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Proving What Des Moines Is All About

Shawn Harrington Wedding

March 13, 2019

Proving What Des Moines Is All About

There was one odd request following the wedding invitations that were sent to our out of town guests. Even though it had been seven years since I moved to Des Moines (DSM), my wife Carrie and I knew many friends and family members booking trips for our big day would be experiencing this city for the first time. As they received their itinerary for the weekend, we had to emphasize an extra note “Don’t rent a car because you won’t need it!”.

It was obvious many would still be wondering what the draw was that originally brought me to Central Iowa from Upstate New York. They would also want to know what kept me here leading up to meeting Carrie. While there were many factors that led to this, Des Moines as an evolving city became an essential part of my life as it was to her.

Ahead of the wedding, we had already made plans for our new growing family to stay in Central Iowa with confidence this surrounding area could provide us with everything we could want. Along with this would be opportunities for our careers, great schools for our children and of course the growing scene of arts and entertainment emerging in Des Moines. We were ready to show it off and why not do that along with our big day, right? 

The point of encouraging guests to avoid having a car was so they had the chance to take in more of the downtown atmosphere. The true feeling of a city can get diminished as someone’s GPS takes them down one-way streets and into the nearest parking ramp, so we figured it would be best to avoid that from happening. It was mid-June and the logistics of our wedding events made everything accessible either by walking or a short shuttle ride. 

The weekend’s agenda quickly filled up for our guests leading up to a ceremony on the steps of the State Capital and a reception at the Des Moines Social Club. Starting from the hotel, they took advantage of the Downtown Farmer’s Market, only a few blocks away, along with stops throughout Court Ave. in the evening and of course a lunch at Zombie Burger. Added visits to East Village Shops, the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park and Gray’s Lake proved there were plenty of unique experiences to experience in Des Moines.

Shawn Harrington Wedding in DSM USA Shawn Harrington Wedding in DSM USA

Part of making great memories of our wedding was ensuring our friends and family would have the best time possible so we could enjoy ours. There are of course memories for Carrie and I from that weekend that triumph over all others, but it wouldn’t be the same without the memories of Des Moines. Thanks to Des Moines and based on the feedback we still receive from those who made their initial visit, that’s exactly what happened!

Named as the #1 Metro with the Most Community Pride by Gallup, Greater Des Moines (DSM) is the fastest growing metro in the Midwest. Learn more about what it’s like to live here


Shawn Harrington

Shawn Harrington, a native of Buffalo, NY, moved to Des Moines in 2007. He has since become active in the community serving on past Boards of Directors with the Young Professionals Connection, Des Moines Social Club and Des Moines Downtown Chamber. An avid outdoorsman and hockey fan, he's currently Director of Business Development for Multivista's Central Iowa Office while living in Norwalk with his wife Carrie and two children.