Derek + Marcus | Modern Outdoor Wedding

Photo Booth:
Mirror Me Perfect
Groom's Attire
Men's Wearhouse
Abella Wedding & Events
Cindy's Floral Creations
Dorothy Ann Bakery
Makeup by Mindie

When Minnesota couple Derek and Marcus began wedding planning, they knew they wanted a day adorned with contemporary finishes. They designed a modern outdoor wedding that was both simple yet elegant that left guests with full hearts. Planning during a pandemic was no easy task, but these two grooms pulled it off perfectly.


What started as a day of hiking and sightseeing for Derek, Marcus, and both of their families wound up being full of surprises, totally romantic, and the highlight of their trip. While at West Glacier National Park in Montana on a bluff overlooking St. Mary’s Lake, Marcus got down on a bended knee and popped the question. Totally surprised, Derek recalls the proposal, “Our whole family (which consisted of 10 adults and 4 kids) was there to be a part of it, there were other travelers around at the same overlook and what a view it was! I did not expect the proposal that day at all. Marcus obviously had this planned and even had some family members in on the surprise.”


When it came time to put together the details, Derek and Marcus wanted a venue that could serve both the ceremony and reception and chose Abella Wedding and Events in Chisago City, MN. The couple felt the contemporary finishes of the indoor spaces, along with the outdoor option for the nuptials, were just perfect for their goals for a chic, tasteful, and modern outdoor wedding ceremony. “They had recently built a new modern barn with the most amazing indoor space. All white with huge windows and chandeliers. We toured the space and instantly knew this was the place. We wanted to keep it clean and modern to go with the design of the space and also our personalities.” And in keeping with the modernity of the white barn, the couple chose colors that would highlight the space, “We chose to go with white, gold, warm greens and blushes for our design colors. Our goal was to keep it airy and light.”

The couple was very happy with how their florals turned out, which intentionally had colors that would contrast with the white venue, “It was a late Summer, almost Fall wedding so we chose colors that almost blended the seasons. Our flowers were amazing! Seriously. Maybe everyone says that but I’ll be honest we had all real flowers and Cindy (our florist) knocked it out of the park with the arrangements. We had huge arrangements on our alter, pieces attached to chairs along the aisle, bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres, and the most spectacular centerpieces.”

Both grooms had a great time, and had the same favorite moment of the wedding, that of being up at the altar, exchanging vows, in front of loved ones. As Derek recalls, “It was the most intimate part of the day even standing up in front of almost 200 people.” And Marcus agrees, “being able to hold Derek’s hand and share our vows in front of our family and friends was a moment I’ll never forget.”

Modern outdoor wedding ceremony with two grooms standing in front of rustic barn door

With thoughtful details such as a memorial table that had pictures of lost loved ones on it, to the couple’s daughter Isabella wearing Derek’s grandma’s bridal tiara, there were sentimental touches throughout. Fun details included a photo booth and serving drinks in 2020 MN State Fair cups because the couple loves the Minnesota State Fair and couldn’t attend this year due to COVID-19. The couple does note that while they had to monitor the environment for changes with COVID throughout their entire wedding planning process, everything turned out okay because they had outdoor patio space, offered masks to guests, and provided hand sanitizer at the event. They also felt very lucky that none of their vendors canceled or changed protocol in a way that affected the overall feeling of their event, “We were able to proceed with our wedding as we envisioned it to be.”

“Being able to hold Derek’s hand and share our vows in front of our family and friends was a moment I’ll never forget.”

Overall, Marcus and Derek wanted guests to have the best time while taking in their modern outdoor wedding, “Our goal was to make it FUN. We wanted people to come, relax, and have the best damn time of 2020! Considering how this year went, we wanted to have a wedding where our guests could enjoy themselves. Our goal was to leave a lasting impression and a night they wouldn’t forget.

Vendors Cont.  —  Bridesmaid Dresses: Our Bridal Shop |  Catering: Fork & FlairStationeryThe Print Shop MN, Minted, Shutterfly  |  Hair: Gent Cuts and Grooming + 139 Hair by Heidi | Bar ServiceWith a Twist |  EntertainmentGrand DJ Entertainment  |  Transportation & LodgingRunning Aces