You wouldn’t expect Charles M. Schultz’s classic cartoon strip Peanuts to play an integral role in the spark of a romance, but then again, love turns up in unexpected places. Elizabeth “Libby” Burkhardt and David Rosenfeld met in 2001 while both were participating in Parkway Central Middle School’s production of Snoopy: The Musical – David played the role of Linus, Charlie Brown’s blanket-toting best friend, and Libby played Peppermint Patty, a freckle-faced tomboy. They became fast friends and stayed close throughout high school as they performed alongside one another in West Side Story and Pizzazz, Parkway Central High’s show choir.
After college, the friends both headed to the University of Missouri-Columbia, where Libby and David pursued their degrees in education and biological sciences, respectively, escorting each other to various sorority and fraternity events.
David will tell you that he knew there was something special about Libby from day one, and over their many years of friendship, they made several unsuccessful attempts to begin dating. It wasn’t until March 2010, after years of friendship blossoming into courtship, that Libby came around, and the couple went on their first date.
After five years of dating, David proposed to Libby on July 3, 2015. Libby had come back to St. Louis to spend the Fourth of July with her family, and David, then a medical student, told her he wasn’t able to return home, because he “had to study” (a completely plausible excuse). He surprised her that night as Libby was at the Missouri Botanical Garden with her family for family photos with her siblings, with a carefully rehearsed plan to have Libby led to a bench in a private garden area, where she received a bouquet of roses and a letter from David. As Libby finished the letter, David appeared from behind the bushes and got down on one knee to propose. After a moment to celebrate together, the couple emerged from the garden to find both families outside, with cameras and monogrammed Kleenexes at the ready. The families celebrated the engagement that night at SqWires in Lafayette Square, where David and his mom, Shelley, had decorated the event space with red roses, romantic candles and dozens of photos of the couples. “It was surely a night to remember,” Libby recalls.
The couple both wanted a big wedding, with all of their friends and family there. “The decision to have the wedding in our hometown of St. Louis was easy!” Libby says. They both knew the St. Louis Country Club, with its white stucco, red tile roof and black shutters, surrounded by green polo fields and a world-renowned golf course, would be the perfect backdrop for their one-of-a-kind wedding. The entire wedding weekend in early September 2016 told their love story – they shared the narrative of everything from their first meeting in middle school to their engagement at the Missouri Botanical Garden, exchanged personalized vows and asked many of their friends and family to speak at both the rehearsal dinner and wedding, ending the ceremony with the Jewish tradition of the breaking of glass. The ceremony was led by both Rabbi Amy Feder and Pastor Kevin Cameron to represent both sides of the family.
The couple’s vision included a nine-piece band to get their guests dancing, with additional activities – like marshmallow roasting for s’mores – at St. Louis Country Club’s beautiful back patio for nondancers to enjoy the evening under the night sky and charming café lights. Late-night food at the wedding included Imo’s Pizza – her favorite – and Katz’s pastrami sandwiches – his favorite. Custom sugar cookies representing various parts of their story were given out as favors, including, of course, Peppermint Patty and Linus.
The most memorable part of the day was a gift from the bride’s dad. “He surprised us with a painter who live-painted the ceremony – guests were able to observe and visit with the painter during cocktail hour, and David and I even got to pick up the paint brush and leave our own mark on the painting,” Libby says. “It’s an amazing keepsake that we will cherish forever.”
After four years as Columbia, Missouri, residents, the couple plans to move to Chicago later this month for David's dermatology residency at Loyola University Medical Center and Libby's position as director of major gifts at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. They honeymooned in Hawaii.
THE DATE: Sept. 10, 2016
THE BRIDE: Libby Burkhardt
THE GROOM: David Rosenfeld
THE BRIDE’S PARENTS: Dan and Connie Burkhardt and Cindy and Dan Taylor
THE GROOM’S PARENTS: Richard and Shelley Rosenfeld
THE MATRON OF HONOR: Katy Wolff
THE BEST MAN: Adam Rosenfeld
THE OFFICIANTS: Rabbi Amy Feder and Pastor Kevin Cameron
THE CEREMONY: St. Louis Country Club
THE RECEPTION: St. Louis Country Club
THE WEDDING DRESS: Anna Campbell
THE MAKEUP: Danielle Style
THE HAIR: Danielle Style
THE BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES: Joanna August
THE RINGS: Lordo's Diamonds
THE FLORIST: Belli Fiori
THE CAKE: The Cakery
THE BAND (MUSIC): Arvell & Co., Contemporary Productions
THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Carretto Studio
THE VIDEOGRAPHER: Vimage Studios
THE WEDDING PLANNER: Cosmopolitan Events