Madeline + Kurt | An Elegant Minnesota Wedding

Anna Ko Photography
Catering & Dessert:
D’Amico Catering
Floral Designer:
Sadie's Couture Floral
Bridal Salon:
M Elizabeth Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses:

Although Madeline and Kurt had mutual friends, they never met until a fate-filled boat trip to Big Island on July 4th, 2017. One could say it was love at first sight because, as Madeline recalls, “we hit it off right away, then he took me to dinner that evening. I texted my mom the next day and told her I met my future husband!” And she was right. 3 months later when she was promoted and able to work from home, she moved to Chicago, moved in with Kurt, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The couple’s very romantic engagement in Paris inspired everything moving forward. As Madeline explains, “Our theme was European Romantic. Bavaria Downs is a French Normandy-style estate and the property reminded us of our time in France—a vibe we wanted to share with our friends and family on our wedding day.” Other details of the estate made this the perfect locale for Madeline and Kurt, “The surroundings of the estate and the property with rolling hills and a private lake were so peaceful. It set a stunning scene for the backdrop of our ceremony and allowed our guests to enjoy the view at the same time. The sound of the fountain, the string quartet, and guests’ laughter echoed through the estate and outdoors. The reception ballroom was stunning—with white flowy drapery from the ceiling, uplit with glowing lights, tall glowing candelabras, and luscious florals on every table. Sinatra-style jazz played while dinner service began, guests chatter in the background, wine being poured, and glasses clinking.”

Madeline explains her reasoning for everything they planned, “From the season to the hors d’oeuvres, to the desserts and reception music, I wanted our guests to have an amazing night.” So from the time of year, “we wanted our wedding day to be at the end of August because we knew we wanted an outdoor ceremony but didn’t want the weather to be too hot or cold,” to the day of the week, “we chose a Saturday so our guests would have the entire weekend to relax. We chose our menu based on what we loved and knew our guests would love, too,” this elegant Minnesota wedding was planned to perfection.


The couple put a large emphasis on food and selected a menu inspired by their engagement in Paris as well as their hometowns in the Midwest. This meant offerings of charcuterie, hummus, and burrata for the cocktail hour, as well as passed mini chicken tacos paired with mini margaritas, truffle risotto arancini, and chicken dumplings. “For dinner, we selected sautéed chicken with potato gnocchi, hanger steak with potato galette, and cauliflower steak with red quinoa. Finally, our favorite course, dessert! We chose mini doughnuts, mini s’mores, cake pops, macarons, mini churros with caramel sauce, and 3 flavors of cake: lavender, key lime, and chocolate truffle. We also had pizza and macaroni and cheese as late-night snacks!”

With a mostly white and dusty blue color palette, the bride recalls it was “so simple and perfect” for their elegant Minnesota wedding day. For florals, the bride chose the colors inspired by her honeymoon locale of Greece, “I loved the simplicity and romance of white roses mixed with olive branch greenery. My bouquet was more extravagant with a large mix of white orchids and white roses without greenery! The men’s boutonnieres were one of my favorite touches. I wanted them to be different than the typical rose boutonniere. We went with white orchids with a spring of eucalyptus. Still simple, but elevated!”


Like many brides, Madeline dreamed about what she wanted her dress to look like since she was a little girl. But when it came to finding “the one,” it wasn’t as easy as she had pictured, “The shopping process, although fun, was much more difficult than I imagined! I fell in love with so many different styles and had a really hard time deciding on just one. I always loved Berta as a designer and fell in love with my dress because it was unique and versatile. My detachable skirt was custom-made based on what I envisioned my dress to look like. It was so fun to see it come together! I was able to have the princess moment during the ceremony with my full, cathedral-length skirt. Then, I detached it for the reception and rock the open-back gown with a beautiful appliqué detailed bodice.”


With large wedding parties, “I had 13 bridesmaids, Kurt had 13 groomsmen, and even with that many, we still wanted more,” consisting of family and friends from all stages of their lives, the couple enjoyed being surrounded by so many close people from their lives. Our venue was huge, which allowed us to get ready with everyone and enjoy the day together.” And while everything seemed to go off without a hitch, the bride does have an important tip for couples currently planning their wedding: “I highly recommend every bride hires a full-time wedding planner for weddings with 100+ guests. We had 260 guests and I was in way over my head and really wished I hired a planner. We had a built-in, day-of coordinator but we could have used more help.”

Vendors Cont.  — Formalwear: The Black Tux | Bridal Accessories: Oscar de la Renta, Louboutin, BHLDN | Hair & Makeup: Hair by Jessica Daley | Invitations: Sonder Handlettering


All photos by Anna Ko Photo