After dating for six years, Jared Dietzenbach sprang his wedding proposal on a Colorado mountain. While hiking, he reached into his backpack, pulled out the ring, dropped to one knee and asked Tori Sunde, “Will you be my wife?”
She said “yes,” and they kissed as the sun beamed and puffy white clouds floated in the blue sky.
It was only the first of many special moments shared by the couple, culiminating in a romatic, rustic and chic wedding on Aug. 10, 2013, at Mt. Valley Vineyard in Forest City. Approximately 400 guests attended the festivities.
“I always wanted to have an outdoor wedding. We’re both outdoorsy people and love wine, and Mt. Valley is a pretty neat place. It’s not far from where I grew up, so I knew the family and thought it would be the perfect setting,” explains Tori, who attended the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. She later studied dental hygiene at Hawkeye Community College.
Surrounded by loving family and friends and reciting their vows in such a picturesque setting was particularly special for the couple. The weather was perfect but warm, making the couple grateful for deciding on fans for their wedding programs. “People really used them, too,” Tori recalls.
Jared describes the exchange of vows as “the best part of the day. I felt very excited and a bit nervous. I thought she looked beautiful, and I couldn’t stop smiling at her.”
Tori walked down the aisle in her dream dress, a lacy, elegant gown she found at Bliss Bridal and Formalwear in Mason City, “I worked at the bridal store on weekends, and when I saw it on the mannequin, I knew I had to try it on. I tried on 10 other dresses, but kept going back to this one,” she recalls.
She added a sash to the Anjolique dress to make it her own, and carried a bridal bouquet filled with wildflowers and white roses. The handle was wrapped in a piece of lace from her mother’s wedding dress.
Bridesmaids were varying shades of Tiffany blue, a perfect complement to gray Tip Top Tux tuxedos worn by the groomsmen. The groom’s gift to his men were their Vans shoes worn at the wedding.
The DIY reception at Friendship Hall in Forest City also had a rustic air. Old barn wood was gathered from a torn-down barn on Tori’s grandparent’s property, and an old stump from her brother’s place served as the cake table. There were hay bales for seating and Ball jars and milk cans filled with flowers. Tables were draped with burlap runners and boxes were filled with hydrangeas.
Jared was involved in a lot of construction projects for the reception, including “our backdrop at the reception, the doors we used for the altar, and the wine box and wedding signs made from old barn wood,” he explains.
Naturally, the wine for the box was a vintage from Mt. Valley Vineyard. The couple wrote letters to each other and tucked them into the box with plans to open and read them in five years.
In addition to a buffet laden with ham, chicken, cheesy potatoes and other comfort food, there was a popcorn bar and a wedding cake with three different flavors – chocolate with toffee, red velvet and almond. Cupcakes were apple pie and chocolate with peanut butter flavors.
Wedding dances also were special, with Tori and Jared dancing to Ryan Adams’ “Wonderwall,” followed by the father-daughter dance to “My Little Girl” by Tim McGraw. Jared danced with his mother to Garth Brooks’ heartfelt hit, “The Dance.”
“We wanted a very-laid back feeling. The wedding and reception were beautiful, and the weather was, too. We couldn’t have asked for a better day,” Tori adds.