Ellaina + Brendon | Romantic Autumn Wedding with Classic Details
Rentals:Haven & Gather
Engagement Ring:Arthur's Jewelers
Bridal Shop:Mestad's Bridal
Florist:One Precious Pearl
Stationery:A Milestone Paper Co.
DJ:Harmony DJ Entertainment
When you work in the wedding industry for over 10 years, every detail of your wedding is just as thoughtful as the next. This was true for The Wedding Guys’ General Manager, Ellaina, who held a gorgeous and romantic autumn wedding in October of 2022 and we are so excited to share all the details with you!
Ellaina and Brendon’s relationship began like many modern couples — through Bumble! They both swiped right and after a few hurdles they finally went on their first date on October 15, 2019. “Our first date was postponed three times!” Explains the bride. She was in a bad car accident just before which delayed their first meeting. “When the night of the date arrived, I was five to ten minutes late, which for Mr. Punctual (Brendon) was slightly questionable,” the bride continues. She says the date turned out to be amazing and lasted three hours! She was able to prove that she wasn’t blowing him off by creating delays and even had the arm brace from the accident to prove it.
The couple moved into a 400-square-foot apartment together during the peak of the pandemic, and they figured if they could get through that they could get through anything! Brendon managed to surprise our “Wedding Gal” by selecting a perfect gold oval-cut engagement ring with a hidden halo setting on his own.
Brendon waited impatiently at their home in St. Louis Park after picking up the ring waiting for Ellaina to get home. Of course, she was running behind due to a “mandatory” Wedding Guys happy hour with margaritas. When she walked in, “I found a beautifully wrapped box and a dozen roses. Brendon got up to give me a ‘loose’ hug so I wouldn’t feel the box in his pocket. Inside the wrapped gift was a photo book full of all our ‘firsts’ accompanied by photos of meaningful and funny moments in our relationship. The last page said, ‘Today we get to add a new one…’ He got down on one knee, started crying, and we did.”
As Ellaina began planning, she knew that her experience in weddings would help, “Being in the wedding and event industry since I was 15 years old, I have seen a LOT over the years,” she says. She goes on to say that in some ways, this made the process easier with an understanding of costs and the full picture as well as organization.
“On the flip side, I was very aware of all the options which was a bit overwhelming and just like everyone else, I had ‘decision fatigue’ by the end. So many details come together, but I also tried to keep in mind that it is going to be unique and different from anything else I had seen over the years, as it should be!”
On October 15, 2022, the bride and groom invited 165 of their closest friends and family to a romantic autumn wedding at the InterContinental Minneapolis St. Paul Airport. “We chose the venue because we loved the location and convenience for all of our out-of-town guests,” states the bride. “It allowed us to keep everything in one location and also allowed for different experiences in the spaces throughout the day. The hotel is a modern and newer event space, with a great team and culinary department!”
When asked what the top priorities were for the romantic autumn wedding, the bride says “A day unique to us, celebrating our interests, ease for our guests, wedding day looks, and involvement of all our family, which is extensive.”
Being that the wedding day looks were one of the top priorities, Ellaina knew that finding “the one” would be an important task. “I went into my dress appointment without any idea of what I wanted. I tried on probably 15-20 dresses and LIKED a lot but didn’t have a LOVE moment,” she says of her bridal appointment. “I had my wedding entourage pick out the first dresses I tried and I decided to do one final look through the selection. My eye caught an Eve of Milady gown that I really liked the look of. I put it on and came out all smiles LOVING the way it looked and made me feel!” She swooned over the long train and the fact that the dress could be worn two ways — with or without the detachable sleeves.
The groom had put in an equal amount of thought into his custom attire for the big day, “I knew that I wanted to stand out from the rest of the group, so I did not want to do the same suit as everyone else,” he describes. He goes on to say he knew he wanted a three-piece suit with peak lapels, and originally double-breasted, but landed on a 5-button vest. “We decided on getting a suit that was a similar color to the bridesmaid’s dresses since the fabric swatch we looked at in the store (for the suit) was just fabulous and it fit the season of the wedding. I would highly recommend something special because it is your day too.” As an heirloom, Brendon wore cufflinks that were his great-grandfather’s.
Having a large wedding party including a maid of honor, matron of honor, five bridesmaids, a best man, two women of honor, and three groomsmen presented an interesting and exciting challenge for wedding party looks. “We had a crowd, but all of our family and closest friends were involved so wouldn’t change it,” says the bride. As for the bridesmaids dresses, “I selected the color and velvet for the fabric, but chose a place that had different style options to accommodate fit so everyone felt their best!”
