fab.weddings: Betsy + Josh

I have to say that Betsy and Josh’s 9.6.08 wedding would probably have to be my favorite wedding of the year. Why? Golf cart! That and I had the best assistant ever helping me out. Betsy and Josh hired me to coordinate their outdoor wedding on the private island park on White Bear Lake, that happened to be across the street from Josh’s mother’s house. Not only did I want to move in to enjoy Carole’s incredible home, but wanted Betsy to adopt me as her sister to hopefully have some of her (and both Betsy and Josh’s mother’s) creativity rub off on me!

The wedding was so full of details that I know I’m missing pictures of some. The only way to describe their wedding is effortless elegance. A slight vintage feel, and nothing forced. Not a single item could have been left out in their planning process and Betsy carefully selected everything from the invitations to the ceremony set up to be cohesive, natural, and gorgeous. There was so much love and thought put into every step of their planning, and I am so happy that everything turned out as it did. When someone puts that much heart into their wedding, it really shows and can be felt by their guests. It really brought together the creative talent of everyone in both families.

The “Theme”
I don’t know if it can technically be called a theme, but Betsy and Josh found a tandem bicycle logo and ran with it in the most wonderful way. The logo was found on their invitations, the out-of-town guest bags, and of course on their thank you cards. Different than a monogram and the perfect statement, if you ask me, about finding a fun way to ride through life together!
Betsy hand made their invitations using something called a Gocco. It’s like a mini screen printing press that can make almost anything you can imagine. You can see how great they turned out and if you look at the layers, you can see that they used a wood envelope to mail their invites!

What I’m currently pining for… The gocco. Here you can sort of see the process they used to make their thank you cards with the tandem bike.

The Details

Guests were greeted by signs welcoming them and showing them the way to the ceremony. Betsy’s dad handmade all the signs for them. This picture is taken by a friend of the couple.

A couple fantastic handmade wood chairs that were made into an archway for entering into the ceremony site with. We attached the branch bundle on top with wires and used some of Carole’s potted plants to make it even more beautiful. Picture taken by Andrea.
The following photos are from Mark Palas
The ceremony altar was set on a piece of a dock so the guests could better see the couple be married. It was decorated with more beautiful potted plants.
My favorite piece of the dining tent was the branch and leaf chandeliers. We lit the candles and it added just the perfect glow when the clouds moved in. The groom’s mom owns a chain of stores (if I recall correctly) that sell natural, homey items that you might find at stores that sell Minnesota goods. Betsy and Josh had full access to Carole’s arsenal of goods and used them in the most perfect ways. Beautiful old tables and hutches were used to serve the food and display the pie buffet. Instead of the traditional cake, Betsy and Josh personally cut and served their guests pie a la mode with aprons and everything! It was another thoughtful and great way to connect with their guests. Picture taken by Andrea.

The escort cards were thin strips of birch bark that we pinned to clothes line with clothing pins. Each name was hand written and the guests loved them.

The centerpieces were potted plants with fresh flowers added to tie in the floral bouquets. The flowers were either in birch bark holders or rectangular tin planters. Each table was named after a country to which either Betsy or Josh had already been or had planned to visit to together. They have literally been all over the world and I’m definitely inspired by their travels!

To tie in with the different country names for the tables, the couple selected candies from around the world for the candy buffet. If you look close you can see one of the tin planters with little flags from other countries. The jars were labeled with the type of candy and the country it came from.
The People
Josh and Betsy
Josh and Betsy along with their matron of honor (Betsy’s sister) and best man (Josh’s brother).

Does it get any cuter than this?!

Betsy wore a gorgeous sheath gown that couldn’t have been any more perfect for her figure or the occasion. The single flower in her hair completed her simple yet stunning look.
The Ceremony

Their ceremony was performed by an old and dear friend. It was completely personalized with a hand fasting ritual, personally selected readings for their guests to recite with them, and a message that was touching for both the newly weds and their entire families.

Now THIS is the way to tie in the theme! Immediately following the ceremony, Betsy and Josh made a quick get away for a few minutes and came back for a grand entrance into their cocktail hour on this! It was absolutely perfect! After showing off their riding skills, they mingled with their guests and enjoyed the excellent selection of music the found in the Victory Park Brass Quintet. The brass quintet lent the perfect vintage backdrop music for the outdoor gathering.

The Reception

Finally relaxing during dinner. Josh is always doing something goofy.

Minus the bright flash for the picture, the tent had the perfect cozy glow, and the heat stands were much appreciated after the rain storm had come and gone!

The weather started out perfect and stayed that way until half way through the cocktail hour when Mother Nature decided to bring on the rain. It made for some laughs a few times as Andrea and I tried to strategically work magic to protect the edges of the dance floor with umbrellas and were doused with the rain the tent collected. Unfortunately, the rain was more than our wills (and the tent top) could handle and the dance had to be moved into the garage of Carole’s home. It was actually the perfect setting for the dance and when we left for the night, everything was in full swing with an incredible band.

Betsy and Josh had a homemade photo booth for their guests to take pictures in. They had a fabulous array of vintage hats, clothes, headpieces, and even masks and gorilla hands to dress up in to enhance the pictures. I don’t think the booth was ever empty that night. The pictures are hilarious and a great testimonial of how fun their family and friends are.
The Vendor List:
Ceremony and Reception: Groom’s family home, White Bear Lake
Ceremony and Cocktail hour Musicians: Victory Park Brass Quintet
Hair: Danabri Salon, White bear lake
Makeup: Nan Fletcher
Photography: Mark Palas
Florals: Virginia Floral Company (bride’s aunt)
Catering: Lake Elmo Inn
Dance Band: Jeff Cryer with the Brian Kinney Band
  1. Kelley says:

    Awesome wedding and ‘theme.’ I think I even have a bit of a crush on the groom.

  2. Betsy says:

    Kelley :
    Awesome wedding and ‘theme.’ I think I even have a bit of a crush on the groom.

    thanks for the compliments Kelley, I also have a crush on my groom :).

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