Wedding Inspiration

A family-filled holiday wedding on the Country Club Plaza

Marianne Breit, an e-commerce consultant in Lincoln, Neb., never forgot the childhood magic of the Plaza lights at Christmastime. As a single mother, she brought her own children to the Plaza, carrying on the holiday tradition.

When she fell in love with Sean McGerr, a financial advisor for UBS, and they decided to get married, they wanted a place where their blended family of eight children would feel at home and where Breit’s elderly mother could attend the nuptials.

Early on, they ruled out the Caribbean and Colorado—too far. But Kansas City turned out to be the perfect location for the whole family.

It also worked out—with their kids in high school, college, and with careers—that the best time for the celebration was over the holidays. So, with a wedding date of December 29 and the destination, they started planning.

“We had a dream team,” Breit says. “Preston Bailey at the InterContinental just made everything so smooth for us. We involved the kids in everything,” she adds, “from trying on gowns to tasting wedding cake.”

They took the whole top floor of the InterContinental, overlooking those Plaza lights, and then made sure that every moment of the wedding was filled with wonder, magic, love and fun.

Months out, Breit found her Monique Lhuillier gown at Gown Gallery. “I tried on so many that I was getting discouraged. But you immediately know when you’ve found the right one. That’s it!”

The double-faced satin gown had a sculptural quality, perfectly paired with custom earrings by Lindsay Marie and gold Jimmy Choo heels.

The bridesmaids’ gowns in a vintage winter berry print by designer Jenny Yoo were paired with faux-fur wraps in blush. “Our daughters felt like princesses,” Breit says.

The bouquets and floral arrangements from Studio Dan Meiners featured white and pink orchids, Breit’s favorites, as well as roses and other blooms.

It was very much a family affair. Breit’s sister, radiologist Dr. Patricia McGhie and her husband, hosted the rehearsal dinner at their Plaza-area home. The couple’s eight children were attendants in the wedding. The guest list of about 90 included immediate family and good friends.

The wedding day dawned cold and clear. The dressing room for the bride and bridesmaids and the clubby atmosphere for the groom and the men of the party made getting ready fun and festive.

The Forte Quartet of stringed instruments played during the wedding—”Hallelujah” for the mothers and “Sweet Child of Mine” when the couples’ children came in. Breit’s son Hale walked her down the aisle.

After the wedding, the original plan had been for Alea Lovely to take photos outdoors, but it was too cold. “A limo pulled up and rolled out a red carpet, and we all went to Union Station to take our wedding photographs there,” Breit says.

Upon their return, during the cocktail hour, pianist Mike Lowrey played for family and friends.

The four-tier wedding cake from Dolce Bakery, decorated with fresh roses and greenery, held court with individual pots de crèmes, also from Dolce.

With crystal chandeliers overhead, guests dined at intimate round tables surrounded by gilt chairs for a festive meal. The wedding toasts were made, including from the eldest child on each side of the family.

During the reception, everyone danced for five hours straight when Donnell Jones, AKA DJ Romeo, was in the house. They paused every now and then to refuel with lattes by Ambassador Coffee Company’s baristas. Late in the evening, a big cart rolled in with burgers from Winstead’s.

“Having our wedding overlooking the Plaza lights was magical,” says Breit. “But the most special thing is how incredibly close our kids are now. The kids came to all the meetings—I took 6 kids to the wedding cake tasting at Dolce Bakery and then the dinner tasting at the InterContinental. It was fun for them to plan, too. Everyone in Kansas City was so patient and so wonderful, so joyous.”

“This was Midwest hospitality at its finest,” Breit says. “Everyone went out of their way to make this special for us. You might not think of Kansas City for a destination wedding, but for us, it was perfect.”

Who Did What 

Wedding planning and event design: Madison Sanders of Madison Sanders Events

Ceremony and reception venue: InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza

Wedding string quartet: Forte Quartet

Cocktail hour pianist: Mark Lowrey

Reception DJ: DJ Romeo

Barista: Ambassador Coffee Co.

Late-night hamburgers: Winstead’s

Photography: Alea Lovely

Florist: Studio Dan Meiners

Bridal gown: Gown Gallery

Bridesmaid’s gowns: Jenny Yoo for Ready or Knot (Omaha)

Calligraphy: Cheryl Dyer Calligraphy + Lettering (Omaha)

Cake: Dolce Bakery

Gift boxes: Holly & Ivy Gifts/Events