Winter Wonder

By Kristin Stefek Brashares
In Culture, Feature

This happy couple hosted a warm and intimate affair despite a chilly wedding date.

 

Laurie Strathman realized she had landed herself a good man on her first date with Brandon Loeschner. She had been feeling under the weather that day, so he came over to her place with movies and sat by her side.

The sweet gesture led to more time together and eventually another romantic move: a surprise proposal during a two-week Florida trip. They had traveled to Orlando to attend his family’s reunion. Knowing Laurie would want to share the news of their engagement in person with her parents soon after, Brandon secretly invited them. He took Laurie out to dinner one night, where her mom and dad joined them. Stunned, Laurie got up to ask them why they were there and then turned around to Brandon on one knee.

The Big Day: A posh party destination, HOME nightclub in Ameristar Casino Resort Spa, struck a perfect balance of formal and fun for the ceremony and reception, all captured by Signature Studio. Soft lighting, auburn-hued walls and two lit fireplaces at the altar warmed up the February 28, 2009 nuptials. Lined up in rows, love seats and oversized chairs in the lounge area served as cushier versions of pews and made for an extra cozy and intimate experience for the 150 guests. Later guests danced all night to music by Chris Johnson and CJ’s DJs.

The Fare: Catered by Ameristar, the sit-down dinner featured filet mignon, grilled shrimp and a chocolate-covered strawberry at each place setting. An ultra-creative three-tiered custom cheesecake from Russo’s substituted for wedding cake. The impressive presentation featured different-sized layers glazed with raspberry sauce and suspended on a modern silver-looped platter.

The Dress: Laurie looked elegant and sophisticated in a strapless, form-fitting Paloma Blanca gown from The Ultimate Bride (314.961.9997). A lace-trimmed veil beautifully accented the all-lace bodice, and a simple satin bow tied just below it added an extra element. Bridesmaids donned different-style lace-topped black Jim Hjelm dresses. Burgundy clutch bouquets added a pop of color.

The Flowers: Alex Waldbart Florist (314.644.3566) replicated Laurie’s bouquet from a picture she’d seen in a magazine and draped her grandmother’s necklace in memorandum. Four centerpiece designs struck a modern tone with alternating arrangements of bamboo, twigs, burgundy florals, beach pebbles, white candles and black boxes.

The Jewelry: From engagement rings to day-of gifts, this affair showed no shortage of bling. With the help of the couple’s personal jeweler, David Kodner (314.725.3233) Laurie designed Brandon’s decorative-etched, black diamond-dotted band, and he selected a Martin Flyer-style ring with a round-cut diamond for Laurie. Brandon bought Laurie the diamond-studded dangler earrings Kodner let her borrow for the wedding, and she gave him black stingray-skin cufflinks.

 

487_231.jpgLaurie Strathman and Brandon Loeschner

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Photo credit: Signature Studio

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