Erika + Cody | Modern Moody Wedding

Studio Twelve:52
The Whim
Food Gallery Catering
Sally Berry & Co.
Haven & Gather, Ashley Skeie Events, Aprés Event & Tent, Girl Friday
Cake & Desserts:
Ink Sweets
LED Screens:
Fire Up Creative

In 2012, two college students had met many times both having the same social circles in Greek Life at Saint Cloud State University, but it wasn’t necessarily love at first sight. As Erika approached her 20th birthday she was looking for a place to host a celebration. She was introduced to Cody by a mutual friend and they began chatting over Facebook messenger. They soon found out they shared the same birthday and began planning a party at Cody’s fraternity house.

A few months later, after non-stop texting for days on end, the couple made it official. They would spend the next decade bonding over their love of dogs, traveling the world, and discovering all of the wonderful things their home state has to offer. The couple planned a 10-day trip to Italy in March of 2022 where Cody was devising a romantic setting. On the 2nd to last day of their vacation, they trekked on a day trip to the Amalfi Coast. Erika, anticipating a proposal, was getting antsy, “At this point, I was thinking that Cody wouldn’t propose on this trip because it was getting so close to the end,” Erika says. But shortly after arriving at their destination, Cody popped the question on a gorgeous scenic outlook that overlooked the Mediterranean sea. Erika was prepared with a counterproposal as well. 

Erika, our very own Marketing and Social Media Manager at The Wedding Guys, was more than prepared to begin planning a dream wedding with the best in the business at her side. First, she knew it was vital to find a photographer that would capture their day timelessly, and Studio Twelve:52 did not disappoint, “Having a great photographer was a top priority for us,” says the bride. “We interviewed a few — which I highly recommend — and decided that Kasey and Tyler would be a perfect fit with their supportive personalities and ability to capture raw, candid moments.” Next came finding the right venue. The couple toured a few locations, but as soon as they entered The Whim, they knew this was the place, “Tall white walls, black accents, thoughtfully designed, AND it has a speakeasy — what more could we ask for?” Erika shares. “The cherry on top was the spectacular hospitality from the venue’s owners, Jennae and Elliot.” 

The couple began planning a wedding for 100 of their closest family and friends for November 10, 2023. Working in the industry, Erika knew that it was important to form the vision for the day around how she wanted guests to feel. She wished for an elevated evening that was still laid back while offering guests several opportunities to be entertained with a dash of disco flair. Thinking of their favorite spaces to gather, the bride and groom incorporated moody tones, sultry lighting and contemporary ornamentation in an intimate setting. 

A color palette of simple black and white was balanced with neutrals like slate, stone, taupe, and beige. Modern and clean, this color combination was first introduced in the wedding invitation along with a custom monogram bespoke pattern inspired by the cake design. “Ink Sweets showed me a retro, contrasting pattern to go on our cake and I was obsessed! I tweaked it a bit to incorporate our color palette and decided this motif had to be everywhere,” the bride says. This pattern would be seen in the signage, cake, and even pillows and napkins. 

“My florist/planner/renaissance woman, Sally Berry, and I decided to use flowers that were simple yet impactful,” Erika says. “Some tables had traditional centerpieces, while others had bud vases, and a few were just romantically-lit candles.” The head table glimmered with a sea of candles and flowers including anemones, hydrangeas, dyed ferns, delphinium, and roses. 

As for the fashion, the bride chose a simple, form-fitting dress that could transform into multiple looks, “I had seen this dress on the rack and fell in love with the bustier and shape of the gown. I also loved the detachable pieces of tulle that flowed from the back,” Erika goes on to say that she opted to add fingerless mesh pearl gloves for an added sense of glamor. 

The wedding party was made up of the bride’s sister as the Maid of Honor and the groom’s sisters as the Best Women. They looked sophisticated in a mix of latte and black satin dresses. Cody rocked a traditional white tuxedo with a black satin lapel and black tie. 

Guests surrounded the bride and groom for an intimate ceremony in the round where they exchanged vows they wrote themselves. “We had a very good friend of ours officiate the ceremony, and loved being able to see our guests’ emotions up close and personal,” Erika shares. “We even had our sweet dog run down the aisle to us before we began the ceremony!”

As for the reception, guests were greeted with alternating black and white tables and an installation of silver and black spheres suspended from the ceiling. The Wedding Guy himself, Matthew Trettel, kicked off the evening with an equally sentimental and humorous welcome toast before guests indulged in a delectable dinner. Curating a food menu that reflected the couples’ taste was top of mind, “Cody and I really wanted a casual dining experience that incorporated some of our favorite foods with a bit of flair,” says the bride. “We worked closely with the fantastic crew at Food Gallery Catering to prepare a menu perfect for us.”

First, guests enjoyed a plant-based fall mixed green salad with roasted butternut squash, dried cranberries, and toasted pepitas drizzled with a maple dijon vinaigrette. Next, family and friends indulged in food stations showcasing an assortment of culinary flair. The first was a spread of  street tacos, including black bean with elote corn, blackened shrimp with sauce Priscilla, and braised chicken with pickled red cabbage. Following the taco fare, guests indulged in a slider station serving a choice of a signature beef slider, a chicken and waffles slider with chipotle maple syrup, or a vegetarian Nashville hot tofu slider. A dessert bar featured autumn-inspired delights concluding the delicious celebration on a sweet note. 

The evening concluded with espresso martinis, a coffee cart, disco balls, a live painter, and a massive LED Screen placed in front of the dance floor. Cody’s business, Fire Up Creative, built a custom curved LED wall that showcased photos of the couple and fun graphics fit for a dance party all night long. 

If you are currently planning Erika’s advice is to “Research and vet your vendors. Ask a ton of questions and book them early! You will thank yourself later if you get answers in advance so that when the day comes, you can put your full trust in them to work their magic,” says the bride. “And also, remember the day is about you and your fiancé so don’t feel like you have to stick to tradition. If it doesn’t feel like ‘you’, don’t be afraid to nix it and put your energy where it feels authentic to you.”

The couple is headed on an extended honeymoon this spring as they jet off to Europe visiting romantic cities in the Netherlands, France, Ireland, and more!

Vendors Cont.  — Makeup: Jesus Arte | Hair: Taylor Roberts, Juut St. Paul | DJ: Transmission Music | Coffee Cart: Coffee Cart MPLS | Live Painting: Custom Keepsake Drawings | Gown: Ivory Bridal Co., Colby John | Gloves: Emily Kaye Bridal | Suit: Milbern Clothing Co | Rings: Jewelry by Johan and Esdomera | Stationery: Designed by the Bride | Stationery Printing: The UPS Store and Epitome Papers | Accommodations: Delta Hotels Minneapolis Northeast |  Pet Attendant: Becca’s MN Petcare | Alterations: Twin Cities Bridal Alterations

All images by Studio Twelve:52