Love struck early for Jaicee Ulmer and Jared Twedt, who met in high school and knew by age 16 they’d get married. Seven years later, their wedding was a sweet celebration overflowing with family, friends and candy.
Jaicee and Jared are known for their loves of sugar, golf and the outdoors – all of which played a part in Jared’s surprise proposal and the couple’s engagement and wedding celebrations.
Last summer, Jared made the couple’s annual Black Hills trip unforgettable. Jaicee wanted to hike Black Elk Peak, and took her time preparing for the adventure. The day of the hike, Jaicee enjoyed a leisurely soak in a hot tub, but Jared wanted to get going. Jaicee insisted there was no rush. Little did she know Jared had sent two college friends ahead with a surprise.
“We hiked to the top of Black Elk Peak and when we got up there, there were white rose petals laying at the very top, and there were two other couples up there we didn’t know. I didn’t think anything of it,” Jaicee said. “I said, ‘Ooh, that’s romantic’ and ‘Oh, this is beautiful.’”
She admired the panoramic view and when she turned back to Jared, he held a bouquet of flowers. Jaicee’s reaction: “Those aren’t ours!”
Jared’s friends had hiked up before the couple, scattered the petals, brought the bouquet and asked other hikers to stay out of the way. Jaicee realized what was happening – and that the flowers and flower petals were for her – when Jared was on one knee, pulling a ring out of his pocket. His friends swiftly emerged from their hiding spot and photographed the memorable proposal.
“I felt like I was in a movie,” Jaicee shared. “I was shaking, and I had to hike all the way down. I couldn’t believe he pulled this off without me ever having the slightest clue.”
“When people saw the proposal pictures, they asked, ‘Were you really that surprised? You had to have known it was coming.’ But I truly was,” Jaicee admitted. “Going to the Black Hills was nothing out of the ordinary, plus it was the weekend of Jared’s birthday so I was focused on that. I’d always figured I’d have a feeling when the proposal was going to happen but this took me by complete surprise, which I loved!”
The couple spent a year planning their rustic wedding at the Canton Barn. Jared grew up on a farm and Jaicee loves casual, rustic style. When Jared and Jaicee found out friends of theirs were transforming the 1820s barn into an event center, the couple knew it was perfect for their wedding. As wedding plans progressed, the couple were treated to gifts and celebrations that played off their love of golf, and Jaicee’s sweet tooth.
“We’ve golfed ever since we started dating,” said Jaicee, whose parents bought Jared a golf membership every year for his birthday when he was in high school. “Every moment that we’re free, we’re out there. We just like being outside and we’re a very active couple.”
Friends gave Jared and Jaicee an engagement present of golf balls, tees and bridal magazines. Jaicee’s aunt hosted a shower at a local golf course, complete with golf-themed centerpieces and gifts of golfing gear. The bride’s matron of honor hosted another shower with a menu featuring doughnuts and candy. “People say I eat candy as meals,” Jaicee laughed.
A third shower, hosted by the church Jared’s mother attends, tied faith to the couple’s love of sports. “They read a scripture about teamwork, because they know Jared and I are so competitive and now we’re on the same team,” Jaicee said.
Teamwork was essential the day of the wedding, when rain changed the couple’s plans.
“It was not raining until 10 minutes before the ceremony started,” Jaicee said. “We had to move the ceremony. … Everybody got up and within three minutes we had everybody moving chairs, and there were 300 people. That was not what we had planned at all but it was so perfect.”
Jaicee walked down an aisle the guests quickly created, and the ceremony took place on a covered patio near the barn. A deer slowly walked through a nearby field as the couple exchanged vows.
“I remember at last second I decided not to wear shoes. That was definitely ‘me’ because I’m always barefoot,” Jaicee chuckled. “I walked down the aisle to the love of my life with light rain coming down and the sun peeking through as our backdrop. We were both so overwhelmed with how perfect it was that we both teared up.”
The newlyweds and their guests moved to the barn for dinner and dancing. In the barn, Jaicee kept the reception decor simple with greenery, lots of white and accents of cranberry.
“The barn’s so beautiful by itself, I didn’t want to take away from that,” Jaicee explained.
Jaicee credits Tony’s Catering of Brandon for a delicious dinner, and DJ Chase J for a crowd-pleasing mix of ‘80s music, country, hip-hop and pop.
“We really wanted it to be fast-paced,” Jaicee said. “I had people telling me it was the most fun. I literally was dancing the whole night.”
A candy bar was essential for the sweet-loving bride. Throughout the reception, guests helped themselves to chocolate and fruit-flavored candies from jars of varying shapes and sizes. “I went a little crazy,” Jaicee laughed, admitting the couple is still eating leftovers.
In place of wedding cake, the couple chose tiered stands of Fly Boy Donuts. A chalkboard proclaiming, “I donut know what I’d do without you” and photos of the couple graced the donut table.
Between dinner and dancing, guests became teary-eyed viewing a slideshow of the bride and groom’s lives.
“What I loved about that was because we have been dating for so long, you can physically see us growing together,” Jaicee said. “That might have been one of my favorite things we did.”
Wedding pictures from the couple’s parents and grandparents were displayed in the barn. One photo taken that day with Jared’s grandfather, who has cancer, is now especially precious.
“After the ceremony, we got all the family and took a picture with him. I think it made him super happy. Everybody was so genuinely happy and excited he could be there,” Jaicee shared.
Looking back on her wedding, Jaicee couldn’t be happier. “I knew this was going to happen for so long and now it has happened. All that really matters is you’re married to the person you love,” she said.
WEDDING DATE: June 17, 2017
LOCATION: Canton, SD
WEDDING DRESS: Bridal Gallery
BRIDESMAID DRESSES: Bridal Gallery
MENSWEAR: Men's Wearhouse
ENGAGEMENT RING: Greenberg's Jewelers
WEDDING RINGS/BANDS: Greenberg's Jewelers
DJ: Chase J - SieffStyle Entertainment
VENUE & RECEPTION: The Canton Barn
PHOTOGRAPHER: Memories Made Photography
CAKE: Fly Boy Donuts
CATERER: Tony's Catering
TRANSPORTATION: SuFu Cruise
LODGING: Downtown Sioux Falls Holiday Inn and Downtown Sioux Falls Country Inn and Suites
HAIR SALON: Southeastern Hair Design & Day Spa
MAKEUP: Shelby Swanson