Groomsmen and ushers wore classic navy suits with custom pocket squares that matched the bridesmaids’ dresses. The two women of honor, Brendon’s sisters, wore dresses in a navy fabric that matched the formalwear for a cohesive look.
Prior to the ceremony, the couple shared a private first look and vow reading, which they both say is their favorite moment of the day, “Our first look moment was very special for both of us! We recited private vows at that time, and that is one of the most memorable parts of the day for me,” shares the bride. The groom agreed saying, “There was so much anticipation and it just set the rest of the day up to enjoy and be able to relax a little bit after everything was so unknown up to that point.”
Ellaina walked down the aisle with her mother holding a cascading bouquet of orchids, hydrangea, and ranunculus. Attached to the bouquet was her parent’s wedding rings, a nod to the love her mother and late father shared. The ceremony was held at the venue’s Altitude Room — a space surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows where you can see planes flying in and out of the airport. This light-filled space was a gorgeous backdrop for intimate and meaningful nuptials. “One unique part of our ceremony is that we passed around our rings for a blessing during the service prior to our vows,” recalls the bride.
As guests made their way down to the cocktail hour, they were greeted with decadent appetizers including grilled cheese and tomato soup shooters, crostini with goat cheese and tomato, and blue cheese stuffed bacon wrapped dates. “We selected the grilled cheese and tomato soup as an option as a nod to Brendon’s parents as it always seemed his dad cooked grilled cheese for lunch on a visit and who doesn’t like that!”
Family and friends made their way into the elegant ballroom for the reception and were greeted with warm tones of mahogany, navy, tan, gold, fig, white, and some blush undertones. The bride’s aunt, also a florist, designed gorgeous centerpieces with toffee roses, blush carnations, delphinium, and other seasonal options. “With a fall 2022 wedding, she dealt with a lot of shortages in the floral and supply chain issues. The flowers came from different states and countries,” recalls the bride.
A mix of velvet and shimmering linens gave a luxe feel to the tables. Towering gold candelabras added striking height to the design and provided a low-lit, romantic feel. Dinner began with a mixed green salad with cabernet vinaigrette followed by entree options of Pan-Seared Chicken Breast, Red Lake Walleye, or Spinach Ricotta Ravioli. Sweet Assurance designed a delectable red velvet cake with triple berry mousse and American buttercream for dessert.
If you are currently planning Ellaina’s advice is to work ahead on planning as much as you can, don’t be afraid to ask for help, and prioritize what is important to you as a couple. “In addition, make sure that you are both involved in the process, it is a day for the both of you so don’t forget that in the process. Make sure that you both feel heard in what is an important decision, and that your partner knows what your day is going to look and feel like,” she continues. She also advises to ensure that you have a stellar vendor team, especially those that you will spend your day with i.e. photographer, DJ, coordinator, hair and makeup artists.
The groom adds that “It is all worth it. There will be a point where you wonder if it’s best to just elope and stop all the planning but it is worth it. Just focus on what matters and it’ll all work out.”
Hosting your wedding adjacent to the airport has many perks, and one of them is that you can leave for your honeymoon even faster! The couple jetted off to Excellence Oyster Bay in Jamaica where they spent several days relaxing which the bride says is a must, “One of our biggest recommendations for newlyweds is make sure you go SOMEWHERE immediately following the wedding – whether it is a couple day staycation, mini-moon, or your full honeymoon.”
She says the time alone with your new spouse following the wedding and reliving all of the magic allows you to take a beat and just enjoy the moment, “We loved the resort, and it was so fun to be called Mr & Mrs Cullen all week, and our resort did a great job celebrating us as a honeymoon couple.” Brendon adds that setting the expectation that you are away and unreachable is key.
The Cullens had the most beautiful and glamorous romantic autumn wedding and we were honored to be part of it. Check out a snippet of their gallery below!
Vendors Cont. — Catering: InterContinental Minneapolis – St. Paul Airport | Wedding Party Dresses: Revelry | Formalwear: Suit Supply (Groom) Milbern (Wedding Party) | Bride’s Accessories: Necklace – R.F. Moeller Jewelers, Veil – Mestad’s Bridal, Earrings – Olive & Piper, Bracelet – Tiffany & Co. | Groom’s Accessories: Watch – R.F. Moeller Jewelers | Hair: Hello Hair Collective | Makeup: Crystal Dill, Double Take MN | Transportation: Star Transportation | Honeymoon Travel Agent: Ketti Menne, Just Be Travel Co.
All images by Vick Photography