Where to begin with this incredible wedding feature… Timed perfectly with the beautiful autumn leaves in the trees, Alex and Adam’s ballroom wedding was nothing short of fantastic. With a perfect balance of tradition and the latest styles, the bride beautifully shaped her wedding to meet the classic expectations of a ballroom wedding, while still maintaining the more recent fads in flowers, details, and of course- invitations. We were honored to create the paper materials including the invitations, a details booklet, programs, matchboxes, table numbers, menus, and place cards. Starting from scratch with a custom design, the bride’s beautiful vision took shape in a ribbon-threaded invite with cotton paper and letterpress printing.
The gorgeous images were captured by Stephen Seebeck Photography, and the bride included the wedding as well. Enjoy!
How did the couple meet?
Adam and I met in 2005 over Christmas break. We were essentially set up on a blind date and hit it off right away. Adam had come home, to Saint Louis, from the United States Military Academy at West Point, for the Christmas holiday. He had just over 2 weeks before he was to return to West Point for the next semester. He had asked my very good friend and bridesmaid Heather the month before to find a date for him to take to the annual All Academy Military Ball for Service Academy (United States Military Academy at West Point, United States Naval Academy, United States Air Force Academy, and United States Coast Guard Academy) Cadets and Graduates, held annually in Saint Louis. We had both heard wonderful things about each other and we decided to meet about a week before the ball so we could get to know each other, before the dance. The night we met was amazing. We had planned on watching a movie with friends and spent most of the movie trying to find a way to talk. After the movie was over we stayed up most of the night talking and laughing. He called the next day to set up a date for the following evening and we have been together ever since.
How did the groom propose?
Adam was deployed to Iraq from May of 2009 until May of 2010. Adam planned his mid tour leave for the end of November 2009. He had been away for nearly 7 months so it was a very emotional and wonderful time. Adam proposed three days into his R&R home from Iraq. It was a complete and total surprise to me because we had been almost attached at the hip since he arrived home that I didn’t think he had any time to get a ring. Little did I know he had been corresponding with a family jeweler while he was in Iraq. I had also gone into that same jewelry store and found a ring that I loved. When I told the jeweler that my boyfriend was in Iraq and that he had a relationship with the store owner, he knew right away that he needed to tell Adam about the ring I fell in love with. So from Iraq Adam purchased the ring. He picked up the ring the one time we were not together while he was home on R&R. He had planned a romantic getaway for the two of us, in Hermann, Missouri. A quiet little German town filled with wonderful little wineries. Adam chose a wonderful bed and breakfast cottage that rests on the Missouri River Bluffs. The location was absolutely gorgeous, yet cold being the second of December. As soon as we arrived at the cottage we dropped our bags and he wanted to explore the property. He took me down a little hill away from the cottages where there was a gazebo that overlooked the Missouri River. I saw there was a table setup with flowers and a bottle of Champagne on ice. He took my hand and walked me to the center of the gazebo where he spoke about all that we had been through the four years before and asked me on bended knee to marry him. I of course said YES! It was a truly romantic and wonderful experience. We still laugh because of how cold it was and how we ran up to the cottage about five minutes later to warm up.
How did the bride and groom choose their venues?
The venues were simple to choose, Adam was not too concerned about where we got married as long as we did, and that I was happy. And with Adam heading back to Iraq for the last half of his deployment the wedding details were left up to me and my mom. We choose Saint Anthony of Padua church not only for it’s unbelievable beauty with all the artwork, and stained glass windows. But because that is the parish my mother grew up in and my grandparents still belong to. It is the church I was baptized in and where Adam’s grandmother use to attend church. The Missouri Athletic Club was another easy choice for me, I along with my two sisters use to go to the MAC with my father for the annual Father/Daughter dance held downtown. Ever since I was a little girl I knew that is where I would want my wedding reception to be held. The MAC ballroom is gorgeous and holds so many special memories from throughout my life.
What special touches did you add to your wedding?
