One year ago today I married the kindest, most wonderful person I'd ever met. 365 days later he still holds that title. Our first year of marriage has been the highlight of my life. I want to emphasize "year" because honest to goodness the slow, unglamorous days where we don't change out of our pjs and drink coffee while listening to podcasts together are probably my favorite days. The day after our wedding where we drove around running errands *together* and packing our suitcases *together* was just as wonderful as the day we got married. I don't know if that's normal but it's the case for us. Wearing a big fancy white dress was nothing compared to hearing the floorboards creek this morning and the leap in my heart when I realized he still hadn't left for work and I could steal one more kiss. Really any day where I can get him to wheezy laugh from one of my jokes is the best day of my life. I'm ok sounding redundant here: Life with Stefan is simply the best.
Our road getting here wasn't always easy. We did 2+ years long distance, sometimes going as long as 9 weeks in a row without seeing each other. I moved away from all of my family and friends to live alone in a little 3rd floor apartment in the midwest with my cat for 2 years while we "normal dated" in person. We got engaged in the middle of a hurricane and married during a thunderstorm. Prince died. Beyoncé dropped 'Lemonade'. But in the midst of all the commotion one person remained standing by my side. I love you, Stefan. I'm so grateful to be yours. Thank you for being mine. Happy 1st Anniversary.
Now for some behind the scenes! My beautiful engagement ring above served as inspiration for a lot of our wedding theme. I've always felt like the shape of the diamonds look like leaves in a garland. Green is also one of my favorite colors - and coincidentally my new last name too!. So, greenery, specifically garlands, were definitely a reoccurring theme throughout the wedding.
My amazingly talented mom, an artist, drew this wedding map for us. I gave her an overall idea of what I wanted since she lives in Maryland (where I was born) and wasn't as familiar with the downtown Minneapolis area. It turned out exactly how I wanted! I especially love the little sketches of the Hennepin Bridge and St. Anthony Theater. Stefan and I are big movie-goers so I wanted to include a little nod to the cinema on there.
My dear childhood friend Ashley flew out from Maryland for the wedding and did my makeup too. It was so special having her close by.
Stefan's pocket square came from a street vendor in Poland, a trip we took after just 6 weeks of dating! And, my beautiful shoes which proved a lot harder to find than I anticipated. I'm 5'8, Stefan is 6'3 and I wanted to keep the hight difference as true to real life as possible (I've always been the "giant" in my friend group. I love that he makes me feel small!). I spent a long time hunting for kitten heels that didn't make me feel straight out of a 90's movie. Then I found these and it was love at first sight.
Katie, another friend of mine and awesome girl boss of Steller Hair Co. did my hair. I cannot recommend her enough for all your bride-to-be's or just anyone needing a new 'do!
My dress still baffles me to this day. I *never* thought I would wear a princess style ballgown on my wedding day. It's just not *me* Or, so I thought...! After a few visits to bridal salons trying on A-line dresses I realized that I didn't feel like a bride in any of them. If anything I felt like a wedding guest or bridesmaid and the dress just happened to be white. Then I tried on this gown by Elizabeth Dye. It finally made me feel the part. Classic, elegant, but still bridal. Also, it stood out in a room which as as you'll soon see was a BIG room. I loved it so much.
Thanks to Janet for the photo of me above. I love how Gene also captured the skyline and Beth the same skyline from the other side of the city where Stefan was.
I already talked about my engagement ring, but the need to gush about my wedding band for a minute. It was so important to me to find a wedding band that was thin but also had some sort of engraving. I grew up looking at my mom's wedding band that is ever so slender but also has the tiniest engravings and diamonds in it. Because my engagement ring is diamond heavy already I really didn't need even more diamonds. I just wanted something that would reflect the natural, asymmetrical movement that my engagement ring had. I scoured so many websites before I finally discovered Rust Jewelry in London. I can confidently say that their jewelry is unlike anything on the market right now with it's attention to detail and delicate artistry. I'm obsessed with every single thing in their shop. Be sure to check them out!
