Real Weddings: My Favorite Things
A St. Louis couple’s sensational soiree–filled with the thing they love most.
Kate Dickman, 28, Account Manager at Sendouts & Peter Allen, 28, Sales Specialist at Monsanto
One way to ensure you’ll have a beautiful, one-of-a-kind wedding is to do lots of research—and that’s exactly what Kate Dickman and her then-boyfriend Peter Allen did, inadvertently. During their five-year courtship, the couple attended 36 weddings together. So when it was time to plan their own wedding, they had a really good idea of what they wanted—and didn’t want—for their own nuptials.
A blind date initiated by a co-worker in 2006 started it all. At the time, Peter worked for the Cardinals and asked Kate to the World Series for their first date, so she really couldn’t decline. Five years and many dates later, Peter’s proposal was equally irresistible. He somehow managed to lure Kate with him on a fishing expedition in Forest Park. It was cold and wet and Kate sat pouting in the car while Peter was casting out the line. Once he caught something, he coaxed her out of the car and told her she could reel it in for him. She found a plastic ring on the end of the line; perplexed, she turned around to find Peter on one knee with the real thing. And it’s a good thing Kate said “yes,” because Peter had 70 friends and family members waiting at a nearby pavilion to congratulate them. With a first date and a proposal like that, the wedding was guaranteed to be fun and unpredictable.
The inspiration for Kate and Peter’s wedding was, simply put, their “favorite things,” which included grilled cheese sammies, tomato soup and dueling pianos, among many other unique choices that would both surprise and delight their guests. The bride (an admitted heels hater) even wore Tom’s canvas flats under her gown—further setting the tone of stylish comfort and fun.
The first thing the couple agreed on was that they wanted a completely unique venue, so they chose the Contemporary Art Museum. The ceremony took place in the modern outdoor courtyard, which was accented by a sea of red chairs for a splash of drama. For the reception inside, a beautiful hue of blue lighting complemented the navy and yellow color scheme, and the community tables’ twig centerpieces gave the room a natural and inviting feel.
It was really important to Kate and Peter that their wedding focus on the party, rather than long, drawn-out nuptials. Although the ceremony was short, the vows were absolutely unforgettable, as the couple swapped touching, yet humorous promises back and forth—which included Kate’s vow to always be his “little spoon” and Peter’s promise to “always notice when you get a haircut,” among more traditional sentiments. Guests were then passed a signature “Something Blue” cocktail to toast the couple as they kissed.
The bride’s bouquet was wrapped in a hand-embroidered handkerchief with the initials of Kate and three of her friends in the four corners. Each of the four brides will use the handkerchief for their bridal bouquets, a special interpretation of the “something borrowed” tradition.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the wedding was the first dance. As the music started and Kate stood to join her new groom, the ever-clever Peter hopped on the piano and began to play for her. But Peter didn’t know how to play the piano—or so Kate thought. Much to her surprise, he had secretly been taking lessons on his lunch break so he could personally play for his bride. The song? “Everything” by Michael Buble.
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Kate Dickman, 28 & Peter Allen, 28
Kate Dickman, 28 & Peter Allen, 28
Photo credit: Photos by Beth Berry Photography, Assisted by Mike Cassimatis