Sunken Garden Como Zoo

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

Lauren + Eric | Holiday Garden Proposal at Como Conservatory | St. Paul Proposal Photographer

 Laura Robinson Photography | www.laurarobinsonphoto.com

PROPOSAL LOCATION: Sunken Garden at Como Conservatory, St. Paul, MN
RING: Tiffany + Co.

Eric proposed to Lauren at the Sunken Gardens at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como Zoo. The annual holiday poinsettia show was the perfect, romantic, WARM place to propose in Minnesota in the winter!

Their journey together began in college. He was a student at the U of M, she was at Saint Catherine University. After a chance meeting at a house party, they traded numbers and went on their first date a week later. After 6.5 years, Eric devised the perfect plan to surprise his very plan-oriented girlfriend — it was going to be a challenge to catch her off-guard and he needed her friends’ help to pull it off!

They came up with the idea to trick Lauren into getting to the conservatory under the guise of a charity event. The girls all got dressed up and when they arrived at the conservatory, they were guided to another garden, but her friends decided to “sneak in” to take some selfies in the stunning Sunken Gardens. Eric hid outside, peeking into the windows through the tropical tree branches, waiting for Lauren’s back to turn. While the girls worked their distraction magic, Eric sneaked in right up behind Lauren, who was shocked to see him standing there. As the shock took over, Eric led her to the top of the staircase inside the garden and proceeded to get down on one knee, pulling out the iconic blue box that held the most perfect solitaire from Tiffany. SHE SAID YES!

After lots of laughs, tears, hugs and kisses, they shared their joy with Lauren’s friends and enjoyed the magic of the moment. After the proposal, they went Lauren’s parents, who were waiting with champagne to congratulate them. They facetimed Eric's parents in Wisconsin and called a bunch of other friends and family as they basked in the joy of their engagement. A perfect end to a perfect evening!

Congratulations, lovebirds!

Lauren + Eric’s proposal was featured on How They Asked by The Knot — Check out their feature here!

Ready to propose? Let’s connect!