We wanted to keep our wedding fairly traditional with a very romantic feel. We included many military touches to incorporate my husband’s service and our lives together. Not only did the military men where their uniforms but we also utilized the saber ceremony which set our wedding apart from a traditional wedding. The saber ceremony is held outside following the ceremony and welcomes Adam and myself in to the Army as a couple. The soldiers hold the sabers high for the bride and groom to pass through. It was amazing for us and for our families, I am so happy that we have that memory. We cut the wedding cake with Adam’s saber which was rather tricky but also unique. We presented our guests with Christopher Radko patriotic Christmas ornaments as their favors. I wanted to use ornaments as our favors because of the November 20th wedding date. I figured that was fitting because most people put up their Christmas tree the next weekend following Thanksgiving.
The florist at Artistry helped with many details of our big day such as helping with the favors which were wrapped in gorgeous gold wrapping paper and tied with sheer gold ribbon. We used ornate table linens from Sitting Pretty/Party Arts which were a very beautiful ivory/gold damask print, and the chairs were also brought in to the venue to match the linens. We had gold votives on the table and votives hanging from our tall floral arrangements which made the room glow. The cake table was adorned with vintage inspired brooches that held the sheer overlay swags.
The most custom detail of our wedding were the invitations, menu cards, escort cards, and match boxes (to go along with the cigar bar) which came from The Tie That Binds. I gave her my idea of what I wanted the wedding invitation to look like and she ran with it. We corresponded through email and sent samples through the mail as she does with a lot of her clients, and every piece of material turned out beautifully. I love having a completely custom invite that is solely tied to our wedding and completely unique to us. Going with an independent designer meant that whatever Adam and I wanted, she could do. There were no restrictions on fonts, color choices, ribbon choices, size or shape. She did a remarkable job on our custom letter pressed pieces. She even created custom door hangers. Each guest staying at the hotel after the wedding received a door hanger upon check in that said: Please do not disturb, We partied all night at Alex & Adam’s Wedding. With toasting flutes pictured in the center. Such a fun idea!
Describe any snafus?
The biggest snafu we encountered was planning a wedding while the groom was deployed to Iraq. Trying to coordinate dates proved to be difficult. Once we finally decided on a date that worked for the MAC and Saint Anthony of Padua we thought we were in the clear. We had chosen March 5, 2011. I along with my mom had booked the venues, the florist, and the photographer. Then we found out the Adam’s brother Gregg would be deploying to Afghanistan in May of 2010. And March 2011 wedding would make it impossible for Gregg to make it home for the wedding. This was heartbreaking for all of us especially Adam and I, Gregg and Adam’s mom Karen. After learning this news I made the decision that this simply would not do and that we would have to change the wedding date. Adam’s father passed away 3 years earlier and I could not imagine him and his family missing another family member at our wedding it just didn’t seem right. Luckily we were able to switch all the venues and the florist to the date in November, and it was more likely that Gregg would be able to make it home at that time on his R&R from Afghanistan. The only item that we were unable to keep the same was the photographer but he recommended Stephen Seebeck who turned out to be incredible and truly a perfect fit for us. We could not have been happier with his work. Gregg was able to schedule his R&R time during our wedding so it all worked out beautifully.
Did you carry or wear anything of special significance?
I wore my mothers garter from her and my father’s wedding. Adam wore his late father John’s watch which he also wore on his wedding day.
Describe a memorable moment during the wedding ceremony.
Right after the ceremony we all went outside for a traditional military ceremony known as the Arch of Sabers ceremony. Adam and I really wanted to incorporate the military aspect into our wedding because it is not only the reason we met but it is such a large part of our life. We were so ecstatic to finally be husband and wife it felt wonderful to open the enormous church doors and see Adam’s best friends lined up on the steps of the church, all in uniform, with the sabers held high in the air for us to pass through, and all of our family and friends at the bottoms of the steps there to greet us. As we passed through and the ceremony welcoming me and the two of us as a newly married couple into the army the best man Andrew and another saber bearer crossed their sabers in front of Adam and I and asked for a kiss from the bride, everyone cheered and then we were allowed to pass and the best man gently tapped my behind which is part of the tradition. That is a moment we will never forget.