Exclusive: Go Inside Actress Erinn Westbrook's Hometown Wedding in St. Louis
When actress Erinn Westbrook met Andrew at their five-year Harvard class reunion in May 2015, she had no idea that she was, in that moment, introducing herself to her future husband. The two were in the same graduating class, but had never crossed paths on campus. "Everything happens for a reason, though, and we believe we truly did meet at the right time," says Erinn, who "noticed Andrew from afar at an afternoon barbecue." "I thought he was extremely handsome, but I was specifically drawn to his smile. There was a kindness and warmth about him that seemed incredibly genuine." Erinn then recruited one of her girlfriends to join her as she headed over to say hello, beginning their whirlwind romance.
Three years later in January 2018, Andrew, an investment analyst, insisted on joining Erinn—well-known for her former role on Glee and current one in Netflix's Insatiable—in Paris for her birthday. "I was in the midst of filming, but I had a couple days off surrounding my birthday weekend, and Andrew thought it would be the perfect time to go," Erinn says. "It all seemed pretty impromptu to me, and I even suggested other weekends that might be 'better' and feel less rushed. However, Andrew was adamant about taking the trip for my birthday, so I acquiesced. Although Andrew knew he was going to propose while we were there, he had no idea when or how. He just wanted the proposal to be natural and intimate."
The moment presented itself after a packed weekend, which included an indulgent dinner at Guy Savoy, a walk through Jardin du Luxembourg, drinks at Bar Hemingway, and meals out with friends. On their last night, a rainy evening, Erinn sat in their hotel suite drinking Champagne, talking with Andrew about the great trip they'd shared, when Andrew got down on one knee. "I was completely shocked," Erinn says. "Of course I said yes, and we went to this beautiful Parisian library area downstairs to have more Champagne and to call our family and friends. We celebrated into the early hours. It was the best night."
From that moment on, they began planning their August 17, 2019, wedding at Our Lady of Lourdes in St. Louis, Missouri. Although St. Louis is Erinn's hometown, the pair's busy careers largely kept them away from the wedding site. To mitigate this, the bride and groom worked with Kate, Kimmie, and Carrie at Kate + Co to help them cultivate their vision and stay organized. The "dream team," as Erinn describes them, helped them put the pieces together for their 200-guest wedding, showcasing St. Louis-themed elements like trolleys and unique delicacies, romantic floral décor, and more, to commemorate their special union.
The couple's wedding invitations by Cheree Berry would not have been complete without mentions of their roots—Erinn hails from St. Louis, while Andrew calls Australia home—and how they met. The set's exterior, in particular, spoke to these themes. "They included a trio of custom stamps denoting our journeys—a kangaroo with 'He was a boy from Down Under,' the St. Louis arch with 'She was a girl from St. Louis,' and a Harvard veritas shield with, 'It all started at Harvard,'" Erinn says. The invitations also featured line drawings of their ceremony venue, Our Lady of Lourdes Church, and the reception locale, the St. Louis Club.
An Evening at Busch Stadium
St. Louis was a major focal point of the duo's wedding weekend. Ahead of their nuptials, the couple put one of the city's biggest highlights on display: the St. Louis Cardinals' Busch Stadium. They hosted a welcome event—which included a bar in the dugout, a Ted Drewes frozen custard station, and batting cages hosted by former players, which gave guests a true Cardinals fan experience—at the complex, which ended on a high note. "We decided to end the evening of our welcome event with a surprise firework display. The view of downtown St. Louis and the arch, under a sky alit with fireworks, was the perfect finale to a great night. It was the most special way to kick off our weekend in my hometown," says Erinn.
The night was filled with "stadium fare," including burgers, hot dogs, wings, Cracker Jack, and custom Coca-Colas.
On the morning of the event, the bride and groom's rings were kept safe in green boxes; this color was later featured throughout the event's décor.
Father and Daughter Moment
"After getting ready with my mother and sister, I had a first look with my father," says Erinn. Her dad loved her A-line Vera Wang wedding dress, complete with a strapless corset-inspired bodice, layered tulle skirt, and hand-knotted bow. "He was so incredibly happy. To witness him tear up upon seeing me in my dress was really special. He could not stop smiling."
The gown was beautiful and classic, says the bride, but it also had an edgy, high-fashion touch. A couple of weeks after trying on the dress during her first appointment with her mother, sister, mother-in-law, grandmother, and aunts, she returned with her mom to slip it on again—just to make sure she hadn't been caught up in the excitement of the moment. After the second go-around, she knew it was the one.
The Perfect Shoes
Erinn wore white lace Manolo Blahnik heels for her ceremony and first dance. The shoes featured a crystal buckle on the toes for a regal touch.
The bridesmaids' gowns and jumpsuits—a mix of Wtoo, Dessy, THEIA, and Jenny Yoo—spoke to each of the 13 women's personal styles; the bride purchased the ensembles as gifts to her attendants. "I knew from the beginning that I wanted them to have a unique look that made them feel comfortable and beautiful on the day," says Erinn. "I had selected a couple of different options with each girl in mind and put them all in a virtual showroom. It's funny because they pretty much all chose what I had mentally designated for them."
Bridal Party Portrait
White-and-peach hues defined the bridesmaids' bouquets, a mix of roses, gunni eucalyptus, and foliage.
The bride's arrangement, created by Festive Couture Florals, was white-centric and consisted of an intricate array of roses, offset by greenery.
