Oh, friends – the absolute joy of this June wedding at the Gardens of Castle Rock in Northfield has me bursting with so many emotions. Thankfulness that Elise & Renato’s adopted wedding plan came together so beautifully. Astonishment that so many hearts can come together to love in a community. Inspiration that healthy relationships really do bind people together – as friends, as family, and as lovers. I’m breaking a few of my rules writing this post (because 1. These folks go to my church! They are therefore FAMILY! and 2. I’m obsessed with all of the artistic decisions!)
Elise’s father said best what I want to highlight about Renato: there is no one like him. Now, this is true about every one of us, however, there are those folks you meet that simply arrest you with how different they are from you. Like how Renato truly relishes in a hug. Or how he looks you deeply in the eyes when he’s conversing with you. Or how he seems to always be living in such sincerity that you wonder, “Is this guy for real?” Of Elise I can paint an elegant canvas: dancer & artist woven together with fine threads of unique humor and ability to delight in the good. When she asked me if Renato cried when reading her letter before the ceremony, I told her she’d have to wait and watch it for herself. That he had read it aloud to the videocamera–and Elise started tearing up!
A Stunning Combination
Take these two personalities, throw into their engagement a wedding-halting pandemic, and what came out? The very web and fabric of a community coming together to elevate a day to its highest height. Yes, Steph, I’m looking at you. And Maddie. And Glen of the Gardens of Castle Rock. So so many people. Folks, we’re talking a complete wedding designed in less than thirteen days before their June wedding. Let’s give them a round of applause! Not just for an amazing day of gathering to celebrate, but for the way Elise & Renato remained so peaceful and trusting through the journey.
Gathering of Friends
In a profession where I normally don’t know most of the people in a room, it was such a pleasant experience to see so many friends fill the Gardens. So friends, know that capturing all of you as you lifted up Elise & Renato marked me in a special way. Welcoming this new couple as a family in our community keeps me smiling even as I write. The wedding party speaks for itself! The bride and groom gave such thoughtful gifts to their parties, and even plotted a secret happy birthday in the middle of wedding photos! (Scroll on to see!) It’s so clear that Elise & Renato remain focused outward and attentive to the hearts around them. They entrusted so many part of their day to key friends – it’s almost like the real wedding party was thirty people!
June Wedding Elegance
You know what’s astounding? These two kept their original wedding date! They kept faith and were rewarded. Every June fills Minnesota with verdant color. I love how the lilac and plum tones pair with the green surrounding the Gardens! Despite the heat, a freshness surrounded the whole day. Elise loves the lightness and the brightness, so she sacrificed her skin to stand in the sun during their ceremony! (Don’t worry – she got a regal parasol half way through! Talk about a change from their engagement session weather!) She looked stunning in her dress, and the hairpiece and veil tied together flawlessly. As for Renato, I’ve talked it over with an anonymous source, and we both agree that we wouldn’t be surprised if the Rolls-Royce pulled around the corner for this guy. (I think these were my exact words: “He looks like a millionaire!”)
Elise & Renato,
I cannot imagine multiple attempts at securing a wedding venue fall through–but you overcame!! You are such wisdom seekers and it was amazing to be alongside you navigating the storm. Happy victory against the mysterious rules of pandemic! All of us cannot wait to see you in the wild as Mr. & Mrs!
The Creative Team:
Bride’s Gown: The Brides of France
Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal
Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Venue: The Gardens of Castle Rock
Florals: Judy’s Floral Design
Videographer: Katie Travis Plaisted
Dining: Gran Plaza
Hair & Makeup: Rachel Reiland + Megan Schwartz
Wedding Coordinator: Steph Helkenn