What does a wedding planner do for her own wedding? Well, if she’s anything like Amy of Mi Mi Design, she injects plenty of humor. “I just wanted it to be really fun and quirky. I’ve seen hundreds of weddings; I wanted it to be different from somebody else’s, and I knew no one would do a Western theme,” says Amy. Especially a Western theme as tastefully kitschy as this one.
Amy had spent nearly a decade planning other people’s weddings before she turned her artful eye on her own. She first met Joe in 2003, when he sidled up to the bar at Great Waters Brewing Co., where she worked during her early days of wedding planning. “I had recently moved to Minnesota from Ohio and there was just something about her personality,” says Joe. “I didn’t know who she was, but I knew I wanted to. Amy’s laugh was foreign to me and contagious.” The two moved in together within six months, but wedding bells were still a ways off.
When Joe finally proposed during a Bright Eyes concert at First Avenue (site of one of their early dates) in 2011, it was off to the races for Amy. She’d always loved horses and Western motifs, but she says it was actually Joe who sparked the Western theme. “He really wanted his guys to look like characters in Pulp Fiction with the skinny black ties and the black cowboy boots, and I was like, that’s kind of Western, so I took that idea and ran with it—or sprinted with it.”
Amy’s partner in crime at Mi Mi Design (Amy Blonde to her Amy Red) helped set the theme from the start, creating save-the-dates with a horse motif over the words “Gettin’ Hitched.” The bride and groom wore cowboy boots to the ceremony at Lakewood Memorial Chapel, and Joe carefully selected the music. “Once Amy picked the Western theme, it became The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, musically,” says Joe. “I chose surf rock and mixed with spaghetti Western music to give the ceremony a Pulp Fiction theme.”
Amy’s vendors—many of them good friends who were proper guests at the wedding—ran with the theme as well. The D’Amico catering rep came up with the idea to brand the filet mignon with the couple’s initials. And Robin from Gateaux created not one but five cakes with Western touches: some with horseshoes or cacti on top, others mimicking the save-the-dates and wedding invites. The only time the theme veered into maybe-that’s-enough territory was when Amy lined up an auctioneer to announce the wedding party during the grand entrance. “Everybody put the kibosh on that,” Amy laughs. “That’s when they were like, you’re taking it too far.”
Part of the beauty of the theme was its juxtaposition against the very modern backdrop of the Chambers hotel. Dinner was held in the bright white Burnet Art Gallery, which featured three distinct table settings to create an eclectic vibe. Amy’s custom-made Joynoëlle dress also provided some modern flair, with dramatic gold detailing along one strap. “I wanted it to be slightly avant-garde, with something kind of weird and random,” says Amy.
The night wrapped up with what Amy calls “Dance Party USA” in the rooftop lounge, with high-energy dancing, a pinball machine, temporary cowboy and kitty tattoos, and late-night snacks to fuel the revelry. As the last guests went home, Amy felt a twinge of guilt—for once, she wasn’t the person who had to stay late and clean up after the party. “I got to be a guest at my own wedding,” says Amy. “It was nice to be on the other side.”
Ceremony: Lakewood Memorial Chapel • Reception: Le Meridien Chambers • Dress: Joynoëlle • Bridal attendants’ attire: Personal attire • Groom’s attire: Kenneth Cole • Groomsmen’s attire: Personal black suits • Rings: Helzberg Diamonds and Zales • Catering: D’Amico Catering • Cake: Gateaux • Wedding coordinators, stationery, flowers, and décor: Mi Mi Design • Supplementary décor and floral: Bungalow 6 Design • Calligraphy: Kirsten Sevig • Cocktail hour music: Joel Shapira Quartet • DJ/lighting: Instant Request • Slideshow mural: Matt Blum Photography • Day-of wedding coordinator: Nancy Battaglia • Linens and tableware: Après Party and Tent Rental and Linen Effects • Photo booth and pinball machine: Photobooth Memories • Hair/makeup: Emily J. Hair and Makeup • Honeymoon: TBD for February 2013