A Lemon-Themed Wedding Celebration in St. Louis

Bryan Gardner

From the start, Erin Engelhardt and Ryan Orf felt that rules were made to be broken. In July 2010, at the urging of mutual pals, the St. Louis area natives met up at a Cardinals baseball game. "My best friend has a rule that you should never be available to go out two nights in a row," says Erin, a pediatric resident physician. But she and Ryan hit it off so well, they made dinner plans for the very next day. Date two turned into date three ... and nearly four years later, at the stadium where they first met, Ryan, a farming-sales representative, dropped to one knee and asked Erin to marry him.

Saying yes was the easy part. When the pair started planning, though, they were torn. "We wanted both a small ceremony with our closest family and friends and a big celebration with everyone we love," says Erin. Their solution: Buck tradition and have two receptions—intimate nuptials in Florida, where Erin's parents have a home, and a big blowout in St. Louis. To make things easier and more cohesive, the pair used the same florist, stationer, caterer, photographer, and videographer for both events, and throughout, they showcased the same cheery motif: lemons. "I've always loved them," says Erin.

On April 25, 2015, at sunset, 59 of the couple's nearest and dearest came to the Cutlass Cove Beach Club in Naples, Florida, to witness their vows, exchanged according to the Catholic tradition, before dinner and dancing. Six weeks later, on June 6, Erin and Ryan welcomed 300 guests to her childhood home in St. Louis for The Wedding, Part Two. The sequel included a raw bar at cocktail hour, a seated steak dinner, and an outdoor "sit-in" movie theater showing a video of the Florida nuptials. Playing the taped vows meant that everyone could see the ceremony, and it left the bride and groom free to focus on fun. "It was great being able to celebrate, stress-free," says Ryan. "Everything was exactly how we wanted it"—which pretty much ruled.

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A Fun Save-the-Date

Bryan Gardner

Save-the-dates by St. Louis's Cheree Berry Paper came in a series of graduated envelopes.

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The Invitations

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Cheree Berry Paper also designed the bright yellow-and-green invitation suite, which included custom illustrations and gold foiling, a die-cut lemon reply card, and a playful mini "Dos and Don'ts" handbook ("DO join us for a welcome dinner," "DON'T worry about driving home").

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A Celebration at Home

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Erin (in a Monique Lhuillier gown) and Ryan (in a suit by Jos. A. Bank) stand beneath a custom-built pergola at the entrance to their St. Louis, Missouri reception at her parents' home. A life-size illustration of their dog, Minnie, by stationer Cheree Berry, stands at attention.

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Puppy Love

Bryan Gardner

The pair's dog, Minnie, was dressed for the occasion in yellow roses and striped ribbons.

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Lace and Loveliness

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Erin wore the dress from her Florida ceremony and carried a bouquet of yellow and white garden roses, sweet pea, ivy, hyacinth, and ranunculus. After cocktail hour, she changed into a shorter dress, also by Monique Lhuillier.

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The Oyster Bar

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The bride sampled the raw bar, which featured sashimi, ceviche, and four types of East Coast oysters.

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Witty Napkins

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Raw-bar napkins were chic and tongue-in-cheek—a second one read, "What the Shuck?"

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Raw Bar Treats

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Citrusy ceviche, in compostable bamboo dishes, was a favorite among the raw-bar offerings.

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Fruity Escort Cards

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Digitally calligraphed paper lemons made refreshing escort cards.

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The Bridesmaids

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At both events, bridesmaids wore different styles of Amsale gowns in blush pink and dove gray. Their custom white-gold necklaces from A. Blase Designs and Kate Spade clutches were gifts from the bride. There were 20 bridesmaids and groomsmen total. "We didn't care if it looked funny that most of the people attending [our Florida wedding] were up there by our side," Erin says.

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Lively Music

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The Marion Miller Trio entertained guests at cocktail hour.

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The Tables

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Black and white stripes provided a graphic contrast to the centerpieces of lemons, yellow roses, white hydrangeas, kale, chamomile, ivy, and dusty miller alongside floating candles in forged-iron pedestals.

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All Together Now

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Attendants at one of the two head tables cheered the happy pair.

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Roll the Footage

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A "sit-in" movie theater—complete with candy, popcorn, and lawn pillows for guests—played a video of the couple's Naples, Florida, nuptials shot by Lucky Lemon Films.

"Screening the video of our vows was my favorite part of the reception," Erin says. "It was just a perfect representation of our wedding and the genuine feeling of love between us. And it was such a relief to already be married at that point!"

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A Hidden Message

Bryan Gardner

The bride's nephew, Carl, who served as ring bearer at the Florida nuptials, poses with a paper cardinal (one of 42—the amount of days the couple had been married as of the St. Louis reception—hidden around the property). The cardinals were a fit, considering the couple got engaged at the end of a Cardinals baseball game.

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A Refreshing Treat

Island Wedding Bar
Bryan Gardner

A custom-designed cart offered limoncello "snow cups."

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A Photo "Swing"

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Minnie poses on the photo swing, a creative twist on the ever-popular photo booth. The swing was decked out with striped cushions, lemon-shaped pillows, and other pillows spelling out #LUV.

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Sweet Favors

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Favors included lemon sugar cookies made by family friend Candis Theodoro of CT Cookie Treats.

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Safety First

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A key-drop board encouraged attendees to leave their cars at the end of the night and hop a shuttle home.

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The Morning After

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Guests received lemon-lavender doughnuts and a cup of coffee when they returned for their cars on the morning after the reception.

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Bryan Gardner

Event planning and design, Cosmopolitan Events
Catering, Annie Gunn's
Flowers, Connie Cissell of CC Blumen
Photography, Westrich Photography
Videography, Lucky Lemon Films
Stationery and event design, Cheree Berry Paper
Cocktail-hour music, Marion Miller Trio, 314-839-2480
Reception music, GalaxyRed; Angela Winbush
Rentals, Premier Rentals; Traube Tents and Structures; BBJ Linen
Décor and rentals, Parties & Props, Ltd.
Bride's gown, sash, and reception dress, Monique Lhuillier
Bride's shoes, Dolce & Gabbana
Bride's earrings, Irene Neuwirth
Bride's bracelet, Vinciguerra Jewelers
Bride's wedding ring, Gabriel & Co.
Bride's hair, Ken Scott Johnson
Bride's makeup and bridesmaids' hair and makeup, Daniellestyle
Bridesmaids' dresses, Amsale, from Bella Bridesmaids
Bridesmaids' necklaces, A. Blase Designs
Groom's suit and shirt, Jos. A. Bank
Groom's belt, Johnston & Murphy
Groom's shoes, Sperry
Groom's wedding ring, Vinciguerra Jewelers
Groom's monogrammed handkerchief, Leontine Linens
Lighting, Alobar's Lighting and Sound
Transportation, Best Transportation; M&M Golf Cars
Cookies, CT Cookie Treats
Donuts, Vincent Van Doughnut
Photo booth, GoodEye Photo-Share
Restrooms, R & R Sanitation
Valet, August Evenings

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