The once-in-a-lifetime experience began at The Wedding Shoppe in St. Paul. The popular bridal salon on Grand Avenue closed the salon so that Katie and her bridal party could have a private appointment, and provided champagne for the entourage. She selected her gown from the exclusive Kleinfeld Kollection, whose gowns are featured in the popular TLC program, “Say Yes to the Dress.” It was a stunning empire gown with vertical draping, beautiful embroidery, and crystal
beading. Her bridesmaids also had a chance to try on gowns from an amazing selection at The Wedding Shoppe. The Wedding Guys emphasized the new trend toward muted colors and the clean look of a monochromatic wedding party. The final selection was a striking full-length ivory chiffon gown with a gathered sash in a shade of “barely mint.”
With the gowns on order, the next task for The Wedding Guys was creating the invitation ensemble. They enlisted the help of talented designer Sarah Glad of A Milestone Paper Co. to create a suite of stationery personalized for Katie and Mike’s big day. They took inspiration from the trend-forward colors carried throughout the wedding, as well as the Chambers Hotel lobby bar painting “Seabird” by Gary Hume—an enlarged image of a bird where only the colored pixels are apparent (the pixels and patterns are painted on metal panels). This almost polka-dot effect would be used in the stationery and the wedding décor.
The invitation was a work of art, featuring four layers—paper, acrylic, paper, and metal. The first layer, on ivory paper stock, announced the wedding and mimicked the texture of the bridesmaids’ gowns. It featured a custom-monogrammed laser-cut K and M, a new wedding invitation technique. The second layer, on clear acrylic, was titled “Celebration Continues” and outlined the details of the reception. The third layer, “Getting There,” was printed on muted green cotton paper and informed the guests where the celebration would be, and the final layer was a stainless steel “Be Inspired” bookmark with a quote from Mae West, “Love isn’t an emotion or an instinct—it’s an art.” Sarah at A Milestone Paper Co. found the perfect metal clam-style box to incorporate these invitation elements into a sleek and modern package.
The morning of the wedding, Katie arrived at Chambers Hotel for a hair and makeup session with Megan Garmers of New-York based MG Hair and Makeup. Katie and her maids lounged in a suite, courtesy of Chambers, where they relaxed and chatted as they were pampered. For the bride’s hairstyle, The Wedding Guys suggested a romantic loosely pulled back up do with soft curls to create a fairytale mood. Megan decided on a modified version of this look for the bridesmaids, based on the hair type and length of each girl. One bridesmaid even received temporary extensions. Megan uses temporary extensions over permanent ones mainly because it allows the client (bride, bridesmaid, mother, etc.) to have the hairstyle she wants with the length and volume where she wants it, rather than a head full of permanent extensions.
For Katie’s wedding day makeup, Megan started with a crease-resistant, waterproof cream eye shadow in a shade of light champagne. This brightened the bride’s eyes and served as a great primer for the bronze color she chose for the crease.
Megan also highlighted Katie’s eyelids and underneath her brow bones with a lighter shimmer shadow to mimic the light that reflects from those areas of the face. Her eyes were lined with a dark brown waterproof eye pencil on top and black on the bottom. Waterproof black mascara finished the look. On Katie’s face, Megan used a light dusting of bronzer, a pale rose blush for just a hint of color, and a mauve/rose-colored lipstick with a dab of light shimmery pink in the middle of her lips. The crowning touch was a wonderfully simple ivory cathedral-length veil by Che Bella, the perfect way to complement the bride’s beautiful silhouette.
Earlier that morning, Digital Art House Photo & Video, award-winning videographers, arrived to capture the wedding experience. To ensure that no moment was forgotten, they had a camera crew for both the bride and groom as they got ready. The wedding day photographer, Coppersmith Photography, took amazing and creative photojournalistic shots. Mike, looking especially handsome, photographed well in an After Six Ivory Prado tuxedo with ivory shirt, vest and tie from Savvi Formalwear. The Wedding Guys had decided that—given the ivory gowns of the bride and bridesmaids, along with the contemporary setting of Chambers Hotel with it’s clean, modern lines—to have the men dress in ivory. Not just the groom, but also the groomsmen, ushers, and father of the bride.
Just prior to the wedding, when it was time for Katie and Mike to see each other for the first time, Coppersmith Photography captured the moment in the courtyard. Additional bridal party shots were taken throughout Chambers and in areas surrounding the hotel. Keeping with the art theme, Coppersmith even brought the bridal party to the alley behind the hotel to take some great urban pop art images. The art concept was incorporated throughout the wedding. The palette, previewed in the invitation, was evident throughout the evening, with each space featuring colorful inspiration.
