Slideshow

Margaret & John: Worth The Wait

June 4, 2011 — Columbia Manor

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  • Erin Johnson Photography
    The bride and groom stealing a moment before the reception.
  • Erin Johnson Photography
    The ceremony programs were designed by the bride and the groom's brother.
  • Erin Johnson Photography
    The bridesmaids picked their own floral heels.
  • Erin Johnson Photography
    The couple danced the foxtrot for their first dance.
  • Erin Johnson Photography
    Fresh peonies on the cake matched the centerpieces.
  • Erin Johnson Photography
    Margaret and John collected corks to make place card holders.
  • Erin Johnson Photography
    Playful boutonnieres by Intuitive Blooms.
  • Erin Johnson Photography
    The couple loved the receptions space's colonial architecture.
  • Erin Johnson Photography
    The bright bouquets contrasted with the dresses.
  • Erin Johnson Photography
    Margaret planned every detail of the centerpieces.
  • Erin Johnson Photography
    Ribbon wreaths by the bride's mom hung on the church doors.

When Margaret thought of her wedding, she thought of peonies: fresh, bright, simple, and classic. She’d had plenty of time to think about it, not that anyone was counting. She and John had been dating for nine years by the time they got engaged, ever since they met while living in the same dorm at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

When it came time for the two of them to marry, they’d been to enough weddings to know what they wanted—and didn’t want—for their own. John cared about good food and a venue with character. (“I preferred not to get married in a hotel conference room,” he says.) Margaret wanted it to feel elegant and classic but not stodgy.

To get exactly what they wanted, Margaret became her own hands-on wedding planner, doing meticulous research, interviewing endless vendors, and narrowing down options to present to John. They chose Columbia Manor in the Minneapolis parks system for their reception because it had character and offered more leeway to make their own choices. And they picked Three Sons Signature Cuisine because its scratch kitchen allowed them to truly customize their menu. “I’m Polish, so the wedding had a bit of a Polish flair to it,” says Margaret. “I wanted it to have a Polish feel, but not kielbasas and sausages.”

Color was another aspect that was particularly important, since both Margaret and John have artistic leanings and an eye for design. “I got pretty hung up on the colors,” admits Margaret, who spent countless hours trying to find a very specific magenta for the bridesmaids’ dresses and just the right green for the table runners. But in the end, both feel it paid off. “We have our own style and preferences, and by doing the extra work it felt like we could get a wedding that was a little different,” says John. Adds Margaret: “It was all us, it all represented our style, and I think that resonates with people.”

Ceremony: Saint Boniface Catholic Church • Reception: Columbia Manor • Dress: San Patrick by Pronovias from The Wedding Shoppe • Bridesmaids’ dresses: Wedding Shoppe • Groom’s/groomsmen’s attire: Savvi Formalwear tuxes, Hugo Boss ties • Rings: Blue Nile • Catering: Three Sons Signature Cuisine • Cake: Wuollet • Flowers: Intuitive Blooms • Invitations: Groom’s brother, Andrew Karlen • Ceremony music:  Friends of bride and groom • Linens: Decki Decor • Hair: City HairStylists • Makeup: Bobbi Brown makeup artist Nicole Young • Dance lessons: Champion Ballroom • Honeymoon: St. Thomas and Anguilla

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