In a sea of millions, Alexis and Ryan found each other on Match.com. Just eight days after discovering each other's profiles, the pair shared their first date. Two years later, Ryan proposed, and the couple began planning a plum-themed wedding in Minneapolis' historic Warehouse District. "I have always loved the rich jewel tones of fall," the bride explains, "and knew that would be my decorating inspiration."
A pair of plum peep toe stilettos were the bride's go-to wedding accessory. Purchased years before she was engaged, Alexis still knew "knew these would be the shoes I would wear walking down the aisle." The bride bedazzled their soles with a glittering I do.
The purple pumps set the tone for the couple's wedding palette, from bridesmaids dresses to bouquets.
By snagging the last open Friday at Aria—a whimsical wedding venue and the former home of Theatre de la Jeune Lune, a company "known for its rich and innovative style," according to the website— the couple sealed their wedding date as October 26, 2012.
Alexis never pictured herself in a strapless dress. But when she spotted a beaded and embroidered beauty at Angelique's Bridal Salon, she fell in love. "I felt beautiful in it," Alexis says.
Photos: Carissa Christine Photography
The dress was only the fourth the bride tried on, "but I knew it was the one when the salon attendant put the long veil in my hair and we all got tears in our eyes," Alexis says. The bride purchased her cathedral-length veil on eBay.
The bride's something old? A handkerchief from the groom's family—one his sister carried on her own wedding day. "Getting to carry that hankie down the aisle felt like an unspoken 'welcome to our family,'" Alexis explains, "and it meant the world to me."
Alexis' bouquet burst with vibrant orange roses, purple violets, green dianthus and yellow Billy balls. "It was so unique and beautiful," the bride says of the bouquet, which was wrapped in ivory satin ribbon.
A bright Billy ball took center stage in Ryan's boutonniere, flanked by violets and wrapped in eggplant-colored ribbon.
Bridesmaids carried bouquets of purple blooms and yellow Billy balls, and wore one of two styles of plum-colored dresses from David's Bridal.
A three-year-old flower girl donned a plum-colored tutu and ballet flats for the big day, proudly declaring "I'm a princess" to anyone who would listen, the bride recalls.
Alexis and Ryan exchanged handwritten vows in front of 200 guests, promising to celebrate life's joys and endure its hardships together. "I cried through it all," the bride confesses. "I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful ceremony."
Two poems were read during the ceremony—Roy Croft's Love, the bride's favorite poem, and an original writing by a friend. "It was beautiful," Alexis recalls.
Do-it-yourself centerpieces of cylindrical vases tied in gold ribbon topped banquet-style tables at the couple's reception. Purple up-lighting lent drama to Aria's stone walls and wood beams.
In place of table numbers, the couple chose table names. The locales, which included Aria, "meant something to us," Alexis explains.
A seated dinner included salad, brown sugar-brined chicken breasts, organic vegetables and "the best mashed potatoes ever," the bride says.
Alexis and Ryan topped their simple white cake with a capital A to represent their married monogram.
Alexis traded her peep toe pumps for TOMS when she hit the dance floor.
The couple swayed to Ben Fold's The Luckiest. Guests also enjoyed a photo booth as added entertainment.
Guests who crowded the dance floor shouted a collective "One more song," the bride says, as the DJ announced the night had come to a close. "It was a wonderful evening," she says. "We wouldn't have changed a single thing."
Ceremony Venue: Aria || Reception Venue: Aria || Bride's Wedding Dress: Angelique's Bridal Salon || Bride's Veil: eBay || Bride's Wedding Ring: Bergstrom Jewelers || Groom's Tux: Savvi Formalwear || Groom's Wedding Ring: Bergstrom Jewelers || Bridesmaids' Dresses: David's Bridal || Groomsmen Attire: Savvi Formalwear || Flower Girl Dress: Ella Boo Couture || Florist: Designs by Kathryn || Caterer: Chowgirls Killer Catering || Stationery: Michael's || Cake Baker: Costco || Entertainment: Bellagala || Videography: Love Music Art Media Productions || Photography: Carissa Christine Photography