Ok friends, you might need to sit down for this one, because you are about to be blown away by the most stunning Monique Lhuillier you ever did see. It’s honestly what wedding gown dreams are made of, and really this entire wedding is just as dreamy. Captured beautifully by Matt Blum Photography – this is one beyond gorgeous gallery. See even more in the VAULT.
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From The Bride…Josh and I met when we were 13 at Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis when our lockers were placed next to each other and were in the same homeroom class. Dating on and off through high school, we began dating again before our senior year of high school and continued to date as we both attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas and moved back to Minneapolis after college to start working. Many years in the making, we were engaged in Nantucket on July 1st, 2013 on Miacomet Beach at sunset. We spent the next 22 months planning our big day with the help of our family and many wonderful vendor partners. We officially tied the knot at May 23rd, 2015 at The Minikahda Club in Minneapolis, Minnesota. With many family and friends traveling from all over, we wanted to make it easy and hold all held all of our wedding events in one place. So, we held our wedding ceremony in the ballroom, a cocktail reception on the outdoor deck overlooking Lake Calhoun, and a tented wedding reception on the croquet lawn.
Ever since I was little and my family had become members, I had dreamed of having my wedding at The Minikahda Club in Minneapolis with its sweeping views over Lake Calhoun and downtown Minneapolis in the distance. However, I also dreamed of having tall ceilings on my wedding day, and since the clubhouse was originally built in 1920, the ballroom ceilings are “taller”, but weren’t quite what I had in mind. So, I knew I couldn’t do it alone and worked with Nicolle Sellers from Mother of the Bride Wedding Planning and Design to figure out a solution. To get the best of both worlds, we decided to hold the ceremony in the traditional, classic Minikahda ballroom, a cocktail reception on the outdoor deck, and a clear top tented reception on the croquet lawn. With a clear top tent, we were able to protect our guests if needed from the unpredictable Minnesota May weather and also bring in the classic, elegant aspects with the clubhouse in the background, but have our guests dine and dance over looking the beautiful lake and under the stars. The club loved our tent so much, they kept it up for an additional week to hold the annual Minikahda Open after-party there!
My gown we found in Dallas, Texas at the Neiman Marcus bridal salon. It was the Waltz dress from Monique Lhuillier’s Platinum collection and I think its name perfectly describes it. It was romantic, elegant, traditional with a touch of modern, and with its dusty rose color it was different than anything else I had seen when shopping and so I knew it had to be the one. The dress was a strapless ballgown made out of pale pink silk tulle that in some lights looked almost white, but others more pink. The entire skirt was made out of hundreds of small handkerchief sized pieces of fabric that all had raw edges giving the effect that I had run through a field and frayed the edges slightly. The broach on the hip of my dress had two butterflies made out of small rhinestones. Every detail made it special. So, this was my inspiration for our colors which became a dusty rose pale pink, white, and silver accents. Also, the style mixture of traditional with a small touch of modern was what we wanted to have our wedding day exude. We brought this through from our save the dates to the linens to our floral arrangements.
Looking back, our favorite moment of the wedding was walking down from the clubhouse into the tent for our reception as we were introduced for the first time. Seeing my vision come to life with the tent all lit up and filled with our closest friends and family clapping for us was a moment I know neither of us will ever forget.
My favorite detail of the wedding day was all of our calligraphy. We had a local calligrapher, Rosann Konieczny who did the calligraphy for our save the dates and invitations, hand write all of the name cards, the table numbers, and dinner menus. Her gorgeous work was also our inspiration for the bar menus, ceremony programs, dessert table descriptions, and calligraphy we used on our hotel gift boxes. It really pulled every aspect of the day together and made it feel special.
