Real Wedding: Organic I Do’s

 In Feature, Style

A fabulous outdoor Forest Park ceremony set an earthy theme for these all-natural nuptials.


The Couple
Brianne Zimmerman, 30, Stay-at-Home Mom, and Nathan Garland, 31, Graphic Designer at Stealth Creative

A year into working together for an event production company, Brianne and Nathan went from close colleagues to couple at a New Year’s Eve party they helped organize. A kiss at midnight sparked a romance that turned into a seven-year relationship. Talk of marriage ensued, and two years ago at Christmas, Nathan surprised Brianne with a proposal. He gave her gifts to throw her off at first, and then, when she thought she had opened them all, the couple’s 4-year-old son slipped her the most special one—an engagement ring.

The Vows: Brianne had just one thing on her wedding wish list: an outdoor ceremony. The couple exchanged vows in an off-the-beaten-path area of their favorite hangout, Forest Park. The billowing branches of a towering oak tree near the lower Muny parking lot shaded the 150 guests who watched the August 15, 2009 ceremony.

The Celebration: After lots of searching for the perfect reception site, Brianne fell instantly in love with the Sheldon Concert Hall’s Ballroom (314.533.9900, The dining area, with softly lit open-archway walls and dramatic dark-wood vaulted ceilings, required little embellishment. Centerpieces of votive-laden birch and curling willow branches bunched in vases with rocks and moss carried out the day’s earthy theme. After dinner, guests took full advantage of the enormous dance floor and the chance to catch a spectacular city view from the roof.

The Fare: Catering Your Way By Lisa (314.481.5500, served a delectable dinner of fresh green beans almondine, a signature salad, oven-roasted rosemary potatoes and chicken spedini. Lemonade and iced tea kept guests cool on the warm summer evening and a champagne toast celebrated the newlyweds.

The Sweets: In lieu of a traditional cake, the couple went with a two-tiered plain and double chocolate cheesecake from Hank’s Cheesecakes (314.781.0300,—Nathan’s favorite. Several sheet cakes added to the dessert options, and Brianne melted chocolate into maple leaf molds for some sweet take-home treats.

The Tunes: Violinist Hannah Fey ( provided the ceremony soundtrack, and the couple’s close friend, DJ Trevor Matthews of Boogie Knights, delivered a heavy dose of house music.


199_114.jpgThe bride in her Maggie Sottero gown

200_114.jpgBouquet courtesy of the Petal Shop

201_114.jpgThe beautiful outdoor ceremony

202_114.jpgBouquet courtesy of the Petal Shop


Photo credit: Photos by Michelle Ross, Under Grace Photography,

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