If there’s one thing we love, it’s a sentimental ceremony venue. So, when we learned that this chic celebration captured by Clary Pfeiffer Photography that just so happened to take place at the very same church where the bride’s parents married, our eyes lit up with the look of love. Because this ballroom fete coordinated by Kate & Company is just about as good as it gets. See it all unfold in The Vault!
From the Bride… For many of our closest friends and family, the proposal was no surprise. After meeting at Northwestern our freshman year, we quickly became attached at the hip, something that hasn’t changed six years later. In fact, prior to his “official” proposal, Michael had already proposed a few times. This time he had rings – we designed the engagement ring using my great-grandmother’s stone and the wedding band he used to propose to me on the beach in Sanibel, FL surrounded by both of our families.
When Michael, who I know as Trainor (yes, this gets confusing given that I now share this last name), proposed in February 2015, I had no idea it would open up an entirely new world to me, a world where I was suddenly moving from Chicago to Austin, starting a new job, meeting new friends, oh and planning our wedding from afar. Needless to say, we had a pretty crazy year, but we wouldn’t trade it for anything. We grew together throughout this process and, amidst the many changes, discovered what specific details were most important for us to incorporate into our wedding. Before we began the planning process, we knew our wedding needed to be both true to our personalities and style as well as a blast for our friends and family.
Trainor grew up in Boston, I was raised in St. Louis, we lived in Chicago for six years, and we currently live in Austin. Therefore, the location would resemble a destination wedding to some extent because so many of our friends and family are scattered across the country. Our families have been able to get to know each other well over the years, despite the distance, and ultimately we decided that having the wedding in my hometown would be a great opportunity for them to grow closer. We were also lucky to have so many friends and family that doubled as our vendors in the St. Louis area.
Trainor and I were married in the church where my parents were married, only a couple years ago of course. The feel of the reception room at the Saint Louis Club was perfect for us, as were their world-renowned food and unmatched service. We liked the idea that we had an entire floor, making our cocktail hour, reception, and photo booth private. Even though we selected St. Louis for the wedding location, we wanted to honor the other cities near and dear to our hearts. We incorporated our hometowns, both past and present, by including stamps representative of each city – Boston, St. Louis, Chicago, and Austin – on our invitations, and we included a staple treat from each city in our welcome bags. Our vision quickly became a modern, romantic, yet timeless affair. Trainor and I do have distinct styles: he kept me grounded and classic while I added romantic and slightly whimsical details. The color scheme reflected the spring season, with blush, dove grey, cream, and gold tones.
Staying consistent with the season and style was very important to us, although it was difficult at times to resist the trends of Pinterest! Peonies, garden roses, ranunculus, and eucalyptus adorned the bouquets and were perfectly arranged in our centerpieces by Jessica Douglass and her team at Flowers and Weeds. They managed to create complex works of art on each table. We decided table-length garlands with interspersed candles on the two head tables would add another dimension to the room and further propel the romantic feel after dark.
As a self-proclaimed fashion fanatic, Reem Acra’s wedding dresses were was always on my radar. I love how she first-and-foremost constructs dresses that fit women well, and she also happens to have a timeless style. I chose my dress for its lightweight feel and soft, simple silhouette. Trainor was very proud of the velvet shoes he wore with his classic black tuxedo.
Clary Pfeiffer, our photographer, fit seamlessly into our overall vision. Clary shoots both film and digital, which was exactly what we were looking for in a photographer. Film images create that indescribable romantic vibe that really spoke to us. Clary (and her husband) beautifully capture images that are simultaneously pieces of editorial art and classically bridal. We were so grateful to work with such a talented yet personable husband/wife duo.
Hiring Francesca Pompili from Kate and Company was without a doubt one of the best decisions we made throughout the hiring process. Although I originally thought we didn’t need a wedding planner, her advice, from the never-ending cummerbund debate to late night calls after work, was irreplaceable. She became a true friend and far exceeded our expectations as a day-of planner. I did not anticipate the extent to which I would love the small details we incorporated into the wedding. These details helped to make our wedding uniquely “ours”, which is something we found special. Ribbons, paper products, and calligraphy became a major focus of the design, and we aimed for consistency from start to finish. Ribbons from Frou Frou Chic adorned the bouquets, the welcome bags, the pew décor, invitations and the Gooey Louie butter cake favors. Our save the dates, invitations, programs, menus, escort cards and reception signage were all designed by the fabulous Vertallee/Carolyn Jane duo, whom we were lucky enough to work with locally in Austin. We came to love the little details that were incorporated in our wedding, such as my sweet hatbox and our bridesmaid/groomsmen goodie bags.
Overall, everything about April 16th was special to us. From a wonderful dinner to speeches that so perfectly encompassed our relationship to dancing the night away with our amazing band, we loved creating a day that was true to us and our loved ones. We were surrounded by our family and friends, many of whom traveled long and far to show their support and love for us. The best part is that we realized the wedding is just the beginning!
Photography: Clary Pfeiffer Photography | Cinematography: Brian Gaadt Productions | Event Coordinator: Kate & Company | Floral Design: Flowers and Weeds | Ceremony Venue: Salem United Methodist Church | Reception Venue: St. Louis Club | Bride's Shoes: Valentino | Hair + Makeup: Emily Miller | Calligraphy: Carolyn Jane | Band: Spectrum | Bride's Dress: Reem Acra | Custom Hat Box: Trousseau & Co | Letterpress: Vertallee Letterpress | Photo Booth: Smile Lounge | Ribbon: Frou Frou Chic