Timeless touches fill a December wedding with romance and style

With visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads, Alison and Steve, who tied the knot on December 10, gave their wedding a classic Christmas flair. A light dusting of snow blanketed Minneapolis that day—just enough to provide a pristine backdrop for the pair's nuptials.

By 4 p.m., dusk had set in, and ceremony candles flickered throughout the century-old Bethlehem Lutheran Church, lending a warm glow to the stained glass windows and stone walls, and to the young faces of the Metropolitan Boys Choir, which serenaded the 180 guests with the Christmas tune "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year."

After their vows, Alison and Steve were off to the Columbia Golf Manor, a reception hall built in the 1920s, featuring architectural details that dovetailed perfectly with Alison and Steve's fantasy. "It wasn't just another ballroom—it had so much charm," recalls the bride, who fell in love with the cedar garland-flanked fireplace, exposed wood beams and French doors leading out to a romantic white porch. After an elegant yet homey seated dinner of pecan-crusted beef tenderloin and garlic potatoes, they cut the cake: a pure, white French vanilla confection, light on trendy flavorings and designs but rich in traditional good taste. Just like the couple themselves. —Hillary Quinn

Our Favorite Things

Oh Christmas Tree: When guests entered the reception, they were greeted by the sight of a fresh fir that Alison's dad had cut down himself from the farm neighboring their family cabin.

A Mary Poppins Moment: Alison worked as a nanny for five years, so it was only fitting that the couple had children stand in as bridal attendants. Eight of them—including five of her former charges—walked down the aisle in pairs, carrying pomanders fashioned from garden roses.

Parisian Pop: While guests sipped champagne and mingled during the cocktail hour, an accordionist played French musette—waltz music that dates back to the 1800s.

Alison’s "something borrowed"—a fur stole that a friend’s mom had worn at her own wedding in the 1940s—came in handy on the snowy winter’s eve.

Location: Minneapolis, MN