My friend and bridesmaid Sylvie did all of the flowers for me. Including the long and tiring negotiations with floral companies to source the table and ceiling garlands. Thank you, Sylv!
Many of the guests we were inviting were out of state and I knew the odds of everyone being able to afford the trip were slim. With that in mind, I still wanted to give everyone a piece of the wedding to keep on their counter or fridge or wherever. The invites are still one of my most proud details of the wedding. Special thanks to Little Carabao Studio for the invite design and Keen Bee for the beautiful calligraphy.
Here's a close up from part of our wedding program. I feel like it's always nice to give guests something to read to kill time with while waiting for the ceremony to start. And I love any chance to inject some personality in a wedding day.
I walked down the aisle to the main theme from To Kill a Mockingbird, my favorite book and also my favorite film. It probably explains a little bit of the waterworks in the photo above. ;) Huge thanks to Cal Morris Music and Erin Hill for their amazing cover of 'Great is Thy Faithfulness'. My parents sang the song at their wedding and it meant so much to include it our ceremony as well.
Probably the happiest moment of my life. Finally married. And NO MORE WEDDING PLANNING.
My friend Jess gave us the most adorable wedding gift - custom bobbleheads!!
Thank you, Gene, for so many beautiful photos from this day! I especially love this series of photos of Stefan and I after the ceremony.
The phrase I kept going back to for our reception was "elegant, candlelit, dinner party". I wanted long continuous tables where people could easily get up, change seats and chat with somebody else. I thrifted long and hard for dozens of gold candlesticks, clear glass hurricane vases, and purchased purple taper candles to put inside them. Little did I know how significant the color purple would become that weekend as we learned the news of Prince's passing. Minneapolis was in a state of shock. Every bridge, tower, and church cast purple light on the city as the streets crowded with people paying tribute of their beloved music icon. It was a tragic yet beautiful weekend to be married downtown in this city.
One of my favorite elements to our reception was the jazz band, our friends from the Jason Harms Quintet. As a longtime lover of jazz, I'm so happy it played a part in my wedding.
The speeches were a definite highlight of the night. Stefan's brothers Joe and Joe gave such sweet toasts and my bestie Kristen brought the house down and made me cry like a baby. So grateful for these three.
Our first dance song had extra special meaning to Stefan and I. On our first date, Stefan secured us tickets to a sold out show in D.C. for Lost in the Trees, a band we both liked and had listened to while getting to know each other. Towards the end of the concert, they played a song they dubbed a "slow dance song" and encouraged everyone to find someone to dance with. We hadn't even been boyfriend & girlfriend for 24 hours but there we were, slow dancing in the middle of a packed room of strangers. 5 years later, we danced to it again on our wedding day. *cue tears*
"You have such a good heart for wandering, all the peace when I come following."
A huge thank to our vendors, many of which I'm proud to call friends!
- Photographer: Geneoh
- Ceremony & Reception: Aria
- Bridal Gown: 'Lewisia' by Elizabeth Dye
- Bridal Boutique: a&bé
- Bride's Shoes: Louise et Cie 'Esperance' Pump
- Bride's Earrings: Happiness Boutique
- Bride's Fur Coat: Thrifted
- Bridesmaid's Dresses: Dessy in 'Hunter'
- Makeup: Ashley Taylor
- Hair: Steller Hair Co.
- Groom’s Suit: Men's Wearhouse
- Groom's Shoes: Rush by Gordon Rush
- Invite Design: Little Carabao Studio
- Invite Calligrapher: Keen Bee Calligraphy
- Program Design: Lydia Green
- Wedding Map: Maureen Hartnett
- Florist: Sylvie Somerville
- Caterer: Deco Catering
- Rings: HN Jewelry, Rust Jewelry, The Sly Fox
- Day of Coordinator: Brooke Eastburn
- Ceremony Musicians: Cal Morris Music (violin), Erin Hill (vocals)
- DJ: Andrew Tolzmann
- Band: Jason Harms Quintet