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Louisa and Robert
Like many couples, Louisa Carr Rechter and Robert Louis Takacs met at a bar. They were in New York City, where they had both moved after growing up in the Midwest. Robert, who was hanging around the jukebox, briefly talked to Louisa before realizing that she was about to leave. "I ran outside and grabbed her number despite her probably thinking she was about to be stalked," he says. "Stalking ensued and the rest is history." One night about two years later, Louisa headed out to meet Robert for a quick drink before they had plans to see a show. Little did she know that the night's main event would actually be happening at the bar.
Robert had once told her that his grandparents' song had been Frank Sinatra's "One For My Baby" so when the pianist began to play that very tune just as he popped the question, the moment was especially emotional. "He had the entire place in on it: the pianist, maître d, waiters, even most of the other tables," says Louisa. The bar patrons erupted in cheers, and then Robert whisked her away to an engagement party on a friend's rooftop. The next day, the pair flew to South Beach for a quick getaway to celebrate their newly-engaged status.
Louisa, co-founder of the cocktail dress line Mestiza New York, was excited to design dresses for the big day with her partner Alessandra Perez-Rubio. Robert, a credit analyst, was also particularly involved in the wedding planning. "He probably worked harder than I did," says Louisa. The couple decided to have their wedding in St. Louis, the bride's hometown, at the St. Louis Country Club. "I have many memories of meeting my friends and joining my family there for dinner," she says of the venue. And so the duo wed on October 1, 2016, with 198 loved ones joining them for an elegant, chic affair that completed this Midwestern love story.
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Rabbit Rabbit Design House created a colorful, modern invitation suite for the big day. A hand-painted crest highlighted destinations meaningful to the couple—palm leaves for Palm Beach, wildflowers for Colorado, and cardinal lovebirds for St. Louis. The bird motif also appeared on sugar cookies from Kaked by Katie, which were given to guests as favors.
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For the wedding bands with their first initials L+R engraved on the insides, Robert opted for a traditional gold style while the bride and groom collaborated to design one for Louisa. "I wanted something sparkly with a nod to an estate piece," she says. The finished product, cognac diamonds set in brushed rose gold, didn't match her classic diamond emerald-cut engagement ring with baguette side-stones but the bride preferred it that way. "I like having choices of what to wear depending on my mood!"
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Louisa wore a custom Mestiza New York gown. Working with her business partner Alessandra Perez-Rubio and the brand's creative director, Louisa sourced the lace in New York City's garment district and the textured dress was sewn in the city as well. Robert donned a custom navy suit by Simone Abbarchi and a dark green Hermès tie featuring a pattern of tiny ducks.
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Much of Louisa's dress, including the silk wool bow, was made of leftover scraps from Mestiza New York's factory. "I loved how it came together and no one knew that it was mostly repurposed material," she says. The diamond brooch in the bride's hair, shaped like a floral bouquet, had belonged to her late grandmother. As another "something borrowed" she also wore her mother's diamond-and-imperial-jade bangle.
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The Bridal Party
The bridesmaids' custom Mestiza New York dresses were inspired by a photograph of Louisa's business partner's mother from when she was a model in the Philippines. She was pictured wearing a white lace gown with dramatic bell sleeves, a look that was beautifully recreated for Louisa's wedding party.
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The mothers of the bride and groom wore dresses custom made by Mestiza New York for the big day. Louisa's mom wore a powder blue silk wool creation finished with a broach while Robert's mom sported a light green frock with one of the brand's signature embellishments, a birds of paradise motif, at the waist.
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Some Large Arrangements
Ken Miesner's Flowers assembled white blooms, wild grasses, and greenery in urns anchoring the ceremony space.
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Upbeat music played as the groomsmen and bridesmaids walked down the aisle—"Here Comes The Sun" by the Beatles and "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper. Having grown up watching the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's with her parents, Louisa arranged to have a string quartet play "Moon River" by Henry Mancini as she entered. Her father immediately knew the heartfelt significance behind the song choice. "My dad and I choked up when we walked down the aisle together," she says. "He said 'oh, that's a good one, Lou!"
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Having decided to skip doing a first look, Rob was truly surprised when he saw Louisa coming down the aisle. Officiated by a friend of the bride's family, the ceremony took place under an old oak tree overlooking the club's polo field and featured vows that the pair had written themselves.
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The Cocktail Hour
Everyone moved to the veranda for cocktail hour, where a string quartet played renditions of the couple's favorite songs. Guests enjoyed signature St. Louis Country Club rum shakers and small bites like maple-glazed bacon.
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The Reception Setup
Inspired by vintage photographs of Jackie Onassis and John F. Kennedy's wedding, the couple selected similar long tables with greenery down the center for the outdoor party, which was held just steps from where the ceremony had taken place.
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In The Round
Round tables were also mixed in, with Chinese lanterns and twinkle lights hung over the reception area. During dinner, a Spanish guitar played in the background.
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With a focus on comfort food, St. Louis Country Club crafted a menu of poached pear salad and short rib bourguignon with roasted vegetables and noodles. For those craving a late-night snack, pizza and toasted ravioli were provided courtesy of Imo's Pizza. "A St. Louis tradition!" says the bride.
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The First Dance
The newlyweds danced to Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" sung by one of the groomsmen. "When Rob and I first met, he played it on the jukebox," says Louisa of the choice. "We always laugh about that moment and felt that because we also met in New York, that it was our song!"
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Louisa and Robert made a grand exit from the reception in her father's 1957 vintage Thunderbird convertible.
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Photography, Clary Pfeiffer Photography
Location and Catering, St. Louis Country Club
Event planning, Sabrina Torti of Proposing Dreams
Flowers, David Bovier of Ken Miesner's Flowers
Stationery and Calligraphy, Rabbit Rabbit Design House
Cake icing, The Cakery Bakery
Bride's gown, bridesmaids' dresses, and bride and groom's mothers' dresses, Mestiza New York
Bride's shoes, Aquazzura
Hair, Blown Away Blow Dry Bar
Groom's custom suit, Simone Abbarchi
Groom's tie, Hermès
Lighting, Exclusive Events, Inc.
Transportation, JED Transportation
Cookies, Kaked by Katie
Late night snacks, Imo's Pizza
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