RACHEL & ALEX

WHO DID WHAT

Planner: Chappelow Events
Ceremony and reception: The Guild
Caterer: Plantain District
Photographer: Spencer Studios
Gown: Wtoo By Watters from Altar Bridal
Bride’s headpiece: Lovoda
Bride’s shoes: Halogen
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Azazie
Hair stylist: Posh KC
Makeup artist: Allison Jeffries
Tuxes: Houndstooth
Cake: Cakes by Cindy
Music: DJ Kreations
Flowers: Victorian Gardens
Rentals: All Seasons and Ultrapom
Invitations: Two Turtles Paperie
Cotton candy: Fun Services Midwest

Before they made the leap to boyfriend and girlfriend, Rachel MacPhee and Alex Cooper were friends for three years. Both were students at Rockhurst University, but it was Cooper’s side hobby that eventually led to a romance.

“My senior year, Alex started a swing-dancing class on campus,” Rachel says. “I joined the class out of curiosity, and that’s when we started to get interested in each other and spent more one-on-one time together.”

The couple officially started dating in January of 2014, with the two taking frequent vacations together and learning more about each other along the way.

“I’m a control freak when it comes to traveling, and Alex is definitely more relaxed, so we complemented each other that way,” Rachel says.

The duo explored destinations in Colorado, Texas and Washington, D.C. before taking a life-changing trip to a national park in Arkansas over Labor Day weekend in 2015.

“We went with Alex’s sister and brother-in-law, so it was kind of a couple’s trip,” Rachel says.

A day trek to a local winery proved the perfect spot for Alex to get down on one knee and propose, much to his bride-to-be’s surprise.

“I knew at some point he would propose, but I was emotional,” Rachel says. “I was completely overjoyed—I just would not shut up.”

And so began the yearlong wedding-planning process, which took off once the pair decided on an indoor-outdoor venue for their nuptials.

“We wanted an industrial space, but one that was also really upscale,” Rachel says. “The Guild had some of those modern elements with more midcentury, Art Deco twists.”

Rachel and Alex said “I do” in front of The Guild’s wooden palette wall, which featured lush greenery and draping for a more formal effect. Once their vows were spoken and the couple was declared husband and wife, guests were able to serve themselves during the cocktail hour.

“We really wanted our guests to be comfortable, so it was important for us to have things for them to do,” Rachel says.

So while the bride and groom took photos after the ceremony, guests were treated to hand-spun cotton candy, a his-and-her cocktail bar and food from the Plantain District.

“We wanted to do something a little bit nontraditional with the food,” Rachel says. “We didn’t want to just have a plated service.”

Copper lanterns and chargers accented the touches of teal and purple used at each table at the reception, which included centerpieces and greenery from Victorian Gardens.

“I peeked in, and my jaw dropped,” Rachel says. “We had some time to walk through the reception before everything got started, and that was one of the moments I appreciated the most.”

Another huge moment: the newlyweds’ first dance, which brought their love story full circle.

“Our dance was huge for us,” Rachel says. “Our first dance was to Sway by Rosemary Clooney, so we learned the rumba and choreographed the whole thing. That was one of my favorite memories, looking back.”

And although the bride’s family hadn’t been all together for several years, they blended seamlessly with her new in-laws.

“It was like one big family—there were no sides,” Rachel says. “If I could relive that day, I would in a second. It went better than I could have ever imagined.”

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