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A green wedding for a lively couple

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Jan 11th, 2013
Posted in Rushford Features

Evan Meier and Shannon Hyter with Alaina, who will be the junior bride at their wedding. Photo by Midwest LifeShots

Ask a bride how she hopes the big day will be and you’ll frequently get “beautiful,” “classy,” “fun,” and sometimes even “perfect.” While it’s obvious that Shannon Hyter and Evan Meier’s wedding will be these things, the first words out of their mouths are something a little more grounded. “It’ll be green, organic; colorful. I want people to feel like they’re at a sunset,” notes Shannon enthusiastically. The lively Rushford couple is planning a June 22 wedding on the fields where they first met at Featherstone Farm.

Evan, the son of John Meier and Molli Kook, grew up in Winona the eldest of three children. He left the area briefly to attend Mankato state, double majoring in automotive and manufacturing engineering. He moved to Rushford permanently in 2009. He is employed at Featherstone Farm as the equipment manager.

Likewise, Shannon also grew up right here in southeastern Minnesota, on her parents Brett and Carol’s valley farm in the Choice Township south of Rushford, the eldest of two daughters. She is currently attending Western Technical College in LaCrosse, studying to be a paralegal and graduating in May. She is employed at Chiglo Law Office in Rushford as paralegal intern and also has works as a photographer part-time from her home studio.

Together nearly three years, the couple was introduced by mutual friend Julie Scuderio, who suggested Shannon seek out some summer work at the organic vegetable farm. “I wasn’t sure who this girl was that she wanted me to meet,” says Evan, 25, smiling at his bride to be. “I was her boss.”

“I thought he was interesting. He spent a lot of time in the field when I was around,” notes Shannon, 24, before they both break into a chuckle. Something apparently clicked, because now, the duo have an easy banter, filling in where one leaves off, and that telltale twinkle when they look at each other. Shannon’s six-year-old daughter, Alaina, who is the spitting image of her mother, squeezes right into the conversation, the trio wrapping their arms around each other and laughing. It’s clearly family life at its finest.

Matching their playful personalities, Evan admits to ramping up the theatrics for the proposal, having sidetracked Shannon by having a meeting. “I was mad, because I thought he’d bought a farm,” Shannon says, laughing. “I was in the hallway, turned around the corner and he was down on one knee!”

The usual hugging and crying ensued. “I had to stop and ask her, ‘Well? Yes or no?’” he adds. That was just over a year ago, November 9, 2011.

Planning has been enjoyable for the couple, who are planning a simple ceremony and an extensive reception, noting it’s about the celebration. “We’re trying to do as much of it ourselves as possible,” she continues. Shannon’s bright personality becomes even more exuberant as she dives into the details of the nuptials.

Six groomsmen and bridesmaids, a flower girl, ring bearer, and Alaina as junior bride will attend the couple. Going a simpler route, the men are wearing suits and the ladies’s dresses are being sewn locally by Rushford seamstress Jane Thompson. The bridal gown, strapless and draped, is eagerly described by Shannon. “It’s as loud as my personality!” Fuchsia, orange, and yellow will brighten both the ceremony and reception.

The short ceremony will be highlighted by a special sermon from Shannon’s father, Brett, an elder at Root River Community Church in Rushford, where the couple attends regularly. “My dad loves Evan as a son. He reminds me a lot of my dad, that’s for sure.”

The reception will be held at the Rushford Village Hall, a stone’s throw from the farm. While the event is being catered, the hands-on couple will be raising the pork and poultry for the meal themselves at the 171 acre farm in Arendahl Township, they purchased this past May. The vegetables for the meal will come courtesy of Featherstone Farm.

Shannon admits that it was difficult to choose a photographer for their big day, having a passion for it herself. Eventually, they chose Midwest LifeShots, out of Rochester.

Looking forward to the party of the evening, the duo says dancing, and lots of it, will be a must at the reception. They’ve chosen a DJ from Music in Motion, of LaCrosse, to help kick off the celebration.

While the planning stages have been a blast for the couple, they respond in unison when asked about the best part, “Every day we’re a little closer.”

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