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Chic Cocktail Party Wedding in St. Louis

When this darling duo got engaged in 2013, before the real planning even began, they knew exactly what they wanted for their Big Day: a fun, dance-inducing cocktail party, with late night flatbread pizzas and minimal sitting involved. They didn’t even have a seating chart! MNC Photography captured all the fun throughout the day and night, and you won’t be able to get enough in the gallery right here!

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Seasons
Spring
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Cottage
Styles
Elegant

From The Bride…When Chris and I became engaged in the summer of 2013, we knew we wanted our wedding to be a big party where all of our family and friends could get together and have fun. No rules; no assigned seats; just endless food, alcohol, dancing, and mingling. We also decided right away that we would forego a wedding party. Just us and our families and our friends, having a blast.

We were limited in geography to our mutual hometown – St. Louis, as both our families currently live there. Luckily, we had almost two years to plan from afar (we were living in Omaha at the time) The first thing we did was to contact our photographer – who also happens to be Chris’ brother. He helped us pick a venue that would accommodate our ideal party ambiance. We visited City Cottage in St. Louis and were immediately taken with its vibe. Beautiful exposed brick walls; open rooms that facilitated movement throughout the night; and a fantastic patio with comfortable seating. The only thing we weren’t in love with were the burlap linens that come standard with the space. With the help of our event coordinator at City Cottage, we were able to give the space a more clean and modern vibe by substituting in ivory linens.

We decided early on to have a cocktail party instead of a sit-down dinner. This would allow us to mingle with our guests as much as possible. We really wanted to connect with everyone after they had traveled so far to be with us. In addition, the cocktail party setting provided food and alcohol for everyone to eat and drink all night long. Our venue also had a pizza oven on the patio, so we served flatbread pizzas to guests as late night munchies.

What was your color palette and your style vision? Romantic, sophisticated, simple, and fun. From the start, Chris wanted to buy a suit that he would be able to wear again. We didn’t give any direction in regards to color to any family members either – we told everyone to wear what they felt most comfortable in. Naturally, this led to a grey/navy/pastel palette.

I fell in love with the gold foil invitations at Minted, and suddenly my vision became “a bit of a Gatsby party”. I thought gold accents that contrasted with the pastel flowers and ivory linens were simple, classic, and beautiful.

What unique elements or DIY details did you include? My engagement ring was an heirloom from Chris’ family that he had re-set. His wedding band is old Soviet “red gold” that came from my maternal grandmother’s wedding ring and some of her other jewelry. She passed away 10 years ago, so this was very special for us and especially for my mother.

What was your favorite moment? Your favorite crafted detail? My favorite aspect of the wedding was probably the ceremony. It was outside, tucked away near the patio at City Cottage. It had a very intimate, secret hideaway feel. Our ceremony took place as the sun was setting, so the light was very soft. We hired a cello/guitar duo for the ceremony, and the music resonated so well within that confined space. I remember walking with my father, and as I turned the corner into the aisle, I heard the cello and saw all of my friends and family, and at that moment, I was incredibly happy. The ceremony itself was very personal. There was a lot of laughter; honoring of family members (passed and alive) and in general, it was very tailored to us as a couple. I think while planning our wedding, the ceremony seemed not as important as the reception, but in reality – we were so happy that we spent the time and effort making it what it was. It set the tone for the rest of the night.

Tell us about your flowers, your gown, your favors, your cake, etc. My first wedding purchase was my gown. We had originally planned to elope in Greece, where Chris’ father is from – so I looked at dresses that would travel by jet without issue. I tried on many dresses, mainly strapless or lace gowns, but didn’t really feel like any were my style until I visited Ready or Knot. I fell in love with my gown almost immediately. It was a thick luxurious taffeta silk, with boning and lace in the bodice. I had never seen anything like it, and I decided that I would buy it despite not having a wedding venue (or location for that matter). It was modern, sophisticated, flattering, and that was it for me.

We searched high and low for fun, lively, jazz music. I had been to many weddings with live bands, but they all played the same “wedding” repertoire. We wanted something classic – old standards; an upright bass; a smokey voiced singer. We were so excited when we stumbled upon Sarah Jane and The Blue Notes. This was a group of classically trained musicians who play jazz at bars and festivals. It was the perfect band for us. For our first dance, they created a sultry rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Dance me to the end of love.” It was perfect.

I didn’t want to have any specific rules or themes. When I met with our florist, Melinda, of Les Bouquets, I showed her some flowers that I loved, and let her run free with the arrangements. Our venue had many surfaces, from cocktail tables, to the bar, to indoor and outdoor coffee tables. I wanted each surface to have its own arrangement. Nothing too manicured. She did a perfect job. For my bouquet – I wanted something delicate and spring-like; buds and peonies that hadn’t yet bloomed completely. The ceremony space at City Cottage is an enclosed wooden structure open to the elements. We loved it, but we also wanted to make it a bit more personal. We imagined some sort of floral backdrop that would contrast the wood altar, and Melinda helped perfect our vision with hanging vases.