Classical music filled the air as guests arrived at the Burnet Gallery for the ceremony. A dramatic altar area, created by BeEvents, enhanced the gallery space. This visual masterpiece towered before guests, making a lasting first impression. Three modern shaped floor-to-ceiling white fabric panels created the backdrop. Acrylic towers, consisting of tall modern vases and unique orchid floral arrangements—created by Violet’s Flowers—were placed before the backdrop. Candles, including a custom-monogrammed unity candle, were intermixed. An aisle runner, created with an effect of colored polka dots adhering to the floor, led to the altar. This complemented the personalized touches of natural wood chairs with green pillows featuring subtle dot patterns and custom laser-cut monogrammed programs, created by A Milestone Paper Co.
At the entrance, a custom window cling incorporated the couple’s monogram and the wedding date. When the majority of the guests were seated, it was time to seat Mike’s grandmother and Mike and Katie’s mothers. Next, Rev. Patricia Drury, followed by Mike and his groomsmen, proceeded down the aisle to “Love Changes Everything” by Andrew Lloyd Webber, performed by Dorothy Benham, Miss America 1977. Next, the bridesmaids walked down the aisle, carrying hand-tied contemporary bouquets of green parrot tulips, umbrella fern, and a white Cattleya orchid encircled by ribbons of lily grass.
Katie and her father waited patiently in the wings for their one special moment of walking down the aisle together. Katie, looking radiant in the sunlight, carried a larger version of her bridesmaids’ bouquets with three Cattleya orchids, entering on the crescendo of “Love Changes Everything.” On cue, the guests stood up and turned to watch the entrance of the bride.
Rev. Drury spoke about the elements that make a marriage great. Her message was simple yet heartfelt, “When you are imperfect—and you each will be—remember it does not mean you have failed. It does not mean anyone is wrong. Marriage is not about perfection and it does not require perfection. It is a loving partnership between two people who continue to be human,” she said to Mike and Katie. She went on to explain that the strength of a marriage is determined not just by the wonderful things you love about your partner, but also by the “acceptance you have for each other’s full humanity.”
During the lighting of the unity candle—a meaningful expression, symbolizing the union of two hearts— Dorothy Benham sang “The Prayer” by Bayer, Sager and Foster. The ceremony concluded with the introduction of the newly married couple and Katie and Mike exiting to the surprise sounds of Westminster Bells and “Sinfonia Cantata 29 for Organ” by Murray. The newlyweds than had a few moments alone, giving Coppersmith Photography the opportunity to capture more candid images. Digital Art House filmed the ceremony and continued to follow the couple throughout the evening.
After the ceremony, the celebration continued on the fifth floor terrace, overlooking the bustling entertainment district of Hennepin Avenue. Directions from the ceremony to the cocktail hour were cleverly noted by dots placed throughout corridors of the hotel. An outstanding selection of Chambers hors d’oeuvres included beef satay with Thai basil dipping sauce and crispy pork dumplings with chili and scallions. Each hors d’ouevre represented the color pallet of the wedding—the beef satay included a lavender garnish and pale green dipping sauce; and the pork dumplings were accompanied by soy sauce in a small white circular dish.
High-top tables were draped in custom “barely mint” tabletops by Aprés Party and Tent Rental and accented with modern silver vases in various sizes. The area also featured two long tables—one with a runner of black river rocks and orchid blossoms; the other featuring a silver monogram and large silver votive holders with a polka-dot pattern. Guest enjoyed “his and her” drinks—margaritas and vodka lemonade. And while guests mingled during the cocktail reception, abstract artist Ryan Conrad created a portrait—yet another element of the wedding’s art theme—while guests looked on with anticipation of the final piece. When it was time for dinner, guests moved inside to the Rooftop Lounge. One of the first things the guests noticed was an image of the couple’s monogram projected onto the floor (The Wedding Guys used gobo lighting to accomplish this). An oversized seating chart directed guests to their seats. Next to the chart, on an acrylic table, were the components of the guest book.
