Kristie and Ben: A Red, White and Blue Affair

by Kerry on March 3, 2011

I have been dying to share this gorgeous wedding with you!  Not only are Kristie and Ben dear friends of mine, but their wedding was one of my favorites I have ever attended, ever! All the details were just perfect and I especially loved the bride and grooms arrival via boat, the “wunder bar”, the fireworks painted on Kristie’s toes and the fun star shaped sparklers!  Below are a few pictures from their amazing day and a description from the Bride herself! 

We were married at St. Jude of the Lake Catholic Church, a small church with stained glass windows. We joined the parish shortly after getting engaged and loved the quaint feel of the parish and the friendliness of the parishioners.  I asked my mom to play the piano at our wedding and we had two soloists Brian and Kim who were absolutely fabulous (Brian is a professional tenor singer at the Minnesota Opera)! 
I was determined not to wear a strapless gown for my wedding even though every bridal magazine that I flipped through primarily showcased strapless gowns.  So on a Friday evening my mom, sister and I stopped into a lovely boutique only to find all of the gowns were strapless.  I immediately frowned and said, “Next store” but before we could leave the in-house seamstress, Carmelle, stepped in and shared her vision, “Kristie, We can always add straps!”  I started laughing and remarked, “Now, why hadn’t I thought of that before.” I was definitely not thinking outside the box and Carmelle opened the door for possibility!
 In terms of bridesmaid dresses my only request was that they were blue. After that, they decided on a full-length strapless chiffon dress. It had originally included a bow on one side, but I had all of the girls remove it and we used it for the bows around the flower girls dresses that had tiers of soft tulle and a rich satin bodice.  The Ring Bearer’s wore patchwork madras shoes (they were so cute I wish I had a pair) and changed into t-shirts at the reception to run around by the lake.  The t-shirts were made my friend Kendra and featured the word “ring” on the top and then an image of a bear underneath which was the result of the my nephew telling people he was the “Ring Bear” when asked by friends if he was playing a part in my wedding!  They carried ring bearer pillows with sailboats on them handmade by my sister.
After the ceremony the bridal party rode trolley to take pictures at the gazebo where the groom proposed and to visit a local bar.  From there everyone boarded a pontoon boat that usher graciously loaned us to boat across the lake to make our grand entrance into our reception. (If the guests hadn’t been waiting, I could’ve easily stayed on the boat all evening-it was pure heaven.)

Our reception was held at Ben’s Aunt and Uncle’s home on White Bear Lake which is located on the previous site of Ben’s grandparent’s home so the location of the reception was very special to us.  They had planted red and white snapdragons that were in bloom by our special day and the timing could not have been more perfect!  I purchased “monkey knot” tablecloth weights to use on the cocktail tables and my mom and I picked out sturdy cloth from a fabric store that after she hemmed we topped with colorful wooden/glass buoys I picked up while on vacation in Sanibel.
Our idea for the tables was that they would be themed after lakes that meant something to us. We made the buoys out of salvaged wood and painted them a variety of nautical colors. I wrote individual stories for each table and my friend designed the cards that featured the lakes.  I purchased fishing net and cut into squares for the buoys to sit on top of with white candles in glass jars and finished it off with the perfect red napkins – it was simple, but sweet!

Ben’s family has a tradition of serving beverages from the Altstatt “Wunder Bar” at family celebrations. Our wedding was no exception! On the day before the wedding, Ben’s cousin added my name to the masterpiece!  We hired two of Ben’s co-workers as bartenders and had them wear Hawaiian shirts with khaki shorts – they were too cute!  We served the Flying Dutchman (Tanquerey Gin and Triple Sec) as our signature cocktail and I even found a cute story about the Flying Dutchman to put on the drink menu for the guests to ponder.  We also offered a non-alcoholic signature cocktail, an Arnie Palmer that was served out of three large drink dispensers wish signs that read: “Scuttlebutt”, which I learned meant, “to serve water” in nautical terminology. The Arnies were served in plastic cups with a boat logo that matched the logo on our invites.  Of course then we had to serve Michelob Golden Light, the groom’s favorite as well as a classic Minnesota beer and a variety of wines that were selected during a wine tasting we hosted earlier in the year.
After drinking all of our delicious cocktails we didn’t want all of the guests trampling through the residence, so we decided to rent what Minnesotans call “biffys” for our guests to use. To make them appear a bit friendlier, I create wooden signs that read “Outboard” and “Inboard” for the male and female guests and featured fun facts about Minnesota on the inside of them.

