This Couple Served a Seven-Course Meal at Their Wedding at The Caramel Room in St. Louis, Missouri
Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Kate and Holt found a way to make fine dining and exquisite service safe and socially-distanced for their wedding in St. Louis. The reception was set up like a jazz bistro so attendees could enjoy the celebration from individual tables while taking in a private concert and seven-course dinner. The first course even included personalized cheese boards in lieu of traditional passed hors d' oeuvres to minimize contact. And at the end of the night guests got to depart with their cheese boards that service staff had washed and wrapped up for them while the other dinner courses were served. In the end, Kate and Holt embraced the unique circumstances that were thrown their way and came up with a wedding celebration that both met safety standards and yet felt unforgettable and joyful. "Our wedding was an amazing day - a meaningful ceremony in the Catholic Church in St. Louis in which my parents were married followed by an incredible party. Our vision and inspiration for the day changed multiple times over the course of the months of planning in light of the pandemic and other unforeseen events," recalls Kate of the couple's wedding in St. Louis, Missouri.
Balancing the duality of safety and creativity, Kate and Holt looked to both their favorite colors and COVID-informed protocols to inspire each and every detail of the wedding celebration. "We loved peach, yellow, and green (basically, colors that are both beautiful and cheery), and we were able to incorporate the spirit of those colors but with more fall tones for our November event. However, once November got closer, we realized that a bigger overhaul would be necessary to keep everyone safe—so the inspiration for our event became 'safety first.' In light of the rising Covid case numbers, we simply could not justify inviting dozens of family and friends from across the country to celebrate and risk their health doing so on our behalf. So, a couple of months before our wedding, and then again a mere two weeks before, we downsized our guest list. For the small number of guests who ultimately attended, we required that they get a negative Covid test before attending. It was difficult to make these adjustments and impose these requirements, but we were so grateful that (for the most part) everyone was so gracious and understanding. This allowed us to feel truly free and at ease on November 21! And, we would be remiss if we didn’t thank our parents for supporting us through the ups and downs and allowing us to have such a beautiful day," explains Kate of the ongoing hurdles she and Holt encountered as they planned, and replanned, their wedding.
Kate and Holt's wedding day began with a traditional ceremony at a Catholic church before heading over to The Caramel Room for their reception with a seven-course dinner. Kate recalls the processional during the couple's wedding ceremony as being her most treasured momeny from the wedding day. "Walking down the aisle at mass and meeting each other at the end was the most meaningful, anticipated, and special. We had been extremely busy the week leading up to the wedding in light of the Covid changes and my mom’s health, so getting to breathe a sigh of relief and utter joy that we were about to finally be married was the best part of the day."
A silver lining that came from all the changes the pandemic forced on Kate and Holt's wedding at The Caramel Room was that they were able to fill their St. Louis wedding with ample personalized details, due in large part to the celebration's petite guest list. "We think that we really personalized the day, and we did so in ways that would not have been possible if we hadn’t been forced to minimize the guest list because of Covid! There were two aspects that we thought were particularly unique and made the event special despite the constant changes. First, the vibe at the reception was like a relaxed Jazz club —each household that attended sat at an individual bistro table (for social distancing, and vibe, purposes)," explains Kate of the reception's layout. "When they arrived at the reception, there was a personally monogrammed charcuterie board waiting for them and they were also greeted with their favorite cocktail (presented by a kind server with a cute “The Bakers” towel on the arm)." Not only did guests start the night off with their favorite cocktail, but they were also in for a treat with impeccable catering. "We then had a seven-course tasting menu with truly some of the best food I have ever had in my life," says Kate. "We did not let a single bit go to waste. We had had a discussion with the chef at The Carmel Room ahead of time about the kinds of food we like (which is basically ALL food... ) and he completely exceeded our expectations in every way with a tailored menu. The menu had butternut squash soup, a delicious pasta course, and multiple meat courses (to satisfy our Midwestern families)."
In addition to the epic dinner service, guests enjoyed great musical entertainment all evening long. "A 12-piece band serenaded us all night and they really got the party going despite our small number of guests, playing a mixture of Broadway show tunes and more classic wedding favorites. It was just so unique—the mixture of the food and music made the reception feel so special and intimate. We got to really engage with and spend time with every family member that was there, with the backdrop of some incredible music," recalls Kate. "Then, as the night progressed, the ladies at the wedding all grabbed a small glass of tequila and went to the ladies’ restroom to share marriage advice—a tradition in Holt’s family. The advice ranged from hilarious to serious to a combination of the two, and this was such a meaningful way to spend a few moments with the closet women in our lives."
To cap off the already incredible celebration at The Caramel Room, guests departed at the end of the evening with a plethora of wedding favors. "At the end of the night, our (once again amazing) Kate & Co. team had the monogrammed boards, as well as personalized wine with our wedding date on the label and a pashmina, boxed up for each guest to take home! The guests also loved that they could take the flowers and the gold vases from their individual tables home. My mom even got the ones at our sweetheart table engraved and gifted them to us on our first Christmas as a married couple."