From a morning that started off with a Wedding 5k around the lake to a full blown classic affair crafted by Lasting Impressions Weddings & Event Coordination, this is a Minneapolis version of garden fresh. Bridesmaids in pastel, the prettiest blooms by Violet’s Flowers; all with a great, open air feel. And the images by The McCartneys Photography do this wedding such beautiful justice. Click through the full gallery for so much more.

From the Bride… Everything about Joe and my relationship was an amazing whirlwind from our very first double date. We met four months before I moved from Minneapolis to New York City and quickly became experts in making long-distance love work. Six months after that, he surprised me at my parents’ home with several bouquets of flowers and a beautiful ring. Even as a little girl, I knew my only wedding requirement was an outdoor ceremony along the water. We chose Minneapolis because it’s home to so many of Joe’s family members and friends, and I wanted to show off to my friends and family the beauty of the city where we fell in love.

We were sold on the Nicollet Island Pavilion immediately, after visiting five spots in one cold, rainy, miserable Saturday in the spring. Planning a wedding from across the country required lots of jam-packed weekends, weekly tasks for my incredibly helpful fiancé and many, many, many hours on the phone. We booked NIP 14 months out because most of the summer weekends were already taken (a no-brainer for anyone who’s endured a Minnesota winter!). I loved the feel of the exposed brick and open space, as well as the white lanterns in the tent that turned out to be a back-up ceremony spot we didn’t need to use!

I started planning our wedding just as Pinterest hit it big. There were many nights I’d be up until 1, 2 (or even 3!) in the morning picking out the perfect details for what I hoped would be a classic, elegant, garden wedding. I also scoured Etsy for the small stuff, such as our personalized drink stirrers, the Joe’s Wife/Heather’s Husband signs and the “Our Love Story” chalkboard that chalkboard artist Carole Bersin beautifully designed. I went back and forth with amazing, Minneapolis-based A Milestone Paper Co. to design the programs, welcome booklet and table names – even a bathroom basket sign! – to match our pink/gray color scheme. And, thankfully, I had my mom to endlessly discuss the nitty-gritty of green table clothes, white lounge furniture and pale pink flowers sitting among floating candles. Jean at Violet’s Flowers put our vision together so well that even I, who knew every single detail, was happily stunned when I walked into our reception.

From afar, it was hard to DIY, but I did want everyone to feel welcome with a special, personalized treat when they arrived for the weekend. I wrote individual notes to each of our out-of-town guests, and my mother-in-law, father-in-law and sister-in-law built and created our welcome boxes. Inside were cookies from our favorite Minneapolis bakery, chips from a company with my Philadelphia roots, a welcome booklet of spots to check out, and a t-shirt for our Wedding Day 5K, which was held the morning of the wedding around our favorite of Minnesota’s 11,842 lakes. It was an exhausting, yet enriching, final few months of planning that I’m so happy we decided to do. Not only did we spend the best weekend of our lives surrounded, supported and loved by our closest family and friends, we made some great new friends with people who helped us make it all happen.

Wedding Photography: The McCartneys Photography / Wedding Venue: Nicollet Island Pavilion in Minneapolis, Minnesota / Event Design + Planning: Sarah Trotter of Lasting Impressions Weddings & Event Coordination / Floral Design: Violet’s Flowers / Wedding Cinematography: Viking Videos / Wedding Invitations: Bella Figura via Judy Paulen Designs / Programs, Place Cards + Table Names: Sarah Glad of A Milestone Paper Co. / Wedding Signs: Our Hobby to Your Home / Band: PopLuxe / Drink Stirrers: Beau Chic Prints / Chalkboard: Carole Bersin / Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier via Saks Fifth Avenue / Hair: Kathy O’Connor, A Friend of the Bride / Makeup: Emily J. Hair + Makeup / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Saks Fifth Avenue / Bridal Party Hangers: Delovely Details / Men’s Suits: Michael Kors

Monique Lhuillier is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Lasting Impressions Weddings is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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