Posted on February 8th, 2017
I am so excited to be sharing a first official glimpse of our wedding weekend with you! While of course I was unbelievably excited for our wedding, I knew that August 27 would be a bit overwhelming and fly by in a flash. With a smaller guest list and less pomp & circumstance, it is easier to make the rehearsal dinner more intimate, and I knew I would really treasure that first feeling of being surrounded by friends and family from near and far.
I had always been 100% set on our venue choice for our reception, but I had always had a pretty clear vision of where I wanted to have our rehearsal dinner, too. The Piper Palm House is the oldest greenhouse west of the Mississippi, has a lovely Victorian vibe, and is flooded with natural light. It has a patio on the pond in a park that I knew would make a perfect cocktail hour setting, too. We were lucky that the weather cooperated. Given the venue’s name and history, we definitely played up the floral/palm theme– right down to the bridal party theme dressing!
The rehearsal dinner featured the best surprise of the wedding weekend– clydesdales!!! My grandparents arranged to have clydesdales during cocktail hour, which was incredible. My irrationally sentimental love of my hometown means I can’t even think of the Anheuser Busch clydesdales without tearing up, and to have them there to wish us well on our wedding was so special.
We wanted to make sure the rehearsal dinner had a vibe that was distinct from the wedding day that followed, so we looked for points of contrast wherever possible. We brought people downtown into one of the most historic parts of St. Louis rather than stay in the suburbs and the more elegant blush and navy color scheme of the wedding contrasted with the bright floral colors we highlighted that night. We opted for stations for dinner rather than several seated courses, and focused on a menu that had more of an international influence than would be served the following day (except we did serve traditional St. Louis gooey butter cake both nights!).
Of course, the toasts were the best part. We laughed and cried at so many of the lovely memories our friends and family shared. My brother Turner’s toast recalling one of my earliest leadership endeavors had us all in stitches– most of the photos during the dinner of me look just like the one below. Though untraditional, I couldn’t resist sneaking in a quick toast myself to surprise Ian with the Lego groom’s cake of his childhood dreams.
Sitting in that gorgeous room that night with candles flickering and the glasses clinking around us, it all became real. Our friends and family, the ones who had made us into the people we had become, had brought their love to give to us as we prepared to declare ours the very next day. After months of fretting and logistics, any nerves were replaced with the purest joy.