Working on our flowers with Martha from Martha’s Gardens in St. Paul, Minnesota is nothing short of a dream. From our first meeting, I knew she understood what we wanted our flowers to look like on our wedding day and every detail would be perfect. I have always been drawn to large blooms, and so my inspiration for our flowers was drawn from my dream bouquet of just fluffy, white peonies. Having a wedding at the end of May is also when they happen to be in bloom, so Martha did a European design with the white peonies and wrapped the stems in a white ribbon and had vintage pearl accents. Since I had peonies, Josh and his groomsmen had boutonnieres made of white ranunculus to emulate the shape of the peonies on a smaller scale. The bridesmaids had bouquets made of peonies, hydrangeas, and pale pink English garden roses. For our ceremony in the ballroom, we wanted some whimsy and to play off of the beautiful greenery you would be able to see right behind where we would be standing overlooking the lake. Martha constructed two large arrangements in silver urns using hydrangeas, small blossoms, and branches with greenery to create a focal point in the ballroom. For our reception, we continued with peonies, garden roses, and small blossoms, but wanted different arrangement heights to add some drama and interest. So, we did a mixture of tall arrangements on top of silver candelabras and low, full bowl arrangements in mercury glass. Our head table had a beautiful 16′ garland draped over the length of the table with lots of candlelight. We also picked linens for half of the tables that were a champagne color and for the other half linens that had some sequins in them that would reflect the candlelight on the tables. The effect of the combination of flowers, candles, and chandeliers we hung from the ceiling of the tent created an atmosphere that was nothing short of magical as guests danced the night away.
Josh’s family opened a brewery in Decorah, Iowa right before our wedding. So, for our specialty drinks, we of course wanted to serve his family’s brews! Our bridal party, family, and friends loved it and it was a cool way for us to have something no one else had tried before!
Josh and I are both really into desserts and consider both of ourselves to have a large sweet tooth, so when we thought about what we wanted for our wedding, we wanted to go all out on dessert. First, each guest was served a pink champagne cake lollipop with a little sign on the handle inviting them to join us for more dessert, drinks, and dancing. Once out of their chairs, they could head to our dessert “bar” where we had sweets including salted caramel or edible silver paint splattered vanilla macaroons, mini chocolate or butterscotch trifles, or bite-size fruit tarts. We also had a build-your-own sundae bar next to these desserts where our guests could add whatever toppings they wanted to the gelato that is made in-house at Minikahda. We lastly had cake that is a signature dessert at our favorite bakery. Yum! made a two-tiered version of their Patticake for our day, which is a chocolate cake with white buttercream frosting. We then had our florist add some fresh blooms to make tie it into the other arrangements. Our guests loved the choices and couldn’t stop talking about all the different things they loved! It was great to have something for everyone.
If you can fit it in your budget, I would recommend hiring a wedding planner to help at least on the day of. Nicolle was my saving grace and allowed me, my family, and our bridal party to stay calm and truly enjoy every minute because she and her team had it all under control. We even had a nearby neighbor call the police on noise from the band, and she dealt with it all so that my family and I didn’t even know it happened until after the wedding was over! She truly made the day seamless and also kept us on schedule to ensure we didn’t miss out on anything. Her expertise and support was the best money we spent!
A second piece of advice is to hire a videographer. Going through the wedding planning process, I had asked many friends who had gotten married whether or not to get one. The ones who had one ranged from decently glad they had it to it was something they continued to watch every week, but the ones who hadn’t gotten one all said it was something they regretted not making room for in their budgets. We ended up hiring one and we are extremely glad we did. Looking back, it makes the day come back alive. It allows us to hear our friends and family’s laughter, my dad’s speech, small details we maybe missed seeing in person, and it’s something we can watch as many times as we want. It’s definitely worth it and you don’t have to break the bank to do so.
Photography: Matt Blum Photography | Cinematography: Snowshoe Productions | Event Planning: Mother Of The Bride | Floral Design: Martha's Gardens | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Cake: Yum! Kitchen And Bakery | Jewelry: De Boulle | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids | Catering: The Minikahda Club | Hair + Makeup: Emily J | Calligraphy: Rosann Konieczny | Band: Casablanca Orchestra | Groom's Attire: Brooks Brothers | Groomsmen Attire: Savvi Formalwear | Harpist: Laurie Leigh Harpist | String Quartet: Bel Canto Quartet | Hotel: Loews Hotel Minneapolis | Venue: The Minikahda Club | Bridal Boutique: Neiman Marcus | Desserts: Cocoa & Fig | Invitations + Stationery: Letter Perfect | Linen Rentals: Linen Effects | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Cafe Lurcat | Rentals: Apres Party And Tent Rental | Vendor: The Bride's Aunt & Grandmother