Photography: Colby & Jess Moore Photography |
Jo + Matt
Fayetteville // May 4, 2019
It’s not every day a bride delivers her own ring to an engagement. But that’s exactly how Matt Overby and his bride, Jo Johnson, began their journey to the altar. Matt had purchased a ring and had it shipped to a friend in Arkansas, planning to get it when he moved there from St. Louis in the near future. However, he knew he would have to catch Jo off guard to surprise her with the engagement, so at the last minute, he joined in on a trip to Salt Lake City for a shoot with Jo and two friends, all of whom are photographers. Now, all he needed was the ring.
Before she left, one of his friends was able to slip the ring under the driver’s seat of Jo’s car, where it rode with her to meet Matt in St. Louis before their trip. Once in Salt Lake City, he proposed at sunset in the Bonneville Salt Flats. “It took about an hour before anything hit me, which means the surprise was real, and I loved that,” Jo says.
Back in Arkansas, they began planning their big day. As a wedding photographer, Jo says she picked the time of year that historically has had the best weather for weddings she has shot—the beginning of May. Wanting a small, personal ceremony, they exchanged vows on May 4 with 40 friends and family members in attendance in Highlandville, Missouri. Two weeks later, they held a reception with 175 guests at Drake Field in Fayetteville.
“I didn’t have a vision of the details. I just wanted our people to understand how special they are to us and to celebrate them and what they mean to us during our big day,” Jo says. Describing their wedding as intimate and relaxed, Jo and Matt had special touches like her wearing her mother’s wedding gown to her rehearsal dinner and spending time with their small guest list playing games on the lawn. As for their advice to engaged couples, Jo and Matt say, “Follow your own heart! Don’t let other people influence your decisions. This is your day and you only get to do it once!”
Follow your own heart! Don’t let other people influence your decisions. This is your day and you only get to do it once!”
—Jo & Matt
Peaches played off the palette of coral and orange seen throughout the celebration.
Amazing flowers were one of Jo’s only must-haves for the big day. “I told Cindy [Stevenson] at ZuZu’s the color tones I wanted and to go for it. I knew she would dream up something bigger and better than I ever could.” Jo says.
Jo wanted all of her favorite brunch foods, including French toast, donuts, and breakfast potatoes, at the reception.
ALL FUN & GAMES
Jo and Matt’s celebration included lawn games for the bride, groom, and their guests to play together. Their favorite, Hammerschlagen (seen at right), is a common German wedding custom where guests compete to drive nails into a wooden block.
Because Jo is a wedding photographer by trade, choosing a photographer was one of the hardest decisions. “I have a personal connection to so many photographers, so Matt made the final decision,” Jo says. “We were adamant we find someone who felt like a friend.”
Bride’s gown and bridesmaids’ dresses Tesori Bridal & Formal Cake (wedding day) Earth & Honey Cakes Cake (reception) Shelby Lynn’s Cake Shoppe Florals ZuZu’s Petals Hair Sarah Ussery, LUXE Makeup Jen Ferrell Paper goods Paper Supply Co. Photographer Colby & Jess Moore Photography (Springfield, Missouri) Venue (ceremony) Greenhouse Two Rivers (Highlandville, Missouri) Venue (reception) Drake Field Videographers North Mark Films (Dallas, Texas) and Dave and a Camera Wedding coordination and design Natasha Gates, Anne-Claire Allen Planning & Design