A Contemporary Wedding With Vintage Flair at the Sanford Center in Bemidji, Minnesota

For their early-August wedding, Marissa and Joseph planned a timeless affair with a vintage-meets-modern flair and plenty of personal touches. The pai

For their early-August wedding, Marissa and Joseph planned a timeless affair with a vintage-meets-modern flair and plenty of personal touches. The pair kept things local, gathering together their families and friends at the Sanford Center in their hometown of Bemidji, Minnesota. “It’s where we fell in love and where our hearts always are,” Marissa says. “The venue is in a great location right on Lake Bemidji and has a patio and a room with windows looking out onto the water.” The day kicked off with a traditional Catholic ceremony at St. Philip's Church, the same church that Joseph attended as a child, followed by a fun-filled evening of dinner and dancing. Marissa and Joseph totally transformed the Sanford Center into a stunning fusion of contemporary and classic styles, infusing the space with elegant ivory and blush blooms accented with wispy ferns, gilded details that gave the decor a regal feel and sweet Minnesota-shaped table numbers that showed off a little state pride. For the head table, KD Floral created a stunning hanging centerpiece with cascading greenery, seasonal flowers and silvery eucalyptus, as well as a table runner designed in a similar style. Candlelight added a warm, romantic ambiance to each tablescape, while hand-sewn lace chair covers made by Joseph’s mother and custom wax seals on the escort cards and linens gave the day an personalized feel. “The one thing that stands out most to us was our thank-you cards that we worked on together,” Marissa says. “They described how thankful we were to have such great people be a part of our new lives together.” A tip from Marissa and Joseph: “Don’t sweat the small stuff. Appreciate your engagement and your wedding—it’s magical and a once-in-a-lifetime moment. Soak up every minute!”

Marissa and Joseph went all out for their head table. KD Floral designed a one-of-a-kind suspended centerpiece with wispy greenery, silvery eucalyptus, romantic ivory and blush blooms and modern navy drum chandeliers. “We wanted the room to feel like a classic, romantic fairytale,” Marissa says of the display. In addition to the standout arrangement, KD Floral lined the tables with a lush living table runner composed of lush leaves, hydrangeas and roses.
Since Marissa and Joseph were born and raised in Minnesota, they incorporated a little state pride into the reception decor. To help guests find their seats, the couple labeled the tables with numbers accompanied by silhouettes of Minnesota. A small heart marked the location of Bemidji, Minnesota, their hometown and the place their love story began.
To thank their guests for sharing in such a monumental event in their lives, Marissa and Joseph sent everyone home with a personal and totally unexpected gift: a loaf of Johnnie Bread. The bread is a favorite of the couple’s and a nod to the newlyweds’ alma mater, St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, where the bread is made.
Marissa and Joseph put a twist on the traditional guest book, asking guests to write well wishes on small hearts and place them in a shadow box. Inside the frame was also a gold heart, which they had personalized with their names and wedding date by Ken. K in Thompson, Minnesota.
For the traditional cake cutting, Marissa and Joseph opted for a one-tier cake decorated with ruffled frosting and a cluster of fresh, blush flowers. They treated their guests to a selection of perfectly frosted cupcakes in flavors like vanilla, chocolate, red velvet and more.
For their invitations, Marissa and Joseph took the classic route. The pair chose a traditional, formal design with elegant script font and added a subtle modern flair with navy blue ink and a custom monogram logo designed by Joseph’s mother.
KD Floral perfectly captured the day's essence with arrangements of classic, romantic blooms in soft ivory and blush hues. For Marissa’s bouquet, the team of florists created an understated arrangement of hydrangeas, roses and anemones that paired beautifully with the elegant, feminine feel of Marissa’s gown without overwhelming it.
“We decided on a very elegant look for our bridal party to reflect the classic style of our wedding and traditional values we hold as a couple,” Marissa says. The bridesmaids donned floor-length lace gowns in a dark shade of navy blue with high bateau necklines and fit-and-flare silhouettes, while the groomsmen sported modern navy tuxedos. “The navy dresses and tuxes really made my gown pop in the photos,” Marissa says.
Before heading to the Sanford Center for a night filled with dinner and dancing, Marissa and Joseph exchanged vows surrounded by their families and friends in a traditional Catholic ceremony at St. Philip's Church in Bemidji, Minnesota. “Joseph and many of his family members grew up going to the small Catholic school attached to the church,” Marissa says. “I was confirmed and welcomed into the church at St. Philip's with Joseph as my sponsor.”
To create cohesion throughout the decor, the couple carried several small details throughout the day, including custom wax seals and elegant navy script font. Wax seals in navy and gold were used to indicate guests’ meal choices and were used again to inject a regal note to the place cards.