Ashley and Ryan’s Modern Wedding in Minneapolis
Ashley was working in Minnesota as a personal shopper at J.Crew when Ryan came in looking for interview clothes. “I didn’t have a client at the time, so I helped him pick out a perfect outfit,” Ashley says. She then made the first move on Ryan, asking him to coffee, which he changed to dinner. The two hit it off, and Ryan nailed the interview in his new ensemble. Eventually Ashley decided to move to New York City, and luckily for her, Ryan was too, with his new job taking him to the big city.
They had been together for two years when Ryan, a creative strategist, unexpectedly suggested a trip to Beacon, New York, after Ashley, now a shoe designer, had just come back to their Brooklyn home from a trip to China. “We took the train up to Beacon but I was so jet-lagged, I had no idea what was going on,” Ashley says. They visited the Dia:Beacon art museum, going in and out of the gallery a few times before ending up in the John Chamberlain exhibit ten minutes before closing time. That’s when Ryan popped the question, shocking Ashley, who couldn’t stop asking him, “What … how … when … ?” after accepting his proposal.
The couple made things official on September 20, 2014, in Minneapolis, the city they planned on moving to one month after the wedding. They chose Orchestra Hall, a cultural and musical concert space, as their venue after falling in love with the modern architecture of the building. They added their own personal touches and pops of color to the celebration, for which about 120 friends and family joined them.
MaeMae & Co. created the wedding save-the-dates, which drew inspiration from the bride’s hexagon engagement ring.
The Stationery Suite
Good friends of the bride and groom designed the pink-and-white confetti-inspired invitations.
After trying on five dresses at a bridal salon, Ashley knew right away that the Romona Keveza gown was the perfect pick. “Every time I put it on it just felt like me,” Ashley says. She topped her ensemble with a long veil and a pair of blush pink Miu Miu heels.
Ashley contemplated going with a contemporary style for her big day. “But the more I thought about it, I really wanted a classic look to really feel like a bride,” Ashley says. With intricate lace detailing, the dress she chose was just that.
Keeping with an elegant and simple look, Ashley wore a pair of clip-on earrings from L’Atelier Couture and a pop of pink on her lips.
Wanting to use a signature floral motif throughout the wedding, Ashley designed a red-and-pink flower print, which was used to make the groom’s fabric boutonniere.
Event planner and designer Gretchen Culver of Rocket Science Weddings & Events assembled the bride’s all-pink bouquet with garden roses, standard roses, spray roses, ranunculus, and sweet peas.
The Bridal Party
The couple’s bridal attendants included maid of honor Elspeth, bridesmaid Ashley (sister of the groom), best man Nicholas (brother of the groom), and groomsman Daniel (brother of the bride).
The First Look
Ashley and Ryan met for an intimate moment in front of Orchestra Hall before the start of the ceremony. “We went back and forth on whether or not we wanted a first look,” Ashley says. “In the end, we loved having one!”
The Family Photo
The couple posed with the groom’s father, James, and mother, Deborah, who was integral in planning the event’s details.
Matching the simple design of the save-the-dates, the programs included a pink ombré border and a note of gratitude.
The bride’s dad, Robert, walked her down the aisle to Randy Newman’s “Marie,” played by a string quartet. Then the couple exchanged vows. “The ceremony was short and emotional,” Ashley says.
The Corner Balloon Shoppe provided oversized white balloons as the backdrop for the ceremony.
The Escort Cards
Undertaking one big project for the wedding, Ashley created personalized escort cards for each of her guests using three female and two male body templates. She added in the details for each guest’s head onto the body templates in Photoshop and watercolored all the illustrations. “So many people loved their drawing and still talk about it after the wedding,” Ashley says. “For the people in Ryan’s family that I hadn’t met yet, it was a great way to remember names.”
The Guest Book
In lieu of a traditional guest book filled with just signatures, the couple decided they wanted one with photos to truly capture the memories of the day. Two instant cameras were passed around during cocktail hour, and guests were encouraged to take pictures of themselves and write a note to the couple next to their snapshot. “There were a lot of funny couple-kissing pictures,” Ashley recalls.
The Reception Setting
In the grand foyer of the lobby, an array of round and square tables filled the space.
The Reception Décor
Rocket Science Weddings & Events created a mix of high and low centerpieces to add visual interest. The tall centerpieces combined roses, carnations, hydrangea, stock, and mums. The smaller centerpieces were placed in round bubble bowls with a gold glitter rim—a subtle ode to disco—and had the same mix of flowers except ranunculus in lieu of mums.
The Table Numbers
Guests found their seats via hexagonal table numbers that were displayed in clear acrylic frames.
Diamond-shaped dinner menus by Rocket Science Weddings were placed on pink and white napkins.
The Candlelit Stairs
Greeted with smiling and applauding guests, the happy couple made their way down the staircase lit with glass candles to kick off dinner. Guests feasted on salad with Champagne mustard vinaigrette, entrées of fish or beef, and an array of delectable desserts.
With floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking downtown Minneapolis, the lounge area opened up after dinner for desserts and dancing. White leather sofas were accented with throw pillows—some covered with the custom-made fabric used for the napkins—and tables were topped with pink glitter votives. Guests on the dance floor rocked out to music by All Tomorrow’s Petty and DJ Paper Tiger.
The Dessert Table
Out of all the desserts, the bride’s favorite was the sea-salt caramel macaron.
The Wedding Cake
Cocoa & Fig created a simple three-tier gold and white cake with a strawberry Champagne buttercream and sliced strawberry filling and a vanilla buttercream exterior.
The First Dance
Friends and family watched as Ashley and Ryan took their first dance as a married couple to “The Rose” by Bette Midler mixed with “Cinnamon Girl” by Neil Young. The father-daughter dance followed, and as a surprise, many of Ashley’s family members came up to hand her a single yellow rose.
Photography: Cadence & Eli
Location: Orchestra Hall
Event Planning and Flowers: Gretchen Culver of Rocket Science Weddings & Events
Stationery: MaeMae & Co. [save-the-dates]
Calligraphy: Rosann Konieczny
Cake: Cocoa & Fig
Hair: Jodi B.
Makeup: Nan Fletcher