A New Year's Eve Library Wedding at the James J. Hill Reference Library in St. Paul, Minnesota
Gabriella Hooper (27 and a physicians assistant student) and Alex Rooker (27 and a financial planner) met during their senior year of high school when Gabriella went out for the track team. They went to college together at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse where Gabi did gymnastics and Alex ran track.The couple moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota after graduating college, and a few years later, Gabriella began PA school. On November 21, 2013, Alex proposed to Gabi on the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis. As a sign of equality, both Gabi and Alex wore engagement rings made from the same rosewood tree in Israel. Because they wanted their ceremony and reception to be in the same location, the James J. Hill Reference Library was the perfect venue. The staff at the library were incredibly accommodating, and the guests enjoyed the private space for the New Year's Eve themed wedding. With old books from Gabriella's late grandfather's collection, the tables were decorated with gold table numbers and floral arrangements. Common Roots, a local and organic catering company located in Minneapolis, catered the cocktail hour and reception dinner, serving salmon, chicken, or beef for the main course. To follow the celebrations of New Year's Eve, the guests enjoyed a special champagne toast at the stroke of midnight. Rather than a candle ceremony or unity sand, Alex and Gabi chose to do an Irish tradition called a handfasting ceremony. They bound their hands together as a sign of unity for the rest of their lives. "Do what you can to make your wedding unique. Whether you plan your own ceremony, chose a specific menu, do a choreographed first dance, or something else, it will be more memorable for you and your guests," says Gabriella.