Beautiful Catholic Wedding at St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral – Andrew and Elizabeth

This wedding feature was written and submitted by Elizabeth Heller, a Catholic bride and Catholic wedding coordinator at Divinely Designed Events!

Andrew & I met at a housewarming party of some mutual friends in October of 2021. Being the social butterfly that I am, I was chatting with quite a few people and thoroughly enjoying myself. A few hours into brunch, I wandered outside and noticed there were a few new people who had recently joined the party. So, naturally, I introduced myself to the group, which included Andrew. Later that day, I found myself chatting again with Andrew and his roommate. I was having a great time with this very extraverted and fun guy, who was super easy to talk with. I mean, he is a former FOCUS Missionary and also worked in College Campus Ministry. The man knows how to connect with people. I may have also made fun of him a few times, particularly related to his hair routine in the morning.

A few days later I got a Facebook friend request from this “Andrew Heller” from Sunday. As he started a FB Messenger conversation with a comeback about his hair, I was convinced that he was just interested in a friendship. Fast forward a few weeks, Andrew and I had been messaging back and forth and getting to know each other, which had built a solid friendship. Then, (finally!) in early December he asked me to a double date brunch! You know it’s a good date when the time flies. That brunch invitation turned into a 12 hour day of fun with brunch, mini golf, a chilly walk to Caribou, and a concert at a local brewery. We haven’t stopped chatting or going on adventures since.

Since we lived an hour apart, our dating relationship looked like a lot of car time and traveling to each other, in addition to phone calls throughout the week. It was hard on some days when it felt like we were so far apart, but I am grateful for the longer weekend adventures and intentional dates we could have. Our intention for dating was marriage and so we both went into the relationship with an openness to dive into deeper questions sooner than later. After 7 months of dating, Andrew had bought the ring and was ready to propose.

I am not an easy person to surprise. Looking back, there were a few things that could have given me a clue to what was going to happen that Sunday afternoon but I was oblivious to most of it at the time. From my perspective, we were going to join a group of our friends for a Sunday filled with fun fall activities! Coincidentally, the same friends who hosted the house warming party where we met were hosting this event! So, we headed back to the same place we met. In a slightly more accentuated way, Andrew was overly antsy and animated from the moment he arrived at my apartment that morning to pick me up. (It was 45 mins earlier than we needed to leave for Mass.) As we walked to our friend’s house by way of the brick alleyway, Andrew made a casual comment of, “Oh look! That is the spot we met!” as he pointed to the area where we had our first conversation. Little did I know, in a couple hours, he would be proposing to me at that exact spot.

I was blissfully unaware of any unusual events as I enjoyed my ideal Sunday of Mass, brunch, mimosas, and friends. I was casually eating an egg bake with some friends when Andrew asked if I’d go help him bring some photography equipment in for our friend. The next thing I knew, I was standing in a cobblestone alleyway, perfectly positioned in that same place we met, gasping as Andrew pulled out a little blue velvet bag with a diamond ring from his flannel shirt pocket. Moments after he slips the gorgeous and VERY sparkly ring onto my finger, I hear the garage door open up behind us and a chorus of “Congratulations” coming from all our friends. Still in shock, I grabbed my phone and FaceTimed my whole family to share the news. Just as I was getting ready to start the blasts of texts out to my friend group, Andrew walks over to the gate by the garage and opens it up to reveal a group of my close friends who had been hiding a block away.

With a background in event planning and my extensive experience assisting with over 100 weddings, I was beyond excited to start planning my own wedding! We found the whole process to be fun and exciting as we got to talk about our priories for the day and the ways we could create a transformational experience for our guests, friends, and family. I loved connecting with some of my favorite wedding vendors and seeing my vision come to life. Our goal was to create a stunning, sacred, and classy wedding ceremony by focusing on the details of the Nuptial Mass. We prayed through our wedding readings and picked liturgical music that would elevate the worship experience. Both being well connected and social people, another focus for us was to include as many people as possible! Our final guest count for the day was 415. Truly a joyful and amazing celebration!

Andrew & I spent intentional prayer time together throughout our entire relationship, but had a specific emphasis on the 40 days leading up to our wedding day. We each picked a few mortifications to offer up for the other, read a few marriage books, and prayed a 9 day surrender novena that ended on the night before our wedding. I even carved out a half day for a personal retreat the week of our wedding. In addition to our own prayer, we also asked our friends and family to continue to pray for us. I attribute the overwhelming sense of grace and peace of the day to the prayer that was behind it. Walking into the Nuptial Mass felt like a surreal experience that filled my soul with an abundance of peace and joy.

Our wedding day was incredible! Every moment of the day held some new excitement and anticipation. One of my favorite moments of the day was our private first look together in the chapel at the cathedral. Our desire was to create some private space for ourselves to connect before the ceremony, pray together, and soak in the sight of the other, dressed in their wedding attire. The Mass was the highlight of our day. Our process included 18 servers, 2 deacons, 8 priests with incense, gold cross, candles, and torches. Walking down the aisle felt like entering into a royal feast! The cathedral was filled with our family and friends, worshiping with us, singing, and celebrating.

It was our desire to honor our parents and incorporate special items from our parents and grandparents into the day. I wore a necklace that was made from my grandma’s engagement ring, and wrapped my bouquet with a necklace from Andrew’s mom. September 1st was also my parent’s wedding anniversary and we were able to honor them at the reception by inviting them to share a dance together before our first dance. We also displayed wedding pictures from our parents and grandparents at the reception. We felt surrounded by grace and love all day long! It was the most wonderful day we could have planned or imagined!

Andrew and Elizabeth’s wedding feature was written and submitted by the bride! Photography from Katzie and Ben Photography.

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Videography: Goldhouse Productions – Betsy Landsteiner

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