We made it to the altar, here’s how!

Plans changed, but love didn’t. Here’s how we pulled off the wedding of a lifetime with a world on lockdown.

I told you about the fear, faith and love that made up our perfect day in June. I told you about how it felt, but I didn’t yet tell you about how we pulled it off. 

Truly, it feels like we changed our plan roughly 17 times between April and June. We held onto hope for much longer than we thought we could before we brought our guest list from 300, to 20 and all the way down to 10. We gave ourselves a hard deadline of 1 month before we said, “I do” to make the call to only have our parents and wedding party. A few weeks later we received the news that 10 would be the maximum, and so the puzzle began. 

At first, we were considering an intimate ceremony followed by a reception celebration sometime in 2021. It felt like the right move at first, but it was not for us. We decided that our hearts needed to go all-in to one day, our wedding day, so we could move forward into our marriage together without looking back or holding together the pieces. There is no right answer here or one size fits all; talk with your significant other and decide what your hearts need. 

Before I get too far into details, it’s important to note that our vendors were incredible. I call them my wedding angels because that is exactly the role they played. I’ll give details on them all below incase you need an angel of your own, but for now, let’s break it down into categories. 

Venue: This was one of the most important pieces to our puzzle, it always has been. We wanted to be married here and it was nonnegotiable. If they could have their doors open, we knew this is where we would say our vows and begin our life together. They ended up creating the prefect plan for us, a plan that felt full, even with only 10 people. From the incredible getting ready rooms, to the ceremony and reception space of our dreams, I can’t say enough about how The Capitol Room felt like home, and we will be eternally grateful that this is where we started forever. 

Photo and Video: If this wasn’t one of the most important things for us before, it sure was now. If our 300 guests couldn’t be there with us, they sure are going to feel as if they were when they see every detail on replay. Our photographer and videographer have been with us since my now husband got down on one knee (no seriously, they put a microphone down his shirt while he was “using the restroom” at dinner). We couldn’t have imagined taking this step without them here to capture it. They were responsive as we changed the plan for the who knows how many times, and in the end we ended up using our original contract in full, so we wouldn’t miss a second. 

Floral: I am lucky because one of my dear friends is also very talented at flowers on the side. We worked together to fill the space with white peonies, and creating my own flowers along side her was something that I will always cherish. When you think of a big bridal bouquet, I dreamed bigger, and we did just that.  

Catering: Our venue had a preferred catering list and the food did not disappoint. We went with one meal option for all and they plated the meal for us as it was originally supposed to be served. It was delicious, and the fact that they were so flexible with our guest count makes them all the more recommendable. 

Cake: We originally had a 2-layer cake (gluten free!) and cupcakes from two separate bakeries. Although we hate to cancel on any vendors, we simply didn’t need 250 extra cupcakes. We kept our original 50-serving wedding cake, and brought tupperware for our guests to enjoy after. We seriously ate cake for a week after the wedding, but wow it was good. 

Decorations: We had a combination of ordering custom pieces, DIY designs and other wholesale wedding decor. I got a cricut because I knew with an ever-changing plan; I wanted to be in full control of what we ended up displaying. I think the photos speak for themselves when I say fill a room full of floating candles and flowers, and everything else comes together. Simplicity is key, but having enough of everything locks it all into place. Do not skimp on the details, especially if your day got downsized. Your photographers will appreciate the extra photo opportunities, and it will make the space feel full.

Attire: My wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses were from The Wedding Shoppe and I actually won our tux rentals from the local bridal shop in the town we got married in (I must of used up my luck pre-covid). Both bridal shops were incredible – luckily we had mine and my girls dresses long before lock down, but despite the pandemic, my groom and our groomsmen looked incredible thanks to Inspire Bridal! They dealt with the last minute changes and treated us as though we were spending thousands, even though we won the rentals for free. 

Hair & Makeup: I am lucky enough to have a sister-in-law who was my hair and makeup artist AND my bridesmaid. The plan was always to have her as our glam squad since the very first day, and that didn’t change big wedding or not. She made me feel confident, natural, and glowing!

Officiant: I add this as an independent category because this is where the puzzle really worked its magic. My cousin was originally going to marry us, but with an 11 hour drive between us and group gathering restrictions, my brother stepped up to the plate and filled the role of officiant and groomsman all in one. I have to tell you, either way would have been beyond special, but having your brother get ordained last minute and pull off the ceremony of your dreams is nothing you will ever forget. 

We canceled our DJ and used the venue’s speaker system with a few Spotify playlists instead. We also did not move forward with our shuttle service, as we no longer needed to transport hundreds of guests. For the most part we were able to utilize our incredible vendors with some adjustments, but we are grateful and will always recommend the vendors we did not get to use as they made the transition seamless and professional. 

We didn’t get to spend the day with all of our loved ones or best friends by our side in the wedding party, but what we did get was a whole lot of love, memories and happy tears. I zoomed my bridesmaids pre ceremony and let them take a first look, and that was something that will always mean so much to me. It was quick, and really simple, but having them there, even virtually made them all feel close to me. We do also plan to do a ‘wedding party weekend’ so we can celebrate with our wedding party as one, because that was a very difficult decision to not have them by our side, even though it was out of our control.  

So, who was there? Myself, my now husband, my mom, his dad, my brother, my sister-in-law, our best man (+ one) and maid of honor (+ one). We missed all of our loved ones, but wow did this small group pull this off for us. Getting to spend quality time with these special people brought the day full circle and now it’s hard to imagine it any other way. My mom, who is my very best friend, still got to walk me down the aisle. We had our first dance, speeches, and even did a mini (I’m talking two people each) garter and bouquet toss. We didn’t skip tradition or plans; we just didn’t have as many hugs to give on that special day. 

Truly our day felt so full, and not too far off of what it was originally intended to be. I think the key for us was getting what we pictured for so long, even though restrictions prevented those who were able to attend. We didn’t do a virtual viewing of the ceremony, but we recorded the full video for our loved ones to view at a later date. 

In short, our wedding day was small, but mighty. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, regardless of what you do, go all in! Follow your heart right to the altar and marry the person of your dreams when the time is right for YOU! It may look entirely different, but it may also be exactly what you needed too. 

Love, Mrs. Croatt 

Venue: The Capitol Room // Saint Peter, MN (P.S. The venue manager, Megan was incredible! She truly made our day the success it was!)

Photo: Scheid Media, Brandon Olmscheid

Video: In 2 Motion Media, Devin Winter

Floral: Kylie Romashko // Twin Cities, MN

Catering: Lola’s American Bistro // New Ulm, MN

Cake: Small Cakes // Savage, MN

Attire: Mens – Inspire Bridal // Saint Peter, MN. Bride & Bridesmaids – The Wedding Shoppe // Saint Paul, MN. Mother of the Bride – Macy’s.

Hair & Makeup: Hair Play By Hanna // Hanna Hopkins

DJ: Midwest Sound (did not get to use due to downsizing the wedding)

Shuttle Service: Carlson Lines, LLC. (did not get to use due to downsizing the wedding)

Need any contact info? Comment below or shoot me a message, I’d love to share!

Photograph: Scheid Media, Brandon Olmscheid // THE GROUP WHO GOT US THERE
Photograph: Scheid Media, Brandon Olmscheid // SMALL WEDDING DREAMS

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