With a team of talented vendors and all roads leading lakeside, this soiree is overflowing with personal details. From the rose garden inspired Sadie’s Couture Floral & Design buds, to handmade signage, every detail Laura Dawson coordinated is significant. Each image from Jeff Loves Jessica is more beautiful than the last and you can see them all here!
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From The Bride…Our vision was of an intimate, Minnesota summer wedding full of personal details. Knowing that many of our guests would be visiting Minnesota for the first time, we wanted to showcase the beauty of our home state with an outdoor reception. We also loved the romantic feel of having string lights under a starry sky above our dance floor. I had an image from Pinterest which I carried with me to vendor meetings so they could get a clear understanding of the mood we were striving to provoke.
We explored a number of venue options until we realized the obvious choice right in front of us: Minikahda (Ojibway for “On the edge of the water”), the century-old Minneapolis club I had grown up at. We approached The Minikahda Club with our “out-of-box” vision to host the entire reception on the roof-deck overlooking Lake Calhoun, and from which the view of the Minneapolis skyline after dark is dazzling. Jenni, the coordinator at the club, enthusiastically embraced our vision and her staff executed it flawlessly.
Minneapolis doesn’t mean “City of Lakes” for nothing, and we were blessed with the use of three for our festivities. Our reception overlooked Lake Calhoun, and just south is Lake Harriet where we had our “first look” and bridal party photos. They were taken at the Lake Harriet rose garden where I frequently wandered as a child. From there it was a quick trip back north to the church on Lake of the Isles where Nick and I had gone ice skating on our second date.
Winters in Minnesota are conducive to DIY projects, and I probably had up to five ongoing wedding “projects” at any given time, taking over our living and dining rooms. However, knowing that I had created all the signs, monogramed the napkins and candles, and designed the stationary and decor layout, made our wedding more personal. In addition, the necklaces my bridesmaids wore were custom designed by me and made in Shanghai when I traveled there for work. Other personal details included my veil, which has been in my family since the 1830s, and the flower girl dress, which I had worn 25 years before in my Uncle’s wedding. His daughters were now my attendants. Of course, our very much-loved maltipoo, “Peaches,” had to play a role, so we named one of our signature cocktails after her. The other signature cocktail was named after a very special place: Madeline Island in Lake Superior where my family spends summers.
While the weather did go our way, not everything went according to plan. Despite the limo forgetting to pick up the groomsmen for pictures, despite the antique car breaking down on the way to the reception, despite the groom getting a bloody nose minutes before the ceremony, and despite the father of the bride stepping into a large pile of dog waste right outside the church, our day was flawless. The best advice I was given during the planning process was to control the “controllables” and on the day of the wedding, just let it all go. So, being the type-A bride that I was, I spent months creating color-coded, personalized day-of schedules for each member of the bridal party. Months meeting with vendors to review the floor plans and highly detailed floor and table grids drawn up by me for all pieces of wedding décor. Weeks solving the unexpected like our linens being discontinued before the wedding. And days coordinating a custom designed necklace to be remade in Shanghai and picked up by one of my coworkers after the original was lost in the mail. But, had I not sat back and had faith that all our outstanding wedding vendors would do their jobs, knowing that I had done all I could possibly do to “control” our day to its ultimate perfection, I would not have recognized the magic and memories that encapsulated our wedding. It was truly perfect. A special thank you to all who participated, we couldn’t have done it without you!
Photography: Jeff Loves Jessica | Cinematography: WonderWill Productions | Floral Design: Sadie's Couture Floral & Design | Cake: Cocoa & Fig | Invitations: Paper Lou | Ceremony Venue: Lake Of The Isles Lutheran Church | Reception Venue: Minikahda Club | Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Calligraphy: Feather Letter | Band: The Seville's | Groomsmen's Attire: Savvi Formalwear | Bride's Gown: Lazaro | Day Of Coordination: Laura Dawson