Uptown Wedding

It’s been one whole year since our wedding in Uptown! Technically, Matt and I have been married since January 7th, 2012, but celebrating our marriage with our family and friends and Mexican food really made it feel official.

Since then, many things have happened. We didn’t move to South America. I got a new job and ran a marathon. We went to Paraguay and then Africa together. Matt buzzed his hair. Vilas got lazier but somehow skinnier.

It’s been a magical year.

And we had such a fantastic time at our wedding that it’s high time we relived it. Get ready for a monster picture-post. Queue up your favorite 80s mix and enjoy.

The bride.
The groom.

The morning of the wedding.

Awww, strike.
My dad, Dale, during lunch with the dudes at St. Paul’s Happy Gnome.
Matt to bestie Ryan, a.k.a. Willow: “No, your sandals are amazing.”
Steve, Matt’s dad, helping Matt get dressed at our house.
Matt helping brother Kristian fend off Vilas’s shedding advances.
Matt and my dad.
KO, my BIL.


The ladies primped at my Aunt Mary’s coffee shop, Claddagh.
Leah, SIL, my birthday triplet, and wife of KO.
Becca, my sister, a.k.a. Dr. Bee, Beebs, and Four Cheese. This is the card she made for us. It’s framed on our wall.
The hair pins Becca and I picked out in China.
Grandma and Grandpa Hogan and my mom, Katy.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.
Gifts from my mom: spoons that we bent one mystical night at Little Girl’s Point and vampire magnets. Obvs.
I included this pic because I’ve often felt myself making this face, but I’ve never seen it before!
My sister, Alisa, a.k.a. Alolly, getting her nails did.
And her lovely hair curled.
Lots of laughing.
Why yes, we are related.
SILs Leah and Lauren, and my mom.
Our talented stylist, Erin, fixed everyone’s hair. We heart her.
Alisa and Becca looking sweet.
Becca, my mom, and her sister, my Aunt Mary (owner of Claddagh).

Dresses again- this time on people.

My MIL, DebO. Also our articulate, poised, perfectly sentimental officiant.
My mom, buttoning the dress she made for me.

Why yes, we are related, Part II.

Aunt Mary hug.
Leah and me, on the way to Como Lake to meet Matt and the men.

The big reveal. The first look.

Family waiting at the pavilion.
Matt waiting on the dock.
R Kelly or KG?

Finding the rest of our party.

Ost-Olsen-Nelson-Campbell family photo.
Nelson-Olsen family photo.
Nelson-Olsen family photo, Part II.

Happy couple.
Especially after a quick detour to Midtown Global Market for some pre-wedding eats. A girl here told me she loved my dress. I told her my mom made it.

Now for a little text.

So the morning was lovely and full of great fun and I was struck by how special it was to have everyone in our immediate families together. We live in three different states, so this was very rare. I love traveling to visit, but it did make me think about what life would look like if we lived in each other’s backyards.

When we left our hotel in Midtown, I had a container full of sopes from Los Ocampo that I was eating on my wedding-dressed lap, which was empty by the time we arrived at the FIVE Event Center, where the ceremony and reception would be. I brushed my teeth and checked myself for wrinkles and salsa stains.

I had already long-decided that I didn’t want to hide from our guests as they came in, as brides traditionally do. Matt was singing wedding preludes with his choir, so I planted myself at the top of the stairs and greeted just about everyone as they came in. A reverse receiving line.

Metropolitan Men’s Choir.
Matt. My little cherub.
Lauren and Tom, dancing to the prelude. KO on keys.
Time for the processional. Kristian played Matt’s arrangement of this song. It was perfect. It was so beautiful.

 The ceremony.

DebO and MattO. (Why yes, they are related, Part III.)

Lauren and Steve. (Why yes… you get it. 🙂 Part IV.)
Leah and Ryan.
My lovely sisters.
On my way.
Matt, waiting.
My dad.
My husband.
My mothers, and other wonderful women in my life.
My dear friend Trisha, a.k.a T$, a.k.a. my Chinese partner in crime. She read my favorite excerpt from Nicole Krauss’s The History of Love. If you haven’t read it, drop everything and find a copy immediately.
We exchanged vows we had written together.

Our vows.

I promise to love you without condition and to honor our commitment to each other forever. I promise to travel with you to any place you want to go, to help you to become the person you want to be. I promise that laughter will always be part of our lives, even when there is more hardship than happiness. I promise to be present every day and to never take for granted that you are the most important person in my life.

I do, I do, I do.

The choir sang Yes Sir, That’s My Baby as we danced down the aisle.
My love.

The reception.

Our Great Aunt Diana, inspiring Lover of Life.
Grandpa and Grandma Nelson in the foreground, Grandpa Hogan in focus.
Grandma Nelson.
Grandma Gladys.
Steve and his sister, Therese.
Olsens, Grams and Gramps. Uncle Dan and Leah.
Four Cheese, Andrew, and my mom.
El Burrito Mercado catered our wedding. I cannot say enough wonderful things about their food or their service. I highly, highly recommend eating at their St. Paul and Minneapolis locations.
Hogan ladies.
The new bling.

My parents read “The First Child,” a poem by Joyce Sutphen, one of my favorite poets and a super nice person.

That one was emotional.

 We loved listening to our friends and family. Hysterical and moving at the same time.



And then we spoke a little. We shared how honored we felt to be surrounded by loved ones, and we came clean about already being married, which was old news for some, surprising for many. But of course, everyone assumed I was pregnant. That might explain Matt’s fist pump in the next picture.

And then the choir sang- our cue to move the cocktail party upstairs for more eats and much dancing.

The dance.

Our first dance was to this song by Matt’s favorite band.


The band! My dear friend John Lynn and his gang of ragtag misfits, Sweet Stache. Sweet Stache recently ended their time as a rocking 80s cover band, which makes me feel even luckier that they played at our wedding. A Sweet Stache show is basically just an awesome sweaty dance fest, which is exactly what we wanted for our guests. The dance floor was full right up until the encore and I was sore for days.

Total Eclipse of the Heart.
I love singalongs. Obvs.
Don’t mistake this for a bouquet toss (which we did not do). I think it was Journey.

One of my favorite moments was when the band played this song, which they learned at Matt’s request, and this lovely lady, my dear friend Judy, accompanied on vocals. It was such a great surprise. And she has a kickass voice.
One of my other favorite moments that was all too brief was the costume change into my Chinese wedding dress. It was especially fun to bop around and surprise people who’d followed the dress drama on my blog. This is the only known picture of me in the pink dress- I literally took an iPhone picture of this copy, which is on our fridge.
The encore. Can you imagine a better way to end an 80s dance party?!

And that’s it! I know everyone says this, buuuuuut we had an absolutely fantastic wedding. The whole experience truly was everything we wanted it to be and more (and even more). Putting this post together has filled me with such wonderful memories.

And really, have you ever seen a happier couple?

Good night everyone! You’ve been beautiful.


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