Real Weddings: The Greatest Love of All
A couple decides that a lifetime is sweeter when spent with your very best friend.
The only thing Kelli Baker hoped to find on vacation was some R&R; she had just
graduated and needed some time to plan her next move. So she joined her parents at their family’s vacation home in Naples, Florida in January of 2008. She couldn’t have imagined that in addition to finding some quality time with family, she’d also find true love.
Kelli decided that while in Florida, she’d take a golf lesson at her family’s country club. She and her instructor, Mike, spent an amazing day together, and when her mother came to collect her so the family could head to dinner, Mike asked if he could join.
Mike’s bold move proved to be advantageous; for the rest of her vacation, Kelli and Mike were inseparable. That summer, Kelli moved to Naples to be with Mike, but had to return to St. Louis to complete her Masters in Elementary Education. They took turns visiting one another until Mike made the move to St. Louis in 2009. Soon, talk turned to a future.
One day, Kelli and her mom went to see a movie (“Bride Wars,” ironically), when Kelli’s mom received a text message from Mike that Kelli was not meant to see but unfortunately did. The text warned to keep Kelli out of the house and occupied. Even though she knew what was in store, Kelli was still in awe of Mike’s handiwork when she returned home: Mike had decorated her house with pink rose petals, flickering candles and photos of them together. He lowered to one knee and proposed. Mike, who knew Kelli enough to know she’d want to help select her ring, presented her something nearly as exciting to Kelli. “He bought me about five or six wedding magazines instead because he knew how much I wanted to start buying them,” says Kelli.
The Ceremony: The couple exchanged vows at Kelli’s family’s church, First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood (314.965.0326). The ornate beauty of the church’s stained-glass windows required few further embellishments, just some pretty bows on the pews and flowers at the altar. Before the ceremony, the groomsmen played Wii in the church’s downstairs Fireplace Room while Kelli and her bridesmaids got ready.
The Gown: Kelli was a vision in a stunning Casablanca Bridal gown from Clarice’s Bridal Fashions, (314.351.2499). The ivory dress’ A-line shape was beaded in Alencon lace that scalloped at the hem and the neckline. Cascades of lace gently flowed in bands around the skirt and down the semi-chapel-length train. A feminine olive silk bow belt accented Kelli’s waist.
The Flowers: Kelli carried a striking bouquet inspired by the one her mother carried at her own wedding. Artistry Florists (314.772.1301) created the cascading replica with dainty stephanotis flowers, white orchids and pale pink peonies. The bridesmaids carried bouquets of candy-apple green orchids, hot-pink roses, antique-green hydrangeas and green berries.
The Cakes: Kelli’s cake was a white, four-tiered square cake decorated with white, pink and grey Swiss dots. From the top, beautiful flowers cascaded elegantly down the cake. Mike’s was a marbleflavored cake in the shape of a football helmet representing his beloved Indianapolis Colts.
The Celebration: The modern couple impressed guests with their reception venue, Lumen Private Events (314.241.5757), known for its state-of-the-art, customizable LED lighting system and first-class service. The airy space was filled with tables covered by black, dark gray and sequined linens with pale pink accents. At each place setting was a golf ball party favor. Kelli says that without the help of wedding planner Roseanna Gieselmann of Always & Forever (314.843.5110), her dream day would not have been possible. DJ Jeremy Roeder from First Class Weddings DJ Service (314.841.8417) had guests dancing the night away. “I did not sit down once I started dancing,” says Kelli. “And neither did anyone else!”
Kelli Baker, 25, Elementary Teacher and Michael Bramell, 26, Pharmacy Technician at Express Scripts
Photo credit: Photos by Angela Brewer, Todd Studios Photography