Savannah Knopf knew from the moment she started planning her wedding to her college sweetheart, Dustin Whittridge, that it had to be all about family. From the venue to the furniture, every piece of their wedding day was rooted in tradition. “My vision was to have all the heritage shown, “she says. “I wanted to be intentional with every aspect.”
Held at Savannah’s family’s farm, Knopf Farm, the ceremony and reception were full of reminders of her family’s presence. The barn where the reception was held was built by Savannah’s grandfather more than 70 years ago, and the property itself has been in the family for 90 years.
The couple also wanted to feature new spins on old traditions. “One of my favorite parts was sawing a log because that’s a German tradition,” says Savannah. “I’m German and my husband speaks German, so we wanted to tie that in.”
Called Baumstamm Sägen, the log-sawing custom is typically done by the bride and groom to symbolize the couple overcoming their first obstacle together as a married pair. However, Savannah and Dustin added a twist. “It’s what we decided to do instead of the father-daughter, mother-son dances, “she says. “I started it with my dad, and then he did it with his mom, and then we finished it together,” she says.
For another meaningful touch, Dustin, his dad, and Savannah’s dad crafted the table where the couple was seated during the reception. “The wood is from the farm, and it’s rustic,” says Savannah. “That’s going to be the dining room table in our house.”
While these family-influenced touches showed off the couple’s connection to the past, other elements of their day were very much rooted in the present. According to Savannah, almost half of their guests were family members. And of Dustin’s groomsmen, all were brothers or brothers-in-law.
“That was one of his favorite things about the wedding,” she says. “Having the family up there.” One such groomsman was Savannah’s 7-year-old brother Jonah, who also helped Savannah’s dad walk her down the aisle. “We really wanted to keep the party with people we know are going to be there the rest of our lives,” she says. “That’s family.”