Vienna & Alex: A Family Affair

The couple wanted everyone to feel included in their Labor Day weekend wedding.


Vienna and Alex Crosby’s first date lasted six hours. After initially chatting online, the two met for coffee one late summer day in 2010. Coffee turned into ice cream cones at Sebastian Joe’s, and ice cream cones turned into dinner.

A year and one week later (the anniversary of their second date), they were engaged. “He actually took me on our second date again,” Vienna says. “We walked along the Stone Arch Bridge and I took him to the new Guthrie because he had never been. So we went out onto the Endless Bridge, and that’s where he proposed.”

Vienna admits that she never thought about her wedding until she met Alex, but when it came to choosing a theme, a literary motif quickly bubbled to the surface. Both are avid readers, and Vienna teaches English at Roseville Area High School. “When we moved in together our two challenges were: where are we going to fit all of our books, and will our cats like each other?” Vienna says. “We did manage to morph our bookshelves.”

To find a location suited for both the theme and the couple’s 175 guests, Vienna and Alex scoured the web to find a historic site for their pending nuptials. The Van Dusen Mansion in Minneapolis fit the bill perfectly. “Having the ceremony there, having the reception there, and even getting to spend the night there—it was wonderful,” Vienna says. “The staff at The Van Dusen was so helpful about everything throughout the whole process. Brides go into this a little bit blind and it’s very overwhelming. They did the cake, the catering, and helped with the planning. Whatever it was that we wanted, they said they would figure it out.”

One thing not provided by The Van Dusen: the drinks. That was taken care of by the bride’s father, 2 Gingers Whiskey tycoon Kieran Folliard. At the reception, the company’s signature “Big Ginger” cocktail was served—just one of the many homages to Vienna’s Irish heritage.

But it wasn’t just the family business that was included in the couple’s big day. Alex and Vienna wanted all of their guests to feel involved. “In the process of creating the wedding, we realized we had all of these wonderful, talented people with all of these wonderful things that they really wanted to contribute,” she says.

In fact, many elements of the wedding—from the favors and flowers to the photography—were contributed by close friends and family. “Literally, every single person that was at the wedding was a part of the ceremony. Everyone knew that they were part of this success.” While rewarding, it was also one of the most stressful parts of the planning process.

Helping Vienna to cope with the inevitable pressure that every bride feels at some point was her mother Betty. “She told me that I was the CEO of my wedding,” Vienna says. “Other people could give me advice and help me see good ideas, but I’m the boss. That can be the most stressful part, trying to make everyone happy and saying, ‘You know what? It’s me and him and we want advice, but we’re going to do what makes this our ceremony and our special time.’”

Wedding Date: September 2, 2012
Ceremony/Reception: The Van Dusen Mansion, Minneapolis
Photography: Laurie Schneider Photography
Bride’s Dress: The Wedding Shoppe
Groom’s Tux: Men’s Warehouse
Flowers: Jessica Blum
Hair and Makeup: Ivy Spa at Hotel Ivy
Food/Cake: Mintáhoe Catering (provided by The Van Dusen Mansion)
Drinks: 2 Gingers Whiskey, Crispin Cider, Finnegans Irish Amber, and Firestone Walker
Music: Adagio DJ, bagpiper
Videographer: Andrea Irwin