A Modern Jewish Wedding at Minneapolis Central Library in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Even though Marisa Kowalsky (30 and a portfolio manager) and Dan Myers (30 and an optometrist) aren't natives of Minneapolis, Minnesota, they made sure to show their 200 guests the "sophisticated and natural vibes" of their adopted city before they said "I do." The pair kicked off their wedding weekend on Friday evening at home, with a wine-and-beer rooftop party for 90. The following day, Marisa's parents hosted a city tour and a visit to a local brewery for 180. Then on Sunday, Dan's parents rented a warehouse and treated all 200 guests to a variety of foods, from gelato to street food. "All these events gave us and our special guests time to spend time together over the course of the whole weekend, not just the few hours of the wedding," Marisa says. 

A simple-chic streak ran through the ceremony, which was held in Minneapolis Central Library's bright, airy atrium. Attendants took their seats on either side of a lily-lined aisle. "The theme of the wedding was whimsically elegant," Marisa says. "We wanted it to have clean lines to reflect the architecture of the library, but also be very organically lush." Garland, woven from olive branches, cascaded 30 feet from a wall. The olive branch symbolizes peace and unity in Judaism. In addition to their garland decor, Marisa and Dan signed a ketubah (the Jewish wedding contract), recited their vows under a flower-draped chuppah (the Jewish wedding canopy) and gave their guests gold-trimmed, personalized yarmulkes (the Jewish head covering). Marisa wisely swapped her glamorous metal cherry blossom high heels for a pair of sneakers before the hora (the Jewish chair dance) at the reception, which was also at the library. When their special night ended, Marisa and Dan relished their sparkler send-off on the library's steps. They then pedaled away, their rickshaw dangling tin cans and a "just married" sign from its bumper behind them. "People cheered us on as we rode through downtown," Marisa says. —Alexa Wybraniec