Como Conservatory Wedding

Anya + Marvin | Intimate Night Elopement at Como Conservatory - St. Paul, MN Wedding Photographer

Secret elopements are my favorite!! Marvin and Anya chose the Como Conservatory in St. Paul for their intimate, secret wedding. There is something magical about the Sunken Gardens, and at night, it glows warmly, lit by the beautiful starburst chandeliers. Its beauty is exquisite (and BONUS: It’s also climate-controlled year-round!).

I never got to meet Anya + Marvin until their wedding day, but after our phone calls and emails, I felt like I’d known them forever. They began the day getting ready at the W Hotel - Foshay in downtown Minneapolis. They were both in the beautiful suite as they prepared for the ceremony, but they stayed hidden in separate rooms as they got dressed! We ventured over near the Guthrie Theater for an emotional First Look under the city lights near the river. I’ll never forget Anya’s excitement — so giddy, she literally squealed and started jumping up and down! These two were SO ready to be married!

When we arrived at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at the Como Zoo, the conservatory was glowing in golden light and the smell of the tropics greeted us. Beautiful red and yellow tulips were the highlight of the spring flower installation in the Sunken Gardens. As the ceremony began, Anya was escorted down the aisle by her mother, Bridget. The two women were beaming as they made their way up to Marvin, who was waiting with open arms to greet his bride. As some beautiful words were shared over their marriage, they placed a bottle of rum and love letters inside a unity box. They sealed the deal with a kiss and finally were MARRIED!

We met up at my studio for some fun portraits and shared lots of laughs as we played their favorite music and they swayed, twirled, kissed and laughed some more.

Congratulations, lovebirds!

The Wedding Day Team

Photography: Laura Robinson Photography
Wedding Prep: W Hotel - Foshay
Ceremony Venue: Como Conservatory Sunken Gardens
Portrait Location: Laura Robinson Photography Studios
Hair + Makeup: Priscilla Bruce
Bouquet: Laura Robinson
Dress: Ali Express
Groom’s Suit: Express
Rings: Custom designs from Riddle’s Jewelry
Bride’s Shoes: Steve Madden
Groom’s Shoes: ALDO
Officiant: Jay Binnebose
Custom Nendoroid Figures: Good Smile Company

Stephanie + Jade | Intimate Wedding at Como Conservatory - St. Paul, MN Wedding Photographer

 Laura Robinson Photography |

“…With love and pizza, Stephanie and Jade.”

That’s how they signed off on their wedding invitations. Everything about Stephanie and Jade’s intimate wedding celebration was a unique reflection of the two of them. Including their 8:30am ceremony on a perfect, sunny Monday morning in September.

What once began as a simple outing to Punch Pizza became the catalyst to a beautiful love story. Both recent graduates of the U of M, these two lovebirds were anxious to finally be married! They wanted to celebrate with their closest family and friends, but didn’t want all the pomp and circumstance of a typical wedding day.

An incredible backdrop of tropical plants and flowers set the scene at the stunning Sunken Garden at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como Zoo. Stephanie and Jade exchanged emotional vows in their brief ceremony and then explored the grounds of the conservatory before heading to their lunch reception.

They chose the 5120 Restaurant and Onyx Bar in Bloomington as the setting for their intimate reception — a perfect companion to the conservatory, with its greenhouse-like structure and brilliant natural light streaming in. Their cake was a custom banana cake recipe that the couple fell in love with, and intends to make every year on their anniversary. They even topped it with a custom cake topper, which showcases a pair of Gila woodpeckers, known for their homebody spirit, inside a cactus to represent Arizona where they honeymooned. Guests were given a custom-designed mug, inspired by art Stephanie gave to Jade before their move to Texas. The happy couple shared in a few traditional first dances and then were sent off with endless hugs as they departed for their honeymoon.

I can’t imagine a better way to start the week than celebrating a marriage on a Monday morning. Best Monday ever!! Congratulations, lovebirds!

The Wedding Day Team

Photographer: Laura Robinson Photography
Ceremony Venue: Sunken Garden at Como Conservatory / Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, St. Paul, MN
Reception Venue: 5120 Restaurant and Onyx Bar, Bloomington, MN
Officiant: Judge Tom Armstrong