When planning their wedding for Sept. 13, 2014, at 4 p.m., Dody Goldsmith and John Knies wanted to keep it fun.
Dody explained they wanted to embrace it as a celebration and not the solemn occasion often seen at weddings.
She wanted to include an old-time feel, like Bonnie and Clyde, as well as a few elements related to the Halloween holiday just a month away. It was also important to the couple to use local business services as much as possible, in addition to doing what they could themselves as they prepared for their big day.
The two had met in 2013 and admit it was a whirlwind romance. A few months after their first meeting, John asked Dody’s father for permission to marry his daughter.
Her parents are Wayne and Wanda Goldsmith of Chatfield. John’s are Jeff and Roxie Knies of Preston and Mari and Mike Blanchard of Spring Valley.
Later, the parents were invited to attend turkey bingo at the Servicemen’s Club in Preston, held before Thanksgiving. John asked Dody to step outside on the deck for a break. There he proposed, giving her a ring he’d picked out on his own.
Dody said it was a great night with family and friends. “And we won a lot of turkeys, something like six,” she laughed.
She and John moved in together in February.
They chose to have an intimate, outdoor ceremony in the backyard at Jeff and Roxie’s home in Preston, which sits on the edge of town on the South Hill. It caused some extra work – and worry – for them, but the yard, flowers, seating . . . all were manicured and set up to perfection.
Adding to the casual celebration aspect the bridal couple desired, a wine table that included beer and water was created in the open space under a deck off the home’s main floor above. Its decorations included tulle curtains. It was available before and during the service.
The ceremony itself was held under large trees at the south side of the yard with mums decorating the altar area and cascading down from two wagon wheels tied in the tree branches overhead. There were yard stakes to mark the aisle, and pumpkin tea light holders. Chairs for around 50 guests faced toward the altar area. Neighbor Linda Britton also worked on her yard and flowers, ensuring perfection.
Five signs were put up in various areas to note the wedding and reception locations and more. They were made of pallets, painted white and highlighted with burgundy stars and tulle bows.
A good friend of the couple, Rob Mason of Eyota and formerly of Preston, was ordained to officiate the ceremony. The couple said Rob even included some aspects of the service that were used when he and his wife, Erin, – the bride’s personal attendant – were married.
Dody’s son, Aydin, 11, accompanied her up the grass aisle. He was also as included in sharing commitment vows with the bridal couple, and was given his own ring, which Dody said he still likes to wear.
“We wanted to be different,” she said about the wedding.
She chose a black dress and wore a birdcage veil. Her attendants wore dresses in a burgundy wine color, well, except her good male friend, Chris Merkel. His suit matched the rest of the groomsmen, although he of course stood with the bridesmaids. Dody termed him a “groomsmaid” with a smile.
Donnette Goldsmith was matron of honor. Jessica Crowson was the other attendant, along with Chris Merkel and the flower girl, Shawntae Goldsmith.
John’s attendants were best man Ollie Frost, Adam Afseth and Michael Knies. Dody’s son, Aydin, stood with them.
The guys all wore skeleton keys tied to bows and were given pocket watches.
Flowers were “genuine 1920s,” according to Dody. A single, large “composite rose” was made by gluing single rose petals together. Preston Floral created these, burgundy in color for Dody and white for the rest of the party. The gals were also given silver purses. The mothers wore corsages of white roses with little skeleton keys.
All hair and make-up was done by Chris Kraemer.
Dody’s father was seated at the front and he played songs such as “Bad Moon on the Rise” and “Proud Mary.” The bridal party joyfully danced in.
The traditional “kidnapping” of bride and groom was held before the reception. Dody was taken to the Branding Iron and John to B & B Bowl, both in Preston.
The reception was held at the Servicemen’s Club, the site a few months earlier of the turkey bingo and proposal.
Dody’s sister was kept busy in days approaching the wedding, creating the many homemade treats for a sweets table along with the bride, and also teaming up with their mother to make items including salads.
Craig Mensink of Preston provided the pork.
The wedding cake came from the Sweet Stop and Sandwich Shoppe in Preston. S & S Music of Rochester, with a DJ friend of Dody’s, provided music for the dance.
The hall was decorated by the wedding party members and included lights on the wall behind the head table, where a burlap sign also proclaimed “Just Married.” A large birdcage was decorated to hold cards and smaller ones with tea lights were positioned around it.
Roxie’s neighbor, Kari Odenbrett, took most of the engagement and wedding photos. Family and friends also took occasional photos here and there.
To keep the “old-time” look, photo locations other than the ceremony and reception sites included a vault at Root River Appliance and Floor Coverings, which was a bank long ago; the railroad cars at the trailhead; and Crown Hill Cemetery for “respectful” photos. All are in Preston.
It was a cost efficient wedding, Dody said, as well as fun and casual. She found that creating and printing out a schedule of the day’s activities and times really kept things on track, and recommends other brides try it.
Dody is a graduate of Chatfield High School and John graduated from Fillmore Central. She currently works at One Block at a Time in the Fillmore Central Daycare in Preston, while John is employed at Root River Appliance and Floor Coverings in Preston, the family’s business.
John was hoping they would be expecting by Christmas – and they are. Dody is pregnant and due to deliver in August. So now they move on to their next big adventure.