“Feel the Love”
How one couples party continued from Indiana University to an elegant fete at The Chase.
THEIR STORY Lindsay Jones first noticed Louis at a party her sophomore year at Indiana University— it was his blue eyes that caught her attention. Two years later, they would meet again at a sports bar near campus, and that would be, well, it.
After four years of dating, it was time. “We were really just kids when we met and essentially grew into adults together,” Lindsay says. “We feel like we fought hard during the time period after college to make life decisions that gave our relationship a shot.” Louis proposed in a restaurant in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood—little did he know that Lindsay had found the ring hidden in the top dresser drawer—and the two went next door to a bar where all their friends were waiting to celebrate.
SETTING THE MOOD “The nerves from proposing turned to excitement immediately,” says Louis. “I was excited to picture Lindsay as my future bride.” The engaged couple enlisted wedding planner Kristin Weis from Kristin Ashley events. They live in Chicago, and having someone on the ground in St. Louis took some stress away from planning the big day. Getting married in a church was always important to Lindsay but even more so since she had made the decision to join the Catholic faith. The couple selected the Shrine of St. Joseph for the ceremony, a St. Louis landmark notable for its history and beauty.
The Chase Park Plaza was perfect for the reception because it was close to the Central West End, where Lindsay’s family has their home. It offered the added bonus of hotel rooms for the many out-of-town guests and gave them the perfect base from which to explore the neighborhood. But there was a deeper significance to the venues as well: “What we love about the church and the hotel is that we were able to carve out a piece of our own history in these beautiful, iconic and classically St. Louis venues,” Lindsay says. “Not only did we want our guests to have the experience of ‘The Chase,’ but we look forward to celebrating anniversary weekends at the hotel.”
Lindsay had a major hand in planning the big day alongside Kristin, but her family also played an active role—something Lindsay very much wanted. Her dad, “a master party-planner,” booked the band just days after the engagement. Lindsay’s mother-in-law-to-be assisted with the ceremony’s readings, and her mother planned the guests’ gift boxes, the cake and desserts—as well as a surprise sparkler display after the ceremony. “I wanted to have some surprises on my wedding day,” Lindsay says. “It really added a special element, and I was glad my mom could add touches from her own vision. If I could give any advice to future brides, it would be to allow some room to be surprised.”
THE BIG DAY Lindsay elected not to have bridesmaids, but her girlfriends came to her suite at The Chase Park Plaza before the ceremony to share coffee and breakfast. “It was so calming to have them with me for a few hours of normality,” Lindsay says. She eschewed things “borrowed and blue” for a ceremony focused on family and friends. And rather than a classical score, guests were seated to a medley of Disney songs played by a string quartet. “I know those songs stir up emotion in women of my generation,” Lindsay says. “It was beautiful.” The ceremony went off without a hitch. “As a guy you don’t spend as much time thinking about how you will feel on your wedding day,” says Louis. “I was surprised by how emotional the day was for me.”
When the guests arrived in the Zodiac Room for cocktail hour, they were greeted by a pianist playing classical music and surrounded by candlelight. “We referred to it as the Elton John performance,” Lindsay says. For dinner, the guests sat at tables with silver birch linen and sea-sponge coral chargers. Three designs by Becky Klein from Poppies Design Studio completed the look: The first piece was full of greenery: magnolia leaves, eucalyptus and ruscus. The second was a monochromatic orange piece, and the third combination included white orchids and pulled in the look from Lindsay’s bouquet.
The guests enjoyed The Chase’s food, which Lindsay says was “incredible.” Courses included butternut squash ravioli followed by sea scallops and filet mignon with potato cake. The most unique part? Signature dessert shots inspired by their courtship. The first was chocolate-covered-pretzel flavored and the second, butterscotch. “They were a hit with our friends and showed our personality,” Lindsay says. When the amber uplighting changed to a festive blue and purple after Lindsay and Louis’ first dance, the guests filled the dance floor, lit up by crystals as Dr. Zhivegas’ music coaxed attendees out of their seats. “We wanted the dance floor to be packed all night long,” Lindsay says.
Photo credit: Jon Koch