A Historic Minnesota WeddingWords by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Alders Photography
Katie and Andy knew they wanted a lakefront wedding with only their nearest and dearest in attendance. So, that meant a destination wedding was in the works and there was really only one place the couple could envision exchanging vows: Duluth, Minnesota. Duluth is Andy’s hometown and the couple still has several family members in the area, making it a sentimental spot to start their lives together.
When it came to the “where,” Katie immediately knew the right venue for her. “I picked the Glensheen Mansion because I wanted a vintage/Great Gatsby type of atmosphere,” says the bride. “I loved the beautiful garden and lake. [We] had a wonderful photographer who captured some beautiful scenery with every picture, ranging from the gardens, the mossy bridge, the beautiful rock beach, as well as the amazing rooms throughout the 40 million-dollar mansion.”
The couple’s guests being familiar with the destination wedding location ultimately worked in their favor and made things easier on Katie and Andy. “Guests were smart to book hotels early since Duluth is a very popular place with tourists in July,” says Katie. “We were able to block off some rooms, so that helped a lot.”
According to the groom, their guests were not only practical, but savvy. “Duluth has a lot of great places to stay, but hotels do get expensive in the summer. Fortunately, when people found good deals, we were able to pass that along and helps others as they were making arrangements.”
Come W-Day, Katie and Andy were relaxed and confident, in large part to their trust in their wedding planner, Regina Christianson with Glensheen. For this couple, choosing the right venue was key in achieving their dream destination wedding. With such a dramatic setting, the couple were able to keep their décor and projects to a minimum.
There were only two hiccups which caused the couple to pause in the celebrations: cloudy, slightly rainy weather, and a cake which collapsed during the reception because of humidity. However, these two took things in stride and stayed positive throughout their wedding day. “When [the] cake flopped, I really didn’t care because I had already gotten the pictures to remember it,” says Katie. “[Plus,] it still tasted the same!”
Katie and Andy were very successful in highlighting their dream venue and letting the historic setting to most of the work. However, despite a multi-million dollar mansion being their backdrop, the couple still imbued the day with their laid-back, classic attitude and style.
These two have some wise words for other couples planning their own destination wedding: “Try not to stress too much, it will all come together and don’t let the little things bother you,” says Katie. According to Andy, “Just relax, have a beer and hang out with your wedding party [the day-of]…at that point there’s nothing else you need to worry about, just let everyone else do [what you hired them to do].”
Vendors: Photographer: Alders Photography, Destination: Duluth, Minnesota, Ceremony/Reception Site: Glensheen, The Historic Congdon Estate, Wedding Planner: Regina Christianson with Glensheen, The Historic Congdon Estate, Florist: friend, Stationery: friend and bride’s brother, Catering: Savories, Hair & Makeup: Shear Katz Salon, Gown Designer: Casablanca Bridal, Bridesmaids/Groomsmens’ Clothing Designer: Brides Mates/Kennedy Blue, Ceremony Music: Gabriel String Quartet
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