A Chic Warehouse Wedding at NP Event Space in Brainerd, Minnesota

With its original brick walls, exposed beams, massive doors, natural lighting, chandeliers, wooden tables, gold chairs and stunning bridal suite, Rachel Baltes (27 and a senior account manager) and Sam McNellis (26 and a forester equipment operator) loved the chic and modern yet old and timeless—feel of NP Event Space in Brainerd, Minnesota. “Sam and I love being up north at the cabin, so it perfectly fit what we were looking for in terms of style and location,” Rachel says of the former railroad space. They went with a classy (and classic) palette of navy, taupe, blush and white, letting the venue speak for itself. Olives became a central aesthetic, with olive leaves and branches incorporated throughout. During the Christian ceremony—officiated by Rachel's father—the couple had a salt covenant with olives and Communion. “Eating an olive signifies the covenant of salt, preserving our words, meaning what we say that day and holding true to it, truth and longevity and endurance, like an olive tree,” Rachel says. Sentimental touches were weaved into the day with Rachel’s something old (vintage jewelry from her late grandmothers), something blue (a heart-shaped piece of her late grandfather’s tie, sewn into the inside of her gown) and Rachel's and Sam's mothers doing readings during the ceremony. Sam and Rachel did a grand entrance into the reception area, shared the first dance to “Running Around in My Dreams” by Tyrone Wells and enjoyed appetizers passed during the social hour and a delicious dinner buffet—at wooden farm tables—catered by local restaurant Prairie Bay Catering. Their cake, from Twin Cities favorite Cocoa & Fig, was a cheesecake topped with an “M” and olive branches, served alongside a dessert bar of brownies, pumpkin bars and mini cheesecake bites. After dinner, guests took silly photos in the photo booth, danced all night, sent the couple off with a sparkler exit and enjoyed a weekend in the Brainerd Lakes vacation area. Rachel’s advice for others is simple: “Soak it all in as much as possible, and just enjoy all the love you’ll be surrounded by.” —Chrissy Sorenson