, a longgggggg white jumpsuit. I grab it and turn to my left to see a white blazer, not thinking either of them are going to work but having hope anyway. I walk into the dressing room start putting this outfit together and I’ll be damned, the pants are too long standing barefoot! MY DREAM! The blazer fits my shoulders and reaches my wrist, yessssssss I said under my breath. This was my lucky day! Dillards you came thruuuuu. Talk about a one stop shop in the good ole IC. I decided I wanted white pointy toe heels. Went right on Zappos, typed in Sam Edelman and boom ordered white pointy toe heels with next day delivery. FABULOUS! Really Jan and I just looked at each other and laughed like how was that just so easy, lol. The rest of the fam was in black and grey and neutral colors which mostly everyone already had. I recommend Express for the big men in your life, thats also an easy one stop shop for those boys. Got everything we needed and ordered the same shirts in some other colors too. What do you know we just put together our wedding!
My brother Riley played guitar for the whole ceremony and of course the celebration afterward
The morning of, the girls checked into Hotel Vetro downtown Iowa City where G and I would be staying the night. We got ready there, took photos and had champagne then walked over to M.C Ginsebergs for the main event.
I walk in and see G looking handsome as ever in his man pony and plaid pants. The whole space looked phenomenal! The flowers were stunning and they even made us our own C&G cookies. We substituted that for a cake and fed each other bites of cookie afterward. You know how you sometimes just feel so right in a certain moment? Immediately thats how I felt walking into that space with our greatest supporters around us.
Georges mom and sister were our photographers and videographers. (other than my dad shooting footage as seen here LOL) Emma and Jan are incredibly talented and i’m so happy that we kept the circle so small on this day and were still able to create and capture such beautiful moments.
There was no schedule, nothing to hurry up and wait for, we were on our own time and after mingling for awhile and getting dressed in diamonds we said alright lets do this thing!
George’s dad Bruce married us and I think that really made it all the more special. Each person in that room played a unique role not only in the day but in George and I’s life. The words he said just rolled off his tongue so perfectly and being there in that moment holding George’s hands, marrying him was the happiest feeling I have ever felt. The day was natural and organic and we just did as we pleased when we wanted, how we wanted.
After pronouncing us George and Claire Kittle for the first time we ran up to the roof top to take photos. We even climbed to the very top of the roof to see the old capital in the background. It was so FUN, thats the only way I can keep describing it. I loved every second of it and theres nothing that went wrong or that I would change. Heck our first dance song even went out but our family didn’t skip a beat and they starting singing it so we kept dancing! That moment was really special. I think we just looked at each other laughed a bit and then looked around almost to say is this real life. Lots of smiles lit up that room that day and that was our goal.
After we went to Graze across the street for dinner, drinks and inevitably more dancing. The owners of Graze are Jan’s good friends from high school. Graze had catered Iowa football meals for the time George was there. Another one of our favorites! This is where we decided or George had already decided we were going to tell all our friends we were married! LOL, I wanted to wait until at least the following day or until we got out to CA. Nope, he text his buddies the second we started taking photos up on the roof & then tells me he did while were at Graze. Some of our friends who were in town came to meet up with us last minute.
On the final note, there will be a big “party” wedding #2 in Italy, June 2020. That has been my dream place for as long as I can remember and the fact that we are actually making it happen makes me so freaking happy. Shortly after we got engaged in August I started researching venues all over, Nashville, CA, Italy and Iowa. Italy was always the winner in my mind but after talking with wedding planners and being budget savvy we booked it. What better way to spend our time and share our love than being in such a romantic country with our loved ones. our friends and family should look at it like a mini vacation lol. you’re welcome. We’re hauling our families out of Iowa and taking them abroad, something most of them would have never even thought to do in their life. I cant wait to share this country I love so much with the people I love the most. As It gets closer I’ll share more information and I’ll do a post just like this one after the fact with all the details! For now i’ll share some of my Italian inspo
Ciao – Lettey