Real Wedding: Karen + Steve at La Caille


Karen Manotas and Steve Merrell met studying in a coffee shop in Salt Lake City, and Steve slipped his number into her papers. She didn’t call until a week later, when they coincidentally met again at a different shop. Four years later, Steve proposed over tea at the same table where they first met. 


Karen and Steve were married in a classic ceremony in La Caille’s vineyard venue.

Both of Karen’s parents escorted her down the aisle to read her vows to her soon-to-be husband and stepdaughter. The bridesmaids wore rose gowns, and the groom’s party arrived in grey suits. The bride paraded down the aisle in a fitted, classic lace dress by Martina Liana, complete with a gorgeous low back and sweetheart neckline. Long lace illusion sleeves billow from her sides, the perfect look for an autumn wedding.

The couple chose Utah as their nuptial destination as a way to treat friends and family who were travelling to celebrate their wedding. “I am originally from Florida and moved to Utah 6 years ago for medical school,” Karen says. “Since then I have fallen in love with the mountains and our picturesque skyline.”




“Our vision for our wedding matched the venue: romantic and elegant with a modern touch,” Karen says. The decor mirrored the lush floral theme of La Caille’s spaces, with varied candelabra centerpieces wound up in fresh eucalyptus, succulent terrariums and bursting flower arrangements. Each table was draped in rose velvet lined and surrounded by champagne chivari chairs, matching the gold accents in the tablescapes. Karen drew inspiration largely from La Caille’s stunning spaces, and worked with AOO Events to finalize the elegant final vision. 




For their reception dinner, the couple and their guests were served from a classic La Caille buffet wedding menu. Karen’s favorite dish was the short ribs. “The ribs were to die for,” she says. “I loved that we actually got to eat our full dinner, it was one of our main goals for the night!”

For dessert, the couple had a 3-tiered gold and blush wedding cake created by Salt Cake City. The top two tiers were banana cream and vanilla cake, and the bottom was raspberry bliss, all covered in clean white buttercream.


The reception took place in the Grand Pavilion greenhouse, with lush flowers and greens lining every surface. The bride’s big-day vision included an abundance of candles, so every free space was illuminated by romantic candelabra and votive arrangements in gold to compliment the blush palette linens from Mosaic Linens. Assorted ranunculi, dollar and gunni eucalyptus, roses, succulents and king proteas adorned every table.

Dancing was one of the favorite memories of the night. The couple had their introductory first dance to the tune of “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray La Montagne.  Karen’s father is Colombian, so the father-daughter dance became a fun-filled Salsa showcase, and a tender moment for everyone involved.

Above all, the couple shared that they were glad they took the time to simply enjoy themselves on their wedding day.

“Friends had mentioned to me how they had felt like their wedding day was ‘one big blur,’ and that they wished they would have taken the time to enjoy their wedding,” Karen says. “During our wedding day, I did not feel like that at all! I remember talking with and dancing with each and every person, Steve and I ate a full dinner including dessert, and we had time to take in all the details and work we had so carefully planned in the leading months.”




Photos: Logan Walker, Pepper Nix

Event Designer: AOO Events

Day-Of Coordinator: Allison Baddley, La Fete 

Dress designer: Martina Liana

Bridal salon: Belissima Bride in Deerfield Beach, Florida

Shoes: Badgley Mischka

Makeup Artist: Lesley Lind

Ring designer: Rocky Mountain Diamond Company

Jewelry: Nadri

Bridesmaids dresses: Morilee Madeline Gardner in desert rose. 

Groom’s attire: Grey Suit by Nordstrom, white formal shirt, Blush tie and pocket square from The Tie Bar

Floral Artist:  Fleur and Stems

Cake Designer: Salt Cake City

Band: Metro Music Club

Invitations: Jaffa Printing Company

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