From the moment Christopher (Chris) Kuhn proposed to Jennifer Betz in a paradisiacal setting along a beach in Naples, Florida, it was clear to any and all witnesses that the wedding surely would be as unforgettable as the couple before them. So began a true affair to remember, decadent in its details, where guests learned to savor every moment.
Creating a fête to match the exquisiteness of their love affair proved no easy feat. Yet Jennifer and Chris pulled together an incredible team whose members decidedly were up to the task. It started with choosing an unforgettable venue. From the gorgeous mosaic cathedral found at the Shrine of Saint Joseph to the gilded halls of The Coronado, the couple found their ideal locations. While a student at Saint Louis University School of Law, Jennifer snuck across the street to peek inside The Coronado. On discovering the famed terrazzo floor built in the 1920s for Charles Lindbergh, she told the gentleman setting up inside the space, “One day, I am going to have my wedding here – and you are going to help.” Almost 10 years later, she returned to the venue with her future groom and found that same man, Rob Schaeffer, ready to assist her with her big day.
Touches of tradition played an important part throughout the couple’s celebration. For something old, Jennifer carried her grandmother’s locket, containing photos of both her grandfathers; for something new, she donned glitzy stilettos by Christian Louboutin; for something borrowed, the bride and groom drank from chalices previously used by Chris’ parents at their wedding ceremony; and for something blue, Jennifer’s monogram appeared in that hue along the hem of her wedding gown. Guests also admired a table inside the reception, which paid homage to the weddings of Chris’ and Jennifer’s families. “Every bride should do a wedding portrait,” Jennifer gushes. “Not only was it the perfect trial run two weeks before the wedding, but I was able to wear my dress twice! I hope to pass the cherished photo down to my children and grandchildren one day.”
The couple thoughtfully selected menu items to design a culinary experience for their guests. “I love fine food and wine,” Jennifer says. “I also have a passion for details. We enjoyed creating our menu with chef Chuck Friedhoff.” Hors d’oeuvres, featuring seared ahi tuna tacos and mini Patrón margaritas, led into a decadent five-course meal, with a pork-belly and seared-scallop amuse-bouche, grilled Caesar salad, lobster pot pie and filet mignon topped with truffle butter. Family and friends alike dipped into the signature punch, “For Better or for Bourbon,” before sampling the pumpkin spice cake covered in cascading flowers made of vanilla buttercream.
As if the gastronomy weren’t enough to impress guests, they certainly were wowed on stepping into the reception area. Dripping in gold with infusions of fuchsia, The Coronado brought extravagance to a whole new showstopping level. “We’ll always cherish our first dance to Otis Redding’s ‘I’ve Been Loving You for Too Long,’” Chris says. “Everyone joined us on the floor afterwards and danced to ‘Get Up’ by James Brown, who is one of my favorite artists.” Jennifer recalls one of her favorite moments occurring much earlier in the day, when her husband surprised her in the morning with a Tiffany bracelet bearing the engraving Tu sei il mio tutto, which translates to “You are my everything” in honor of his bride’s Italian heritage.
After a sparkling exit, the newlyweds flew to Italy, where they honeymooned for two weeks in Tuscany and along the Amalfi Coast. “It was the perfect combination of relaxation, history and cultural experiences,” Jennifer says. “We just relaxed and enjoyed each other.” The couple now resides in St. Louis.
October 3, 2015
Jennifer Anne Betz
Christopher Thomas Kuhn
The Bride’s Parents
Mr. and Mrs. Bill and Karen Betz of St. Louis
The Bride’s Grandparents
Mrs. Marie Colombo and the late Mr. Mario Colombo; and Mrs. Virginia Betz and the late Mr. William Betz, all of St. Louis
The Groom’s Parents
Mr. and Mrs. Tom and Mickey Kuhn of St. Louis and Naples, Florida
The Groom’s Grandparents
The late Mr. and Mrs. Michael Fitzgerald; and the late Mrs. and Mrs. Anthony Kuhn, all of St. Louis
Matron and Maid of Honor
Melissa Dominguez and Rachel Raterman
Laura Cherre, Amy Fehr, Yvette Boutaugh, Ashley Smith, Mary Kertz, Maureen Bulgrin and Lauren Bruning
Michael Betz, John Mayes, Adam Michael Stack, Nicholas Liuzza, Timothy Convy, Carson Menges, Matthew Prewitt, Ryan Schultz and Nicholas Frey
The Rev. Gregory Mohrman, O.S.B., at Saint Louis Priory School
The Shrine of Saint Joseph
The Wedding Dress
Vera Wang, the Leda gown and veil, from the Vera Wang Boutique in Chicago
The Day-of Dresser
Connie Simpson of R&M Design
The Bridesmaids’ Dresses
Adrianna Papell from Bella Bridesmaid in Chicago
Festive Couture Floral
Simone Faure of La Patisserie Chouquette
The Rosewood Ensemble at the ceremony; Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes during the cocktail hour; and Arvell at the reception
Cheree Berry Paper
The Wedding Planner
Alix-Ann O’Brien of Simcha Events