I Do! Purcell & Araiza
Mary Clare Purcell and Alex Araiza first met at Saint Louis University, but an overseas trip really cemented their relationship. “We both studied in Madrid for six months,” Mary Clare says. “We had more time to get to know each other that semester and started dating while we were there.”
Later, the pair got engaged while visiting the Garden Glow exhibit at the Missouri Botanical Garden. They were married at Our Lady of Lourdes parish in University City and held a lovely reception at The Caramel Room at Bissinger’s downtown. “The wedding was especially meaningful because Lourdes is my home parish,” Mary Clare says. “My cousin is a priest and performed the ceremony for us.” After Mass, the wedding party snapped some outdoor photos in her parents’ backyard and at Lindenwood Park. The bride chose a color scheme of white, coral and pink, and her attendants wore gowns in a delicate shade of beige.
The wedding party rode by trolley to the reception, where they enjoyed cocktails, dinner and dancing with guests. “Our college friends love to dance, so the floor was pretty packed the whole time!” Mary Clare recalls. “They also surprised us with some very creative entrances to the reception, including props like trenchcoats and fake beards.” The reception décor featured natural elements such as garlands, cascading flowers and vines.
Not surprisingly, the evening also included a special display of handmade confections from Bissinger’s. “They got rave reviews,” Mary Clare says. “People were going back for thirds and fourths! The peanut butter truffles were my favorite, and there were several flavors of caramels and chocolates, too.” As the party wound to a close, the newlyweds ordered late-night Steak ‘n Shake for their most die-hard guests.
A 10-day Hawaiian honeymoon capped off the festivities. “We visited Kauai and Maui and would return there in a heartbeat,” Mary Clare notes. “It was wonderful. We did a lot of eating, drinking and relaxing, and even took a helicopter tour.” She is a nurse practitioner at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, and Alex, a Belleville native, is an insurance broker at the Charles Crane Agency. They live in south St. Louis.
ceremony | Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church
reception | The Caramel Room at Bissinger’s
gown | Hayley Paige
cake | The Cakery
florist | Roses & Mint
music | Arvell & Co.
honeymoon | Hawaii
maids of honor | Sally Purcell, Annie Purcell
bridesmaids | Kelsey Herbst, Dana McNicholas, Ginny Seiler, Amanda Araiza
best man | Daniel Westhoff
groomsmen | Ben Albers, Michael Legittino, Dalton Thieneman, Jon Flippen, Aravinth Karunanundaa, Craig Borkovec
bride’s parents | Bill & Angie Purcell of University City
groom’s parents | Glenn & Lisa Logan of Belleville, Illinois; Jose Araiza of Sonoita, Arizona
wedding date | May 19, 2018