Anne and David in Minneapolis, MN

Strokes of sentimentality blend with understated style at these nuptials

Showing warmth and appreciation was a priority for Anne and David, who expected more than 200 guests for their Minneapolis nuptials last August, many traveling from as far as Israel and Singapore. They put a focus on family and friends—"people who made us who we are, so we could come together," Anne says. To start, the two included a personal note in every welcome bag for out-of-town guests, and Anne's mother, a United Methodist minister, co-officiated their Jewish-Christian ceremony on a terrace at the Walker Art Center.

At the low-key, elegant reception that followed at the Minneapolis Club, guests sat at tables topped with ivory linens and loose arrangements of lilacs, sunflowers and other summery blooms, from Martha's Gardens of Saint Paul, MN. Laura Hotvet of Minneapolis-based Mother of the Bride, who planned the party, had also helped the two create a menu of sustainable foods, so the crowd nibbled on wild-mushroom brochettes, organic beef tenderloin and more. Anne and David, self-described bad dancers, happily showed off the results of weeks of waltz classes in their first dance, to "It's Only Time" by Magnetic Fields—and more dancing and dessert (a chocolate-and-vanilla-checkered cake) rounded out the evening. A final reflection of the couple's motif of love and generosity was seen in their gift registry: They requested donations to their favorite charities. —Jackie Attwood-Dupont

Learn from Anne and David

Embrace Each Other's Customs: To honor her groom's heritage, Anne learned to write her name in Hebrew for the Jewish Ketubah-signing ceremony which took place just before their interfaith wedding service.

Make Your Guest Book Visual: Instead of having guests record their good wishes on paper, the couple opted for a photo booth and invited all to sign their pictures. Lively entries from the youngest guests were their favorites.

Be Eco-Friendly: Anne and David hoped to minimize any pollution that could occur from their wedding, so they suggested their guests take the light-rail from the airport, selected venues for their wedding-weekend events within close range of the hotels, and coordinated group transportation around town.

At their ceremony, a poem read by a friend emphasized the rewards of close bonds, and a statement in their program honored the relationships of their gay and lesbian friends unable to have legal marriages.