Iowa State gears up for wedding and engagement season | Way of life

With spring and warm weather finally making their annual debut on the Iowa State campus, love is in the air as Iowa State enters its busiest season for campus weddings.

From having their own Pinterest board to helping out with everything from invitations to color combinations, Iowa State does its best to help couples plan their perfect day.

Jessica Erickson, wedding coordinator at Iowa State, is very involved in her work. From consultations to cake tastings, she’s there every step of the way, helping couples plan their perfect day in Iowa State.

“Couples can expect to work with people who are passionate about weddings and provide the best possible customer service,” Erickson said. “They can expect competitive prices, delicious food, and convenient amenities and services.”

With multiple indoor and outdoor location options, couples can choose to get married at must-see locations around the state of Iowa, like under the Campanile or in the Great Hall.

The state of Iowa also hosts over 500 guests, allowing anyone the bride and groom to invite.

“I’m happy to help the couple in any way I can, and I’m always happy to offer my opinion or advice based on my experiences,” Erickson said. “I try to be as active as possible, attend all meetings, tastings, etc. before the wedding date. On the wedding day, I’m on hand all day to help the couple settle in, oversee the schedule, and be available to help with anything the couple might need.

Weddings in the state of Iowa can often take up to a year or more to plan. The fastest Erickson who ever planned a successful wedding? Four to five months. While a large portion of weddings take place during the summer, the state of Iowa hosts approximately 25 to 32 weddings per year.

For the romance of a couple from the state of Iowa, it can be compared to that of a romantic comedy, with an unlikely start and unexpected turns.

“I went to an all-boys school, so I only met her through friends from her friend group,” said Jake Gallaher, senior biology student. “I thought the first time that we met was at a bonfire, but I guess we met several times before that. But I remember that she came in the back door of the house where we were staying, and it’s kind of like when i was, i don’t even know this girl but i’m going to marry her someday.

His fiancée, Sami McCool, was unsure at first and had actually spoken to some of her friends at the time. It wasn’t until one of McCool’s friends gave Jake his number and told him he better hurry that he decided to move on. McCool is an alumnus of Iowa State and transferred to DMACC this year to be part of their dental hygiene program.

The couple started dating in high school and had no intention of attending the same college.

“I was going to go to Iowa, but I fell in love with the Iowa State campus, and my family was moving to Urbandale, so I wanted to be closer to them, and it all worked out,” McCool said.

The couple spent many hours inside the Parks Library during their timeshare in Iowa State, finding that studying could also double the time they spent hanging out together. They were also members of the Greek community, and some of their fondest memories come from time spent together at ceremonies, Greek week activities, and other events within their fraternity and sorority.

“I knew I wanted to do it somewhere that we could visit in the future, 10, 15 years from now, and revisit that place,” Gallaher said of the proposal ideas. “So I was going around a few ideas in my head, the library being one of them. Luckily I didn’t go for that option as I guess it’s not that romantic, but we spent a lot of time there.”

However, the weather on the day Gallaher had planned to propose ruined his plans, forcing him to postpone something he had been waiting to do since he first set eyes on McCool. His original plan was to go for a walk with her near the Campanile and kneel under the perfect spot. But with the impending snow, he knew she would never agree to go for a walk.

Instead, he planned to do it the following Monday. It was the first “beautiful” day on campus. Hammocks, dogs and a majority of Iowa State students could be seen outside enjoying the sun. With such good weather forecast, he had a two-day time crunch to finalize last-minute plans.

“I had to get everything quickly, flowers. I wanted to get my hair cut because I wanted to look decent,” Gallaher said. “I had two of my buddies help me take pictures and get the flowers there and set them up to make it all right [and] make sure no one was in the area so all went well.

Meanwhile, McCool had no idea she was going to walk to Campanile empty-handed and walk away with a rock on her ring finger. The Campanile also plays a small part in their relationship, with Gallaher always yearning for a midnight kiss to tick off the classic list of Iowa state traditions, but McCool had always refused, for one reason or another.

Making Campanile the perfect place to carry out the proposal, Gallaher would finally get his coveted kiss.

“He’s been a really good liar all day, he can never really have surprises in front of me, so he was really good,” McCool said of the proposal. “I didn’t expect anything. I never thought this would happen on a Monday.

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