Maggie and Aaron’s Christmastime wedding was beautiful and had all kinds of meaningful details. The gorgeous fur stole Maggie wore? It was a gift her Papa had given her Nannie many years ago (more about that a bit further down). But, you guys…the way these two met? It’s the kind of thing that will have you believing in kismet. Their story begins in Egypt when they were both the age of two and grows into the love you’ll see in every single wedding picture.
Our sweet bride shares all the details with us below, including how she found her Diana wedding gown. For those of you who found The Gown and changed your mind, Maggie’s search is one you’ll totally vibe on.
How did you meet?
“Once upon a time (1991-1996), in a far away, exotic, extraordinary land (Alexandria, Egypt)… there lived a beautiful little girl, and an adorable little boy… who were very special, bestie friends. And now, they are getting married!”
(*This little note is how our engagement was announced by our parents)
Aaron and I met when we were just two years old. Our families were both living in Alexandria, Egypt, where our fathers were working as engineers on the same project. We went to preschool together and were best friends during our five years living in Egypt. It was not until college, after years of living in different countries, that Aaron and I connected again by arranging to meet at one of his hockey games. We developed a long-distance friendship throughout my college years and his years of playing Junior Hockey and Division One hockey at the Air Force Academy. We began dating long-distance while he was still at the Academy and I was in graduate school in St. Louis. After Aaron graduated and was stationed in Montana, I moved there to be closer to him. We were finally living in the same city for the first time since our childhood together in Egypt.
How did your sweetie propose?
“The day Aaron proposed, my mom and dad and his mom were visiting us in Montana. We took our parents to Glacier National Park for a special trip to show them our very favorite places. At an exceptionally gorgeous spot, Aaron and I were posing for the camera while our parents were taking a photo. The next thing I knew, Aaron was holding tightly to my hands and was down on one knee. We have priceless photos of this special moment, which capture my total surprise and excitement perfectly. It meant the world to me to have this momentous event happen with our parents there, and I will be forever grateful.”
How did you choose your gown?
“My gown was the Diana by the incredible Lea-Ann Belter. It was my absolute dream gown. I actually didn’t “meet” this gorgeous gown until I had already found and purchased another beautiful wedding dress I thought was meant to be mine! Even though I thought I was in love with the dress I had initially found, I decided to keep my already scheduled appointment for later that afternoon at Town & Country Bridal Boutique. My mom and I knew the very minute we saw my new dress this was the one. I just had to try it on. It was the most perfect dress for me, ever. I truly felt like a princess. After a bit of drama of me changing my mind (quite a few tears, and me initially not knowing what to do, since we had already purchased the other dress), and the very understanding bridal shops, everything worked out and it was all perfect. Lea-Ann Belter was so very wonderful, custom-making my ultimate dream gown in time with my time constraints. I am so happy I changed my mind, and will love my dress forever.”
Tell us a little about your day! Did you have a theme or style in mind?
“Our wedding was the week before Christmas (also truly my dream… a Christmastime wedding). I wanted a classic, elegant, timeless feel, while also adding festive, Christmas-y, organic touches. We used all white flowers (peonies, garden roses, tulips) with lots of natural greenery and herbs (olive, sage, rosemary), and beautiful greenery wreaths with vintage velvet ribbons.”
What personal touches were added to your wedding?
“My mom and my little sister (Maid of Honor) surprised Aaron and me with a beautiful, large framed collage of black-and-white photographs of Aaron and me as little childhood friends growing up in Egypt and more recent photos of our dating years. We used this collage as décor for our reception, allowing our guests to see us as little friends so long ago and our love that grew from that time together.
My grandmother, “Nannie,” who passed away several years ago, had a beautiful mink stole given to her by my grandfather, “Papa,” and I wore the stole on my wedding day. It was the most special feeling being wrapped in my Nannie’s warm stole on such a cold, snowy day, knowing she was there with me. It brought back special memories of playing dress-up with my siblings, cousins and Nannie, wearing this very stole. So many family and friends commented on how much I looked like her that day.
The toasts given by my Dad, my little sister Maid of Honor, and our Best Man, and the prayer given by my Godfather Uncle Jim, were especially heart-felt and meaningful, in part because they honored Aaron’s late father, who I knew as a little girl in Egypt.”
What’s your funniest wedding day memory?
“Our wedding date was December 17, the week before Christmas… a magical, beautiful, festive time, but also a very busy time for all. Our loving family and friends travelled from all over the world to be there with us. To add to the holiday and wedding excitement, of course there was an arctic storm throughout the weekend, making things even more insanely crazy with delayed or cancelled flights, and long, long drives in the ice and snow for all our wedding party and guests.
Even the ceremony rehearsal almost did not happen due to the treacherous conditions, until our wonderful priest and my remarkable wedding planner friend made it all happen. Our amazing, gifted, seven-months-pregnant photographer, Heather Roth, slipped around on the ice with our wedding party for our chilly and beautiful wedding photos. Our dedicated and talented band, the Patrick Lentz Band, slid along the highway for 9 hours (normally a 4-hour drive) from Kansas City, arriving 5 minutes before our reception began. And, totally freezing to death in our beautiful horse-drawn carriage getaway after the reception in the pretty snowfall, was also quite memorable and funny.
Even several of our groomsmen had cancelled flights the day after the wedding and had to stay with Aaron and me in our hotel suite. With all the “funny” happenings out of our control, I just held on tight and smiled and laughed with my mom and dad and family and Aaron throughout the weekend.”
Describe your wedding day in 5 words or less:
“Magical fairytale, love, emotional, elegant, festive.”
Any advice for future brides/grooms?
“While planning, when it seems like you have an endless list of to-dos and decisions, keep foremost in your mind at all times, the real reason for it all. You are going to marry the love of your life, and share this day with the most special people in the world to you. This is truly all that really matters, so keep this in mind and try not to stress. On your wedding day, be present in every single moment throughout the day and evening, and feel the love that surrounds you and your new husband or wife! To have the most special, loved people in your life celebrating this day with you is pretty indescribable, and something to be cherished forever.”
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
“Since our wedding day was one week before Christmas, Aaron and I chose to spend the days following our wedding day with our family celebrating Christmas together. We fondly call this our “family-moon.” lol. We recently went on a brief “mini-moon” to Florida, and are planning our official honeymoon to Iceland for the near future!”
Maggie + Aaron’s Christmas-Time Wedding Vendors
wedding dress: Lea-Ann Belter Diana via Town & Country Bridal Boutique | photographer: Heather Roth Fine Art Photography | florals: Flora by Nora | invitations + stationery: Abigail Christine Design | ceremony venue: St. Francis Xavier College Church | ceremony music: The Rosewood Ensemble | reception venue: Missouri History Museum | catering: Butler’s Pantry | cake: The Cakery | band: The Patrick Lentz Band | hair + makeup: Danielle Style | event planning: Cosmopolitan Events | lighting + Stage: The Aries Company | transportation: St. Louis Carriage Company, Best Transportation