It Was a Family Affair at This Romantic Minnesota Wedding
Adrienne and Jason
Plenty of weddings are family-friendly; not many of them drop a children's party right into the middle of the festivities. But Minnesota natives Adrienne Orud and Jason Betchkal have never shied away from a challenge, so they decided to tie the knot on October 5, 2014, in several steps: First an intimate wedding ceremony; then a birthday party for their 1-year-old daughter, Alma; and finally a larger reception that brought everyone together.
By the time they wed, the pair were no strangers to complicated feats of scheduling. On their first blind date in January 2009, sparks flew over linguine at an Italian spot in St. Paul, Minnesota. "I was drawn to Jason's easygoing personality," recalls Adrienne. "He is pure sunshine." But over dinner, Mr. Sunshine dropped a bomb: An entrepreneur, he was leaving soon for grad school. Adrienne—who was building both a wedding photography business and Velvet Raptor, a bound-book company—had no plans to move. He went to New York City, and undaunted, the two decided to give long distance a try. "At first, we took it a day at a time," recalls Jason. "Then the days turned into months."
Two years, an MBA, and countless visits later, Jason returned to St. Paul. A couple of years after that, the duo joyfully welcomed their daughter. As if a new baby didn't shake things up enough, the just-minted family spent the first half of 2014 in Los Angeles, where Jason was completing a business school program. When they finally got back to St. Paul, it was time to settle down once and for all. On a warm summer evening over an impromptu picnic in Irvine Park, near their home, Jason proposed. He also suggested that rather than wait any longer, they say "I do" in the fall, in the very same spot. That's when "Wedding SWAT Team Leader"—Jason's affectionate nickname for Adrienne—kicked into gear.
The trifecta of celebrations began at two o'clock on a crisp Sunday afternoon in Irvine Park, when 40 guests watched Alma escort her mother down a brick pathway to meet Jason before a fountain, where they exchanged vows they had written. Then everyone switched gears, and out came cupcakes, Champagne, and games to mark Alma's birthday the week before. At five-thirty, the original partygoers joined 60 additional loved ones for aquavit cocktails and a Nordic smorgasbord at the American Swedish Institute, a historic mansion in nearby Minneapolis. After dinner, Jason and Adrienne danced as a friend sang Barry Louis Polisar's "All I Want Is You," a phrase that had stayed true for six busy years—and gained a new meaning when their twosome became a trio.
The bride designed the invitations, debossed velvet cards wrapped in torn linen and tied with a floral patterned tag.
In a preview of the event, welcome baskets for out-of-town guests brimmed with tiny bouquets, pears, mini bottles of St-Germain and Champagne, and Swedish cookies.
Adrienne gave Jason cuff links with photos of Alma, custom-made by jeweler Penny Larsen, who is a friend of the bride's.
A Pretty Headpiece
Penny Larson also fashioned a bespoke headpiece for Adrienne from hand-forged inlaid satin brass flowers, rhinestones, and vintage silk flowers.
For the ceremony, the bride wore a strapless blush pink chiffon dress with this full-length lace overlay. For the reception, she shed the lace overlay, and added a cropped and embroidered top. All pieces were designed by Lela Rose.
Adrienne and Alma proceeded down the "aisle"—a paving-stone path in Irvine Park—to Jason, who describes the moment as "My two ladies together and looking so beautiful."
"The highlight was walking down the aisle with Alma. She stopped a few times, which let me absorb the moment—I could see everyone standing, supporting our marriage," Adrienne says on her most memorable moment of the day.
The duo wed in front of an 1881 three-tiered fountain. Wooden bistro chairs strung with floral garlands lined the aisle, and velvet cushions were placed up front for the wedding party of nieces, nephews, and godchildren. A local minister officiated the ceremony, which included readings from the Dalai Lama and the children's classic The Velveteen Rabbit.
Ringing the Bells
Each girl in the wedding party carried a vintage Tibetan bell adorned with silk and velvet flowers.
Inscribed Wedding Bands
The bride and groom had hammered-gold bands inscribed with surprise personal messages for each other.
The Happy Family
A Velvet-Accented Boutonniere
Jason's boutonniere was made of Olesya spray roses tucked into a cluster of vintage velvet leaves and millinery flowers.
Pausing for Birthday Cake
Postceremony, the family cut a gluten-free, whipped-cream-frosted birthday cake for Alma. "It was her first time trying cake," says Adrienne. "She was sold!"
After the vows, friends large and small observed Alma's first birthday with gunnysack races (in sacks customized by a friend of the bride's), tug of war, cupcakes, and Champagne.
The Cocktail Hour
Waitstaff met guests with a choice of St-Germain swizzles (shown), Swedish 75s, and hot apple cider.
At the American Swedish Institute, partygoers gathered for cocktails on the veranda. They also gathered on the lawn, nibbling on Swedish meatballs and lingonberry sauce, and playing kubb (a Scandinvian lawn game).
Lighting the Way
As guests made their way from the outdoor cocktail hour to dancing, noshing and dessert inside, the stairs of the American Swedish Institute, a stone mansion constructed in 1903, were lit with glimmering candles.
On reception tables, gold mercury-glass compotes held antique garden roses, peegee hydrangeas, mini carnations, and jasmine made by Mi Mi Design.
Cutting Their Cake
The couple cut into one of their four cakes, which included flourless chocolate, gluten-free whipped-cream-frosted, vanilla with buttercream, and vanilla covered in edible flowers.
As favors, guests took home encaustic art pieces—the bride's photograph of the fountain in Irvine Park embellished under layers of beeswax—created by the couple's friend Leah Macdonald.
Ceremony location, Irvine Park
Reception location, American Swedish Institute
Event coordination and flowers, Mi Mi Design
Ceremony catering, Claire Cambridge of Bell's Baking Company and Events
Reception catering, Slate & Stone Catering
Photography, Elizabeth Messina
Videography, Hello Sunshine Films
Stationery, Velvet Raptor
Calligraphy, Emily J. Snyder
Cakes, Turtle Bread Company
Music, Café Accordion Orchestra
Rentals, Après Party and Tent Rental; The Vintage Type
Bride's gown, Lela Rose from L'atelier Couture
Bride's shoes, Burberry
Bride's hairpiece, groom's cuff links, Alma's necklace, and couple's wedding bands, Penny Larsen Jewelry
Hair, Molly Black
Makeup, Emily J. Hair + Makeup
Groom's suit, Suitsupply
Groom's bow tie, Velvet Raptor
Flower-girl dresses and little boys' attire, StitchLab
Alma's shoes, Vibys
Pashminas and Alma's tiara, Che Bella
Little boys' attire and bow ties, Stitch Lab
Favors, Leah Macdonald