When: Feb 14th 2016 | Where: St. Louis, Missouri | Theme: Harry Potter, Zoo, Jewish | Color: Purple
Amanda and Joe had a winter wedding at the St. Louis Zoo on valentines day last year. Their winter Harry Potter wedding was filled with many unique details and bold colors. The couple had the wedding ceremony at Peabody Hall and reception at River Camp.
“For our ceremony, we bucked the traditional layout and used what is called the “Ceremony in the Round”. In some Jewish weddings, the guests encircle the Chuupa in the center to give it a more intimate feel. This takes a certain kind of venue though and so we ended up using a half-circle. It made for a very unique wedding where all the guests were very close to the bride and groom.
Our centerpieces were put together by Walter Knoll, our florist. We made them really special and unique to us because in addition to having flowers we loved, we put a flavor of our personalities into them. Each centerpiece also had a little library in it (Amanda is a librarian), with 4-5 books we liked tied together in the center. We both love to read and the titles were ones we liked. We spent hours picking the books at Goodwill around the city and had a bunch of fun doing so. These also doubled as gifts for our guests because all the books were hardcovers and the guests got to take them home. Anything that didn’t get taken, and there weren’t many left, was donated back to Goodwill.” – Joe
More about the Winter Harry Potter Wedding
“Most weddings nowadays use the “First Look” before the wedding as the reveal for the bride and groom to see each other and then take photos. This is done for an easier schedule but we didn’t like the idea. We stuck to the Jewish tradition of not seeing each other for 24 hours before the ceremony and our first look at each other when Amanda was walking down the aisle. This made for an incredibly memorable experience and I would encourage others to do this as well. We then took pictures during cocktail hour and were a bit rushed in that time, but with a good photographer who keeps you on track, it isn’t an issue.
The Zoo is an amazing place for photographs, even in the snow! Because it snowed that morning we ended up having the entire park to ourselves, and the Zoo did an amazing job accommodating us. We took golf carts all over the Zoo to take pictures. However, our favorite pictures of the whole wedding were when we went to visit Kali the Polar Bear. Kali is a young polar bear and is SUPER friendly to everyone. When we pulled up near him, he stood up on two legs for us and then bounded over to say hi to us. He loves people and spent the next 15 minutes next to the window saying hi to us while we took pictures next to him and made funny faces at him. It was a moment we’ll never forget.
Always add a few special touches to your wedding that are entertaining or fun for you as a couple. Most likely if you find them fun, your friends and relatives will too. We added Harry Potter themed signs to let everyone know about a few rules we had at the ceremony, such as no flash photography. Making these was really fun and we cracked up about it with some of our friends later.
We also played the Jaws theme right before we were introduced into reception. To us this was a hilarious moment because we had the DJ slowly bring up the volume and people only gradually noticed what was going on. Not many people got it, but we couldn’t stop laughing in the hallway. Made for some great pictures.
Amanda’s dress was a beautiful sight to behold. It was a light purple undercolor under a white lace pattern. She found it online after looking everywhere in the city and not finding anything that particularly suited her. It was custom made for her, was a great deal, and fit her personality amazingly. So spend the time and find the right dress for you, even if it means taking some risks and looking around online for one and needing to do the alterations locally. The dress was from Lace Marry and we recommend them to anyone. ” – Joe
Wedding Planning Advice
“Be true to yourself and what you want, not what others want. If you want a smaller low-key wedding, then do it. People will understand.
Also, the two sides of the aisle don’t need to be equal. Just invite who you want, don’t try to fill it so its equal.” – Amanda
Photographer: Under Grace Photo//Dress Designer: LaceMarry//Bakery: Lubeley’s//Reception Venue: St. Louis Zoo//Cake Designer: SweetArt Cakes by Sarah//Floral Designer: Walter Knoll Florist//Submitted via Two Bright Lights