Morgan Ostapowicz and Joe Purze may have a longer history than most couples, but it ended happily with a trip down the aisle in June. “Joe and I first met when we were teenagers at Clayton High School,” Morgan says. “Our best man actually set us up!” The pair continued dating in college even though they were on opposite ends of the country, and both moved back to St. Louis after graduation. “Joe proposed in May 2016 in Charleston, South Carolina, my favorite place in the world,” Morgan says. Now, the Purzes live in Creve Coeur with their dog, Wade.
Both the wedding and reception were held at The Ritz-Carlton, and Morgan says everything went smoothly from start to finish. She worked with wedding planners at Cosmopolitan Events to pull off the big day, which included a short ceremony and special Jewish traditions. A white and gold color scheme included lovely orchids as part of the decor.
“After the ceremony, we headed straight to the party,” Morgan says. “We held everything in one place because we wanted it to be easy and fun for guests. There was a photo booth from Fish Eye, which was a huge hit, and we brought out 300 Jack in the Box tacos as a late-night snack. We even had a dance- off between one of the band members and a guest!” She and Joe created a Twitter hashtag for the event, #morganscupofjoe, so guests could share their memories from the evening.
Morgan says the party kept rolling until the wee hours. “It spilled over into the lobby, where our best man’s dad performed on the piano as guests sang ‘Sweet Caroline’ at the top of their lungs,” she recalls. “It really was a magical night—everyone had a blast, which was all we could ask for.” A two-week honeymoon in Italy capped off their wedding celebration. “We went to Florence, Tuscany, Capri, Positano and Rome,” Morgan says. “It was the trip of a lifetime.”
ceremony & reception | The Ritz-Carlton
gown | David Tutera
cake | The Ritz-Carlton
florist | Belli Fiori
music | Funky Town Band
honeymoon | Italy
maid of honor | Kelly Beckerle
bridesmaids | Hayley Rosenblum, Rebecca Symons, Alli Holt, Sarah Marchant, Morgan Warthan, Sydney Purze
best man | Nate Townsend
groomsmen | Corbin Holtzman, Drew Hall, Daniel Blunk-Piper, Schuyler Longmore, Andrew Barry, Patrick Ostapowicz
bride’s parents | Phillip Ostapowicz of University City & Lori Guilliams of Town & Country
groom’s parents | Santa Purze of Clayton & the late Jerry Purze
Photos: Kelly Pratt Photography