Something Old, Something New
Erinn's floral clutch was special for more than just its beauty—it tied her wedding day to her parents' own, which took place in 1982. "The bouquet was hand-tied with a piece of my mother's wedding dress, which served as my 'something old,'" she says. As for her "something new?" She completed her ensemble with a tennis bracelet—a pre-ceremony gift from Andrew.
Onto the Trolley
Guests arrived to the ceremony in St. Louis trolleys, reminiscent of the ones used during the 1904 St. Louis World Fair, the bride notes. The couple incorporated small, local touches like this throughout their wedding weekend to help their loved ones enjoy all the city had to offer.
A Vintage Car
Erinn drove to the church with her parents in a classic and timeless 1956 Rolls Royce, which was also used as the getaway car post-ceremony.
A Meaningful Church
"The ceremony was at Our Lady of Lourdes, a church founded and built in 1917. It was officiated by my childhood priest, Father Richard Potts," Erinn says. "He is the same priest who oversaw my first Holy Communion over 20 years ago. He knows me, my family, and Andrew—who attends Sunday mass with my family during visits back home—extremely well, so the ceremony was truly personal and meaningful, which was important to us."
The bride wore a veil, also by Vera Wang, during the service; she also donned several pieces of her mother's jewelry for her "something borrowed."
After Erinn's father walked her down the aisle, she and Andrew exchanged vows in a Catholic ceremony—before sharing their first kiss as husband and wife. "I was raised Catholic and it was important to me that we get married in the Catholic church," Erinn says. "Although we did not do a full mass, there were still many religious elements."
A Floral Theme
Decadent, romantic florals were a major part of the couple's wedding weekend. The blooms featured on the invitation were carried over to the weekend-of stationery, including the escort cards. "These were designed to match the wedding day florals. Everything was beautifully intertwined," explains the bride.
At the reception, held at the St. Louis Club, the tall centerpieces on the head and guest tables rested atop crystal candelabras. The floral arrangements were a focal point of the party's décor; they included hydrangeas, roses, spray roses, wild smilax, willow, lisianthus, gunni eucalyptus, and wax flowers.
St. Louis Sights
Erinn and Andrew stepped away from the party to pay homage to St. Louis; they posed in front of a monument nearby during their portrait session with their photographer, Mike Cassimatis.
The duo offered a four-course meal during dinner; for the main entrée, guests were served a trio of petite filet mignon with bordelaise sauce, baked chicken under a parmesan crust, and seared scallops with lobster sauce, served with carrots, green bean bundles, and a zucchini cup with ratatouille. "We made the choice to do a trio because we wanted our guests to experience as much of the St. Louis Club's cuisine as they could! The food never disappoints," says the bride.
A main goal of the newlyweds' late-night menu? To spotlight their respective cultures through food. Erinn's parents found an authentic Australian restaurant in Kansas City to serve light bites like meat pies and lamingtons; barbecue was a must on Erinn's part—which is why the late-night menu featured classic St. Louis-style ribs.
As a self-proclaimed "sugar queen," the bride was adamant about having candy at the reception. Dessert included a candy buffet featuring some of the couple's favorites, such as Sour Patch Kids, Skittles, gummy bears, and custom M&Ms—all surrounded by the newlyweds' engagement photos. The couple also had a made-to-order cotton candy station, which was a hit with guests.
The couple's event drew guests from "from all over the country and world," making it an especially memorable evening, the bride explains. Attendees traveled from Sydney, London, Paris, Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, and so many more locations. "Having all the people we love, from near and far—from literally across the globe in one place—to celebrate our marriage, was so special. Andrew and I were so touched and made sure to greet and visit with literally every single person at our wedding during the reception, which meant we missed out on much of the 'party,' but it was worth it," she says.
Come Rain or Shine
Andrew and Erinn chose the song "Come Rain or Come Shine" by Ray Charles for their first dance, which they choreographed themselves. "On the [big] night, we actually threw in a few extra moves just because it felt right in the moment," Erinn notes. "Although there were a couple hundred people watching, it really felt like it was just us at certain points. We were very together and in the moment."
The couple's DJ, Kris Carver, kept the dance floor full all night long. "He played everything from old-school hits, to pop to hip-hop (St. Louis favorites Nelly, Chingy, and J-Kwon were clearly in the mix)," explains the bride. "He did not disappoint, and the dance floor was packed—with an extremely diverse crowd—all night! Some of our favorite memories include moments on the dance floor with so many of our family members and friends."
The duo's detailed confection by The Cakery Bakery featured lemon and strawberry fillings, vanilla buttercream frosting, and edible pearls for extra sparkle. The cake also had over 350 hand-crafted sugar flowers that matched the rest of the party's décor—cumulatively, the dessert took two artists 24 hours to make. The couple froze the top layer, saving it to eat on their one-year anniversary for good luck.
Photography, Mike Cassimatis
Ceremony Venue, Our Lady of Lourdes Church
Reception Venue and Catering, Saint Louis Club
Wedding Planning and Event Design, Kate + Company
Flowers, Festive Couture Florals
Invitations and Day-of Paper, Seating Chart, Cheree Berry Paper
Officiant, Father Richard M. Potts
Bride's Gown and Veil, Vera Wang
Bride's Reception Dress, Amsale
Hair, Thomas Canady, Alicia Wampler, Ashley Madjesky
Music, Rosewood Ensemble (ceremony), DJ Kris Carver (reception)
Cake, The Cakery Bakery