Wizards of Ahhhhh!
Fire Dancers, confetti cannons and cocktails, oh my! A St. Louis couples wedding has heart, smarts and the courage to stand out.
Beth Gray and Chris Susic knew exactly what they wanted for their wedding, and they weren’t afraid to make it happen. Inspired by a fiery romance, a contemporary twist on traditional Serbian culture and the montage from “Wedding Crashers,” the St. Louis couple put together an unforgettable evening with the help of wedding planner Ashley Rath in exactly a year’s time.
The stars were perfectly aligned the night that Beth met Chris, and they were shining brightly on the pair. It was Beth’s 25th birthday, and she had chosen to celebrate at The Pepper Lounge. Chris, the club’s manager at the time, had received a call from the birthday girl a few weeks earlier, and when she introduced herself at the door that night, there was no denying the chemistry. Fast forward a few years and the couple strolls the beaches of Riviera Maya, Mexico. Suddenly, Chris drops to one knee and makes Beth the happiest woman in two countries. That night, they celebrate with fire dancers…and it won’t be the last time.
A Ceremony With Heart…
Beth wasn’t the only one to make a grand entrance on her wedding day. Chris was escorted down the aisle by both of his parents to a string rendition of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.” Despite his unique musical taste, the groom had one request: that his bride walk down the aisle to the traditional and timeless “Bridal March,” and march she did. The couple paid homage to Chris’ Serbian heritage with a traditional hand-fasting ceremony, in which the couple literally “tied the knot.” A piece of Chris’ mother’s wedding gown, embroidered with both their wedding dates, was tied around the couple’s joined hands. This, like many other new traditions for the Susics, is one they plan to carry on for years to come.
…And Art Beth was so inspired by the work of local artist Jennifer Hayes, which she first saw displayed at Prime 1000, that she commissioned a one-of-a-kind painting to serve as the backdrop for her ceremony. This “Unity Painting” was the perfect accent to the couple’s evening ceremony, held at the Contemporary Art Museum. Hayes painted the canvas, and Beth and Chris added a personal touch. Each drew a half of a heart on the artist’s original design, completing the image, and their promise to one another.
Wined and Dined Te sjaj moj ivot, or “You Light Up My Life,” was the cocktail of choice for guests at Beth and Chris’ reception at Lumen Private Event Space. The Cosmo with a twist bore a Serbian name, again referencing Chris’ heritage. Wedding-goers were also treated to a variety of food stations representative of the couple’s personalities. The “Kid at Heart” station featured sliders, chicken fingers and fries, some of the couple’s favorite guilty pleasures. At the “Taco Tuesday” station, guests were reminded of the couple’s first date, and an ongoing Tuesday-night tradition in the Susic household.
Out With a Bang Surprises abounded for guests at the reception. In addition to fi ne food and drink, Beth and Chris treated their guests to a performance by fi re dancers, reminiscent of their Mexican engagement celebration. DJ Greasy kept the dance fl oor packed all night, and as the evening came to a close, the energy reached an all-time high. The couple had one last trick up their sleeves; inspired by the opening montage in “Wedding Crashers,” the DJ queued up the classic wedding anthem, “Shout.” Guests flooded the dance floor for one last song, threw their hands up in rhythm with the music, and were showered with confetti as smiles and exclamations filled the room. The couple looked around at all the joy and love that surrounded them, and gave one another a congratulatory kiss on a job well
done…very well done.
Beth Gray & Chris Susic
Beth Gray & Chris Susic
Photo credit: Photos by Lisa Hessel