The dining space was set with three long tables, each dressed in “barely mint” bengaline and bellagio linens. Around each table there were black chivari chairs capped with custom white crocodile chair covers, courtesy of Aprés Party and Tent Rental. Down the center of two tables were runners of white Dendrobium orchids encased in acrylic and tall slender black lamps with black barrel shades from BeEvents. Between the lamps, Violets Flowers and BeEvents placed modern groupings of silver-mirrored vases in varying sizes featuring Phalaenopsis orchids and pom pom mums. On the center table, acrylic sheets contained blossoms of Phalaenopsis orchids and bear grass tied into love knots, accented by mirrored votive holders. Each place setting was decked out with a trio of pure crystal stemware, alternating flatware in patterns—Zenith, Santa Fe, and Vallerie—and a silver square charger and square white plates from Aprés Party and Tent Rental. Under the plate, The Wedding Guys placed a tone-on-tone black napkin with a wide satin stripe. Each plate displayed a custom-sized acrylic menu and personalized place cards. Another layer of the menu sat in the recess of the plate, giving a shadowbox effect, and featured the couple’s monogram and dot motif. Finally, chocolate meringue favors, inside a small silver box with a clear window lid, were placed above each setting. Inside the lid another laser-cut monogram created panes in which you could see the delicious meringue treats.
A white tufted leather wall, provided by BeEvents, framed the head table. Two stunning orchid arrangements from Violets Flowers and Events were placed atop the built-in bar, adding to the dramatic look of the room. The wedding cake, a yellow velvet cake with fresh strawberry filling, covered in buttercream—a modern masterpiece in and of itself. Each one of the three tiers was elevated upon acrylic cubes. The shape was rectangular and mimicked the proportions of the invitation, including party chef Christina Kaelberer’s custom sugar artwork creation that carried on the theme of multi-colored dots.
The Wedding Guys welcomed the guests and introduced the newlyweds as they entered the reception. At the beginning of the meal chef Chris Damskey presented the menu. The surprise—service backwards—mirrored the hottest trend in two Toronto restaurants. Guests would be eating in reverse order. The meal started with an amuse of raspberry meringue spoom, served with Thai chilies. The spoom, on a small offset circular plate, was in the shape of a square cube titled on a corner and accented with frozen deconstructed raspberries. Next up was a petit beef tenderloin incorporating Thai flavors, creamed Thai basil, fava beans and chili syrup. Second, char grilled cornish game hen with kumquat lemongrass dressing and sweet snow peas were served on a square white plate. The third course featured a mango and goat cheese salad with black olives and elderflower nectar cordial dressing. The fourth course was carrot consommé, parsnip steeped served in a small demitasse cup with olive oil foam. Saint Croix Vineyards, located in Stillwater, provided the wine selection for dinner: a Seyval semi-dry chardonnay and Frontenac medium-bodied cabernet.
The bride and groom then cut the artistic cake, which was reserved for service during the afterglow party following the dance. The wait staff delivered elongated rectangular plates featuring three different cakes—cherry biscuit with chocolate ganache accented with a chocolate dipped strawberry mimicking the well-known Minneapolis sculpture Spoon-bridge and Cherry; devil’s food cake with mocha buttercream, and a tall cylinder of white velvet cake with passion fruit and coconut.
Following dinner and toasts, the party continued downstairs in the courtyard. The Wedding Guys selected DJ Jake Rudh to keep the party going. Jake’s talents speak for themselves—he’s been named “Best DJ” in City Pages for five years running. Jake’s set-up was enhanced by large canvas backdrops up lit in yellow, provided by BeEvents. Another gobo was set up on the dance floor, projecting dots and the couple’s monogram. Jake played a collection of modern dance songs mixed with traditional standards. Katie and Mike’s first dance request was “Amazed” by Lonestar.
The palette for the dance—yellow—was echoed throughout the space. The Wedding Guys re-dressed the orange-draped cabanas with yellow drapes and used yellow backlighting. In each cabana, Herkimer Pub & Brewery provided stout tastings as an interactive portion of the evening. Guest mingled by the fire pit and some chose to enjoy the other interactive part of the evening—Wii. The Wedding Guysenlisted the help of Photobooth Entertainment, who in addition to providing retro photobooths, also offers an entire assortment of vintage games and unique activities. As the dance came to a close, the afterglow lounge opened to reveal a room washed in lavender lighting. In the center of the room was a large bar with a towering floral arrangement.
Leather lounge furniture, provided by CORT Event Rentals, offered a luxurious ultralounge feel. Tables featured custom lamps from BeEvents and modern floral displays and candles courtesy of Violets Flowers. Guests danced all night, and when it was finally time to say goodbye, they picked up a customized DVD photo slideshow of Katie and Mike growing up. The case featured the beautiful designs of A Milestone Paper Co., tying back beautifully to the invitations and programs. A Milestone Paper Co. also created custom coasters embossed in silver, again featuring the couple’s monogram, tied in little cellophane bags. After they said goodbye to all of their guests, the tired but elated newlyweds returned to their suite at the Chambers Hotel where they reflected on their magical day and the start