One month to the day after Elaine Beck’s father passed away, she went out to a bar with her friends. Across the room, Mike Reinberg, who had heard of Elaine through mutual friends, made eye contact.

“I looked over and saw who I thought was Elaine Beck,” Mike says. “I had heard about [her dad passing] and saw her out smiling with friends, and thought, Wow, she's strong. I had a lot of respect for her.”

The couple dated for two years before Mike popped the question on a Friday night in March at Elaine’s family's country home in Catawissa, Mo. They spent the weekend planning preliminary details, setting a date to have the wedding just seven months later at her brother and sister-in-law’s new home in the Hampton Park neighborhood.

Instead of hiring a wedding planner, the pair enlisted help from Elaine’s mom, who has experience doing decorations and planning for charity events. Going for “elegant, traditional, classic” the bride shied away from online inspiration. “We wanted it to be original and just do whatever we came up with ourselves.”

Music played a large part in the ceremony. Elaine surprised the groom with musicians from the St. Louis Symphony, playing songs by James Taylor and John Denver as guests entered. “As the bridesmaids were going down the aisle, they played one of our most special songs, All I Ask of You by Andrew Lloyd Weber,” she says. “That’s one of the songs he played for me on the night he proposed.”

Creating a venue had its difficulties, including having to rent shuttles and luxury bathrooms, as well as having caterer Tony Marino Catering serve out of the garage. But the end result was worth it. “Our guests stayed until one in the morning, dancing. It was just a great party,” Elaine says.

Crossing off one of Elaine’s bucket-list entries, the couple honeymooned in Bora Bora, where they stayed in an over-water bungalow, scuba dived, jet-skied and swam with sharks and manta rays.

The Date: October 12, 2013

The Bride: Elaine Fitzsimmons Beck

The Groom: Michael Christopher Reinberg

The Bride’s Parents: Michael and Karen Beck of Brentwood

The Groom’s Parents: Jeffrey and Cheryl Reinberg of Kirkwood

The Ceremony: Our Lady of the Pillar Catholic Church

The Reception: The home of John and Ann Beck, the bride’s brother and sister-in-law

The Wedding Dress: Modern Trousseau, Fleur De Lis Bridal Boutique

The Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan

The Rings: Bartel’s Jewelers and Simon’s Jewelers

The Florist: Garden Party by Meg Huber

The Cake: Warm bread pudding by Tony Marino Catering

The Band: D.J. Greasy

The Photographer: L. Frisch Photography

The Tux: Mister Guy Clothiers

The Invitations: CoCo Stine Designs

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