Como Zoo, Banquets of MN | Twin Cities Wedding Photography | TJ + Carrie

A Wintery Travel & Geek Themed Wedding

Carrie + TJ | Saint Paul, Minnesota | March 31, 2018

A Wintery Travel & Geek-Themed Wedding

It’s not every day you get to battle Darth Vader and the Empire alongside Jedi knights and Rebel soldiers. But for Carrie and TJ, their wedding was reason enough to join the rebel cause.

The couple planned their wedding while Carrie was in Columbia, serving in the Peace Corps, and TJ was living in Georgia — naturally, Minnesota in winter was the perfect place to have a garden wedding.

Carrie and TJ are both very close to her family. After TJ accompanied his parents to the heart of the Sunken Garden ceremony, Carrie was walked down the aisle by both her father and stepfather. She incorporated mementos into her  day, including a part of her paternal grandmother’s wedding dress in the bouquet as well as brooches from her maternal grandmother. Carrie’s mother, Cat, served as the officiant. The moments shared with family were tender and heartfelt, and everyone shed at least a tear or two (myself included).

Despite the snow and frigid temperatures, the couple married in the warmth of the greenhouse at Como Zoo and Conservatory under blue skies and a bright afternoon sun.

Family wasn’t the only theme at Carrie and TJ’s wedding. Carrie’s sister, who decorated the wedding, wove the couple’s love for travel and “nerdy” movies and TV into every decoration and plan, from a Star Wars ice sculpture to Doctor Who-themed wine glasses, to boarding pass table cards. The literary-themed cupcakes were set atop miniature suitcases — they came in themed flavors like, “You’ll Climb the Andes” (mint), “Coffee Addicts, Beware” (chocolate mocha), “Love on Lemon” (lemon-lemon goodness), “Very Berry” (vanilla with berry buttercream), and “Accio Cupcake!” (butterbeer with butterscotch buttercream).

During their first look, TJ surprised Carrie with a Harry Potter-themed gift — a pensieve containing his favorite memories with Carrie (in the Harry Potter universe, a pensieve is a magical device wherein people can share their real memories with others).

During the reception, Carrie surprised TJ twice — first, with a Darth Vader ice sculpture; second, with a Star Wars empire invasion. Once the dance started, Carrie had secretly arranged for the DJ to cut the music. When that happened, Darth Vader, General Hux, Kylo Ren and a few other Sith lords and stormtroopers stormed the dance floor to question TJ and Carrie. TJ quickly defended Carrie, and the pair were aided by the Jedi and Rebels, thankfully. Luckily, I was able to stay neutral and capture some nighttime dancing, along with battle scenes using fog, sparklers and lightsabers.

Carrie and TJ, thank you so much for bringing me into your day. It was an absolute blast, and took everything I had not to geek out with you!  

— Rachel —


First Look: The LivInn – Fridley

Ceremony: Como Zoo & Conservatory Sunken Garden

Reception: Banquets of Minnesota – Fridley

DJ: Music Mix Entertainment

Cupcakes: Om Nom Cupcakery

Video: KAS Films

Bridal Dress: VickyMermaidBridal (Etsy)

Florist: DIY

Officiant: Cat Couper

Hair & Makeup: Friends and Family

Star Wars Cosplayers: The 501st Legion Star Wars Cosplayers – Central Garrison (the Twin Cities chapter)