Lauren Berg and Dillon Donovan aren't quite sure when or how they met. "I went to an all-girls high school, and he went to our all-boys brother school," says the bride. "It happened some time in high school, that's all we know!" During the summer of 2004, the friends became a couple, dating through college and on until January of 2013, when Dillon brought Lauren breakfast in bed — flowers, breakfast...and a gleaming ring! "We called our families, then turned off our phones and spent the day having lunch at our favorite diner, then heading to a hotel in Chicago to celebrate with our friends," Lauren says.
The couple, who grew up in St. Paul, returned to their hometown to celebrate their wedding, taking advantage of what both of the Twin Cities have to offer. Sarah Trotter of Lasting Impressions helped create the couple's polished but not stuffy celebration, and Laura Ivanova took the fantastic photographs. Keep reading to see them!
The invitation suite, by Magnificent Milestones, included a customized logo and banner motif. "It introduced our guests to the romantic but untraditional vibe," says Lauren.
The bride chose a gown that was both timeless and romantic, opting for a Christos A-line gown with an illusion neckline, lace short sleeves, and a sheer back. She wore a bracelet designed by her mother and carried a colorful bouquet of garden roses and ranunculus, accented with dusty miller.
Lauren's bridesmaids wore mismatched dresses from J.Crew in light pink, coral, and grey, and carried smaller versions of the bride's bouquet with an extra dose of dusty miller.
As guests arrived at the ceremony they received programs tied with vintage handkerchiefs. "My mom scoured eBay and antique stores for them. I'm a crier, so I wanted to make sure every guest had one just in case!" Lauren says. Though the couple's original church fell through ("It was double booked — they thought we wanted September 13th of 2014, not 2013!" says the bride), their ceremony venue ended up being better than expected. "You can't book the Our Lady of Victory Chapel at St. Catherine University unless you're a student or alumni, but a family friend connected us," she explains.
The bride and groom left the church in a vintage car — but it was no rental. "We borrowed my grandpa's old Model-A. It was incredible to drive it through the city and revel in the fact that we were married," says Lauren.
During cocktail hour, guests drank local Bent Paddle Brewery beers and wrote advice for the couple on letterpressed coasters.
"I cried when I saw the reception for the first time," says Lauren. "The lanterns strung from the ceiling were just stunning."
A wooden farm table for 30 ran down the middle of the space, topped with a pink runner, low garden rose and ranunculus arrangements, and a bevy of votive candles.
Succulents and dusty miller added a touch of grey to the arrangements, matching the bridesmaids' dresses. "We opted for collections of arrangements and candles to play up the romantic vibe."
Who needs cake when you've got donuts? The dessert table featured cake platters towering with the frosted confections. "The best part was that our planner got them at a local grocery store," says Lauren.
After the first dance to "Then" by Brad Paisley, guests flooded the dance floor as the live band played. As a final nod to how it all began, Dillon and Lauren served guests late night pizza from Davanni's, the Twin Cities restaurant where they had their first date! "It meant so much to us to commit to each other nine years after we started dating. There was so much love in the room," says the bride.
Ceremony Venue: Our Lady of Victory Chapel at St. Catherine University || Reception Venue: Aria || Wedding Planner: Lasting Impressions || Bride's Wedding Dress: Christos, from Belle Vie Bridal Couture || Shoes: Christian Louboutin || Jewelry: Jenny B. Jewels || Hair & Makeup: Emily J. || Bridesmaids' & Flower Girls' Dresses: J.Crew || Groom, Groomsmen & Ring bearer's Attire: Black by Vera Wang || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Levy Creations || Florist: Martha's Gardens || Invitations & Paper Goods: Magnificent Milestones || Music: ceremony - Lake String Quartet, reception - Synergy || Catering: The Deco Catering || Craft Beer: Bent Paddle Brewing Co.