Planning Our Wedding | Haley’s Engaged!

Planning Our Wedding | Haley's Engaged! 1

Hey everyone – 

Haley here! As you may have seen on Instagram, I recently got engaged this past July. This has been the most exciting time for me and I can’t wait to share more about the engagement and everything that followed.

We’ll be diving into the wedding planning journey that’s currently unfolding before my eyes with you all right here on c2s. 

Throughout college, I worked in the events industry, specifically in weddings. So, for the past five years, I have learned pretty much everything there is to know about planning a wedding. I have been waiting for my turn to plan my very own wedding, a day I have been dreaming about since I was a little girl, and it’s finally here! 

Our Story 

Cooper and I met about two and a half years ago. He was a Tommy and I was a Royal, so we were rivals, but that didn’t stop us! 

couple pose

We met at a coffee shop right by St.Thomas and we hit it off immediately. We were boots to the ground running once we met. We “hung out” for about a month and met each other’s friends and family, and after a month, we were officially a couple.

Here we are, almost three years later, after college graduations, a global pandemic, and new jobs… we’re getting married! 

florida outfits

Over these few years, we have traveled together and with our families, learned so much about one another, and have grown immensely in our relationship and as individuals.

We also got our little baby, Henry the dog in March, following our two-year anniversary, and have loved every moment of life we have lived together.

We both cannot wait for this next phase of life to begin as husband and wife. Any advice you can give us as newlyweds is greatly appreciated.

cavalier king charles spaniel puppy

Some of our favorite things to do together would be going to sporting events, specifically hockey and baseball since Cooper grew up playing both. We love being with our families and hanging out, watching football, or being on the boat. We’re both family-centered, so spending time with our families is very important to us. 

apple orchard

Every year, my family goes to the apple orchard during fall, and in recent years, my siblings and I have started to bring our significant others and it has been so fun to see this tradition continue on and bring in our favorite people. This is one tradition Cooper and I will be continuing on with our family. 

It’s important to us to continue traditions with our families as well as starting new ones for the two of us to continue on when we start a family. 

The Proposal 

July 25th, 2021.

My favorite day yet.

The day Cooper proposed. 

proposal outfit

I am not someone who can be easily surprised so Cooper for sure had a run for his money in surprising me for the proposal. That was one thing I wanted was to be 100% surprised as to when he would propose, and man did he pull it off! 

I had not one clue this was happening, and I am so thankful for that because it was such a precious moment for us. 

He decided to propose on a Sunday to ensure that I was dressed up and ready for the day since we had gone to church just a few hours before.

We had gone to church with my family and after church, Cooper and my dad went home to “work on the boat” or at least that’s what I was told! My mom, my sisters, and I went and had lunch and decided to go for a walk around Centennial Lakes in Edina. 

Little did I know, Cooper would be waiting for me there. He walked me over to a little area by the water with a circle of white rose petals which are my favorite flowers. Complete with a friend, Aubrey Vogele,  who took pictures, Cooper dropped down to one knee, told me I made him the happiest man alive, and never wanted to lose that feeling. 

He asked me to marry him and I was so over the moon and of course said YES! 

proposal

round diamond in a cushion halo

One thing that made this day even more special than it already was, was having my family there to witness it and to be there afterward. As I said earlier, I am a family girl and my family means more to me than anything in the world. So, having them by my side after Cooper proposed was extremely meaningful and surreal.

I couldn’t have asked for anything more perfect. 

engagement pictures

Getting to hug my mama afterward was the best feeling.

This day was perfect and I couldn’t thank any of them more than I already have! I know they all had a hand in this day and it was so so special. 

mom and me

The Wedding

Now the fun part begins… planning our wedding day!

To say I have been waiting for this moment for quite some time is an understatement. 

One of my friends put it perfectly. She said that if anyone was made for this – being engaged and getting married – it’s me, and I couldn’t agree more. I was the little girl at the age of 10 planning her wedding and playing house with her friends and forcing her little brother to play house. 

As soon as we were engaged, Cooper and I were planning our special day. Well, I was planning and he was saying “yes dear!” 

I have known for quite some time that I wanted a winter wedding. I love summer when it comes to being out on the boat and being outside, but couldn’t imagine getting married in that heat. I would rather be surrounded by pretty white snow and have cozy vibes over a summer wedding, so naturally, a winter wedding is what we landed on! 

We also knew we were ready to get married and didn’t want to wait long to be husband and wife. So, next winter was out of the picture. Since I know the ins and outs of wedding planning, we were comfortable with the idea of a shorter engagement. We settled on February 19th, 2022 and we cannot wait for that day to arrive. 

The Venue

With only about six months to plan a wedding, I knew we had to get planning right away. I have worked at a lot of venues in Minneapolis, and I love every one of them, but none ever felt like the perfect spot for Cooper and me.

