The Perfect Partnership
A picturesque wedding at Overlook Farm was the just-right happy ending for this STL couple-turned-business-duo.
It’s been a stellar year for Katie Lee and Ted Collier, who have joined forces in more ways than one. In the midst of their business partnership and the grand opening of the new Katie’s Pizza & Pasta Osteria, the couple managed to squeeze in the planning of a beautiful outdoor wedding that highlighted both of their fun-loving personalities.
The two met three years ago on a blind date. A friend of Katie’s, who went to high school with Ted, set up a group dinner to introduce the pair. Sparks flew immediately. “It was love at first sight,” admits Katie. “From that point forward, we were inseparable.” Katie and Ted spent the next few years traveling and getting to know each other before taking the next big step.
During a vacation at one of their favorite spots in Mexico, Ted surprised Katie with an extravagant chocolate-lover’s dessert, inside of which an engagement ring was hidden. While Ted got down on one knee and popped the question, a mariachi band played for the newly engaged couple as Katie laughed and cried—and of course, said yes.
WORK AND PLAY
As their relationship flourished, Ted, who was in real estate when the pair started dating, began to fall in love with the restaurant business, thanks to Katie’s successful Clayton dining spot, Katie’s Pizzeria. When the idea came up to open a second location, Katie’s Pizza & Pasta Osteria, Ted jumped at the chance to leave his real estate career behind and help his future wife grow her business. The partnership has since become a cornerstone of their relationship. “Ted was an integral part in opening the new restaurant,” says Katie. “He’s business savvy and great with contracts and money. It’s the ideal situation since we love to be with each other every day anyway!”
A Balancing Act
The couple was adamant about opening the new restaurant before they were married, so for the wedding planning, Katie and Ted had to delegate accordingly. In a twist of fate, they fell in love with the location and complete wedding services provided by Overlook Farm. Snuggled alongside the Mississippi River in Clarksville, MO, Overlook provided the ideal backdrop of rolling hills and riverside views for the pair’s pending nuptials. Katie worked closely with Overlook’s in-house wedding planner to create the countryside-chic outdoor wedding of their dreams.
The short and sweet ceremony took place on a scenic bluff overlooking the river. The bride wore a simple yet elegant empire-waist gown with a notched sweetheart bodice from J. Crew, along with a custom-made veil by her mother, Belinda Lee. The bridesmaids were decked in various shades of light gray and silver with a touch of metallic. After the couple was wed by Ted’s brother-in-law, who was ordained for the ceremony, guests enjoyed a cocktail hour outside before being escorted just 500 yards away to Avalon Meadow, Overlook Farm’s outdoor “hall.”
The meadow was transformed into an open layout of harvest tables to seat the event’s 100 guests—and the large, 18-person wedding party. Decor was antique-inspired and elegant. “The wedding planner really helped us get our ideas off the ground,” explains Katie. “I gave her an overall vision of what Ted and I wanted and she ran with it.” Tables were covered with crisp, neutral linens and a natural color palette of wildflowers, Irish belles and succulents paired with glass terrariums and wood accent pieces. When the sun set, the grassy dance floor came to life under the Italian bulb lights strung overhead, and a live band played covers of classic rock hits. Ted even got a chance to showcase his musical side, surprising his wife by joining the band on the drums for a few songs.
Overlook Farm was not only the perfect spot for Katie and Ted to entertain guests, but the venue’s expert culinary traditions also meant they could feed them accordingly. The farm, which is owned by Nathalie Pettus of the CWE eatery Nathalie’s, specializes in crafting seasonally inspired dishes, while Ted’s love for seafood inspired the pair to get creative with the menu. Guests enjoyed a traditional East Coast Low Country boil, complete with clams, scallops, shrimp and oysters. Antique tables and silver platters housed the fare that was prepared fresh by Executive Chef Jimmy Voss. “As restaurant owners, the food was the most important aspect of our wedding behind the location,” says Katie. “We wanted the menu to both stand out and be absolutely delicious.”
The entire event went off without a hitch and was the ideal way for the couple to capture both their love for each other, and their love for friends and family. “After everything was finished, we headed to the bridal suite, where my brothers threw Ted into the pool in his tux,” says Katie with a laugh. “It was the perfect ‘welcome to our family’ moment. I think it really sums up our relationship—we love to work and we love to have fun. It’s the perfect balance!”
Photo credit: Courtesy Cami Wade Photography