Keeping with the party vibe, we wanted guests to arrive at the venue and immediately feel festive. We had a table set up in the patio that guests would walk by as they arrived, that had cheese, nuts, and fruit. In addition, champagne flutes were passed around to guests at the entrance. This made everyone a little less hungry, and a little more warm and fuzzy right from the start.

For dessert, we went with a traditional Russian wedding dessert table (my family and many guests are Russian, so my parents loved this). We served mini napoleon pastries, chocolates, and fruit instead of a wedding cake. Guests could have multiple servings and mix and match. This was a huge hit.

What is one piece of advice that you could give brides-to-be? Don’t give in to the pressures of wedding “tradition”. Do what you want, and make it about you and your partner. This may be the event you remember most in life, and probably the biggest one you plan. Any decisions we made were based purely on practicality and fun. There were numerous times I was asked, “what are your colors? What are your bridesmaids wearing?” and the truth was, we had no colors, and no bridal party. I was afraid this would be weird, but in reality it was the best decision I could have made. We were able to optimize time spent with our guests the weekend of the wedding; and more importantly, it made the event more about our union.

Specifically, our photographer’s suggestion to get ready together was such a great one. Not getting to see one another until the evening of our wedding seemed like such a waste. We co-habitated for four years and we loved getting ready for events together. It was always special, and it seemed very fitting that we would do that on our wedding day. My mom joined us as well and helped me with my dress and jewelry. It was lovely and intimate.

Photography: MNC Photography | Floral Design: Les Bouquets | Wedding Dress: Legends By Romona Keveza | Invitations: Minted | Catering: Catering St. Louis | Hair: Stacy Hildebrand Of Dominic Michael Salon | Band: Sarah Jane & The Blue Notes | Groom's Shoes: Cole Haan | Groom's Suit: Hugo Boss | Boutique: Ready Or Knot Bridal Boutique | Bridal Bracelet: Macy's | Bridal Sash: Modern Trousseau | Bridal Shoes: Kate Spade | Bride's Makeup: Bride | Dessert: Dierberg's European Bakery | Event Space: City Cottage On Chouteau | Groom's Shirt: Banana Republic | Groom's Tie: Calvin Klein | Groom's Watch: Skagen | Groom's Wedding Ring: Bride's Grandmother's Wedding Ring From USSR | Hair Comb: Mila Kolitsova | Wedding Ring: Perspective Design Studio

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Soft Vintage Glamour Wedding in St. Louis Missouri

This couple looks as though they just walked off a movie set. Effortlessly glamorous yet totally in love, these images from Carretto Studio are gorgeous in every sense of the word. Their timeless and elegant wedding planned by Karmen of Amore and captured by Carretto Studio couldn’t be more stunning if it tried, and you can get lost in all the classic goodness here.

 

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Spring
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Elegant

From The Bride…Jake and I met in 2012 during our time at Mizzou law school in Columbia Missouri, so it was only fitting that Jake planned our engagement back at the scene where we had first met. Getting me back to Columbia however was another story all together. I was in the middle of prepping an intense trial for the following week and we already had plans to visit some friends at the lake for the weekend. The idea of taking an extra day off work and making a detour to Mizzou was the last thing I wanted to do. Reluctantly I agreed to go, under the ruse that we could use the time to see some old friends while we were there. I was pretty obstinate about wasting any time getting to dinner with our friends so Jake really had to coax me into a pre dinner walk around our old stomping grounds. I was still lamenting about my stressful trial the next week when I spotted a string quartet near a bench where we used to meet in between classes. It wasn’t until I heard the tune they were playing that my eyes filled up with tears. “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole was the first song we danced to on the record player Jake had bought me for my birthday the first year we dated. After some more tears, dancing and some secret photos being taken by a friend hidden behind some landscaping, we were engaged

We considered a destination wedding at first, but once we really thought about the idea of not having all of our friends and family around, we decided a big wedding was the only way to go. Jake and I had attended mass before at the Shrine of St. Joseph and fell in love with the bold colors and classic finishes. It is also the site of a documented miracle, so we felt it would be an honor to exchange our vows there. When I first saw photos of the Crystal Ballroom, I thought it was so beautiful and elegant that I knew I had to see it in person. When I finally saw it, I loved the way the space exuded the kind of vintage glamor that would be perfect for our wedding. The space greatly exceeded my expectations and I truly think without any flowers or decoration it is grand and timeless on its own. Filled with our guests, the band and everything else, it really took our breath away. What I will remember most is how much fun we had and how good of a time it was for our guests. We had two requests for our band: no slow songs and dance music all night and they definitely delivered. With those requests in tow, wonderful food and late night snacks, the dance floor was still packed when the band played their last song. I was chanting along with the other guests for an encore when they finished. I really wish the night never had to end, and that’s exactly the feeling I wanted for everyone that day.

