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An Elegant, Woodland-Inspired Wedding at the The Old Post Office in St. Louis, Missouri

Linsey Schoemehl (32 and general counsel to the Illinois State Board of Investment) and Cliff Payne’s (31 and vice president of Equity International)

Linsey Schoemehl (32 and general counsel to the Illinois State Board of Investment) and Cliff Payne’s (31 and vice president of Equity International) were all about custom and locally sourced details when it came to their November 1st wedding in St. Louis, MO. Working with planner Kristin Weis of Kristin Ashley Events the couple planned an unforgettable blowout affair at The Old Post Office, a grandiose, historic landmark with undeniable old world charm. “I loved that we could flow guests throughout the entire venue, starting with cocktails in the entry way, dinner in the main room and dancing downstairs,” says Linsey. Drawing on the venue for inspiration, as well as what Linsey refers to as “the eerie feel” of the season, the couple dreamed up an enchanted woodland theme for the evening, complete with a rich color palette of moody black and blue hues, statement-making moss, succulent and floral centerpieces and plenty of gilded details and warm candlelight. “Visually, I wanted people to feel like they were in the woods and stumbled upon some dream-like dinner party,” says Linsey. After a traditional ceremony officiated by Cliff’s aunt at Washington University’s Graham Chapel, the party was moved to The Old Post Office for dinner and dancing. Guests were greeted by a selection of signature cocktails featuring local small batch whiskeys and locally brewed beer, the band Vitrolum Republic playing lively gypsy swing tunes in the background, followed by a decadent dinner by Local Harvest Catering made with only the freshest locally sourced ingredients. “The food was easily one of the highlights of the evening for us,” says Linsey. St. Louis favorites like gooey butter cake, Ted Drewes concretes and White Castle hamburgers were a huge hit with guests, as was the evening’s entertainment. Griffin and the Gargoyles got guests out on the dance floor and rapper and St. Louis native Nelly surprised everyone with a 45-minute set, a detail no one present is soon to forget. A tip for the taking from Linsey: “Hire a planner, or, at the very least, a day of coordinator. I would consider myself extremely organized, but there are a million and one things that come up at the last minute that you simply can’t prepare for. Rather than letting these things impede upon your day or burdening your friends and family, a professional can handle these things with ease.”

Traditional Formal Wedding Invitations
Organic, Woodland-Inspired Bridal Bouquet
Inspired by Linsey’s love of all things vintage and their unique Old Post Office venue, the couple worked with Courtney Callahan to create custom save-the-dates in the form of a telegram. For the escort cards, Linsey found vintage postcards on a trip to New York and handpicked one for each guest, basing the selections on details that reminded her of them. “I’m fairly certain only a handful of people picked up on this, but the few that did made it worth the effort,” says Linsey.
Custom Designed Vintage-Inspired Rings
Half Updo with Romantic Waves
Traditional Black Tuxedos and Ties
Washington University Graham Chapel
Vintage Rolls Royce Ceremony Transportation
Graham Chapel Ceremony Processional
Graham Chapel at Washington University was an obvious choice for Linsey and Cliff when choosing a place to host their ceremony. “Cliff went to undergrad at Washington University and I have always been in awe of Graham Chapel, so choosing that venue to get married just made sense,” says Linsey. Cliff’s aunt officiated the ceremony, which added an extra personal and sentimental dimension to the day. In the months leading up to the wedding, she reached out to the couple’s family members and friends to get love advice to share during the ceremony. “We also wrote our own vows, which really added to the emotional level of the ceremony; exchanging them is something I’ll never forget,” says Linsey.
Linsey and Cliff wanted a way to have their guests actively participate in the ceremony. Instead of a traditional unity candle lighting, the couple provided their family members and friends with LED candles and dimmed the lights at the end of the ceremony, allowing the warm candlelight to illuminate the church. “It reflected how the love and support of our friends and families would serve as a guiding light for Cliff and I as we start our life together,” says Linsey.
Mismatched Navy and Black Bridesmaid Dresses
Drawing on the venue for inspiration, as well as what Linsey refers to as “the eerie feel” of the season, the couple dreamed up an enchanted woodland theme for the evening, complete with a rich color palette of moody black and blue hues, statement-making moss, succulent and floral centerpieces made by Poppies Design Studio and plenty of gilded details and warm candlelight. “Visually, I wanted people to feel like they were in the woods and stumbled upon some dream-like dinner party,” says Linsey
Living in Chicago and starting business school, Linsey knew that she needed the help of a planner. Kristin Weis of  Kristin Ashley Events was instrumental in excuting the couple’s vision and ensuring the planning process was easy and stress-free. “I would consider myself extremely organized, but there are a million and one things that come up at the last minute that you simply can’t prepare for. Rather than letting these things impede upon your day or burdening your friends and family, a professional can handle these things with ease,” says Linsey.
“The food was easily one of the highlights of the evening for us,” says Linsey of Local Harvest Catering’s topnotch menu. Everything from the appetizers to the desserts were locally sourced, making for dishes that were fresh, flavorful and a huge hit with guests. Dinner was a sit down affair, where guests were served a delicious progression of Niçoise salad with smoked Missouri trout, smoked pork loin with date glaze, mashed sweet potatoes and butter-braised Brussels sprouts. Dessert was just as decadent with Linsey and Cliff treating guests to spread of St. Louis favorites like gooey butter cake and Ted Drewes concretes.
Framed Vintage Table Numbers
In addition to the dessert table where guests found an array of popular St. Louis desserts, including gooey butter cake and Ted Drewes concretes in flavors like strawberry chip and banana peanut butter cup, Linsey and Cliff had Local Harvest whip up a traditional wedding cake for the cake cutting. “We were on a mission to find the best carrot cake in Saint Louis for our wedding,” says Linsey. “After several failed attempts, the baker at Local Harvest offered up her services, using her grandmother’s recipe.  It was so delicious; I even had her make it again for our Thanksgiving dinner!”
Elegant Vintage Cocktail Lounge
Giving guests a taste of local flavors was high on Linsey and Cliff’s priority list and Local Harvest Catering didn’t disappoint. Upon arrival at the Old Post Office, guests were greeted by a selection of locally made spirits, including a whiskey cocktail infused with ginger and beer from the couple’s favorite local brewery, Urban Chestnut. “We had no idea that the Saint Louis area has so many wonderful spirit distilleries; our guests are big whiskey drinkers and the locally sourced batches provided by Local Harvest gave some of the classic staples a run for their money,” says Linsey.
Ted Drewes Frozen Custard Treats
Good music and an active dance floor were high on Linsey and Cliff’s priority list. Griffin and the Gargoyles were key in making that happen and the band churned out an upbeat variety of country and pop hits that kept guests dancing all night long. “Their rendition of ‘Shake It Off’ by Taylor Swift was so good that guests thought the band had put on their break playlist,” says Linsey. Around midnight, Linsey’s father surprised everyone with a guest performer, rapper and St. Louis native Nelly, who played a 45-minute set, a detail no one present is soon to forget. “My dad set up the entire thing and didn’t tell Cliff and me until a few weeks before the wedding. We kept the surprise a secret from everyone else, which was quite a feat,” says Linsey.