Libraries have always screamed romance to me. Perhaps it’s the history or the architecture or maybe it’s the sweet smell of an old book – but I am pretty sure it’s being able to take all those things in while being surrounded by a thousands upon thousands of stories. I couldn’t think of anything more romantic, other than perhaps saying I do right smack dab in the middle of it all. From the looks of the gorgeous images captured by Laura Ivanova Photography, that was precisely the case for this couple. The James J. Hill Reference Library set the perfect stage for this new (gorgeous) chapter in their love story…complete with happy ending. See it all here.

From the Bride… Our wedding was absolutely the most love-filled and glorious day of our lives. From the minute Joe and I met in Debate class at age 15, I had dreamed of walking down the aisle toward a man like him with such a love for God and family. After 7 years of developing a precious friendship, respect, and true love through high school dances, college study dates, and the overwhelming support of our family and friends, our first day of marriage could not come fast enough! As both Joe and I grew up in large, auditorium sized churches, we wanted to find a wedding venue that would reflect our passion for history and literature…and our “old souls”. The James J. Hill Library in St. Paul was the perfect fit of everything we had desired for the ambiance and simple majesty of our day. We wanted our day to reflect our style and creativity, so it meant a lot of long hours of planning, DIY-ing, garage sale-ing, and organizing to reflect the vintage elegance I had dreamed of since I was a young girl looking through wedding magazines with my mom for fun.

Planning a wedding had many unexpected stresses, and doing everything ourselves came with the hope that every detail would come together; from my personal collection of vintage books and vintage milk glass on each table, to our typewriter and postcard “guest book,” to the photos of our ancestors on their wedding days, to the tablecloths I gathered from Target after Christmas, to the chandeliers we decorated with flowers, to the vintage frames I restyled by stamping my favorite love quotes from literature and the vintage library cards and pockets I filled with bookplates and bookmarks for our guests, every detail was more perfect than I could have ever anticipated. Even more impressive was the love that was poured into each part of the process, especially from my mother and father who helped every step of the way and made our wildest dreams come true. The most beautiful accents of our wedding weren’t the decorations; they were the hugs of our guests, the strength of my parent’s arms holding me down the aisle, the uncontrollable tears of my groom throughout our ceremony, our best friends standing by our sides, worshiping and giving thanks for our blessings, the dancing with our families that erased every jitter, and the beautiful moment of becoming my best friend’s wife and companion for all time. To every engaged couple or hopeless romantic-know that not everything will run smoothly, but know that the beauty lies in the love, hope, joy and faith that cannot be planned, created, or purchased.

Wedding Photography: Laura Ivanova Photography / Venue: James J. Hill Reference Library in St. Paul, Minnesota / Event Design + Decor: DIY by the Bride / Floral Design: Fleur De Lis Fresh Flowers / Wedding Cake: Taste of Scandinavia + IKEA Princess Torte / Music: First Class Dances / Invitations: Robin Bellomy of 0 Names Left / Drinks: Mintahoe / Tablecloths: Target / Wedding Dress: Allure Bridals via The Wedding Shoppe, Inc. / Bride’s Shoes: Angela Nuran via Che Bella / Bride’s Veil: BCGirls of Bridal Couture Girls / Bride’s Earrings: Macy’s / Bride’s Necklace: From Bride’s Mother / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Maurices / Bridesmaid’s Jewelry + Accessories: Kate Spade (bracelets) + Forever 21 + Maurices (Custom Redesigned by the Bride) / Groom + Groomsmen’s’ Attire: Heimie’s Haberdashery / Hair + Makeup: Mani Mela

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