Other Fun Details
  • For guests staying at a nearby hotel, Ben and I put together galvanized buckets with summer goodies – including sunscreen, bug spray, and the July issue of the magazine I work for, Mpls.St.Paul Magazine.
  • Since we had 13 little ones under the age of 7 at our reception, we decided to put up a “Kids Tent” with activities. We placed a picnic table underneath the tent and provided activities including coloring, necklace making, bubbles and a game of “bags”.
  • Once we decided that we were going to have a nautical themed wedding, the flowers were an easy process. I wanted an all red bouquet of roses and my girls would have white roses and each bouquet would have white rope wrapped around the bottom.  Ben works at the family spring business so I asked him to make me springs to use for the boutonnieres. It was a super cute touch and I was so excited that we could incorporate his daily passion into our day!
  • In lieu of a traditional guest book, I purchased two antique oars and painted them white and had our guests sign the oars, which we have on display in our home today along with the “My Favorite Lake” cards our guests filled out at the reception.
  • Escort cards were displayed on a piece of plywood was covered with a nautical fabric. We incorporated springs from Ben’s business by screwing them into the board and using the end as the holder for the cards. It turned out perfect!
  • For traditions sake we had a nautical-themed wedding cake for pictures but the real dessert was our favorite – key lime tarts with a dollop of whipped cream, raspberries, blueberries and key lime zest on top!  Yum!
  • We provided star-shaped sparklers to our guests to light before the dancing began! It was a great picture opportunity for our photographer!
  • Finally, the thank you cards were very important to me – not just writing a quick note, but making it meaningful…really showing that you appreciate the gift, their company and friendship.   I had Deanna design a 4 x 6 flat note card with 4 photos from the wedding. I rolled it up, tied it with tan rope and slipped it into a plastic bottle– our very own message in a bottle. I printed white labels with our guest’s names and used 5 “white bear” postcard stamps to mail. It was a fabulous closing on our beautiful wedding! We even received 2 thank you notes from our thank you note – how fun!
(A note from the Bride: “In true Minnesotan fashion we chose vendors that were either close friends or referrals from friends.”)
Hair and Makeup Stylist: Juut Salon
Photographer: Bluebird Portraits, Crystal Dobson
Videographer: Nelson Hill
Calligraphy: Rosann Konieczny
Groom’s Attire: Savvi Formalwear
Music: Tony Liebetrau, Red Shoe LA
Rental Company: Ultimate Events
Caterer: Randi Blumenberg, private caterer from New York
Groomsmen Nautical Ties: Macy’s
Church: St. Jude of the Lake Catholic Church 
Dessert: Sweets by Natalie Kay
Transportation: Twin City Trolleys
Invitations: Dude + Chick  
Ring Bearer Shoes: Morgan and Milo
Bridesmaid Dresses: Dessy purchased at Flutter Boutique
Flower Girl Dresses: Chasing Fireflies
Knot Tablecloth Weights: Art and Artifact
Sparklers: Fountain Candles
Florist: Linden Hills Florist
Drink Dispensers: Pottery Barn
Wedding Gown: Paloma Blanca purchased at Raffine Bridal
Lace Bridal Gown Straps: Carmelle Elizabeth She was by far my favorite vendor to work with – always cheerful, eager to please and a vision for beauty!
Biffys: On-Site Sanitation
Springs: Western Spring Manufacturing
Printed Project Design: Deanna Stewart of D Lynn Desgin The printed piece design was crucial to the wedding for me – it solidified the look and feel for our guests
Thank you Card Bottles: E-Bottles

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Keri March 3, 2011 at 7:44 pm

GORGEOUS! Right down to every little detail….such a thoughtfully-coordinated day! Congrats Kristie and Ben!


Justin March 6, 2011 at 4:12 pm

wish i couldve been their to see the fabulous event but the pix are grt! continue to enjoy thew honeymoon…lol


Kathy Mahaney (Kristie's mom) March 7, 2011 at 12:54 am

Hi Keri,
It’s been 8 months since the wedding and I just relived every speciall minute. Thanks for being such a great friend to Kristie. By the way, you were a hottie at the wedding!!


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