Dreaming of a White Wedding: Amy & Brian

 In Feature, Style

Two St. Louis couples tie the knot in the heart of winter and their big days are an oh-so romantic winter wonderland.


Before he actually asked her to marry him, Brian Collard had a more important question for Amy Hempstead when he got down on one knee to propose: “What are you doing New Years Eve?” Amy had always wanted her wedding on that nighta tip Brian received when he sought her fathers blessing. He popped the “questions” at the Saint Louis Art Museumcollaborating with security guards to post a special sign under an artwork declaring his love for her and intentions of marriage.

Amy got right down to planning, as she initially worried a little about vendor availability with the wedding falling on a holiday and December 31, 2009 falling on a Thursday night. Fortunately, everyone involved in putting on the big day from The Racquet Club East reception-site team to wedding-planner extraordinaire Josie Littlepage of Cosmopolitan Eventsproved ultra accommodating. The couples wedding creatively channeled the formal and festive spirit of New Years Eve and proved a big hit with guests. The best part, though, Amy says was entering the New Year as newlyweds.

The Bride: Amy Hempstead, 34, Director of Development for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Metro St. Louis
The Groom: Brian Collard, 35, Founder and Senior Consultant at Novaisys
The Venues: Rows of softly glowing candles in hurricane lanterns guided the 150 guests up steps leading to the St. Cecilia Catholic Church entrance for the ceremony. Inside, lingering holiday trappings of poinsettia and white lights left little need to decorate. A cocktail hour and reception immediately followed at The Racquet Club East (314.361.2100), where the striking,
dark-wood-laden dining room set the tone for a formal evening.
The Celebration: Guests hit the dance floor with party hats, necklaces and horns and got down to dance band Pleasure Groove (pleasuregroove.com, 314.308.8281). Amy and Brian took the floor together for a fabulously fitting first dance song: “What Are You Doing New Years Eve?” by Harry Connick, Jr. A gigantic clock on the stage counted down to New Years Eve, and the wedding party lined up outside the reception hall with sparklers for the couples exit after midnight.
The Attire: Two formal affairs on the same nightNew Years Eve and a weddingdoubled the reasons for guests to get decked out. Amys attire request: black tie, not optional. “Its become something people dont do too often anymore,” she says. “This was the perfect time to do it.”
The Dresses: Amy wore her mothers lace-edged, chapel-length veil with a vintage-style ivory lace-and-bead embellished Enmanuel gown from The Enchanted Bride (theenchantedbride.com, 314.432.4040). Her bridesmaids donned floor-length emerald taffeta B2 dresses.
The Fare: The Racquet Club served up a sumptuous sit-down dinner celebrating seasonal fare. The first course: winter greens with pear, sun-dried cranberries and feta cheesecake. The main course: a beef filet with red-wine reduction sauce, passed bearnaise, haricot vert and garlic mashers. The culinary hit of the night, however, came at midnight, as White Castle hamburgers were served as a late-night snack.
The Stationery: Amys favorite symbolthe fleur-de-lismade appearances on much of the wedding stationery, including the ivory wedding invites and wax seals, menus, programs and escort cards, all designed by Cosmopolitan Events (cosmopolitanevents.com, 314.249.9107). Accents of the colors of the big daygold, ivory, emerald green and purpleappeared throughout.

Big-Day Details
The Florals: Botanicals Design Studio (botanicalsdesignstudio.com, 314.772.7674)
The Grooms Band: Mark Patterson design from Elleard Heffern in Clayton (heffern.com, 314.863.8820)
The Cake: Sugaree Baking Company (sugareebaking.com, 314.645.5496).



The Florals

By Botanicals Design Studio (botanicalsdesignstudio.com)


The Cake


The Happy Couple

On Their Wedding Day


Photo credit: Photos by Michael Jacob Photography

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