An Intimate Fall Wedding at the Sunken Garden in St. Paul, MN

Real Weddings

Marriage is a partnership based on trust and support, and Kate and Jeff, both 33, knew they could rely on one another long before their walk down the aisle. The duo met at a rock climbing gym in 2008, soon becoming climbing partners and friends. The time they spent supporting and encouraging one another during climbs helped turn their friendship into something even more special.

This adventurous couple loves to travel, and in 2011 they went on a romantic vacation to Venice, Italy. After wandering around the city for a few days, they took a day trip to Burano to explore the colorful streets. Before heading to the ferry to return to the heart of Venice, Jeff and Kate sat in a little park along a canal. In the late afternoon sun, they discussed their future travel plans and all of the exciting things life has in store for them, and Jeff surprised Kate by getting down on one knee and proposing. A year and a half later, on September 22, 2012, they invited 30 friends and family members for a charming, intimate wedding celebration in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Vintage three-strand pearl necklace.

Kate chose a lace fit-and-flare dress by Robert Bullock, complete with a row of buttons down the back. She accessorized with a handmade sash, simple tulle veil, and a vintage pearl necklace. She chose the dress because "it was the right combination of simple and delicate, with a slight vintage feel," says the bride.

White satin flats with rosettes kept Kate comfortable all day.

Kate's handmade belt featured a chiffon flower with tiny pearl beads. She accentuated her gown's sweetheart neckline with 3 strands of vintage pearls.

The bride's vibrant bouquet included roses and ranunculus buds in pink, orange, white, and yellow. Green succulents gave the bouquet some structure.

Jeff wore a black three-piece suit, which he paired with a bold blue tie. Because there were only 30 guests at the wedding, they chose to forgo a wedding party and instead invite a few friends and family members to participate in the ceremony.

Wedding ceremony at the Sunken Garden at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory.

The Sunken Garden at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory was a place that Kate had loved since she was a little girl, so it was an easy choice for the ceremony. The open, airy room and beautiful flowers create a feeling of romance and calm, perfect for a wedding!

In Kate's words, "The ceremony was a whirlwind, but once the guests left the conservatory, my new husband and I spent about 30 minutes there alone, drinking in all that had just happened. It was amazing to have that quiet time together after such a busy, emotion-filled day."

Kate is a graphic designer, so she designed and printed the invitations, place cards, menu, and table numbers herself.

Wedding reception at W.A. Frost restaurant in St. Paul, MN.

The couple chose to have an intimate reception at W.A. Frost, one of their favorite restaurants. The cozy ambiance was ideal, and the staff made sure every detail was taken care of. Soft candlelight and beautiful flowers set the mood.

In addition to creating all of the paper goods for the wedding, Kate arranged the pink, white, and orange flowers in milk glass vases for the reception.

W.A. Frost restaurant wedding reception décor.

The couple skipped a traditional guest book and instead invited guests to leave them notes and well-wishes.

Having a small guest list allowed Jeff and Kate to spend the evening talking and celebrating with every single person they'd invited. They skipped the entertainment, focusing on delicious food and great company. Says Kate, "It shows that you don't need a big production to have a successful and memorable reception!"

While everything went smoothly in the end, Kate does wish she'd hired a day-of coordinator to handle the details. "Our wedding day was absolutely lovely, but it wasn't without a few minor hiccups," says Kate. "Having that person there as a buffer will take some stress away from your day so you can enjoy every moment."

Ceremony Venue: The Sunken Garden at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory || Reception Venue: W.A. Frost & Company || Bride's Wedding Dress: Robert Bullock at Che Bella || Veil, Sash & Jewelry: Che Bella || Hair & Makeup: Juut Salon || Wedding Bands: Blue Nile || Officiant: Reverend Bill Albertson || Ceremony Music: Laurie Leigh || Invitations & Paper Goods: Kate Siebert Design || Catering: W.A. Frost & Company || Cake: Sweet Retreat Cupcake Boutique || Photography: Amy Majors Photography

—Jaimie Schoen

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