When Gretchen Wolf and Christon Burgess got engaged, they both knew exactly what they wanted in a wedding. “It sounds so cliché, but we wanted everything to be perfect,” Gretchen says. Lucky for this couple, they shared a similar idea of what perfect looked like.
The couple met on plentyoffish.com, the free dating website. Chris reached out to Gretchen because, “She was cute, which, of course, I liked.” He was also drawn to her educational background and travel experience, and their similar careers—Gretchen runs her own estate-planning law firm and Chris is a financial consultant—meant they had a lot in common.
After seven months of dating, they became engaged during a stroll through Nokomis Park. In a creative and heartfelt proposal, Chris explained that he saw leaves—and the trees they fall from—as a metaphor for growth and expansion in life. After getting down on one knee, Chris handed Gretchen a pair of beautiful fall leaves that he had collected on their walk, with an engagement ring hidden in-between. He asked her to take the leaves—his future—in her hands. She said yes.
In the pursuit of perfection, Gretchen and Chris knew that quality vendors were going to be a key component. This proved to be more complicated than the couple thought.
Their first choice of vendor came with Jodi Ann Photography. Soon after getting engaged, they met Jodi at a wedding fair, where she caught their eye with a portfolio that captured the little details of the wedding day a bride and groom often miss. "You never get to see the cocktail hour, how beautiful it all was,” Gretchen says.
As with Jodi Ann, the couple wanted all of their carefully chosen vendors to let their creativity flow. “When you don’t hand-tie your vendors, you get way better responses,” Chris says about being flexible with budgets and letting their top-notch vendors create top-notch items. And with the couple’s busy schedules, this proved to be a great choice. With help from Chris’ parents and their own savings, the couple could afford to spend money on what was important to them without ending up in debt.
But even with a 19-month engagement and talented vendors, the couple felt the pressure. “As early as we started, it was still a lot of work,” Chris says of the planning process.
When their dessert-table bakery closed its doors, taking the deposit with them, it seemed like even their careful planning was going to fail them. Gretchen and Chris were amazed when Cocoa & Fig was able to make the dessert table of handcrafted cupcakes and treats a reality—with only five-weeks’ notice.
On the day of their wedding, Chris and Gretchen found the perfection they were looking for. The ceremony was held at Westminster Presbyterian and was followed by a reception at Windows on Minnesota, which they decorated with a plum and silver color scheme. The couple wanted a timeless, classic look for their wedding, nothing too trendy that they might regret later in pictures.
During the cocktail hour and before the reception, the couple found time to stop by Target Field, since both Gretchen and Chris are fans of the Twins. The groom’s cake even depicted the happy couple seated in the Golden Glove statue in Target Plaza, an image they wanted to replicate in real-life for their wedding photos. Despite the game-day commotion and with the help of their hired security officer, they were able to part the crowds and make the important photo op possible.
Looking back on their special day, the couple's biggest piece of advice to brides and grooms-to-be is this: hire a day-of coordinator. For Gretchen and Chris, that was Sarah Trotter of Lasting Impressions, who made sure everything went according to plan in their quest for perfection. As Chris says, “To be able to go into your wedding day and not have to stress about anything is worth its weight in gold."
Date: May 18, 2013
Ceremony: Westminster Presbyterian
Reception: Windows on Minnesota
Photographer: Jodi Ann Photography
Bride's Dress: Rush's Bridal
Cake: Buttercream Cakes & Desserts
Dessert Table: Cocoa & Fig
Flowers: Sadie’s Couture Floral & Event Styling
Entertainment: Instant Request DJ, Mobile Photo Booth
Wedding Planner: Lasting Impressions
Décor: Event Lab
Hair: Juut Salonspa
Makeup: Julie Swenson
Security: RS Executive Protection
Stationery: Tate Stationery
Transportation: Corporate Car & Coach