Have you ever assisted to a wedding which level is far above many other weddings? When you have the feeling to be in another dimension of time, and you just forget that it’s actually a wedding reception? I believe that’s the sign of a successful event. Well, this enchanting and elegant wedding is one of those rare pearls!
So, after covering Emily and Dustin engagement session on two historical locations in Saint Paul (the Capitol and the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary), I was delighted to meet this couple again for their wedding at the Saint Paul Athletic Club. Be ready, it’s one of the most memorable weddings of the season in a unique wedding venue! It’s incredible how everything, in every detail from the floor to the ceiling was enchanting and how the talented couple managed to pull all these element together!
- Photos of the groom getting ready for his wedding at the Saint Paul Athletic Club
- The Bride Getting Ready
- First look at the Athletic Club, Saint Paul, MN
- Bridal Party Pictures in the Club Lobby
- Couple Session in Saint Paul MN
- Wedding Ceremony With a Special Officiant
- Saint Paul Athletic Club a neoclassical building, joy for a Minneapolis wedding photographer
- Celebrate Your Wedding at the Saint Paul Athletic Club
- A real party in a stunning wedding event
The groom was getting ready with his best man at the 340 Hotel in Saint Paul Downtown, which has a partnership with the Saint Paul Athletic Club. And for those who wonder, the name is coming from the address: 340 Cedar Street, Saint Paul, MN.
I can’t say the room was huge, especially because I shared it with the great videographer Jorge and his wife, but it was a nice room. Sun rays were coming through the windows and it offered a scenic overlooking view on Saint Paul Downtown. Actually, it was the best man’s room, who was also the officiant! It is kind of cool to be married by your best friend, isn’t it!
The old furniture in dark wood and the canvas created a vintage style; I liked it. It was really about the spirit of an old club. Then, the groomsmen arrived and helped the groom to get dressed. The groom elegant tailor-made suit came from Indochino.
I took some shots of his brown leather shoe details (Florsheim), his belt, the Michael Kors watch, the cufflinks and his funny socks.
An impeccable gift
Once all done, the groom seated and he opened the bride’s gift to him: some hiking shoes and a note. So when he read the letter, it was a strong and emotional moment. And it’s precisely these moments that I like during the getting ready. The natural light coming from the windows created a dramatic lighting effect.
The bride was getting ready in Saint Paul MN. She turned her new renovated home into a bridal suite that accommodated all her bridesmaids and family members. She was surrounded by all her beloved ones. Of course, it was crowded but there were only joyful interactions and excitations. In the air, you could fill these same good vibes you have during Christmas when all your family is gathered!
The bride had her hair and make-up done by Creative Beaute Agency: (www.creativebeauteagency.com). To capture the details, I borrowed the elegant golden dress from The Wedding Shoppe: the shoes, the wedding rings (from Blue Nile), and other jewels and brought them outside for a better lighting.
Then the bride opened her gift and had the first look with her father.
It’s in the yoga room of the Athletic Club that we planned the first look between the husband and wife-to-be. It worked pretty well. The huge arched windows, the decoration of the ceiling and the stunning wood floor created a unique and spectacular backdrop, which helped me to picture perfectly the love between those two.
The lobby is one of the centerpieces of this wedding reception venue. It is the kind of reception hall that brings you to another dimension. We were back at the beginnings of the hotel, during the historic prohibition period. It was such a pleasure to stage these pictures in such a breathtaking backdrop.
During the planning process, we chose the Como park for the couple session. Unfortunately, we ran out of time and abort the session to make sure we wouldn’t be late to the church.
They chose their family church, the Trinity Lone Oak Lutheran Church (Eagan facing the Highway 55)for their religious ceremony, big enough to accommodate all their guests. What made the ceremony special is that it was celebrated by the groom’s best friend, who was also a pastor. And that’s something unique that made the ceremony more intense and powerful. The wedding ceremony itself was pretty formal, they walked down the aisle, the respective mothers lighted the candles, they exchanged their vows, she said I do, they exchanged the wedding rings and kissed. Then all the guests headed up to the reception site.
This Saint Paul wedding venue was so unique, that a short historical explanation of this 1915 building is needed. What made it so special it is maybe the fact that it has been designed by the same architect who created the Great Central Station in NYC. The Club was designed to be a luxury place, reserved only to rich people who could afford it. Now, it is turned into a wedding and event venue.
After holding the cocktail hour in the Lobby, the dinner took place in the Grand Ballroom. The Grand Ballroom was a huge room, with a very high ceiling with interesting ornamental plaster, some impressive big two-story windows and some massive crystal chandeliers. The room had a balcony that was useful for taking pictures of the bride and groom’s big entrance. Tables were decorated by the talented florist DIY Flower House.
The white wedding cake was designed by Buttercream and the catering was provided by The University Club . For the music, the Blue Water Kings band, turned the evening into an unforgettable and perfect wedding party. I believed I was in some clubs, they really made everyone move on the dance floor until the end of the night! At one point the bride did the bouquet toss. They were helped with the lighting by Doy Willis Lighting.
The graphic designer printed (at Ideal Printer) the wedding’s save-the-date and a guest book (on a thick paper) including some engagement pictures of some pictures from other travels.
During the event, the toast was super great, full of emotions and laughs, a perfect moment.
During the dinner, I remember I climbed the marble staircase to set up some creative and fine-art pictures everywhere I could in the Saint Paul Athletic Club! The floor to ceiling windows Grand ballroom was more motivating!
My only regret is that the swimming pool was closed (not for the swim lesson), but I would have tried to do some staging pictures! That said, I “kidnapped” Emily and Dustin, the best man and the maid of honor for a last picture on the roof top of the adjacent garage. That was a lot of fun!
I can’t say enough how grateful I am to Emily and Dustin who trusted me and allowed me to testify of their unique wonderful wedding. That’s the kind of weddings which make me love so much being a wedding photographer in Saint Paul. At the end of their special day, to me they were more friends than clients.
If you are planning a wedding at the Saint Paul Athletic Club, I would be more than happy to hear from you. Indeed, for pictures, it’s really one of the best wedding venues in Saint Paul.
MUSIC BAND Bluewater Kings Band
GROOM WATCH/ CUFFLINK:BELT Michael Kors
GRAPHIC DESIGNER Ideal Printers
CAMERAMAN Karica Films
BRIDAL PARTY DRESS & WEARHOUSE Birdy Grey
WEDDING RINGS Blue Nile
HAIR STYLIST & MAKEUP ARTIST Creative Beaute Agency
SHUTTLE/ CAR/CARRIAGE: Enterprise Exotics
GROOM SHOES Florsheim
GROOM SUITE/TIE/BOOTIE Indochino
VENUE CONTACT: The University Club
BRIDE DRESS The Wedding Shoppe
FLORIST DIY Flower House
LIGHTENING Doy Willis Lighting