I have followed the Northern Pacific Center in Brainerd, Minnesota for a while now and have always loved everything I have seen about it. 

When we toured, we knew it was the place we needed to tie the knot. And with that feeling, we booked it!

One thing we love about this venue is the opportunities and the spaces in it. It’s one big venue with different spaces within it. Set on 47 acres in Brainerd, it’s our dream. It’s an industrial meets romantic vibe and that’s exactly what we’re going for. 

Another thing I knew I wanted was a separate location for the ceremony and reception. The Northern Pacific Center has a location for the ceremony and then right across from it is an area for the reception.

The ceremony will be in the Luminary.

Planning Our Wedding | Haley's Engaged! 2

Photo by: Trish Allison Photography

What drew us to this spot was how bright it is and the bold flooring. Being in the design industry, I loved how there are fun elements that set it apart, like the flooring, but it’s also more of a blank slate for us to dream up some unique ideas for the design behind our ceremony. I love the door at the front which will be the backdrop of where we’ll stand. 

My idea for decor here is to keep it pretty simple. Our overall vibe is moody and romantic since we’ll be tying the knot in February.

I’m envisioning tons of candles lining the aisle with a moody floral install on the door behind us. My inspiration photos are below!

This is the video of the space. We’ll be walking in from the entrance and coming down the aisle. We’ll keep this area simple and add candles to the mantle and some greenery.

We will also be adding our guest book table to this area so after the ceremony, our guests can take part in our guest book activity while Cooper and I run over to the reception with our photographer and videographer to get a first look at the reception with just me and Cooper. 

For our guest book, we have decided to buy a video camera and have our guests record themselves saying hi, giving us advice, and just letting us see their faces! We love the idea of being able to look back on this video and not just having a book people sign.

The reception area known as Blacksmith Main really takes my breath away. It is everything I have ever wanted and envisioned for my wedding. It is such a stunning space and fits with the moody and cozy romantic vibe we’re going for. 

Imagine candles everywhere and an insane floral install hanging from the center of the head table. 

industrial wedding venue

Photo By: Dacre Co Photography

I used to work for a florist, Carmen from the Cutting Garden, and she is going to be doing all of our floral and I cannot wait to see what she comes up with! 

blacksmith main

Photo By: Dacre Co Photography

This is the bridal suite and where I get to get ready to say I do. It’s such a spacious room and there are little areas in it that create the perfect backdrop for the photos. 

Planning Our Wedding | Haley's Engaged! 3

Photo By: Dacre Co Photography

I can just imagine getting my dress and shoes on, sitting on that little couch – I can hardly contain my excitement for that moment. 

Our Wedding Mood Board 

wedding planning

Here is our wedding mood board. We want it to be classy, and moody, and romantic. 

My bridesmaids will be wearing black velvet dresses to match the moody & cozy vibes. The guys will be in black suits with bowties per Cooper’s request. 

Recently, I have also found my dress and can’t wait to share the details with you. Of course, it won’t be until after the wedding, but I love it so much.

I went to My Darling Bridal in St. Paul, Minnesota, and felt like a true princess! They were so friendly and kind and helped me in so many ways. They even helped my friends surprise me by showing up.

saying yes to the dress

This was such a fun day, and I’ll be sharing some tips in an upcoming blog about finding your dress. 

We’re thinking black vibes with our paper products and signs. This is one area we’re planning on saving money on. Since I have worked in weddings as well as in the design world, I am confident I can make our own signage and invitations with Canva and Cricut. We’ll cover invitations & paper swag in another blog down the road. 

I have wanted a neon sign for my wedding for a long time, so we’re planning on getting one made! People usually will have the sign be their last name, but Cooper and I are going a different route. We have a special saying and we’re thinking that’s what we’ll add onto it – that way we can also use it as a special decor piece in our home. 

My dad is super handy and I have commissioned him to help me DIY some items, and you bet we’ll be documenting that! I am having him build me a wall to go behind Cooper and myself at the head table so we can have the neon sign behind us as well as a floral install on the wall. We’ll also work on building some stands for wedding signage and coming up with a unique seating chart idea. 

That’s a little glimpse of where we are at right now, but stay tuned for more wedding content. I’m planning on sharing a list of must-have items for your registry, so if you have any items you would recommend, make sure to share them with us in the comments below.

Being a winter bride, something that I am struggling with are bridal outfits for my bridal showers, bachelorette party, and rehearsal dinner, so I’ll be scouting out some outfits and sharing those as well. 

Thank you for coming on this journey with me and I can’t wait to continue to share! 

Planning Our Wedding | Haley's Engaged! 4

Planning Our Wedding | Haley's Engaged! 5

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