Courtney and Michael's Garden Party Wedding in St. Louis

The Couple

Heather Roth Fine Art Photography

To call Courtney Callahan and Michael Myers's love story the stuff of movies wouldn't be too much of a stretch. Take the starry night of their first encounter at an elaborate, exotic party at Chicago's Shanghai Terrace restaurant. Surrounded by towering geisha girls on stilts, with the pulsing beat of live taiko drummers in the background, the two spotted each other across a crowded patio. Within moments, Courtney, who owns a paper-design studio, introduced herself to Michael, a vice president of sales for a marketing firm. "It was as close to 'love at first sight' as it gets," remembers Michael. "I knew that my world would never be the same, and I said as much in a note I wrote to her in my journal that night, just in case I turned out to be right one day."

Michael's prediction: crystal-ball accurate. Two years of dating later, he orchestrated an equally dreamy proposal at the same rooftop restaurant where they had first locked eyes. As waiters brought out post-lunch glasses of bubbly, Michael asked Courtney to marry him, presenting her with not only a diamond ring, but also the journal he had been keeping since the night they met. Written inside were letters to Courtney chronicling the milestones and special moments of their relationship. Also tucked into its pages: two tickets for a celebratory trip to San Francisco and Napa.

Exactly one year from the day Michael proposed, on May 31, 2014, about 120 guests witnessed the Catholic ceremony at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish near Saint Louis, where Courtney grew up. Then everyone drove to the Missouri Botanical Garden and entered a grassy enclave with reflecting lily ponds. While a pianist played, the party kicked off as Michael used a saber to pop open the Chartogne-Taillet Champagne that the couple had scored on their engagement trip.

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The Stationery

Heather Roth Fine Art Photography

Courtney designed the stationery, foil-stamping select pieces in gold.

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The Fashions

Heather Roth Fine Art Photography

The groom opted for a Hugo Boss tuxedo and the bride wore a custom Modern Trousseau gown.

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Welcome Bags

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Welcome totes held sweet and salty snacks, refreshments, and a trifold map of local sights.

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The Bridesmaids

Heather Roth Fine Art Photography

The bride posed with three of her eight Amsale-outfitted bridesmaids.

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Custom Hankies

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Bridesmaids were given custom lace handkerchiefs with their monograms embroidered in gold.

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Gifts for the Guys

Heather Roth Fine Art Photography

Gift boxes for the groomsmen included a tuxedo shirt, bow tie, cuff links, collar stays, and pocket squares, along with a card (created by Courtney) instructing how to tie a bow tie and this Oscar Wilde quote: "A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life."

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The Little Ones

Heather Roth Fine Art Photography

The bride's nephews were presented with handmade puzzles, which, when put together, asked, "Will you be our ring bearer?" Her niece received the same kind of request to be the flower girl.

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The Ceremony

Heather Roth Fine Art Photography

Two green lemon-leaf wreaths hung on the doors of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, welcoming guests to the ceremony. A few blush-colored peonies were tucked into the base of the wreaths, along with striped trailing ribbons.

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The Garden Party

Heather Roth Fine Art Photography

A large placard adorned with floral swag marked the way to the outdoor cocktail hour in the grassy garden.

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An Outfit Change

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The couple stole a kiss in the garden—after Michael had changed into a J.Crew dinner jacket for the reception.

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Cocktail Hour Fare

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Duck confit on crostini were passed during the cocktail hour, alongside napkins foil-stamped with poignant phrases.

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Tasty Bites

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Passed hors d'oeuvres included maple-glazed scallops wrapped in bacon and more quote-worthy napkins.

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The Bubbly

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Waiters passed glasses of sparkling wine and cocktail napkins emblazoned with the couple's monogram and an apropos saying.

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The Escort Cards

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Guests plucked calligraphed escort cards on gilded stakes from moss-filled boxes holding colorful blooms.

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His and Hers

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Hanging from the doors of the restrooms: gold-framed vinyl silhouettes of the bride and groom.

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The Reception Room

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Guests moved to the Spink Pavillion at the Missouri Botanical Garden for dinner, where tables were set with verdant centerpieces.

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The Reception Tables

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Clusters of peonies, roses, tulips, scabiosas, anemones, lisianthus, and ranunculus brightened up the gold-accented tables.

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The Menu

Heather Roth Fine Art Photography

The bride designed foil-stamped round menus to fit neatly in every plate; ivory napkins were embroidered with a gold vine pattern and an "M" for Myers.

A feast of beef short ribs, grilled salmon, and tomato risotto was served for dinner.

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The Cake

Heather Roth Fine Art Photography

The buttercream-frosted yellow cake featured fresh peonies, clematis, and trailing vines. Courtney and Michael cut the first piece with the knife the bride's parents used at their own wedding.

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The First Dance

Heather Roth Fine Art Photography

The newlyweds twirled in the moonlight to Smokey Robinson and the Miracles' "You've Really Got a Hold on Me."

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The Band

Heather Roth Fine Art Photography

Courtney and Michael's wedding logo was enlarged to create a vinyl drumhead cover for the seven-piece Motown band, which kept the floor packed after their first dance. That is, until a surprise grilled-cheese food truck rolled up to replenish revelers—and send the bride and groom off well-fed and ready to live happily ever after.

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Heather Roth Fine Art Photography

Locations: Our Lady of Lourdes Parish [ceremony]; Spink Pavilion at the Missouri Botanical Garden [reception]

Event Design and Stationery: Courtney Callahan Paper

Event Coordination: Kate & Company

Catering: Catering St. Louis

Flowers: Hello Darling

Photography: Heather Roth

Videography: Lovebird Studios

Officiant: Father Richard Quirk

Calligraphy: Calligraphy by Cristine

Cake: Knodel's Bakery

Music: The Rosewood Ensemble [ceremony]; J-Rob through Schunk Entertainment [reception]

Rentals: Plate [plates]; Private Label Linens [linens]

Hair: Bonnie Boze

Makeup: Makeup by She

Bride's Gown: Modern Trousseau from Fleur De Lis Bridal Boutique

Bride's Accessories: Manolo Blahnik shoes; The Left Bank Jewelry and Bridal Finery earrings, hair comb, and sash; Kate Spade clutch

Groom's Tuxedo: Hugo Boss

Transportation: Best Transportation

Cake Stand: Nimble Well

Late-Night Food Truck: The Meltdown

Guest Accommodations: The Ritz-Carlton St. Louis

Ribbon on Bouquet: Frou Frou Chic

Tailoring: R&M Designs

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