Laura-Leigh & Jonathan: Tradition with a Twist

  • The newlyweds stole a moment alone (and a few kisses) immediately following the ceremony
  • The couple named their tables after songs that meant something to them. “Bonafied Lovin” was playing when Jonathan proposed
  • Just Bloomed’s centerpieces created a romantic yet dramatic atmosphere
  • The bride and her parents, Roy and Christine Smalley
  • Escort cards were placed in black baroque frames
  • Gateaux’s stunning cake mimicked textures from the wedding
  • The bridesmaids wore Vera Wang gowns that were ordered just before production on the entire line ceased
  • The bride’s Christian Louboutin heels
  • The newlyweds toasted the father of the bride
  • Custom invitations by Chocolate Butterbean
  • he hand-rolled cigars offered as favors were the perfect setting for the couple’s rings from Continental Diamond.
  • The groom wore a custom suit by Marty Mathis Clothiers
  • Reception Jazz provided live music

Laura-Leigh & Jonathan

Oct. 15, 2011
Interlachen Country Club
Photography by Olive Juice Studios

First impressions are important. But when Jonathan’s coworker tried to set him up with Laura-Leigh, he sent a picture that Jonathan says is still the worst picture he’s ever seen of her. “I wrote him back and said, ‘Yeah she’s not really my type.’ ” That could easily have been the end of the story, but when Laura-Leigh joined them at the Imperial Room a few weeks later, Jonathan immediately noticed the beautiful brunette. “Why don’t you set me up with that girl?” he asked his coworker. Unbeknownst to him, it was the same woman—and she was definitely his type.

As the pair started dating, they bonded over their shared love of music. Jonathan would tease Laura-Leigh by playing Chromeo’s “Bonafied Lovin,” which extols the benefits of dating an older man (Jonathan is six and a half years her senior). When Chromeo came to town in August 2010, it seemed a perfect opportunity for him to propose. “Chromeo started playing ‘Bonafied Lovin,’ and that’s when he got down on one knee and asked me in front of all our friends,” says Laura-Leigh. “It was super romantic, in the middle of First Avenue,” jokes Jonathan. Laura-Leigh couldn’t hear everything he said over the music, but her answer was clear—as were her ideas for the wedding.

First on the list was the Basilica. “I grew up dying to get married at the Basilica,” says Laura-Leigh, who was confirmed there in 1999. The second call was to Interlachen Country Club, where Laura-Leigh’s parents (her father is Roy Smalley, a member of the Minnesota Twins 1987 World Championship team) are members. The venues helped set the tone for the black-tie-optional wedding. “I always thought it was going to be really traditional but with a bit of a modern twist to it,” says Laura-Leigh.

The wedding dress was key to that vision. Laura-Leigh pictured a big ballgown to match the stature of the Basilica, but the minute she put on Vera Wang’s mermaid-style Ethel dress at L’Atelier Couture, she knew that was it. “It’s traditional but it had that modern twist—it had enough drama that I felt like it was still appropriate to get married at the Basilica,” she says.

Laura-Leigh’s twin sister helped style the bride to subtly transition from classic to more modern as the day went on. Her ceremony look was traditional, with a cathedral-length veil and simple jewelry. For the reception, a black velvet sash and statement necklace added a modern edge. The décor echoed those choices, with an aesthetic Laura-Leigh’s mother called “Paris flea market.” White, champagne, and ivory flowers were timeless, while black accents added a dramatic twist: Black candelabras dotted the dinner tables, baroque-style detailing wove around the cake, and a black fleur-de-lis monogram appeared on everything from cocktail napkins to the charcuterie table.

Though tradition was important, it was by no means stifling—this is a couple that loves to be goofy together. “I liked having it be fancy—that was important to Laura-Leigh and her mother—but I wanted it to also be campy in certain parts,” says Jonathan. That sense of humor showed up in the table names (song titles by artists ranging from Britney Spears to Jimmy Buffett), place cards with guests’ nicknames on them, and the couple’s first dance to the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way.”

“I always thought it was going to be really traditional but with a bit of a modern twist.” ~Laura-Leigh

Laura-Leigh also arranged playful surprises for her groom, including his favorite Guinness stout cupcakes and late-night snacks from Turkey To Go. “It was really cool,” says Jonathan. “They just pulled up their little cart outside of Interlachen at the bottom of the steps.” For Laura-Leigh, it was a way to keep the focus on the meaning of the day. “My mom and I had this whole vision, and Jonathan was great about saying ‘whatever you want,’ but I wanted it to feel like us still. I wanted to surprise him with a couple things that were all about him.”

Ceremony: The Basilica of Saint Mary • Reception: Interlachen Country Club • Dress: Ethel by Vera Wang from L’Atelier Couture • Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Vera Wang from L’Atelier Couture • Groom’s Attire: Marty Mathis Clothiers • Groomsmen’s Attire: Heimie’s Haberdashery • Rings: Continental Diamond • Catering: Interlachen Country Club • Cake: Gateaux • Cupcakes: Cocoa & Fig • Late-night Snacks: Turkey To Go food cart • Flowers: Just Bloomed • Invitations: Chocolate Butterbean • Calligraphy: Laura Hooper Calligraphy • Ceremony Music: The Basilica of Saint Mary Musicians and Choir • Reception Music: Reception Jazz for dinner, Instant Request for dancing • Lighting: Instant Request • Linens/Décor: Linen Effects and Après Party and Tent • Wedding Planner: Event Couture • Hair: Evolution Hair Experience • Makeup: Nan Fletcher • Honeymoon: Aruba