Photography: Carretto Studio | Event Planning: Karmen of Amore | Floral Design: Dave Zellner | Wedding Dress: Allure Bridal | Cake: The Cakery Bakery | Invitations: Cheree Berry Paper | Ceremony Venue: Shrine Of St. Joseph | Reception Venue: Crystal Ballroom At The Renaissance Grand St. Louis | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Alred Sung from Nordstrom | Hair & Makeup: Christy Parson | Band: Push the Limit | Men's Attire: Michael Kors from Savvi Formalwear | Film Processing: The FIND Lab | Rentals: Sitting Pretty

Abby Capalbo

Design, Styling, Parties
Elegant St. Louis Wedding

Whether you’re a vintage girl, a modern guy, a rustic beauty or a lover of all things traditional—there’s a style for every couple out there. Mine? Will forever be a classic soiree, woven with elegance like this one from Clary Pfeiffer Photography. Coordinated by Katie Saeger Events, it’s sprinkled with just the right amount of detail—from the fresh, but subtle spring palette to the petals designed by The Special Event Florist. Head over to the full gallery for more!

Colors
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Spring
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Club
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Elegance

From Clary Pfeiffer PhotographyAlyse and Dimitry got married this April in St. Louis, Missouri. The couple was so relaxed and ready to enjoy the day with their family and friends who traveled from all over to celebrate with them. Alyse was stunning in her Jenny Packham dress with elegant draping and soft and beautiful hair and makeup. Every detail of the wedding day was timeless and classic – from the attire to the venue to the amazing spring florals – each were perfect compliments to create this romantic affair for the couple and their friends to enjoy.

Photography: Clary Pfeiffer Photography | Coordination: Katie Saeger Events | Floral Design: The Special Event Florist - Tina | Wedding Dress: Jenny Packham | Invitations: M. Haley Designs | Band: Griffin And The Gargoyles | Ceremony And Reception Venue: St. Louis Club

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Adorable High School Sweethearts Baking Engagement Session

Love is always sweet, but this adorable at-home engagement session shot by Alison Duffy Photography takes the cake — or, in this instance, the cookies. These high school sweethearts shared their love of baking with us in their too-cute-to-be-true gallery (seriously, could the Bride-to-be’s chevron striped kitchen be any cuter?!), and by giving us the recipe for their favorite cookies below!

From the beautiful Bride-to-Be… Scott and I are high school sweethearts. We fell in love junior year and have been inseparable ever since. Throughout the many years we’ve been together, baking delicious desserts has been one of our favorite pastimes. When it came time to decide what to do for our engagement photos, baking chocolate chip cookies in our kitchen just made sense. It fit us so well! Alison did an amazing job capturing our personalities in this very fun photoshoot.

From Alison Duffy PhotographyEllie & Scott are adorable high school sweethearts. They wanted to share their love of baking during their engagement session, such a fun and cute idea! Nestled in a cute suburb of St. Louis, the backdrop was perfect as they baked in Ellie’s home that she and her father renovated together. They decided to whip up the classic Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe, helping each other with every step of the process. It is always special when a couple shares an activity they love for their engagement photos, Ellie & Scott baking together in her cute kitchen was definitely a favorite!

Below is the recipe for the cookies they made during the shoot:

Ingredients: 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 cups Nestle Toll House semi-sweet chocolate morsels

1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

1) Preheat oven to 375° F.

2) Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

3) Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Photography: Alison Duffy Photography | Film Processing: Indie Film Lab

Elegant Fall St. Louis Wedding

This classic celebration had just the right amount of glamour added in for good measure, from the rich autumn colors to the sparkle of gold throughout the reception. And then there’s those gorgeous navy gowns these lucky bridesmaids got to wear as the adorable lovebirds said their vows. Lisa Dolan captured every picture perfect moment, creating a calling card for fall weddings if I ever did see one.

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Seasons
Fall
Settings
ChurchMuseum

From Lisa Dolan Photography… Hilary and Michael’s wedding day was complete perfection. From the gorgeous detailed dresses to the fabulously styled tables, everything came together perfectly! There are so many classically gorgeous details in the bride’s dress and the groom’s classic black tux. The ceremony took place at a beautiful old church in Clayton, with the reception following at The St. Louis Art Museum. The Art Museum is truly breathtaking. The grand hall has the tallest ceilings, and beautiful classic architecture. Rouge Events styled this lovely soiree, and brought in beautiful mercury glass vases to accent the space. The flowers by Bridget at Flowers to the People were the perfect fit. A mix of tall and short centerpieces accented the mercury glass candle holders. All over were pops of fall colors, from the bride’s red fingernails to the bright red October leaves.

We chose to do photos at Forest Park, and the Art Museum. The limestone museum was the perfect backdrop for photos, and really made the bridesmaids’ navy dresses pop! Plus it’s all shot in beautiful film! 

Photography: Lisa Dolan Photography | Event Planning: Rouge Events And Design | Florist: Flowers To The People | Cake: J. Noto | Ceremony Venue: St. Michael St. George | Reception Venue: Saint Louis Art Museum | Catering: Panorama | Transportation: St. Louis Trolley | Accomodations: The Ritz Carlton | Chargers And Linen Rentals: Beautiful Memories | Decor (Mercury Glass): Ultrapom | Linens: Aries | Music: The Charles Glenn Group

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