Eleanor + Charlie | English Garden Fête
One evening in Northeast Minneapolis, Eleanor found herself on a bar crawl with someone she’d met through mutual friends after college. Little did she know that this woman, named Ellen, would end up becoming her sister-in-law. Ellen suggested that Eleanor meet her brother, Charlie, so she took the leap and they shared a blind date at BLVD and hit it off right away.
Eleanor, an Engineer, and Charlie, who works in insurance, knew they wanted to spend their lives together so they began designing the perfect engagement ring for Eleanor. She knew the proposal was coming, so Charlie had to get creative while still surprising her. “Charlie brought home Chick-fil-A for dinner and hid the ring box in a chicken sandwich box. I was truly surprised!” Eleanor recants. “We spent the night at home on our screened-in porch with champagne and it was perfect. The next day we drove up north to be with our families at the cabin for the Fourth of July to announce our engagement.”
Choosing the perfect venue was easy for the couple as it was the location where Eleanor’s parents had their wedding and Charlie’s parents held their rehearsal dinner, at Interlachen Country Club in Edina. “Charlie even booked the venue before he proposed,” the bride shares. Both having large families, they also wanted a convenient location for their equally sizable families so this was the perfect location.
As they began planning, Charlie and Eleanor prioritized “a DJ over a band, lots of food, and heavy family involvement in the ceremony. We also both love a creative cocktail, so we had three signature cocktails throughout the night,” Eleanor says. As for the theme of the day, “I threw out ‘English Garden Wedding’ to my planner, Sally (Sally Berry & Co.), and she ran with it! We went heavy on florals, greens, and light-colored linens to lighten up the space at Interlachen. There’s a lot of dark wood. “ The color palette consisted of a warm white, dusty blues, sage green, and blush.
On August 20, 2022, the couple welcomed 260 guests to their idyllic summer wedding. It was important for the couple to incorporate family into their ceremony in particular. “I wore my mom’s veil, my mom’s gloves which were also my grandmother’s, and I had a handkerchief from my great-grandmother,” explains the bride. “Our unity ceremony involved a ‘Grolle’, which is a traditional après ski drinking vessel. The one we used was a wedding gift from my parents. My paternal grandparents brought it back from one of their ski trips to Italy, so it was also a nod to them! We had both sets of parents pour champagne into the Grolle, and then Charlie and I drank from it.” The couple chose Charlie’s aunt Mary to officiate the ceremony and honored Charlie’s sister, Ellen, by having her sing during the unity ceremony. The readings were all given by the couples’ grandparents as well. “It was completely personalized to us, so there was a lot of laughter, tears, and love.”
Eleanor was a vision in a Reem Acra ball gown with printed floral and a gorgeous slit in the front. “My look had a lot of volume and ended up being more traditional than I expected. I wasn’t planning on wearing a ballgown, but when I tried it on my mom and I both cried,” says Eleanor. “I loved having the big skirt with a long train! My veil was also my mom’s, with a few updates from the tailor, so it had plenty of poof courtesy of the 80s.” Charlie donned a white dinner jacket with a satin shawl lapel and bow tie.
The couple was surrounded by close friends and family as their wedding party. “I had three maids of honor who were my three best friends from college. I also had my best friend since childhood, Charlie’s sisters, and my cousin who is like a sister to me as bridesmaids,” the bride describes. “Charlie’s best man was his best friend from high school. He also had two good friends from childhood, two college friends, his brother-in-law, and my brother. We had two flower girls, one was our niece, and the other is a multigenerational family friend named Liz. She called herself the geriatric flower girl, but she was just as youthful as Daisy walking down the aisle!”
The moment just following the ceremony was the bride’s favorite moment of the day, “After the ceremony, my planner quickly bustled my dress, handed the both of us a glass of champagne, and surprised us with a decorated golf cart,” She recalls. We took about a 15-minute ride just the two of us to enjoy being married before diving back into the chaos of the reception.”
Entering the reception space transported guests into a luscious English Garden wedding. The tables were filled with voluminous floral atop pastel table linens. Guests loved the top-tier selection of eats, “We had filet mignon, walleye, and coconut curry as our options,” the bride shares. She says her favorite part was the late-night menu. “I’ve always been a fan of breakfast food, so we had them make breakfast sandwiches, McDonald’s style hash browns, and mini Belgian waffles. It was exactly what I wanted!” They also had a dessert bar with a variety of options including the cutest little macarons.
As for advice for current couples planning a wedding, Eleanor says to prioritize certain guests especially if you have a high guest count, “We planned ahead of time of who we wanted to make sure we talked to during the cocktail hour part of the reception. This included friends and family that traveled long distances. We are lucky to have most family and friends in town, so we prioritized who we don’t get to see very often. This helped us feel like after dinner we could just let loose and enjoy the evening dancing without feeling guilty that we were going to miss someone important!”
Charlie and Eleanor shared a dreamy honeymoon to the French Riviera where they planned a go-with-the-flow trip aside from dinner reservations. “My favorite part was watching Charlie speak French closely followed by the food and wine,” says the newlywed.
Vendors Cont. — Additional Rentals: Linen Effects and Aprés Event and Tent Rental | Bridesmaids Dresses: Jenny Yoo from Bella Bridesmaids | Menswear: Hubert White | Hair: Kati Thorland | Makeup: Nan Fletcher | Transportation: Renee’s Limousines | Rings: Diamond District and Marrow Fine
All images by Matt Lien Photography