Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why Iowa? Sometimes referred to as a 'flyover state', others (the Ryans) call it 'home'. A month after Chris and Allie started dating, Allie took Chris to the greatest show on earth: the Iowa State Fair. After tasting such delicacies as 'pork chop on a stick' and deep fried Snickers, he realized what he'd been missing his whole life. And, since Iowans are big on making good first impressions, if you're lucky, Buzz Ryan may be there to greet you at the airport in his signature Hawaiian shirt and pick-up truck, complete with a chocolate lab named Jack in the back.
2. Am I going to like Iowa? The only thing Donald and Hillary agreed on during the campaign was that they both love Iowa and Iowans, so you should too.
3. What will there be to do besides the epic night that will be your wedding? Go grab a pop and some puppy chow and get ready to have some fun. You just so happen to be arriving in Iowa during a very exciting time. Not only is Des Moines hosting the World's Pork Expo (read: here) but downtown Des Moines is also putting on WineFest, a week-long event dedicated to celebrating everybody's favorite commodity. If bacon and bubbly aren't your thing*, Des Moines has everything from the zoo and amusement parks to breweries (Exile is right downtown) and a thriving biking/running trails scene. Look at more here. Of particular note, and also downtown, is the renown Des Moines Farmer's Market that happens every Saturday morning. This is likely your best shot at running into Chris Soules!
Also, don't forget to come to the dessert reception on Friday and meet us for breakfast on Sunday. More details about that on the "When and Where" page.
*if bacon and bubbly aren't your thing, we have more important things to discuss...
4. Has Iowa caught on to the coastal trends? We were wearing flannel and overalls long before you hipsters and you'll be pleased to know that the farm-to-table food in Iowa is so fresh that it was literally moo-ing in the backyard this morning.
5. Will I see corn, hogs or Senator Grassley? Only when you take off your sleeping mask upon landing. Iowa grows 140 billion pounds of corn and 33 trillion pounds of soybeans every year. The state has 6 times more pigs than people. And while we're sure Senator Grassley would have loved to attend the Ryan/Beach wedding, he is in town every weekend working his way through the "full Grassley" so there's a good chance for a sighting.
We'd be remiss if we did not mention that our wedding is taking place in Des Moines which is...well...a city (hopefully you've gathered that). While Des Moines is fabulous, it's not really what makes Iowa Iowa (and what you read about every four years). So, rent a car and take off only about 10 miles outside of Des Moines to see small towns, miles and miles of fields in the distance, the best sunset you'll ever find and friendly people who love to wave.
6. How do I get around? Most of the hotels we are working with have a free shuttle service that will pick you up from the airport and also drop you off/pick you up anywhere you want to go downtown Des Moines, so no need to rent a car if you don't want to. Shuttles are usually available on a first-come-first-serve basis so just call the hotel in advance to reserve it.
The wedding venue is about 2 miles from downtown so bring your walking shoes, grab an Uber, or ask your hotel really nicely for their shuttle! Or meet a local at Friday night's reception and ask for a ride - hospitality isn't called hospitality in Iowa, it's just the culture.
7. What am I supposed to wear? Dress is formal/black tie optional but come prepared. The wedding will be happening come rain, sleet, snow or sunshine. All of which could very well happen in Iowa in June or even on the same day... The ceremony and reception are both set to take place outdoors and, note to the ladies, the ground is both grass and cobblestone; think this or this.
8. What happens if Caitlin still hasn't had her baby by June 10th? We'll have the spicy food on hand and take turns pushing her in a wheelchair around the cobblestone. And if she goes into labor? Boil the water and grab some towels!
9. Speaking of, what about our children? We love kids. We love your kids. And we would love to see them at the dessert reception on Friday or at breakfast on Sunday. Alas, due to a number of circumstances, including but not limited to: potential child boredom, shortage of dining chairs, the historic nature of the venue and general enjoyment of all parents during the evening, we simply cannot accommodate all of the little ones that we love. Plus we told Andrew we'd limit his competition at lawn games in exchange for him paying for the honeymoon (still working out the details). We also recognize that we have quite a baby-bearing bunch and people coming in from out-of-state. We'll have childcare available during the ceremony for the newborns (strict no-children policy at the ceremony), and if it's difficult to find other options for your child, please talk to us - we have options!
10. We have other questions that this carefully thought-out FAQ section did not cover. How do we contact you?
Contact Chris or Allie @ firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com. We can't wait to chat!