It's The Little Things

Intimate gatherings are more than just a trend. These creative couples found unique and inspiring ways to hold a micro wedding with a major impact.
Written by
Megan White


Minnesota Bride Fall/Winter 2021

"Keep the day super-unique to who you are as a couple. Incorporate things you love to do, places you’ve been and invest in the parts of the day that mean the most to you. Ultimately, you want the day to feel like you, so don’t settle for anything less!  ~ Lexie Cummings, Availed Wedding and Event Planning

After Covid forced Halli Kubes and Reid Jacobson to scrap their plans for a big-city soirée, they opted for a weekend getaway to one of their favorite places in the world—Lutsen, on Minnesota’s North Shore. With their closest friends and family (all encouraged to bring their dogs), the couple held a romantic woodland ceremony, followed by a laid-back barbecue. Throughout it all, the idyllic views made it an event of a lifetime.

GOWN: Willowby by Watters from a&bé Bridal
HAIR: By the bride’s friends
MAKEUP: Jordan Ohlin, skinfluencerjordan
FLORIST: Doug Boisvert
INVITATIONS: Taylor K. Higgins Design
VIDEOGRAPHY: Rico Roman Productions
PLANNER: Lexie Cummings of Availed Wedding & Event Planning 

"My favorite part of the wedding was knowing everyone had fun and was relaxed...2020 was a hard year as it was, and we wanted to make it the least stressful as possible for everyone." ~ Angellica Holt

Angellica Holt and Nicholas Novack's goal for their wedding was to create a time and place for friends and family to just relax and have fun. They booked the Olive Branch Retreat in Grey Eagle, a converted convent with accommodations for 22 people, which allowed half of the wedding guests to stay and enjoy the entire weekend with them. On their big day, they started with yoga and yard games. They walked down the aisle with their dogs Isabella, Rookie and Indigo as their wedding party, then topped it all off with a bonfire and card games for a perfectly low-key celebration.

GOWN: Cocomelody
HAIR & MAKEUP: Emily Hansen
BRIDE’S RING: Custom design from Jared’s
GROOM’S ATTIRE: Michael Kors
GROOM’S RING: Manly Bands
VENUE: The Olive Branch Retreat
CATERER: True North Marketplace
FLORALS, DÉCOR & CAKE: By the bride

"There is something so poignant about choosing love, and choosing to find happiness, joy and peace in a wedding that is nothing like what we originally envisioned or planned for." ~ Morgan Smith

Morgan Smith and Chase Liaboe had big plans for a big wedding. Then along came COVID, and with both working in health care, they were too stressed and busy to plan a big affair. They downsized their plans three times as state regulations shifted; then, with less than a month before their date, regulations tightened even more. Ultimately, the duo decided that getting married safely was what mattered the most, and opted to keep their original date with a courthouse wedding at the Minnesota Judicial Center in St. Paul. Morgan’s aunt, a judge, officiated, and the couple’s parents attended. Morgan and Chase made the day memorable with exceptional attire, and Morgan received a last-minute surprise bouquet from their planner, Laine Palm, and florist, Maven. The two are still planning a big celebration in December 2021 at Aria in Minneapolis, because, as they say, “We still want to party!”

ACCESSORIES: Loeffler Randall, BHLDN
HAIR & MAKEUP: Andria Johnson, Primped
GROOM’S ATTIRE: Martin Patrick3
PHOTOGRAPHY: Clewell Photography
PLANNER: Laine Palm Designs

"Our planning, as it turned out, was inspired by the moment, but also by the relationships of people we’ve come to know during our time here in Minnesota— making it intimate and memorable." ~ Zoe Zulakis

Sydni Coleman and Zoe Zulakis had picked the perfect date: June 26, the anniversary of the Obergefell v. Hodges decision, a ruling that made marriages like theirs legal. But 2020 had other plans, and they decided to wait. After a few months, they were determined to finish off a tough year with some good news, and courtesy of a cancellation, they secured the last opening of the year at The Blaisdell in Minneapolis. With only three weeks to plan, they pulled off a serene New Year’s Eve wedding with a little help from their friends. From their makeup to the bouquets to the cake, friends lovingly crafted many elements, with two of their best friends as the sole guests. Although their celebration wasn’t what they had planned, the couple says it was everything they could have hoped for.

BRIDAL ATTIRE: BHLDN, David’s Bridal, Macy’s
BRIDES’ SHOES: Cole Haan, Tieks
BRIDES’ EARRINGS: Heirlooms from Sydni’s mother
MAKEUP: First Looks LLC
HAIR: Ulta 
VENUE: The Blaisdell
OFFICIANT: Positively Charmed
CAKE: L.I.V. Sisters
FLORIST: Studio Emme
PHOTOGRAPHY: Lauren B. Photography

"There is no elopement like another! There are so many ‘Instagram-worthy’ spots to get married, but nothing will ever replace the kind of love each couple has." ~ Samantha Kleven of Samantha Kleven Photography

This one-of-a-kind elopement-inspired styled shoot coordinated by Samantha Kleven Photography was born out of Kleven’s passion for travel and adventure. With a fresh dusting of snow, real-life lovebirds Mariah and David display their affection with an out-of-this-world prop—a hybrid helicopter-airplane owned by one of Kleven’s friends. As one of only two of its kind in the United States, the aircraft was draped with lush florals, ready to take this daring duo on a journey of a lifetime.

GOWN: Raw + Golden Rentals
TUXEDO: David’s Bridal 
FLORIST: Lilacs and Lace
HAIR & MAKEUP: Styled by Abbi
VENUE: Anoka County-Blaine Airport
PLANE: Bill Bruggeman

"Incorporating our cultural backgrounds was a priority and a way to honor those who have passed. Showcasing our indigenous cultures made us feel more connected to our families, the land and to each other. We encourage others to dig deep, talk to your elders about what traditions were in their parents' and grandparents’ weddings. You might be surprised and delighted at what you find out!" ~ Anaca Welch

After the pandemic disrupted Anaca Ramirez and Cody Welch’s plans to wed in September at Aria in Minneapolis, surrounded by guests from around the globe, they got to thinking. Anaca had often marveled at the tipis outside the recently finished Ho cokata Ti, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community’s cultural center in Shakopee, the community Cody belongs to. It occurred to her it was the ideal location for an intimate wedding with cultural highlights, so their new plan began. She chose a vibrant floral-print dress to honor her Mexican heritage, which also inspired the colorful wildflowers in her bouquet and décor. The day of, Cody’s father did a smudging of sage and sweetgrass to cleanse the tipi, and the duo wore Greek crowns that Cody’s grandparents had worn on their wedding day in 1958. A bald eagle even perched on the tipi for a moment, which the couple considered a blessing from Cody’s aunt, who had recently passed away.

GOWN: Blossom by Sassi Holford from Annika Bridal Boutique
ACCESSORIES: Tiffany & Co.
HAIR & MAKEUP: Jenna Battern at Steller Hair Co.
GROOM’S & GROOMSMAN’S ATTIRE: Knights Chamber Uptown
RINGS: Tiffany & Co.
VENUE: Ho cokata Ti
CATERER: Chowgirls Killer Catering
CAKE & DESSERTS: Jo Garrison Cakes
BEVERAGES: Pam Johnson, The Little Wine Shoppe
FLORALS & DÉCOR: Rose Botanical
INVITATIONS: A Milestone Paper Co.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Heather Hanson Weddings
RENTALS: Après Event Rentals
OFFICIANT: Summer Schneider