Sparkly North Dakota Winter Wedding

McKenzie & Tylor’s wedding was filled with exquisite attention to detail, sequin, and crystals galore – complimenting a true midwest below zero winter!  Because McKenzie’s family and friends were far too many for her small rural church, she thought why not exchange vows at a vintage theater in downtown Grand Forks. The Empire theater is rich in history with ornate draping, dramatic stage lighting and those cozy theater chairs to boot! McKenzie’s adorable uncle presided and put such a personal and loving touch on their ceremony and sermon.

At the reception, McKenzie changed out of her ornate flowing ballgown into a sassy, rhinestone fitted dress to dance the night away. The Ralph Englestad arena was transformed into a winter wonderland dream come true. The reception tables varied from tall vases with dripping crystals and silver sparkling branches to overflowing vases of white roses and hydrangeas, the layers of sparkling evergreens surrounded even more crystals, aqua winter bulbs, and kisses of platinum snowflakes were found dangling in every size and even placed so delicately on the hundreds of cupcakes for guests.


Venue: ralph engelstad arena

Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette? Did you incorporate any cultural or religious traditions in any part of your day?
I wanted our wedding to look like an elegant, winter wonderland where everything looked “iced” and was filled with rhinestones, crystals, silver trees, snow flakes, and white roses.   The color scheme consisted of silver, white, and touches of iced blue.  The venue was lit with blue uplights,  giving it a winter wonderland feel.

Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?
Our ceremony took place in an old theater. The stage was set with blue uplighting and two floral arrangements that consisted of white hydrangeas and silver fillers. White and silver sparkley snowflakes hung in the isles and white garland was hung in the entry with iced blue, white, and silver balls. The reception had all white table cloths and chair covers with silver table runners and chair ties. The tables contained tall clear vases with floral arrangements of white roses and hydrangeas, small vases with a bouquet of roses, various sizes of silver trees, and centerpieces that were sprayed silver and contained silver, white, and iced blue balls and snowflakes.  The cocktail area was full of clear snowflakes, and a table full of cupcakes that had iced blue frosting and silver snowflakes. The head table was filled with white roses and silver fillers. Silver and white snowflakes hung behind the table with blue uplights hitting them. There were also silver trees with snowflakes set up in various places. Lit trees lined the side walk coming into the venue.I did not have a wedding planner. I spent many hours gathering supplies at Hobby Lobby and many hours talking to my mom on the phone. My mom made the centerpieces and my aunt created the floral arrangements.

What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?
I wanted to keep the flowers simple and elegant to match the “winter wonderland theme” so I had mostly white roses and hydrangeas with no greenery. Any greenery on the plants were sprayed silver. The bridal bouquet consisted of all white roses with silver leaves and the bridesmaids had blue hydrangeas with white roses. The tall centerpieces contained white roses and hydrangeas. The short centerpieces held a bundle of white roses.

Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?
There were many personal touches in our wedding. My husband is a pilot so propellers took the place of our guest book, where each guest signed on the propeller. Our party favors contained chocolate airplanes and chocolate pill bottles (to match our professions of pharmacist and pilot) from one of our favorite candy stores – Widman’s Candy! My-89-year old Grandma Mabel, baked her famous sugar cookies that were shaped like mittens. Since our venue was in a hockey arena, we were able to provide mini donuts for our guests. Our favorite part of our wedding was the band, “The White Keys.” This band is originally from Minneapolis, MN and we have seen them play many times. We have always said, “when we get married, they are playing at our wedding.”

Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.
I have always dreamed of having 2 dresses when I got married, one for the ceremony and one for the reception. I wanted a white , form-fitting dress, with no lace and lots of bling. Surprisingly, the first dress I tried on became the dress I walked down the isle in. However, it was not the form-fitting dress I thought I was going to pick out. It was a white, princess ball gown, that fit tighter on top and contained flowy tool on the bottom. The top was elegant with sparkles and bling and had an open back covered with clear netting. My reception dress was a white, strapless, form-fitting dress with lots of bling on it. Both were unique in their own way!The groom wore a black tux with silk lining the collar. He wore a white undershirt and a shimmery black vest and tie. The groomsmen wore black tuxes with shimmery silver vests and ties. The bridesmaids wore silver sequence dresses that matched our winter wonderland theme.

How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.
We met through mutual friends in high school. However, we were just friends and kept in touch until my third year of college, in which we started dating. In my last year of pharmacy school, I did an internship in Hawaii. He came to visit me for 2 weeks. One night he booked a reservation to a fancy steakhouse because “he wanted to try it.” He asked if I would mind walking on the sidewalk by the beach. I agreed to but once we started walking, he wanted to go in the sand, by the water. I stated, “do we have to go in the sand, I don’t want my sandals dirty before we go to a nice restaurant.”  Well, little did I know, half way through our walk he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was definitely a surprise!

What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?
Besides for getting to marry my best friend, I would have to say the band. It was such a blast to listen to our favorite band and dance with all of our family and friends.

Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?
Don’t sweat the little things that you didn’t have time for. Your guests are not going to know what you didn’t get done! Enjoy every minute of your big day, it goes by fast!