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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!

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
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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Rustic + Romantic Kansas City Fresh Air Farm Wedding

Despite less-than-perfect weather and the long-distance wedding planning from New York, this farm fête takes “rustic chic” to a new, beautiful level. Full of lovely details—from the bride’s beautiful lace dress to the angelic flower girls and shabby-chic picture frame seating chart—this wedding is one seriously gorgeous affair. See all the pretty, captured to perfection by Britta Hundertmark, here.

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Farm
Styles
Rustic

From The Bride…As U of A alums, we had seen each other out and about many times. We would always say hello, and that was that. After college, Jason moved to Santa Monica, and I moved to NYC. It wouldn’t be until Jason moved to NYC three years later that our paths would cross again. One of our mutual friends, Ben was in a band named Princeton that would come through the city and play shows. Ben is one of Jason’s best friends and frat brothers, and I studied abroad with him in London. Every time Ben was in town, I would meet up with him and often times, Jason was there too. Not only do we share a love for Ben and Princeton, we both are avid Arizona basketball fans. We started seeing each other at the U of A watch parties in the city. It was during one of the March Madness games at Side Bar, that our paths crossed again and Jason finally asked me for my phone number. After that, we began to talk more and more and text each other on a more regular basis. It wouldn’t be until one Sunday, when I was at brunch with girlfriends, that I got a text from Jason. The text was the picture above, “B + J = Seeing a Movie Today? Check One: Yes or No” I checked yes, and we spent the entire day together, and we have been together ever since that day!!

From The Groom…Our first date was at Chelsea theaters off 23rd and 8th where we caught Woody Allen’s new film, Midnight In Paris. I saw this as a great/casual first date. Halfway through the movie I turned to Brooke to gauge her thoughts on my brilliant movie choice and noticed she had fallen asleep…..Thankfully she got her second wind after the movie and we had a fantastic time at dinner/drinks. It was this location that had sparked my proposal idea. Since Chelsea theaters was the start of our relationship it made sense to me that it should be where we take the next step together (hopefully both awake). Brooke’s cousin Danny and his husband Jay were my allies in helping me pull off my idea. Their goal was to get Brooke and myself to the movie “Her” on Friday night, while I worked behind the scenes with Chelsea theaters. I had blocked off 30 mins between films in one of the auditoriums , had the theater print fake tickets, and changed the poster in front of the theater. Our plan was on! Danny, Jay, and Brooke get to the atrium and sit down in an empty theater (I was “stuck” at work). After sending a quick text to Danny, he and Jay get up to leave Brooke in the theatre by herself. I was up in the camera booth with about 5 other employees who had helped me out and we light up the screen with a movie I had made with all the video clips and pictures we had together over the years. I’m high-fiving everyone upstairs and as we look down at Brooke we notice she is 100% focused on her phone and hasn’t seen anything playing on the screen. I look up at the guys and say “just start it all over again.” Thankfully, she looked up the second time and halfway through I headed down to propose and happy to say I got the answer I was hoping for!

From Britta HundertmarkAlthough the weather was not what Brooke and Jason had expected for a late May wedding, the day went by quickly and without a hitch.

The first look was filled with the sweetest emotion (tears all around!), and officiant gave a wonderful sermon on love, dedication, selflessness and commitment as these to promised their lives to each other in front of all of their family and friends.

As a photographer you live for venue’s like Fresh Air Farm. Around every corner there were details that sparked creativity, and you could tell that the owners and planners took this couple’s vision and turned it into a reality (something that is so important, since Brooke and Jason were planning this Kansas City wedding from the comfort of their East Village apartment).

The bride and groom and their guests dined on a meal fit to welcome all of the out-of-towners to what a real home-made Kansas City dinner is like. Fried chicken, brisket, green bean casserole, home made mac and cheese potatoes, s’mores, rice krispie treats, and craft beer – it’s safe to say no one went home hungry.

After dinner the couple stepped outside, joined by their guests, for dancing under the stars. Truly the most perfect way to end the best day of their lives.

Photography: Britta Hundertmark | Floral Design: Hitched Planning & Floral | Wedding Dress: Elizabeth Dye | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Shoshanna Via Rent The Runway | Catering: Fresh Air Farm | Hair And Makeup: CaraSue Hall | DJ: All Ears DJ | Groom's Attire: J Crew | Officiant: Gabe Combs | Ceremony Music: Innocenti Strings | Venue: Fresh Air Farm | Desserts: Latte Land | Film Processing: Goodman Film Lab

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.

 

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Styles
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
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Club
Styles
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
Rustic + Romantic Farm Wedding in Missouri

Craving color? Well start scrolling m’dears because this sweet yet saturated affair is just the ticket. From it’s rustic roots to the burlap and BBQ reception, Alison Duffy Photography snapped it all and we’ve got it all waiting for you in the gallery!

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Farm
Styles
Rustic

From the beautiful Bride… In the heat of a St. Louis summer, Henry popped the question at the Missouri Botanical Gardens during a picnic dinner. Shortly after, we found ourselves in the thick of wedding planning. We wanted to have the wedding before Henry began his residency, which only gave us a nine month time frame. Henry and I knew immediately that we wanted to have our ceremony outdoors. When we stumbled upon Haue Valley we could not believe this hidden gem even existed and better yet, they had one weekend still available to host a gorgeous spring wedding. We booked our date immediately. Henry and I along with our family and friends can not say enough kind words about the staff at Haue Valley. Once we had a venue the rest of the pieces simply fell together.

Our goal was to create a ceremony that encompassed us as a couple as well an event our friends and family would enjoy. Henry and I planned the ceremony together. We wanted to keep it short and sweet. We were blessed to be married by an old family friend of Henry’s. We decided to write and share our own vows with one another. This was my favorite and most emotional moment of the entire day. In addition, we chose to do a unity knot. We felt the knot better symbolized our union. Our ceremony truly captured our relationship and the love we have for each other.

Immediately following the ceremony was our cocktail hour. The guests could enjoy drinks and appetizers out on the patio. Henry and I are both from large families and we wanted our guest to have a fun relaxing wait. Out on the patio, was a variety of lawn games such as JENGA, Yahtzee, Bags, and a DIY photo booth waiting to be enjoyed. The photo booth was one of my favorite touches. The venue hung an old picture frame from the arbor where we had the ceremony for people to take pictures. Our guests absolutely loved this!

The reception took place inside the barn. This barn is absolutely breath taking. The owners built the entire structure out of wood from their own farm. On the guest tables, I went with a white table cloth, burlap overlay and a lace runner topped with a circular wood plank with stunning floral arrangements. Henry and I absolutely love BBQ food so we decided to incorporate that into our wedding meal, complete with a mac n’ cheese bar. The DJ had the guests out on the dance floor the entire night. We could not be more thrilled with how the evening turned out.

Henry and I were very blessed to have worked with such wonderful people that understood our vision for our wedding day and contributed to making it the best day ever! We look forward to having a marriage that is as beautiful as our wedding day was.

Photography: Alison Duffy Photography | Floral Design: Stems | Wedding Dress: Essence Of Australia | Cake: The Cakery | Ceremony Venue: Haue Valley | Reception Venue: Haue Valley | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Essence Of Australia | Hair & Makeup: Blissfully Beautiful Bride | Men's Attire: Calvin Klein | Catering/linens/rentals: Russo's | DJ/ Uplighting: Millenium Productions | Film Processing & Scanning: Indie Film Lab | Second Photographer: Shelly Goodman