Slideshow

Chip & Beka: Picture Perfect

August 6, 2011 — McNamara Alumni Center at the University of Minnesota

of
  • Katie Fears of Brio Art
  • Katie Fears of Brio Art
  • Katie Fears of Brio Art
  • Katie Fears of Brio Art
  • Katie Fears of Brio Art
  • Katie Fears of Brio Art
  • Katie Fears of Brio Art
  • Katie Fears of Brio Art
  • Katie Fears of Brio Art
  • Katie Fears of Brio Art
  • Katie Fears of Brio Art

Chip and Beka Dunham first met in college at the University of Colorado. But when they got engaged in 2010, they knew they wanted to get married in their home state of Minnesota. “It was perfect, because both of our families are in Minnesota, and we moved back there after college,” says Beka. “It’s funny that we had to go all the way to Colorado to find the loves of our lives.”

Their first step was the venue selection. Beka and Chip wanted to reserve a space right away, because they knew top spots get booked years in advance. After some searching, they decided to have both the ceremony and reception at the McNamara Alumni Center at the University of Minnesota. “When we got into the great room, we both just fell in love with the space,” Beka says. “There are huge ceilings and a number of different architectural elements.”

The venue also fit their vision for the wedding. “We have pretty modern tastes, but we also wanted the feel for the day to be very romantic,” she says. “Our colors were black, charcoal gray, and we had accents of fuchsia and deep purple.”

To achieve that modern, romantic vision, they hired Joelle McMahon from Fete Perfection as their wedding consultant. Having an expert on hand turned out to be the right choice. “It was great advice to have a coordinator there the day of the wedding,” Beka says. “Joelle asked us several questions in advance that we wouldn’t have thought about. We didn’t have to worry about a thing the day of the wedding.”

There was another expert who came into play: Photographer Katie Fears of Brio Art. In addition to shooting some amazing photos at the wedding, Katie also captured the couple in a separate “Trash the Dress” shoot afterwards. (Brides fear not: You don’t actually destroy your dress during this session. It’s just a chance to don your wedding attire one more time and take photos in a different setting.)

“Trash the Dress is something we hadn’t heard of until we met with Katie,” says Beka. “After talking with her, we loved the idea of doing something in our wedding attire that captured our personalities, our laid-back style, and the essence of our relationship.”

Beka donned her Priscilla of Boston gown, but she wore her hair down instead of up to create a more casual look. Chip opted for a suit and suspenders rather than his wedding tux. They chose Minnehaha Park and nearby railroad tracks for their locations.

“Katie was awesome in thinking of unique places to go,” Beka says. “It was a great opportunity for Chip and I to reconnect and get some amazing pictures. We cherish and love our Trash the Dress photos just as much as our wedding pictures.”

Looking back on their wedding, Beka and Chip have some helpful advice for other couples ready to tie the knot. “Don’t sweat the small stuff,” Chip says. “It’s easy to get consumed in all the details of the big day and lose sight of the big picture.”

Beka agrees. “Enjoy the planning process and the day of the wedding,” she says. “As much as you get stressed out and feel overwhelmed, try to take it all in. Because it’s over before you know it.”

Wedding Details:

• Date: Aug. 6, 2011
• Location: McNamara Alumni Center at the University of Minnesota
• Attire: Bride’s dress from Priscilla of Boston, groom’s attire from JoS. A. Bank
• Food & Cake: D'Amico Catering, damicocatering.com
• Flowers: Violet’s Flowers, violetsevents.com • Photographer: Katie Fears of Brio Art, brioart.com
• Coordinator: Joelle McMahon, feteperfection.com

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