Our Leap Year Wedding: Behind-the-Scenes

Stained glass at the Trinity Lutheran Church.

Animated gif of wedding crew at Trinity Lutheran Church.

Ottie and I got hitched at a leap year this February 29th. Part of the reason for this special date was so that we wouldn’t forget it (we don’t even remember the exact date we first met). Another reason for it was so that we didn’t have to celebrate our anniversary every year… on a more serious note, I’m an escapist when it comes to dealing with parental disapproval at my life choices, so that made up the final part on why we ended up in Minnesota. I still have a pretty good relationship with my parents (I think) – we simply tend to stubbornly push on until the deed is done and there’s no more use disapproving. 😅

Simple wedding bands with knife edge from Schmidt's Jewelry.

Ottie and I had had lengthy discussions when planning our wedding – I wanted to elope; He wanted a grand wedding. So we put forth arguments trying to make our cases during the months leading up to it. As it turned out, both of our parents were integral in shaping the idea of marriage for us. I grew up with the knowledge that marriage wasn’t this magical happy ever after, and view it as a pragmatic means to an end where a simple certificate would convenience our existing cohabitation both administratively and financially, even socially. True story – we were rejected for a potential rental because we weren’t married. Whereas Ottie grew up witnessing his parents spend his entire life together as high school sweethearts, thinking that he couldn’t possibly have what they have with a bar set that high… and so he wanted to have his day. We each gave in a little (perhaps him more than me), so that was how we ended up in the Lutheran Trinity Church on the afternoon of 29 February 2016.

It was a cold blistery day; tiny flecks of snow swept up in the wind against the backdrop of overcast skies. I braved the biting cold through sheer willpower in my simple white dress I grabbed at a Topshop sale for less than $50 (score!) Ottie’s sister Lele also gave me a warm fur coat which I clung to like a second skin (brr). The shoes I wore for church were a pair of shimmery white Vincci pumps which I got as a bridesmaid a good six months ago, but later switched to the more comfortable Steve Madden boots for the dinner reception.

Ottie himself wore clothes that he already owned – a light-coloured shirt underneath a Topman vest and slacks, and in a rare move, went sans hat due to him respecting the sanctity of the church and occasion.

Wedding gifts from my new sister Lele and warming up at the fireplace.Back to Lele, she also gave me a set of wedding gifts! I laid them all out for a photo in front of the fireplace. She and her friend also did my hair for the wedding. My new sister is pretty awesome.

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The actual church wedding was a very small affair. Ottie’s dad officiated the union, friends Jeff and Dom were our best man and woman, Ottie’s mum and sis Lele made up the audience, as well as Aunt Mary and John, a sweet couple who flew in all the way from Texas. Aunt Mary ended up playing our march on the piano at the last minute when she found a piano in the hall! It was awesome. I even had a ridiculous clip-on mic attached to my dress for the occasion just because I could barely be heard on the live stream. That bit was not so awesome.

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Bride & groom getting married at Trinity Lutheran Church.

Here are some posts on our engagement and wedding:
1) Engagement
2) Pre-wedding Photoshoot
3) Wedding Live Stream

Adventure Time wedding invite.I also designed a cute wedding invite for the dinner, channeling Adventure Time shenanigans. However it was deemed too irreverent by Ottie’s mum, so she added on another card which explained that we were getting married in case people were confused. 😂

Our small dinner reception was pretty cool as well. Ottie’s mum and dad knew the owners of Sarello’s, who opened up the restaurant just for us. They even learnt how to make macarons (my only wedding request) for the reception! A happy tummy is a happy bride. To my surprise, most of the forty guests had never tasted macarons before! I’m always happy to spread the addiction.

Recycled wedding bouquet from Rustic Oaks at the wedding reception at Sarello's.This was one of five floral pieces that Rustic Oaks had very kindly helped to recycle from a previous wedding and stored in the refrigerator for a week! Even my rose bouquet was salvaged from these pieces. Incidentally, Ottie’s parents refused to tell us how much the reception cost so Ottie and I also ended up not having to foot the bill for it. Our super budget wedding leveled up to ultra budget.

Appetisers at our wedding dinner reception at Sarello's.

Appetiser spread at our wedding dinner reception at Sarello's.

At the wedding dinner at Sarello's.

Table setting at the wedding dinner at Sarello's.

Wedding dinner menu at Sarello's.

Dessert spread at the wedding dinner at Sarello's.

Dinner table at the wedding dinner at Sarello's.

Macarons and Peacock red packet at the wedding dinner at Sarello's.

Irreverent Wedding thank you note to guests.Oh yea we also reused our Chinese New Year red packets as wedding tokens. These cards accompanied Valentine’s Day chocolates on the sale rack.

Obligatory store-bought wedding cake.We were very proud of our wedding cake. Ottie’s mum helped us to run down to the nearby grocery store and got them to write the words that we requested. It also tasted sickeningly sweet. Best. Wedding. Cake. Ever.

Ottie’s parents were super generous to gift us a one night stay at the HoDo, an artsy little hotel downtown. The suite had a very interesting bathtub, which we took full advantage of just to experience water coming down from the ceiling:

Chilling in the bathtub at the HoDo Hotel Donaldson.Photo by Ottie.

Chocolate and tea at the HoDo Hotel Donaldson, Minnesota USA.

Breakfast at the HoDo Hotel Donaldson, Minnesota USA.

Wedding Night Snacks by Sarello's.

Wedding night snacks: macarons, angel hair.

Wedding Snapchat: silver wedding nails, instax from wedding dinner, Sarello's newspaper feature.

Wedding night at the Hotel Donaldson, Minnesota USA.

It was a good wedding. ❤

I’m wearing
Topshop dress
Banggood 5m veil
Vintage fur coat
Vincci pumps
Steve Madden booties

Ottie’s wearing
G2000 shirt
Topman vest & slacks
Vintage coat
Black Hammer shoes