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The Wedding That Started It All.

Hello and happy fall ya’ll! After a crazy busy summer full of gorgeous weddings (thank you thank you) my staff and I will be re-organizing and rejuvenating just a bit before we dive into some really fun holiday weddings—man I love red velvet! And pine boughs! And twinkly lights!  Anyway. We’re also going to hit some really fun blog topics, like some of the amazing people we’ve met and some of our favorite wedding day stories.


Which leads me to The Question. You know. The one wedding planners are asked all the time.


“Do you have a favorite wedding?”


Honestly, and this is no cliché, just about every wedding I do is a favorite wedding. I love ALL weddings. Big, little, fancy, casual, indoor, outdoor. I ADORE weddings. Which is probably good, since I spend most of my time thinking about them. But, if I have to choose the wedding that means the very most to me…it would be my own. My wedding wasn’t just the beginning of an amazing adventure, it was the wedding that led me to you. Let me explain (and forgive me if I take the long way around, I really love this story).


I was born in Gregory, SD but grew up on a ranch South of Wessington, SD. Yep, I’m a country girl. And while I was busy growing up riding horse and chasing cows, the man I would someday marry lived just 12 miles up the road from me.


Sweet destiny!


However, I didn’t officially “meet” my sweet destiny until after I had graduated from Augustana College (double major, English and journalism) and was living and working in Huron. It was there that I found Preston Steele at the SD State Fair. Or maybe we found each other? Anyhow, it took about three minutes to realize we were meant to be. We began planning a wedding for April 20, 2007.


And that’s where my path to an amazing life…and to you…first started.


You see, planning my own wedding was A BLAST. I loved organizing and dreaming and making things pretty. I also realized I was good at it. We hired Janet from Country Classics in Redfield (she’s amazing, by the way) to help with the flowers and décor, and I kept thinking “I could do this!” the whole time. I seriously loved everything about my wedding and would not change a thing. Wait! Yes I would. I would give all the maple donuts in the world to have a professional wedding video, but back then hiring a videographer was mostly done for famous people and princesses. Dang it.


Long story short, after Preston and I had the best day ever and were married for about two days, I told him I would love to start my own business. He told me to go for it (because he’s awesome) as long as I promised not to compete with any other retail or service business in town and that my family would always come first. I don’t think he actually thought I would do it…


I opened Simply Devine in July 2008. I could not have done it without the help of my mom or Preston. And I don’t think the idea would have ever occurred to me if I hadn’t experienced the joy of my own wedding with my Mom. Wedding planner just wasn’t on my list of potential careers…until I had a wedding. Now, I can’t imagine anything else.  I cherish the relationships I have built and the many friends I have made. I still light up inside when I walk into a gorgeous space, knowing we did our best to make it that way. I am rewarded with hugs and tears and smiles for my team’s work, and I am grateful for a wonderful staff and a family that allows me to be successful.


Speaking of that family. People often wonder how I can leave Preston behind every Saturday with three crazy, little boys–twins August and Huntley (8) and my little guy Oliver (4). You know what? My kids are super close to their dad because he is so hands-on. He digs his one-on-three Saturdays and occasional wonderful Fridays. They dig their Daddy adventures as well and the “boy parties” they throw only when Mommy is gone. And when Sunday rolls around, I am there for family day—just one more “favorite thing” I owe to my wedding day.


Thank you, April 20, 2007.



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