April 2019: Katie and Babak live in Chicago but planned a lovely spring wedding at Solar Arts in Northeast Minneapolis for their family and friends.
The festivities started out as many weddings do, with the rehearsal the evening before. With having so many out of town guests and a lot of details to keep track of, the family and wedding party were thankful for the mini timelines we hand out letting them know the hair and make up schedule, photo schedule, shuttle schedule and when they had to be where. Katie and Babak had two friends officiate the ceremony, so it was good to run through the motions and mechanics of how the ceremony would go and who had what job. Once we made sure everyone knew how it would go, the party headed off to 612 Brew for a fun, casual rehearsal dinner.
The ladies started the wedding day at the Renaissance Hotel in Minneapolis, where the crew from Primped were ready to glam them up for the big day. The guys took the more casual approach and made do with hanging out at an Airbnb with some takeout before starting to get ready. Photographer Carly Mac and Videographer Kirk from Northlandr Films arrived to catch the end of everyone getting ready and prepared to take Katie and Babak down to St. Anthony Main for their First Look. To let the florist have more time at Solar Arts to set up, I grabbed Babak’s boutonniere and the ladies’ bouquets and drove them over to where they were going to be taking photos. Have you ever been down to St. Anthony Main in the spring when it is finally a nice, beautiful day? Needless to say it was impossible to park so we all pulled over, I transferred flowers, and then got out of the way to let Carly and Kirk work their magic!
In keeping with the spring theme, the florals from HyVee – Brooklyn Park were fun, bright, fresh and just what was needed after a long, cold winter. They managed to create a perfect willow arch for the ceremony that Katie was delighted with, and many guests took the opportunity to pose under it before and after the ceremony. They used greenery swags for aisle decor, which we then transferred to other tables after the ceremony in order to get more use out of them.
Katie’s dress from BHLDN was an ivory with a patterned, almost silver overlay, while her ladies were just a shade off of white, with some slits that would make Angelina Jolie jealous! The guys were in classic black suits from Calvin Klein, with ties that matched the bridesmaids dresses. Babak chose to stand out by going for the bowtie over a necktie.
The group got to Solar Arts, took a little break (we like to build those into the timeline if we can) and got the family photos done just as guests started arriving from the Eclipse Transportation shuttle that had picked them up the hotel. The 30 minutes before the ceremony can be the most chaotic, so we made sure to have the wedding party and any family who were processing down the aisle back behind the curtain at Solar Arts before most of the guests arrived. Things were all going well, Harp by Denise was playing lovely pre-ceremony music and we were just about ready to go. I looked out and saw that there was a guest at the back who was very obviously going to ignore the Unplugged Ceremony sign. After a quick chat, his phone was put away and we were ready to get the ceremony started…except right at the last minute, Katie’s grandmother who was in the front row needed to use the restroom. Oh well, nature calls and Katie didn’t want her grandmother to miss her coming down the aisle, so we held until she came back. That’s why we usually slot 30 minutes for the ceremony, even when we know it won’t be that long; we were still on track to the start the cocktail hour on time!
Post-ceremony, the Chowgirls staff made quick work of clearing the ceremony space to reset it for cocktail hour and eventually the dance. We gathered up programs, got the aisle swags to their correct places in the reception area, took the bouquets from the ladies and got them on the head table, and made sure Katie and Babak got to take a few minutes to themselves before joining their guests. At the end of the social time, we had Katie and Babak cut their amazing cake from Chowgirls, which not only tasted delicious but was also exactly the flavor they wanted: Funfetti!
Katie and Babak made their entrance, and Babak decided he wanted to do their thank you right away as a welcome. What followed was of course an amazing salad and dinner from Chowgirls, then a champagne pour for toasts (pro tip – only have them do a half pour in each glass as not everyone drinks champagne; less waste!) and some very moving speeches by their parents and wedding party. We then sent Katie and Babak out for sunset photos with Carly and Kirk. During their toast, Babak’s parents talked about his love of trains as a child. Do you know what happens to be right next to Solar Arts? Train tracks!! We definitely had to capture some footage of them by one of the cars to make it come full circle.
Before they went out for sunset photos, Katie changed her dress, because when they came back to get the party started with the DJ from Bellagala, they surprised everyone with a choreographed dance. This was much to the delight of their guests, who described it as “very out of character for them to do”. We were so glad we could help them surprise their guests this way and encouraged them all to go over to the dance area for it. It’s good to add in a little something unexpected for guests, which will help them remember Katie and Babak’s wedding for a long time to come. We know we will!
Ceremony and Reception: Solar Arts
Catering and Desserts: Chowgirls
Photography: Carly Mac Photography
Videography: Northlandr Films
Floral: HyVee Brooklyn Park
Harpist: Harp by Denise
Hair and Makeup: Primped
Guest Transportation: Eclipse Transportation
Menswear: Calvin Klein
Rings: Arthur’s Jewelers
Hotel: Renaissance Minneapolis – The Depot
Coordination: Keyed Up Events (Dana and AJ)
Also, watch their amazing wedding video!
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Content from Keyed Up Events, a Minneapolis Wedding Planner