Some people say you should marry your best friend. In the case of Marie and James, this was obviously the only choice. Not only are they clearly exceedingly happy on their wedding day (having just achieved some other unrelated great life things!), but they also managed to have a beautiful, unique wedding. Her fabulous dress juxtaposed with his dapper uniform, nontraditional bridesmaid dresses, a guitar guestbook, and a gorgeous stained glass backdrop make this one of my favorite eye-catching weddings of the season.
From the Photographer:
Marie and James met while working at a local hospital. She was a student working part-time in an administrative position, and he was a PA student making his clinical rounds. They had an instant connection, and soon after Marie found herself writing James an email that began, “Hi James. It’s your best friend Marie here….” That email led to lots of time spent together, and eventually, James knew that Marie was indeed his forever best friend.
Life ticked by, and James earned his degree and a full-time PA position. He also became a medic in the Army National Guard. Marie continued to work hard to finish her degree in Social Work, and as she was finishing her final year of school, James proposed at one of those paint-your-own pottery places that had become a frequent date night activity. His proposal, written on the side of a pitcher, began, “Hi Marie. It’s your best friend James here….”
Aside from being stunningly beautiful, Marie is also Superwoman in her own right. She managed to plan a beautiful hometown wedding that took place just a week after she graduated (with honors, mind you) with her Bachelor’s degree while working full-time assisting developmentally disabled adults live independently. And just a few short weeks after the wedding, she and James moved to Tulsa, where Marie was sent after joining the Teach for America teaching corps. James is pretty awesome too. He learned on their wedding day that he was had received a promotion in the National Guard. What an honor to receive on such a special day!
Helping me capture James and Marie’s wedding memories was the fabulous Melissa of M Failla Photography.
Photographer: Christa Donald Photography//Dress Store:Elite Bridal//Reception Venue: I Hotel//Dress Designer: Martina Liana//Event Planner: Nuptiae//Ceremony Location:Wesley United Methodist Church//
I feel like everyone I know that isn’t already married has been getting engaged this spring, and a lot of them are planning fall weddings. Today’s wedding is wonderful inspiration for a fall soiree, with the rich color palette, lawn games, and apple cider bar. Danielle and Shane’s personalities also shine through, whether they’re skipping through a field, sipping from some special “wine glasses”, or holding their little boy. This was definitely a day of celebrating love, pulled together with the help of family and friends.
From the Bride:
Shane and I met on what is not the fairly obsolete MySpace. We welcomed our son Gray 3 years later. Shane and I talked on/off about getting married from the beginning. FINALLY in late February of 2012 Shane took me ring shopping… We went to Wedding Day in Burnsville and I picked out 4 rings that I absolutely loved. On April 9, the same day, Shane picked it up!! It burned a hole in his pocket so bad he almost proposed in the middle of Menards…but was able to hold out until we got home later that day. He met me in the door way of our house, got down on one knee and asked me to be his hunting buddy for life, to be his best friend and his wife (not the exact wording, but it’s a little fuzzed in my brain from the good kind of shock). Of course I said YES!
We originally were not going to set a date right away, but in the end we did: Saturday October 19, 2013.
First thing on the list…find a venue that would hold his enormous family! I came across the Crow River Winery out in Hutchinson MN…could hold up to 400 people–our kind of place! It was still in the process of being finished construction wise, but Shane and I took a tour and knew it was the place. We booked it that day… May 2012.
The process really wasn’t anything truly exciting. I bought things here and there, scoured Pinterest for ideas/inspiration, and leaned quite a bit on my dear friends Stefanie and Stacy who did all my flowers, pulled ideas together for me and thought up the awesome cider/cupcake bar! They also decorated the entire reception…they were the best!
The day went wonderfully! It was cold, but beautiful. I was so calm and collected through my hair and make up. The girls started getting their dressed on and when that big, beautiful dress came down over my head, that was the end of it…!
I will never forget our first dance to Trampled by Turtles “Alone” or when it all hit me during the Grand entrance that it all happened…finally making that step with my love that we had talked about taking for 6 years.
I wouldn’t change a thing about that day or the people in it. We were surrounded by loved ones and dear friends and that is how it should be!!
Though in a lot of landlocked states it doesn’t quite feel like spring yet, this wedding might change that! With the looming thunderstorm, succulents everywhere, and lighthearted feel, Tasha and Adam’s nuptials in my hometown had me almost able to smell the rain in the air at Forest Park.
From the Photographer:
Tasha and Adam’s wedding had a very laid-back, organic feel. The style of the day was a little vintage garden, a little country and a little industrial. Being a very laid-back girl at heart, Tasha’s look was very natural, with simple hair and makeup. She had two pairs of shoes: one sparkly pair for the ceremony, and her cowboy boots for some pictures. The ceremony, at the Jewel Box, in St. Louis’ famous Forest Park, was beautiful. A small thunderstorm rolled through during the ceremony, and it was actually really lovely to listen to the low rumble of the thunder. Luckily the rain stopped just in time to leave for pictures in Forest Park! The lush greens, whites, and purples of the flowers and trees, after the rain, perfectly matched Tasha and Adam’s wedding theme. The reception, at Sqwire’s, was a very laid-back party. Tasha and Adam’s friends gave them bean-bag goals, that featured their home states, which guest could play outside. It felt like a fun family get together; no pretenses – just love.
A wedding of high school sweethearts is always a very special event. Not only is the story of the couple great, but having been together for so long, the friends and family surrounding the couple often know each other well too, so the party is full of familiar, close guests. This wedding has all of that, in addition to romantic soft details that feel just right for kicking off spring!
From the Coordinator:
Kelly and Andrew have such a fun story. They are high school sweethearts who have been together for over a decade! This dynamic made their whole wedding weekend a blast since their families and friends have been intertwined for so long.
After setup was complete and photos were done, it was time for cocktails! Even the occasional sprinkles couldn’t keep guests from the terrace as they enjoyed the amazing string quartet Artistrings and the spectacular setting.
After cocktails, guests made their way into the Pavilion for dinner. The reception was kicked off with bridal party announcements followed by the couple’s first dance. Both sets of parents welcomed guests with heartfelt toasts before the delicious dinner was served by Bauer’s Catering. During the salad course, Kelly and Andrew cut their cake, which was both beautiful and delicious.
After dinner, it was time for dancing. An important moment in the evening was the sibling dance, which really brought Kelly and Andrew’s families together. During dancing the photo booth by The Traveling Photo Booth was open and late night snacks were served. As the evening came to a close, the party really started. The bride and groom provided glow sticks, sunglasses, and other fun items for those left on the dance floor, and it made for a raucous celebration. Style Matters kept the party going strong until the very end. It was a joyous celebration for all involved!