Lauren Larson met Tyler Kramer when they were just two 18-year-old college freshmen living in Chicago. “Our connection was immediate, there was always an undeniable attraction and draw to one another,” Lauren says. The pair remained friends until eight years later, when they met up and rekindled the flame. From there, they took a few big steps in their relationship — a year of long-distance dating, a move together to Detroit, a new home, a new puppy, and finally, a proposal.
Once the elated couple began thinking about their dream wedding, finding the right word to describe their style was easy: Simplicity. “I’m Swedish and I love undeniable beauty of clean, simple lines and subtle elegance that Scandinavian style brings,” Lauren says. They teamed up with Amy Rubins of Fete Perfection to find the perfect urban industrial space for their venue. The brick walls and high ceilings at The Solar Arts Building in Minneapolis turned out to be the perfect blank canvas for this couple’s big day. They invited 170 guests to share in the celebration on November 14, 2015. Lucky for us, we get to experience the romance through Matt Lien Photography's images, below.
Their programs, designed by Loops & Dots, featured an adorable image of the couple drawn by Carla Fahden of Color Me Carla, as did the couple’s invitations.
Lauren and her mother went to a couple of Minneapolis bridal salons before finding the one from Jenny Packham, a silk tank dress with an intricate beaded cap sleeved overlay. “I knew that traditional wasn’t for me, I wanted something that was dainty, easy to walk in and comfortable,” the bride says. She completed her look with a BHLDN veil, shoes by Nina, and earrings from Shopbop.
After coming across Jenny Yoo Collection's dresses online, Lauren fell in love with a ruffled v-neck style in dusty blue color — a look that she knew would be perfect for her bridesmaids. The chiffon gowns were paired with each 'maid's choice of accessories. “I really just wanted them all to feel pretty and I have to say, they all have great taste so it was easy!” In keeping with the couple’s neutral color scheme of whites and greens, Lauren and her bridesmaids carried bouquets of assorted white peonies and ranunculus with pops of green.
Tyler wore a custom gray suit from Hubert White, which he paired with Cole Haan shoes and a tie and pocket square from The Tie Bar. Groomsmen were given a swatch of gray fabric and asked to select a suit that matched the shade. The groom gifted them a few final touches — fun navy socks, ties and pocket squares.
The couple wanted their ceremony to feel cozy and intimate, so they adorned a vintage mantle with hundreds of candles and seeded eucalyptus, and hung a huge wreath above. It was important to them to personalize the ceremony as much as possible, so Lauren’s cousin, Kelly, was the officiant. The couple carefully selected readings and songs that were meaningful to their relationship, and they wrote their own personal vows. “We were both pretty nervous to say these words in front of those we love but it ended up being my favorite part of the evening,” Lauren shares.
The mother of the bride took on a few DIY projects for the big day, including creating birch sticks embellished with bells that guests were meant to ring after the ceremony. She also painted candle holders for the reception!
Andrea Thelen from Loops & Dots was brought in to do calligraphy for the name cards, written menu, seating chart, and schedule of the evening, which was displayed for guests to see at the reception.
When this couple made decisions on reception décor, it was all about setting the mood. They chose to have shared seating for guests at long rectangular tables topped with rich white linens adorned with tons of glowing candles and seeded eucalyptus.
The venue’s catering team was one of the big reasons why Lauren and Tyler chose the venue, and the food lived up to their expectations. Guests were served a kale caesar salad, followed by a choice of locally-raised bone-in chicken with poblano grits and roasted fennel, herb-rubbed sirloin steak with roasted vegetables and potato gratin, or farro risotto with kale, cauliflower, peas, and a soft poached egg.
They skipped the traditional wedding cake in favor of an assortment of desserts instead. Their dessert bar included pies shaped like the states of Minnesota and Michigan, caramel, pistachio, and vanilla macarons, tiramisu, and banana pudding trifle.
While bride Lauren originally hoped to have a band play at the reception, the couple ended up choosing DJ Kjell Nafstad with Flow Event Group. They were thrilled with the music selection, as the DJ played tons of motown, some 80s favorites, and more modern tunes. “We steered very clear of any cliche wedding songs. No cheese factor!” the bride says.
The couple continued to celebrate their union with a two week honeymoon in South Africa. There, they spent one week on safari and the other in Cape Town.
Since it was incredibly important to Lauren and Tyler to make their wedding personal to them, the bride’s advice to newly engaged couples is to “bite the bullet and write your vows!”
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Solar Arts Building
Wedding Planner: Fete Perfection
Hair & Makeup: Julie Swenson Beauty
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo Collection
Groom's Attire: Hubert White
Flowers: Flowers by Avice
Invitations: Color Me Carla
Other Paper Products: Loops & Dots
Cake & Desserts: Cocoa & Fig
Photographer: Matt Lien Photography